Where Were You On 9/11/01

We remember the lives lost and the way our country changed on September 11, 2001 this Sunday. Where were you that day?

Sunday marks ten years since the 9/11 terror attacks.  Am I alone in being astonished that a decade has passed since that unforgettable day?  

September 11th is one of those days where people who of a certain age will always remember where they were when they heard about the terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington D.C. and the crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

I remember where I was.

On September 11, 2001, I was a senior in college at the University of Missouri.  I was packed and nearly ready to catch a flight to Tennessee, where the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) Conference was preparing to get underway.  I had won a scholarship to attend the conference, and I was so excited.  All I had to do was stop by KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO, add a few reports to my tape of news stories to share with others at the conference and catch a flight.  And I needed to call my sister in Chicago and my dear friend in Ohio to wish them happy birthday.

In my room, I had a tiny little Sony Watchman with a black and white screen that was no more than five by five inches.  I was putting on my makeup while listening to the Today Show.  They went to commercial break, saying they would be interviewing Ted Kennedy when they came back (Note: if you were watching Today on the East Coast when the attack happened, you would have seen a different segment...I was in the central time zone, so the show's timing was a little different).   When they returned from break, there was no interview.  There was the report that "something had happened" at the World Trade Center in New York City.  No one really understood why a plane would go so off course to fly into a building.  Matt Lauer and Katie Couric were talking to an NBC producer on the phone on the air who could see the World Trade Center from her home, and I will never forget the sound of the woman's voice shrieking and saying another plane had hit the other tower.  Never.

I drove out to KOMU, but intead of preparing for my trip, we were all in full news coverage mode.  I spent part of the day interviewing a tearful friend who, like so many others, could not get in touch with a relative in New York City.  The phone lines were jammed all day.   Fortunately, her family turned out to be alright, but we didn't know that until at least the next day. 

That night in the newsroom was busier than an election night.  Every available person was working.  KOMU is staffed by some professors, some professional tv broadcasters, but mostly students from the university.  We all grew up a lot that day.  I didn't go to Nashville for the conference that day, or even that month.  The conference I was so looking forward to was rescheduled.  September 11th happened when several news directors were already in Nashville for the conference and were desperately trying to get back to their newsrooms to cover the biggest news story, ever, and while flights were grounded at every airport.

I don't remember what my "happy birthday" conversations were like with my sister or friend that day.  I do remember seeing a U.S. flag going up in the window of a coffee shop that all the students loved.  The name of it was Osama's.   I also remember a friend getting scared when a military jet did a fly-by (a scheduled one) at a football game a few weeks later.  She thought we were under attack. Those were two of the tiny memories I have that the world was not the same after 9/11. 

I hope you use this blog forum as a place to share your memories of 9/11/01.  We may share some of them on the air with viewers on Friday morning.

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  • by Ted Location: Grimesland on Jan 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM
    I was living in Icard, NC (Hickory area). I remember it clearly. I woke up, walked into the living room and flicked on the TV, then went into the kitchen to make coffee. I picked up the phone to call my Dad in WV since it was his birthday. I tried to call several times but kept getting a message that all the lines were full. When I walked back into the living room I saw what happened on TV. I remember how every channel either had coverage of the attacks or had suspended their programming all together. My wife and I tried to donate blood that day, the closest red cross center was in Marion, NC which was a little over an hour away. We decided to wait until the next morning to donate, of course we all realized the next morning there was no need for blood since there were only a few survivors.
  • by Tyee Location: Hyde County on Nov 2, 2011 at 05:45 PM
    My wife was sitting next to a pup tent. Our mobile home was totally destroyed. Got out a commode, set it beside her, strung up some clothes and put up a sign saying Thanks Fema. The picture taken then, was used by the local newspaper this year. This is a true story; we had to have mental relief and got it the best way we could. Thanks to FEMA they got us a camper right away.
  • by DeAnna on Sep 16, 2011 at 08:07 AM
    I was elven at the time and sitting in my 6 grade English class, the teachers did a great job of keeping calm while I know inside they were frantic, we got out of school early and when I walked in the house my mom was watching the news, that's when I realized that something wasn't right. I remember that it felt like months before they stop showing the images on tv.
  • by PAULA Location: WARSAW on Sep 13, 2011 at 09:04 AM
    I WAS RETURNING A RENTAL VAN TO THE AIRPORT IN RALEIGH WITH NEW YORK TAGS ON IT. I THOUGHT THEIR GREETING WAS MIGHTY FRIENDLY UNTIL I FOUND OUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED. THEN WHAT HAPPENED WAS SCAREY. MY RENTAL WAS DIRECTED TO COVERED AREA AND THEN CHECKED.
  • by Tim Location: LaGrange on Sep 9, 2011 at 07:21 PM
    I was getting ready for work while living out west when it happened. I still to this day do not believe the "official" story.
  • by Harvey Location: LaGrange on Sep 9, 2011 at 05:13 PM
    I was in Saudi Arabia working with the Royal Saudi Air Force. We stayed out of work the next day for our own safety and to keep the anger from causing problems. You see, we were in the Asir region where the majority of the hijackers came from. When we went to work the next day... well, lets just say some expressed their regrets and some were not at all unhappy and even jeered. It was a very tough time and we soon prepared to return home to the U.S.
    • reply
      by Roshawn on Sep 16, 2011 at 10:07 AM in reply to Harvey
      How old are you
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Sep 9, 2011 at 02:11 PM
    I was working, building a house in Southern Pines, when I got the call saying the planes had hit the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon....
  • by Arnetrice Location: Greenville on Sep 9, 2011 at 03:57 AM
    A friend and I were on our way to Atlantic City to celebrate my Birthday (9/11). When the 1st plane hit, we both were thinking "Uh Oh, another pilot has been bad". But when the 2nd plane hit, being prior military, I knew something was terribly wrong. I told her we had to go back, that we were under attack. Then the 3rd and 4th plane hit and I knew I was right. I thought of my kids and family in DC and I was calm and terrified at the same time. Of course we couldn't go back, bridges were closed and we ended up watching the coverage at a rest area near Delaware. That event changed the lives of everyone. And I don't see my birthday as a celebration anymore. I do take the time to pray for those who can no longer celebrate their birthday or any day. May God Bless them and their families.
  • by Kay Location: Emerald Isle on Sep 9, 2011 at 02:51 AM
    I was teaching at Wellcome Middle School. One of my classes was about to end when my cell phone went off. It was my son and I thought he was calling to remind me that 9-11 was his birthday....which it is. Instead he told me to turn on the tv in my classroom. When I did there it was. The first tower had been hit. Then as we all watched unbelieving what we were viewing, a second plane hit the second tower and one of my students let out a chilling scream. Suddenly we were told to turn off our tv monitors but our principal came around and told us to turn them on because history was on those monitors. Clyde Carroll was a great principal, leader and educator. To this day, it all seems so surreal. I'm sure that is how people felt when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Dec.7, 1941. Somehow we all always remember details about where we were and what we were doing when tragedies like these take place.
  • by Rhonda Location: Albertson on Sep 8, 2011 at 04:18 PM
    I was @ work and I soon as I heard about it I went and picked up my kids from school.
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