Readers share memories of Sept. 11, 2001



Larry J. Humphrey: “I had just arisen and was making my morning coffee after turning on the television to catch the morning news when the breaking news came on! My reaction was O.M.G!”

Nicole Morse: “Giving my son a bottle in bed …then waiting to hear from family that was working and traveling w/the president. Long day, sad day.”

Anne Brodhead Pugsley: “I was on my way to teach 4th grade.”

Pam Schwartz: “I was at home. I had woke my daughter up so she could get ready for school. She was also suppose to go to MEPS that day, she was going to go into the Navy after graduating. She was getting ready when the 1st plane hit, she knocked at my bedroom door and told me about it. I got up and watched the rest of the attacks unfold. I knew in my heart what the next step would be. My son was already in the Navy. That day and the next several days though were spent checking messages from an Online Group I belonged to, it was a small group (less than 100) of Navy moms from across the county. As time went by, worry set in. In the end one of our own Navy moms lost her son at the Pentagon. Every year I light a candle in honor of AG2 Matthew M. Flocco, son of Mike and Sheila Flocco, my heart breaks for them. It’s a day I will never forget.”

Debi Sullivan: “I awoke about the time things were all taking place in New York. I was feeding my infant son who had awoken for the day and decided to turn on the TV while I sat and rocked with him — images of the first plane hitting tower number one were on the screen. I can still hear Dan Rather’s voice, not quite sure what was happening, but trying to document all the same … and within minutes a second plane approached … both towers were on the ground and clouds of smoke were everywhere. The images were shocking and life altering. I still feel ill when remembering.”

Jennifer McEiver: “I was getting ready for school when I watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center live. I woke my mom up and we watched till I left for school. At Skyview High School every TV was on. I watched my classmates and teachers’ faces that day in complete disbelief. Many of my friends and family went off to war after 9/11. As a parent I now know what that truly meant to families. My husband and I didn’t have a best man at our wedding. Dustin was in Iraq during that time. His dad married us and we prayed every day he made it home safe. My cousin came home too as well as many of our other friends. Some didn’t! My husband and I fly a flag in our yard and will till the day we die. At 28, some would say that respect was lost on our generation. I say we gained respect through the pain during and after 9/11 and we will never forget. God bless the USA!”

Sarah Timberman, Keesler AFB: “Two days from graduating Air Force tech school. Instructors running back and forth in the hallway. Putting us on lockdown. Fastening a crappy antennae so we could watch the news on a snowy TV. All of us wondering what this meant for our brand new Air Force careers.”

Chrissy Feeken: “I was getting ready to leave for school (7th grade) and when I got there I found out my teacher’s sister-in-law was in the second tower when it hit (she is alive; she made it out) but that 3 hours of waiting sucked for all of us. Hope all the people who have lost family that day the best in life.”

Jennifer McDaniel: “Thank you for your service. I was at work in Houston and 9 months’ pregnant with my daughter. As I watched the tragic events unfold, I remember feeling nauseated, dizzy and utterly stunned as if I was watching a terrible movie. I was also in tears, thinking that our lives, our country, and my daughter’s life would never be the same.”

Sherrill Sparks Giusti: Living in Scottsdale, worked for a Persian dentist. I answered the phone that day and on the other end was the most hateful voice telling me to get out of there because they were going to blow the place up because of the nationality and religious beliefs of my boss. I won’t repeat what they actually said because it’s too hateful. Having to tell my sweet Iranian boss what was said on the phone and the sad, helpless look on her face just broke my heart. I had never experienced ignorant hatred like that before.”

Ray Traylor: “I couldn’t believe this was happening.”

Carol Brake: “I was at home but I remember the exact spot where I was standing. I could not figure out why so many planes were flying over our house.”

Tony Long: “I woke up at 6 a.m. here in Vancouver, and turned on my TV as I was starting my day, and then sat down to watch live coverage as 9/11 unfolded … unforgettable. It reminds me of listening to the live coverage on the day JFK was assassinated.”

J’am Harrison: “I was recovering from a car accident, in bed. My roommate woke me up and said we just got bombed. I hobbled downstairs and stared in disbelief at the TV. Then the second plane hit. Our friends started showing up at the house, opting out of going to school. I called my mom and begged her not to go to work (works in a high rise downtown). We sat there, about five of us, early 20s, tears down our face. I kept asking what’s going to happen? What now? How does this happen? We saw people jumping out windows, paper flying through the air, the people bloody, crying, tears streaming down ashen faces. We sat up for two days and watched the news. My baby brother enlisted in the Army after that. I visited Ground Zero about two years later, and the rebar was still sticking out of the underground parking, cars were still in the parking structure. I started crying so hard I couldn’t finish taking photos. It felt as if the souls of the people that died were all around me, scared, anxious, crying souls everywhere. I still have a very difficult time talking about it, let alone looking at the photos I did take. Bless all those who lost their lives, and those that have since and are fighting for our safety and freedom.”

Laura Henderson Kennedy: “Waiting to hear from my parents who boarded a plane in Portland heading to Dayton, Ohio, around 6 a.m. Their plane was on the runway ready to take off, but had to turn around and go back to the gate. Took them three hours to call us on a pay phone … the longest wait as we didn’t know if their flight left or where they were. It took them five days to get a flight back to Ohio and that was through Dulles airport in Washington, D.C. They have not been back here for a visit or on any other plane since.”

Keith Mooney: “I was finishing up my graveyard shift at the print shop where I worked. The father of one of my co-workers called and told me that a plane had just crashed into the WTC. At the time, I was imagining something like a small Cessna crashing into the tower. I wasn’t thinking it was a commercial airliner! A few moments later, another co-worker rolled out a TV and right as he turned it on, the other plane crashed into the second tower. We were all just shocked and speechless. It almost felt like a dream … a very scary one. I stayed up all day watching the news with my dad after my shift. One thing nice that I do remember is how I would have conversations with complete strangers and we’d talk about how we were feeling about everything. I think it really brought the country together for a short time.”