Today marks 11 years since those terrible events unfolded the morning of September 11, 2001.  It was a surreal day for those of us who weren’t in the thick of it, worrying about those who were.  Those of us old enough to remember (it seems so weird to say that – but after 11 years, there are those of you who were probably too young to remember) where we were and what we were doing at the time it was all happening.

That day was a day that I normally started work at 9am, so when the first plane hit I was walking from the parking lot to the building, completely oblivious to what was occurring right at that moment.  When I got to my desk and started the process of booting up my computer and organizing my ‘to do’ list for the day, there was a big commotion throughout the building so I went up to where we usually gleaned all our information – the receptionist desk.

People were freaking out, talking about a plane hitting the Twin Towers in New York – I thought it was a bad joke, or that someone in a small plane had either miscalculated or had a medical issue.  Just as we figured out it was a commercial plane, the second plane hit the other tower.  We all scrambled to our desks to check out the online updates, then someone had the idea to turn on the TV in one of the conference rooms where we all gathered to watch the events unfold.

Half hour later we were further shocked to learn about the plane crashing into the Pentagon, followed less than twenty minutes later the plane intended for the Capitol crashing just 120 miles West of us.

We had a big media event set up for that day – even the Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge, was scheduled to attend and give a speech.  The outside grounds were decorated colorfully, the tents filled with chairs and tables loaded with catered food waiting for the guests to arrive.  The guests who never did, because obviously the big event had to be canceled.

Governor Ridge was needed elsewhere (and subsequently a month later resigned from Governorship to take on the duties of the newly created position at the White House as Director of Homeland Security).

Appointments that were scheduled throughout the day were either no-shows or canceled.  The employees alternated between gathering in the conference room to watch the news, sitting at their desks to check for updates, or frantically trying to make calls to friends and loved ones in the locations of the attacks.  Time stood still.

In the subsequent days, the sky was eerily quiet, as all planes had been grounded.  Hours were spent watching coverage on TV, hoping and praying survivors would be found in the collapsed buildings.  People reached out to help in any manner possible; traveling to New York to help with the efforts, or donating blood.  Multiple calls were made to friends and family, reconnecting after too much time had passed, promising to stay more connected since we were reminded that anything can happen when we least expect it.

We will never forget.

What you were doing the day time stood still?


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  1. Ahh yes. You cannot help but remember where you were and what you were doing at the same time.

    I was in my country. I was getting ready to go to work.

    At first I thought it was a movie on tv. I watched some more and just couldn’t believe it.
    I started crying.

    My thoughts were praying on the way to work.

    Work was not the same that day.
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  2. Oh man, I completely and totally forgot it was 9/11! I haven’t even looked at a calendar. I’ll never forget that day, though. We have so many friends in New York, and their memories of it are SO incredibly intense that I can’t imagine going through what they did. I so remember the numb, stunned feeling we all felt, and then the way that everybody, all across the country, from every walk of life, started pulling out their American flags – on their homes, on their cars. It was very spontaneous and deep.
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  3. I remember how blue the sky was and the crisp pre-autumn temperatures nippy at my skin that September morn 11 years ago. Even when I could not connect to the internet, we had dial-up at the time, I was still clueless to what was happening until I called DH. He said, “Turn the TV on.” I sat horrified like millions of people did that day clued in front of the media coverage seeing people leap from the tower just before it crumbed to the ground like a house of cards. Everything that day was mangled together like a nightmare and obviously I was concerned over DH’s well being because he worked 2 hours from home. I was afraid terrorists had organized interstate downfalls, too. Like all Americans, I got comfortable thinking we were completely safe and almost above anything like this happening. I was proved wrong, but I don’t take our nation’s security or safety so lightly anymore. Thanks for sharing your accounts of that painful, bitter day 11-years ago. God bless the USA!

  4. My husband was supposed to be at the top of the World Trade Center for a breakfast meeting – he cancelled because he had too much work. Thank God!!! 9/11 STILL sends chills down my spine and I send out my condolences to those whose lives had to radically change from the horror of loss or illness from those attacks. May we continue be get stronger and find strength and guidance from the nightmare of 9/11.

    Thanks for hosting and have a great week.
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  5. We turned on the news just in time to see the second plane and I just remember thinking how surreal it felt; we were so far from NY and it just didn’t seem like it could really be happening. Terrible.

  6. Great post… You are right, there are some people who were too young to remember that day – how sad is that. Like you, I just got into work (in Long Island, NY) and started opening up my computer. I heard the news report on the radio, but I was listening to a morning show – so my first reaction was it was a joke…
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  7. Here, where we are two hours behind New York time, I had arrived at work at 7:00am, about the same time as you, and since it was a chiropractor’s office, we were relatively insulated and didn’t hear until probably after 8:00 our time what was going on from a patient. At first we thought it was just a small plane that had hit. I didn’t know everything that had gone on until I went home for lunch and was able to watch some of the new coverage.
    It is a day that is indelibly imprinted on my brain.
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  8. I was a college student, and our classes were about to begin for the day when the news broke. I remember not really knowing how to feel – not really understanding the magnitude of it all. I live in Canada, but the fear and severity of the situation was felt here in a major way. It was a terrifying day.
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  9. I won’t forget it either. Such a sad and tragic day for all of America. I was watching the Today show as I got ready for classes (I was in college). It doesn’t seem like it’s been 11 years. UNREAL.

    Thanks for linking up with us and LOOK AT ME! I’m leaving a comment!!!! WOOT WOOT! 😉

  10. For me, it was my first day off in ages. I had gone over to my grandmother’s house to watch some Jerry Springer on her TV, so when I turned it on I saw the first plane had hit. 🙁 I’ll never forget when one of the Tv stations accidentally left the firefighters frequency on while they were on the air and you could hear them screaming for help. 🙁
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  11. I was driving in to work, late as usual, when I heard about the first plane on the radio. I thought it was just a small plane, but when I called my mom she told me that a second plane had hit the other tower. What an emotional day.
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  12. I had just walked in with my then four year old son from pre school orientation, to find my husband staring at the television dumbfounded (he was home on duty with the 18 month old). It was maddening trying to get the complete update from someone who had been standing watching that plane sticking right thru that building. As we were still trying to make some sense of things, the first building fell…as we watched it on live tv.
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  13. I was home sick. John had woken up to get ready for work and came rushing into the bedroom shouting, “the Pentagon’s been attacked!” I bolted up in bed as he turned on the tv and we saw the images of the fallen Towers and the burning Pentagon. I literally thought we were being attacked by aliens. It didn’t occur to me right away that terrorists would attack us on our own soil.
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