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Just like almost everyone who was in a position to remember Nov. 22, 1963 can recall where they were when they heard President Kennedy was assassinated, Sept. 11, 2001, obviously, sticks in our collective memory. As Wednesday is the 12th anniversary of 9/11, we wanted to know: “Where were you on that day? What do you remember?”

Your answers

“I was in bed, a brand new mom with my 6-day-old daughter. … I saw the TV and was waking up, trying to register if it was news or a TV show when my husband came home from work and clued me in just in time for us both to see the second plane. It was also the day that the home health care nurse did a follow up visit on the baby. I was officially scared for the new life I had brought into the world.” — Michelle Calhoun

“Ugh, I was a sophomore in high school. I remember my teacher came running into the class and turning on the TV saying that the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane, then the second tower got hit and the teacher turning around and saying: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just been attacked by terrorists, we’re going to war.’ I was so scared! I cried most of the day.” — Jessica Ingle

“On the line at Chrysler. Back then we had a Daimler Chrysler channel with TVs throughout the plant and it went to live coverage. Nobody wanted to work. They wanted to go get their kids, go home. But the line did not stop for an act of war!” — Lora Lea Moran Felker

“I was working at Tom’s Food Center in Portland, Mich. making plans to celebrate my birthday that night. One of my coworkers came in and asked where the bosses were and that we needed to turn on the TV because the World Trade Center was under attack. Needless to say, I will never forget that day since it’s my birthday.” — Stephanie Uuro-Griffith

“I was in my office talking with my sister who informed me that our sister-in-law had just begun a new job in the [World Trade Center towers]. We spent the rest of the day speaking to our brother, as he searched for his wife who did perish in Tower One that fateful day. R.I.P. Katherine Wolf.” — Sarah DeLancey Hanaway

“It was the morning of my 27th birthday, and my 11th wedding anniversary. We were living in California, and when the phone rang early in the morning, I assumed it was a birthday well-wisher. It was my Mom, informing me that the world was ending! Then my hubby called to inform me of the attack. The entire day, nobody wished me a Happy Birthday. It was just not a happy day overall!” — Rebecca Jasper

“I live in Washington, D.C. and my Mom was visiting me from Peru. I work on Capitol Hill and was at work early that day so I could leave early to spend time with my Mom. I had a TV on at my desk watching ‘The Today Show’ when the first plane hit. My Mom called and we talked a little. When we got off the phone I walked to another desk in my office that was occupied at the time and we were watching the TV when the second plane hit the WTC. I returned to my desk and my Mom and I talked again in disbelief. Shortly after I got off the phone [American Airlines] Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. I lived close enough that my Mom heard the explosion and called me back and wouldn’t get off until I agreed to come home immediately. By the time I got to my supervisor’s desk, my boss called and told her to send everyone home. I went back to my office and told everyone to go ahead and go home. I still remember walking down the stairs that day instead of taking the elevator. As I was leaving the Capitol, police were telling everyone to leave that a fourth plane was heading for D.C. and the Capitol could be its target and to get home safe and fast as possible. I lived right off the George Washington Memorial Parkway and was going across the 14th Street Bridge and still can see in my head people pouring out of the Pentagon and the black smoke. I was able to get on the Parkway before it was shut down and got home. It was a surreal day. Route 1, which runs parallel to the Parkway, had people walking home from the Pentagon for hours. For what seemed [like] days, I remember smelling the jet fuel burning. That evening, because it was so quiet, my Mom and I could hear ‘Taps’ being played either at Arlington National Cemetery or Fort Myer. I still remember that day like it was yesterday.” — Alan Bruce

Our Answers

“I can remember getting ready to go to work at the Anderson Herald Bulletin, turning on the television and learning of the first plane to hit the towers. I first thought it might have been like in the 1950s when a plane hit the Empire State Building. Then I saw the second plane hit and knew we were under attack. My first thought was of my relatives working in New York City and if they were alright. I went to the newspaper office and started working on a special section we published that day. Several times called to check on family members, all of whom were unharmed.” — Ken de la Bastide

“It was my day off and I awoke early and had CNN on the TV. When I first seen the first tower on fire I thought it was preview for a movie like ‘The Towering Inferno.’ When I finally realized what I was seeing, the second plane hit the other tower. It was pretty crazy watching it unfold.” — Mike Fletcher

“I was a senior in high school. The seniors that had passed both English and math portions of the ISTEP test in previous years got to come in late those days, at like 12:30 p.m. or so, if I remember. We were farmers, so I got up at about 8:45 a.m. that morning to go help my parents for a couple hours before school. I was sitting on the couch talking with them when Matt Lauer was talking on [‘The Today Show’] that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. NBC had live footage from what I think was a helicopter showing the smoldering fire of the first strike when the second plane hit its target. We still went out to the farm to do work, and kept the radio on, and it seemed like every radio station, even the ones that didn’t have a syndicated news organization had completely switched to news radio. No music. I got to school and everyone was in the cafeteria at Tipton High School watching the TVs. It was just surreal. The school cancelled football practice that day, so we went straight home. When we got home, my parents wanted to take every vehicle we had and go fill up the gas tanks because of the speculation that gas prices would skyrocket. Since 9/11, gas prices have never been the same, whether as a direct result or not. I often wonder how much differently we would view 9/11 if the plane intended to hit the White House had reached its target. I’m also convinced that whatever hit the Pentagon was not a plane.” — Josh Sigler

“I worked that day but had been up the entire night before with my sister who had to have emergency surgery. I wanted to stay home on the 11th, being so tired, but there wasn’t anyone else to work, so I had to come in. When I walked in the door someone told me right away that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I thought the same as everyone else, that it was an accident until the second plane hit. I kept up with what happened by what the radio said but I didn’t get to see any images at all until I got home that night after work. We didn’t have access to Internet downstairs at the Tribune back in 2011.” — Charlene Woodruff

“I was a sophomore in high school taking the [Graduation Qualifying Exam] when it happened. Many of us didn’t even know what happened until about noon when we were released from testing. We noticed several of the teachers huddled together whispering but we didn’t think anything of it. The rest of the day is kind of a blur. I knew that what happened was major, but I didn’t really understand how and why it happened. Most of our teachers weren’t letting us see the news footage, so it wasn’t until that evening and the following days that I could really grasp the enormity of what happened. My husband was a senior in high school at the time and had been thinking about joining the Army. That day confirmed for him that he wanted to enlist. So, he did as soon as he graduated.” — Jessyka Betzner

“My Mom called early in the morning and uncharacteristically I had the phone on when usually the ringer was off. She told me to turn on the TV right then. It was probably before the first tower fell but I’m not sure any longer. I remember seeing a camera angle they didn’t show later. It was astonishing, of course. Outside in Kokomo the world was pretty much exactly the same, though perhaps quieter, like no fun was being had that day, or mostly that week. I remember what work was like that day but don’t recall going out anywhere else to gauge other people and how ashen they were. I’m sure there were exceptions, but it was odd in that almost every TV station switched to the coverage. Many are owned by conglomerates that own CBS or Fox or whatever, so they reverted to the news broadcasts of those partnerships. It was a really eerie day in addition to how horrible the news was, just because of the lack of sound and energy from the outside world.” — Pedro Velazco

“I’ve written about this before, but you know that phrase associated with 9/11, ‘Never Forget’? Well, I have very little to remember. I missed it all. It was the start of the first full month of my academic career at Indiana University in Bloomington. That morning, I was attending one of my twice-per-week laboratory sessions at the School of Education. And there I stayed from just a few seconds after 8 a.m. until 11:13 a.m. While history as we know it was changing forever, I was obliviously being bored to tears by a recreation of grade school science experiment involving measurement of liquids. The class actually ended at 11:15 a.m., but one of the teacher’s assistants came into the room shaking and holding a piece of paper a few minutes before the end. We could see her face was red and flustered. She had been crying very recently. As she spoke, she began weeping again. She related the gory details in a clipped tone. Suddenly, the work in front of us seemed even less engaging than before. But as people began quietly and not-so-quietly freaking out, the stern-looking male/female pair leading the class sought to quiet the classroom. We still had work in front of us, they said, finish your assignments, please. Still in complete shock, everyone else in the classroom and I did as we were told, finishing the worksheet and leaving the class in a rush. Back at Teter Quadrangle, every TV was blaring and the same images kept playing over and over again. People were losing their minds. Nonetheless, the entire day the university refused to cancel classes. Being the meek and mild freshman I was, I dutifully cut through the campus in chaos and managed to show up for my afternoon English class. I was only one of about six of what is usually at least a 20-strong classroom who bothered to show up. The graduate student assigned to teach the class could barely keep it together the whole time we were in there, which only turned out to be 15 minutes. After managing to squeak out a few barely coherent phrases, she dismissed those of us who had obeyed and attended. Unlike IU, she thought it was best that we deal privately.” — Rob Burgess

Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at rob.burgess@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.


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