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September 11th, 2009
09:01 AM ET

How Did 9/11 Change Your Life?

Post your comments here.

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. el singer

    I remember 9/11 vividly. My two younger daughters were on the carpet, playing with Barbies. I was watching Regis and Kelly on TV. I remember them saying a plane has hit a building. I turned it over to CNN and there began the ordeal of 9/11. A tremendous fear came over me. My daugher asked "mommy, is that real?" I didn't know what to say, so I said the truth. "Yes it is"...she said "turn it off, I don't want to see that". I turned it off, but went into the bedroom and cried and cried.
    May all those innocent lives that perished on 9/11 Rest In Peace.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  2. Steve Burns

    I was an editor at The Orange County Register newspaper in Southern California. I awoke to the news of the attacks, and worked on an extra edition of the paper that day. I then worked 11 of 12 days after that because of the extra coverage the paper undertook. In October, I was one of about 100 people downsized by the paper, as the economic calamity from the attacks drastically reduced ad revenue. I now live in Atlanta.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  3. Mike Armstrong TX.

    It made me feel angry that people had taken lives in the name of a God who loves lives it made me realize that twisted people will turn the words of God around to fit there personal sins and to justify there actions there is only one God and only one meaning change the meanings as you may but the true meaning awaits us all.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  4. Denise Waters

    I was lying in bed trying to sleep late because I was pregnant with Thatcher, Tim was up watching the Today Show and ironing. Auntie Colleen called from downstairs to see if we were watching. I got out of bed to see what was going on and Tim tried to block the TV and tell me to go back to bed. I didn't, but I sure wish I had. Tim went to work because he had managers in from all over the country . . . I didn't go anywhere. I stayed home and worked the phones. My brother called from the Pentagon Metro Station and said, "What is going on?", my friend Jim called from midtown–he had tried to give blood and was denied, he was watching from a bar–when he had left his home he saw the first tower with smoke, when he emerged from the subway in midtown the world had completely changed–he had no where to go; my friend Jen called to find out where I was (I used to travel a lot); my other friend Krista was evacuated from the White House, I tried to comprehend, I couldn't.

    Almost exactly a year before, I was standing on the floor of Cantor Fitzgerald after drinks with Lisa; Tim and I were eating breakfast at Windows on the World in the north tower after we had gotten engaged–New York was bigger than life and now it was damaged and we were all on pause. I waited to here about St. Paul's–the little chapel just across the street from the towers. Some things survived.

    As the east coast was attacked, we waited on the left coast for what was to come. I sat in awe of Air Traffic Control.

    Minutes, hours, days passed.

    The moment that seemed most unbearable to me was watching the people standing around at the Trade Center with pictures trying to find their loved ones. A teenage boy said, "I'm just trying to find my mom." It was unbearable and hurts to this day. There are moments in every generation that define you, make you who you will be, stop you in your tracks and make you check that you are breathing. My parents had the assassination of JFK, this was ours and although we knew that as we lived through it, we couldn't help but think of what more was to come.

    We started to emerge from the ashes . . . literally–we realized that hope had survived. We stopped on the street and talked to our neighbors, we took longer with our friends and we shared our fear, our pain and our hope. We had survived. A country this size is unimaginable–we are disconnected–we are individuals, but for a moment we weren't–we were one and we were broken with the hope of being not broken.

    I don't know when we stopped being broken (if we have), I don't know when we stopped talking in the street, I don't know when we went back to business as usual, but I mourn that now more than I do the events of the day.

    The world changed in an instant I have said on more than one occasion. The world became closer not more cynical–we did that. The terror alert was raised, we take off our shoes at the airport, we can't go greet our friends at the gate of the planes anymore–our security got in the way of our compassion. We took a moment that should have defined us as a caring, thinking nation and went inside and locked our doors.

    Maybe we were already ready to not trust, maybe everything was already a mess, but we had a moment to change it. We were attacked and we came out better, but we didn't stay better.

    We yell at our leaders, we question everything. There is no trust. We are worse today than before. I can do what we all do–come up with the reasons why this is where we are today–we were lied to, we were scared, we were blah blah blah. But none of it matters, we had a moment where we were together, we had a moment to say this is who we are and we let it go, so rather than continuing those excuses . . . I say today, let's do it–let's take back our optimism–we were attacked and we came together–let's hope that isn't the only thing that can bring us together. Let's stop for a minute on the street and listen to what someone has to say–sound bites are killing us–we have to stop and listen and then respond.

    The rest doesn't matter. There was a little boy with a picture who was just looking for his mom. We were hurt and wounded and we reacted like an injured animal, but we are not animals . . . could we act like it?

    September 11, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  5. Joy


    As we watched
    The wind held its breath
    As we watched
    Time froze in horror
    As we watched
    Two planes reached their final destinations
    The brutal finality echoed

    Despair gripped us in its mighty hands
    Defeat marked us as its own
    But as we stood and watched our towers surrender
    We knew we never would

    And the cries of a shattered nation
    Resonate still
    Calling ever louder, ever surer
    As the many voices become
    One nation under god

    (A child's response to 9-11)

    September 11, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  6. Lori Hayes

    Thank you for your coverage of Sept 11th, 2001. One comment-please do not use the word accident to describe those terrible plane crashes. There was nothing accidental about any of it.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  7. Rick Harmon

    I was working as an insurance salesman for American General and was sitting at my desk going over my agenda for the day, when one of the veteran salesman came in and said " a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Center". We all hurriedly found CNN on the television and watched amazed and our hearts were pounding and were being broken as we came to realize the extent of this atrocity. Our hearts broken, our thoughts racing. USA was under attack and it was happening right before our eyes and it seemed no one could do anything about it, not even our Air Force, Marines, Army, Navy, not our president, generals or any of our senators.
    My life changed in that I realized that in a moments time all of our hopes we build toward and our families, yea, our lives are vulnerable. I became more patriotic and I began to sing "America".

    September 11, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  8. ashley dymond

    At age 11 years old from a small town in eastern Pennsylvania, our teachers never thought we would understand. But I understood very well. As I sat in my music class and I watched those brave men in women running in the opposite direction of the panicked crowd I knew at that moment who my heroes were. I cried, not only because I was scared, but because I felt like I wanted to do something too. There was not much other than prayer that I could do.
    Now, 19 years old, I have been an EMT since age 16. Every year I remind myself of my heroes who inspired me to be the person that I am today. I would like thank them and God bless them and their families.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  9. Erika

    9/11 changed my life because of my age. I was only 12 at the time, and really had no idea what was out there in the world. Once the first attack happened, we had to go sit in a classroom and watch everything happen on the television. It was terrifying, because I live so close to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, and I heard no planes in the sky, which is abnormal. Because of these attacks, it has caused me and many others to be grateful for everything we have because of our founding fathers. Victims of September 11th and their families will forevermore be in our hearts.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  10. Jennifer MIchael

    I was a stay at home Mom but the events of 9/11 motivated me to pursue my M.S. in Management specializing in Homeland Security to remain true to my commitment to support our country's commitment to never let this happen again.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  11. Juliana Hanford

    I was going to college in Ireland on 9/11, though I am from New York. After the attacks, anywhere I went–the gym, the grocery store–as soon as anyone heard my American accent, I was instantly asked if I was all right, if my family and friends were all right. . . . I've never felt such an overwhelming sense of concern and kindness and care–from all over the world–and that is something I try to remember on this day.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  12. Joseph Pacelli

    How 9/11 changed my life. I was on vacation and was on my balcony. I lived on the 13th floor and I could see the skyline including the world trade center. As I was watching the traffic, I saw the first plane fly past me and immediately I said that something was wrong because I never saw a plane fly that low before. I watched in horror as the plane flew South. I saw the plane bank and though that it was going to fly between the two towers. I then watched as the plane hit the North Tower. I watched the whole tragedy up until the collapse of the towers. The way it changed my life is I live my life as if it were my last becuase you never know when it is your time. Take time to appreciate all that life has to offer and spend time with the people that mean most to you.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  13. John Chambers

    I was working on the airport expansion at Detroit Metro the day before the attacks. Entrance to the construction site gave free access to the airport tarmac without any security checks what-so-ever. Once access to the airport was allowed again...every square inch of myself and my vehicle was checked and I had to succumb to significant background checks for proper ID and access. Watching the towers fall down while sitting in the conference room of our commercial building design office will always be burned in my memory.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  14. Matt Parham

    On 9-11-01 I was a student in the eighth grade. I am now 21 years old and can still remember 911 like it was yesterday. I happened to be sick that day and home from school. I woke up right after the first plane hit and walked into the living room to find my dad and grandfather to be in a state of complete shock and horror. I remember watching the news coverage for the remainder of that day and the following days. Personally, it was a wake-up call for me. I guess because of my age and life experience I felt that our country was invincible and untouchable. If nothing else, it opened my eyes to the human capacity for evil from which no one is immune.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  15. Leon Maitland

    That was the day I swear to defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, by enlisting in the Marine Corps.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  16. moniqablues

    I attended a course called Iran and Afghanistan at Uppsala University in Sweden during that time. From that day, it turned my focus away from my former interest area Iran towards Afghanistan and the talibans...
    It was when I just came home from that course, I sat down in front of the tv, and suddenly there were these breaking news about the attacks. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life – I called for my children and husband to come home and watch tv...

    September 11, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  17. Louise, Long Island

    I worked in mid town Manhattan, about 3 miles north of the WTC on 9/11. I received a call from my husband after the south tower was hit, and he thought it was an accident. When the second tower was hit, he called again with some hysteria in his voice. Then the next calls came about the Pentagon and Pennsylvania and all I could think was that it was finally happening, our country was under attack.

    Because of the transportation issues caused by the attacks, I was not able to get home until 6PM that night and had no way to communicate with loved ones during this ordeal. But I thanked heaven that I was able to get home. I still cry for those who did not make it and for the families who hoped they would see their loved ones walk in through their front doors.

    I think that this sense of our vulnerability and carefree belief that this would never happen to our country evaporated. The "9/11" page of the calendar on my desk burned into my memory permanently.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  18. Travis Ellis

    I was a 23 year old college student who was awoken by the phone call of my roomates mother. She told me to turn the t.v. on, that all hell was breaking loose. This day reminds me of, up until the moment of impact, a world that was much better. There was no daily updates of carbombings, taliban, al-quaida and a guy named Bin-Laden. The effects on the u.s. economy today are exactly what they were aiming to do eight years ago. They accomplished a mission then and it is still being felt this day. It couldn't have went any beter for them and no worse for us. And our government cant stop cheating on their wives, cant stop persuing their own agenda and cant get over the outdated republican vs democrat system and put the American people first and do what is best for our country. Im a registered nurse now and I bet if a bunch of nurses were running this country, things would get done with high efficiency!!! How has 9-11 changed my life? It has made me have no faith in our government.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  19. Norm Ellis

    My name is Norm i live in Montreal Quebec. I remember 911 like it was yesterday. I missed 3 day of work too watch CNN about the horrific events as they unfolded. I like many others i know were horrified and transfixed by the events that took place. I offer my prayers and thoughts too the families and victoms of this terrible anniversary.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  20. Jane Sweetman

    I had participated in a clinical trial, and the 11th was my day for follow-up at the clinic where my surgery had been done. As I drove across northern Baltimore county for the appointment, I heard things unfolding on the radio. In the clinic, the young nurse who was interviewing me was clearly very unnerved. I told her that it was much the same feeling as the day President Kennedy was assasinated, and that she would see the country come together in the next days, as she had never seen before. I told her it was awful, but that our country would be closer and stronger. How prophetic and true those words were.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  21. marc

    I was in Bosnia serving in the Army on the original september 11th. We were supposed to be returning home to our families on the 13th, but due to the tragedy we were left in place for an additional three weeks. Due to the time difference I was working on our inventory at about 3pm when first word of the incident occured. For the first time I was more worried about my family and friends than I was worried about my own safety. I was making failed attempts to contact my family to insure that they were safe, but the phone lines were down due to the attacks on the pentegon. My brother was at the time attending West Point just up the river from the city. Since that time I have been deployed three times in support of OEF and OIF. I have been wounded twice and was recently medevaced out of Iraq and am now in an Army Hospital recovering from my wounds. I have witnessed first hand the horror of war, the toll that it takes on soldiers protecting America's security and concerns. Becuase of September 11th 2001 my life has drastically changed, I have been divorced twice now, have been wounded and have lost many friends who I was deeply close to. I will not change anything only because I know that those familys who lost someone on that day deserve nothing but the best from those who serve them.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  22. Dee Farino

    I remember turning the tv on, when there the station I was watching, went to NY and the 1st tower was smoking. Of course the news reporter had no idea, what happened, and then as the news station stayed with it, everything started to happen. I remember turning CNN on, and you too had camera on the 1st tower, I remember seeing other news reporters, running around behind the news caster.

    September 11, 2001 will always be with me, I remember sitting there and saying this doesn't happen in the U.S.A.. my prayers are always with those who lost their lives on this day. I believe September 11 should be a National Hoilday. because the whole country should NEVER forget this day.
    God Bless to ALL.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  23. Kayla Pugh

    9/11 changed my life in alot of ways it made me think about how we need to stand up for our country I am so proud to be called a American but most i all i am so proud to be called a Christian first God bess America and god bless the family of the victims of 9/11

    September 11, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  24. Sarah

    9/11 will always be a sad day in my life. I gained a greater love for both my father and brother that day. My father, a police officer, and my brother, a firefighter, both served unrelentless hours at the Pentagon that day, and for many days there after. I remember being scared and anxious because I did not know what the actual dangers they were facing were. I had to sit in school, which was on lock-down, and pray.
    I remember going home that evening, watching the news and just crying .... I was so struck by the horror of what others could do to our innocent country. I never thought anything could happen like that, not on our American soil!
    That day forver changed my love ... love for my father and brother ... love for my country .... and love for the freedom that so many have given their lives for us to have.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  25. Sara Young

    9/11 changed my life by opening up my eyes about our Military Men and Women . It made me realize not to take our freedoms for granted. I became very aware of what was going on in this world and since then I don't take our freedom for granted and appreciate our Military personnel everyday. These men and women sacrifice for us soo much of their lives to go fight terrorism in far away places so we don't have to fight it at home. So to all the Military personnel...I Thank You!

    September 11, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  26. Mark Powers

    I was in my 5th grade english class in Bergen County, New Jersey, when my name was called on the overhead announcements. When I got to the main office, there were about 5 police officers nervously pacing around. My principle was talking with several of them and immediately I knew something was wrong. I spotted my dad with my 2 year-old brother and I could see the tears in his eyes. My heart dropped, and I was sure that something had happened to my mom. He told me that my mom was fine but that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center buildings. He said that it had been a terrorist attack and he wanted to take me out of school in case we had to leave. We went home and watched the buildings fall on TV. I went into my room and cried for, what felt like, the rest of the day.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  27. Finn

    I am only 16 years old and september 11th has changed my life dramatically. I play on a baseball team dedicated to the memory of a firefighter named Robert Curatolo. I think of Robert everyday and because of his great sacrafice, and bravery i hope to one day become a member of the FDNY.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  28. Garrett March

    I was 12 years old and being homeschooled on September 11, so I was able to watch the entire day unfold on TV. 9-11 helped me see the destruction and pain that comes from terrorism. I attended a funeral service for a man from my neighborhood who was killed in NYC and that showed me the reality of death. But America came together in a way that I have never seen before. And in the middle of such a horrific time, God's grace was evident.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  29. Carlos Negron

    I'm a retired EMT from NJ, I was a rescuer from NJ on 9/11 till 9/16. We lost a very good friend Joe Lovero that responded with the Jersey City Fire Department. Everything has changed drastically in this country. Life post 9/11 will never be the same. I have to go for yearly screenings at Bellevue Hospital to check for any effects from 9/11. I was diagnosed with severe PTSD and major depression due to the events, and my asthma seems to have gotten worse. I live in Miami now, and it's costly to take the trip to NY for the health screening. Their are thousands of out of state rescuers and no national 9/11 health programs for us. Will there be any change in this?

    September 11, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  30. sheila

    sept. 11 changed my feeling of safety and certainty that I had. My mom was in the military at the time as a chief master sargent in the reservers stationed in NYwhile I was in my junior year of high school in NC. I was on a team building exercise for a school project when the attacks happened-school officials kept the info from us.They didnLt want to upset us. Once back to school they told us of the situation. I was frantically teying to reach my mom to see if see was even in NC any more or if she Went to NY to report for duty. All the phone lines were busy for hours. Every tv station was reporting the same thing which at the time wasn't much information. After hours of trying I finally got through to my mom and she was still at home-packing. She was to report to NY the next day. All this being said-with taking for granted that my mom would always be there, I try to make the most of our time. We try to have plans for when our phones don't work as when all the lines were busy that day.I was always certain my mom would be here safe and sound. Now we have back up plans.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  31. Magnum

    The Events of 11 September have not changed my life nor have I changed the way I live. I know the rest of the nation has.

    How has 11 September changed my life? Well, I will have to get a Pass Port just to enter Canada. Have to wait in extremely long lines while rude TSA officers pull people out of line to run their little wands over them. When I put money in the bank for savings, I have to fill out dozens of pages of questions.And many other things. Inconvenient? Yes but I do not feel it has to be this way.

    I am an average citizen. I was born here, and my parents were born here and my great grandparents are of Cherokee ancestry.

    I feel less secure than I did on 11 September 2001.

    One of the Founding Fathers said, " A People who gives up Freedom for Security are neither Free or Secure,"


    September 11, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  32. Lori C.

    Before 9/11 I never gave it a thought that the United States could be attacked by terrorists. I remember dropping my kids off at school that day and walking into the house and the TV was on and one of the World Trade centers had been hit and I thought how horrible, and aviation accident then the second plane hit and then I knew then it was an attack not an accident. Then hearing the Pentagon had been hit also, and all planes had been ordered to land. I was really really scared, I kept thinking most of the day what next? I thought should I pick up my kids from school? I feel like I lost something that day, that feeling of security because I was in the united states and terrorism just could and would never happen here. That day gave me a taste of what people in the middle east have to live with every day . I think about the victims in the united states who lost their lives on 9/11, people who got up that day like any other day and went about their normal every day routines only to be murdered. I think about all the military people who have served their country and the one's who have lost their lives as a result. I just wish for PEACE, peace for us all, all over the world.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  33. Sean Campbell

    I was working HVAC in a new building in Atlanta. A couple of crewmen ran up to me, knowing I was from NYC, and stated that a plane hit the WTC. One man let me use his radio to listen. I started crying instantly. Work stopped throughout the building. All New Yorkers that were working that day in different crews gathered together to listen. We got a TV and turned on the scenes. I called my wife that was at home with our 3 week old son. She was so scared that Atlanta was next. I then called my Father, outside NYC, and asked who was in the buildings at work already. I left work and started calling all my family to find them. One cousin was missing... Since we could not get through to him; we did not know. He decided to get a coffee before going into work that morning. He was safe but other relatives were not. The weeks that followed were filled with funerals and gatherings. I will never forget that day that the skyline of home changed forever. 9/11 should be a remembrance not an anniversary. To remember all of those that died. We must stand as one not many alone. God bless all our service men and woman that fight to keep us safe.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  34. Ronald Acree

    i was a senior in high school in baltimore md,at the time of the was very confusing and tragic event to handle.i just recently took a trip to new york and the 9-11 memorial was very emotiolnal the people was silent as if you i was there on that morning of the attack. i pray for the people who lost their lives and love ones.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  35. Moe

    I remember that day, I was taking my Visual Basic class at college when some students told the class that a plane hit one of the building in NY. I will not forget that day in my life. I am Kurds and I have seen many bad things in my life back in Kurdistan. I only say God bless those who lost their lives in that day, we will never forget them. God bless this great nation for all of us.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  36. joe

    The entire world has changed because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. From the little things we tolerate daily, like standing in line for an hour before we enter a building or board a plane; or the larger issues, like the loss of lives, devastation to families, and financial drain the subsequent "wars" have caused.

    Eight years later, NYC, and NY and NJ states still have failed to move ahead with a suitable memorial. And our country drags its feet in caring for the first responders who are sick and are dying from the effects of their heroic efforts. What a shame.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  37. laurie

    9/11/01 has forever changed my life. As a flight attendant for a major carrier, I not only lost a fellow crewmember on flight 93, but am reminded every day at work of what so many of us lost that morning-our freedom and sense of ease and feeling of security. Life just seemed so much easier. Eight years later, Flight Attendants across the Uniyed States report for work ,search the aircraft for foreign objects and for the entire day our jobs are soley focused to monitor passenger behaviour & "guard" the flight deck door. The ability to hand a water to the pilots or let them come out for a bathroom break has become a three step policy to protect the cockpit door. Its a very somber feeling-because we can never forget. Politely we try to explain to passengers why they cant collaborate and stand in front by the cockpit door or use the First Class lavatory. Sadly some people "don't get it" and you feel bad trying to explain it.

    For th first years or so, I couldn't even look outside as we descended into LGA-a view we as crewmembers used to love,smile and embrace. Today, I look, my eyes well up and think back how nice travel used to be and how safe and protected we felt. Now we are the guards.

    To my beloved friend Sandy, I am so sorry you were taken from your husband, friends and family. My life has never been the same.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  38. Carolyn K. Long

    I found myself glued to the TV, hoping beyond hope for some good news; some miracles of survival; some joyful reunions. I am a writer and poet, but had no intentions of writing anything about 9/11. But any attempts at resuming a normal life or returning to my work were intruded on by images, words and phrases related to that event, as though some 9/11 must had perched herself on my shoulder, demanding my attention.
    It was not as though I wrote what emerged from that experience; it was more as though it wrote me. The themes of the poem “Angels Over America” literally haunted me until I wrote it.
    “Angels Over America” celebrates the courage and resilience that are hallmarks of the American Spirit, while providing perspective, healing, and hope. It speaks to a nation torn by grief and anger, frustration and fear. And it speaks to an underlying humanity and restraint which are the backbone of our powerful nation.
    The work’s unique metaphor is both dramatically grounded in the reality of the event and spiritually uplifting. The four segments of “Angels Over America” trace the evolution of awareness, emotion and understanding that lead to transcendence. This beautiful tribute brings a new perspective to a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, while preserving and renewing the indomitable American Spirit.
    Everyone who read the 30-stanza poem was deeply moved, and encouraged me to have it set to music or made into a video. Award-winning New York arranger and composer Mark Freeh created the video of “Angels Over America,” with never-before-seen clips and photos of the event against the backdrop of his stirring arrangement of “America the Beautiful,” and moving renditions of “Amazing Grace,”both performed by the NY Staff Band of the Salvation Army, and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” performed by Imperial Brass.
    “Angels Over America” is an original, 8-minute, professionally-produced September 11 Memorial video dedicated to an America that lost its innocence on September 11—but never its hope. The events of 9/11 will be a part of the American consciousness forever. I truly believe that the lens through which we continue to view those events will shape our future, as individuals and as a nation.
    The video and poem may be viewed on YouTube or at the site,

    September 11, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  39. cora

    AT First ,i was really upset..for me there are ALOT of unanswered questions.. especially on the FACT that bush/cheney and company avoided an independent investigation for an unbelievable 441 days..they looked/acted guilty at the very least. Thanks Cora.. ALL lost ones RIP!!

    September 11, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  40. Gady Mayen - Canada

    I'm a college freshman. I was in grade 5 when the attack on the World Trade Center occured. I just got inside the school and we began to take up our homework which I never did I'm grade 5 because I was new to the school and had a bit of disfunction occurring in my family. I remember it was recess and my sister asked me if I heard what happened in New York, I asked her what happened and she said that an airplane crashed into a building. She said the teachers were crying and listening to the radio and watching the news in the library with their student. I thought it was a dirty lie. Until I got home, there was non-stop coverage all over the news. For an entire week I wasn't allowed to watch television because my mother didn't want us to watch because she didn't want us to get traumatized. My family in Guatemala called to asked if we were okay since Hamilton, Ontario, Canada has a great proximity to the state of New York. Telecommunication was down and not working when we tried to call our home country. All week there was no television, all the channels were on the same thing, all about 9/11. We travelled by airplane to Guatemala the next year. We developed a bit of fear of flights but we got on the plane. Security became more tight, our ways of travelling by land got more strict. Now I realize that there is more racism after what occurred on 9/11.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  41. LarryLar

    I will never forget exactly where I was. I woke up to my morning routine that never made it past step 2 that day....Put the coffee on....Turn on CNN.... and sat down on the end of my bed in horror and froze for hours, never taking a sip of coffee that day. I awoke to see the 1st building on fire hearing that a plane crashed into it. Then the 2nd plane hit....then a plane is lost over PA....and a plane hits the Pentagon. I like all of us walked in a fog of shock that is still thick to this day. Since that day, every single time I look at the time...if it's 9:11 a.m or p.m...I pause for a moment to pray for those lost, those fighting, and all of us.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  42. Katie Jones

    I remember September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday I was only in 5th grade when this event shocked the nation as it unfolded live on the news stations across America. The fallen citizens of 911 will always be remembered because of the hurt and pain they encountered many even lost their lives. They will always be in my prayers. I remember everyone always said nothing would happen to the United States of America. I believe September 11 should be a National Holiday. I also believe that this should be an eye-opener to all never let your guards down and don't ignore warning signs take any precautions necessary.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  43. Jim

    "I cannot express really what I felt as I saw that happening, shock, horror and disbelief. I couldn’t believe that what I was seeing was live, perhaps I didn’t want to believe. As the day wore on and the news continued to report I sat glued to my T.V. watching the towers burn, the people injured, the brave firefighters and police officers trying desperately to help. The stark and all to real images of the people with no where to go jumping to their deaths to escape the flames. I sat in numb shock watching it all unfold and feeling such a deep painful sadness for those victims and their families.

    We’re taught that men don’t cry, well I did. I cried for the families, for the mother who lost a daughter, for the father who lost a son, for the son who lost a parent. I will never forget September 11, 2001 and we as a people should never forget those who serve and have served our great country or pay the ultimate price for it & us, nor should we ever forget the victims and their families of such a horrific atrocity."

    September 11, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  44. TRUTH

    the events on 9/11/01 made me distrust our government.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  45. Dee, New York

    I am so furious at our government right now. I can't believe that they would do such a stupid thing on 9/11. My heart sank and I was thinking deja vu, and was concerned for my family and all of America. This is like crying wolf for the second time now. It dishonors those being remembered today and unnecessarily causes panic for our citizens. If we are attacked again, this sort of incident will add to the confusion. Shame shame shame.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  46. Ralph

    Re Stupid Coast Guard;

    FYI same area (14th Street Bridge) that Air Florida Flight 90 came down in 1982

    September 11, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  47. Kay from Camarillo, CA

    Hello Heidi:

    Did CNN, as Walter Cronkite did, pause to ascertain the veracity of the Potomac story before you started broadcasting? It seems to me that CNN is now spending all your air time trying to justify your hasty reporting on this of all days. CNN bears some responsibility for "alarming the country" that CNN is now accusing the government of doing.

    I am alarmed that CNN participates in the "create the news and then report it" syndrome.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  48. Henry Wiley

    This illustrates problem of fear peddling, not that the protectors of our land aren’t working daily to insure our safety, but that you folks of the media DO NOT do “due diligence” before reporting events or occurrences that “APPEAR” to be newsworthy! Walter Cronkite would have VERIFIED before reporting. You folks are so desperate to grab public attention that you’ve lost the presence of mind to do the work of reporting BEFORE reporting. The fault is not with the Coast Guard that you blew a training exercise out of proportion; the fault is yours CNN! Take a lesson. In your arrogance you've forgotten your job description: report, not create, the news. Leave the sensationalism to "The Enquirer".

    September 11, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  49. Jerry Leathers


    I love you but !!!!!

    You and your friends sounded positively ridiculous reference the Coast Guard incident........Two things,

    1. Should the CG or any other agency really "fire" on a vessel or subject, that subject would be stopped, detained and investigated and released or arrested. In any case obviously a full report/investigation needs to be completed.
    2. What, where and how the CG decides to enact a training scenario is niether your business or our the general public. As long as there is no threat to the general public, there is no reason to release that information. Most of what goes on in Law Enforcement and especially Homeland Security is secret, and for good reason.

    When is it CNN's or your job to make a judgment, or an opinion on national TV. Yes, when announced as an editorial, I can understand it, but otherwise you and CNN would get more respect for just reporting the facts. If you see or hear something, intelligent speculation with a caveat could be acceptable, but not an all out judgment based on your personal feelings about something.

    The news taints enough things in life. Lets give Law Enforcement support and the benefit of the doubt in times like today. Heck, the only real reason you made it to worth this morning was because of the Law Enforcement community and the training and judgments they make each day to keep you and your family safe to include the US Coast Guard and Homeland Security.

    Thanks and Have a Great Day,

    Jerry Leathers

    September 11, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  50. Chris

    September 11 is an unfortunate situation that occurred, as a result of the terrorist attack I joined the military as an infantryman and took the fight to the Taliban in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq. I don't understand why 8yrs later the news persists on making the nation live in fear of what occurred.. No such attack has happened since.. Though terrists may try to attack our county, our military and government intelligence agencies are keeping control of the situation. But to think that in order the better train and prepare our service members for situations that may spark at a moments notice, we need to tell the whole world that we're training.. And we should apologize for our actions.. Hell no! Get over it.. Stop living in fear and strive for the future. We all lost something that day or we lost someone in result of the attacks. So why, America, should we still feel self pity and depressed? One thing I have learned from combat, no matter how hard you try to prevent someone from passes away, there is nothing in the world you can do to change the outcome, so gather the pieces of your broken heart and put them back together. The world needs you, your country needs you to be strong, so be strong and move on. Yes remember what happened but don't dwell on it. What's done is done. God Bless this country and God bless you.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  51. Lynda Bryant

    9/11 brought about an awareness that our great nation is fragile.

    9/11 brought about an increased awareness that "all" is not as the govvernment or news states it is.

    9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq or brought about a needless war with human destruction and extreme cost to the American people.

    I am the mother of 2 military children. I am extremely proud of both, one has served in Kuwait, and twice in Iraq. The other is new to the military and will no doubt volunteer for the more hazardous duties coming up. I am a military brat, the granddaughter, neice, and cousin to those who are and were in the military.

    I support those military persons 100%. Do I like the policy and "excuses" our leaders have put forth that get our young people, husbands and fathers killed and distanted from their families....not way, no how.

    Of course 9/11 affected me, affected us all. It brought out policies that began limiting our freedoms, raising suspicion at every corner, making it harder to lead our lives in many ways. It gave the government an 'excuse' to become more invasive in our lives.

    I love my country, but we should remember what Thomas Jefferson said.,...a government should fear its people, the people should not fear the government. The Constitution of the US outlines best what this country is about.....not what it has been twisted into with convenient, invasive laws.

    I don't believe the people who were lost in 9/11....God Bless them All....would have wanted our country destroyed from their name.

    9/11 placed a burden on every American......and the mishandling surrounding it.

    As to the hubbub about the Coast Guard today and how they should have informed the media of a training exercise.....spare is none of the media's business. Security does not exist when the media is feeding the 'supposed ' bad guys every step and turn of how the military, water and land forces, operates.

    Maybe think about less drama and use some common sense would be in order here.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  52. fred b.

    It made me reaslize that life Is too short. We never know when what da y is our last. So I've tied my best to put petty things aside. and always suround myself with people and that are truly motivated to be happy. Just have fun live life.

    September 11, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  53. Glauco Braga

    I think that the world changed after this. Mainly for north americans

    September 11, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  54. Lucas Padilha

    I was 11 and watching cartoons while doing my homework. Then breaking news noticed that one of the twin towers exploded (nothing about an airpliane in the first info). I changed the channel to CNN (I am Brazilian and I live here) and stayed paranoic when I was a second explosion. I just saw the boing hitting the building on replay.

    Well, nowadays I'm a journalist and I'm doing researches about the behaviour of the people before 9/11 to expose in my final graduate article.

    September 11, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  55. Briana B

    I was 11 years old in Defiance Ohio at home because of a 2 hour delay due to fog. My dad called me to tell me to turn on the news, but I didn't until he called a second time. I was horrified when I saw the first tower go down. That day in my tiny private school we all just sat on the floor and watched CNN... ALL day. Then when I came home my brother and my two friends who lived next door sat on their trampoline talking about things that in retrospect seem very heavy for an 11 year old.

    September 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  56. Lori Wilson

    R U Kidding me? It anhilated my career- Corprate jets-as far as sales go-its armegeddon-Never have I seen this many aircraft for sale flodding the market all at once.Its a tradgedy-It all started from Sept 11th and progressively got worse. Not only is it not "OK" as per the government playing the "GREED" factor -it has made an example out of an industry in general with which NONE of us have been approved as a "disaster relief candidate" and that in fact is what it is. Aviation layoffs are rampant and none of us have known anything but aviation for most of our lives. A true shame. The government picks an example- ruins lives-yet sets no course of action to help retrain or provide disaster relief- Its shaeds of Katrina for me.
    There I was that day wondering where are the troops? Helicopters dropping off relief or in evac mode/ Sad tradgedy as was 9/11 and the end of my career. Heck-day of 9/11 there we were at the airport watching Feds come in and now we are useless?
    We as aviation professionals deserve better than this.Sad sad shame it is on the Sept 11th. What is fair and just?
    Guess the government has selective thinking.

    September 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  57. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    The 9/11 attacks inspired me to write a book. I have lost all faith in our government. They have sent our jobs overseas. They allow our country to be sold out from under us brick by brick and stock by stock. The Supreme Court is on the verge of allowing companies owned by foreign entities, to participate in our election process. Then they question the patriotism of American citizens.

    And American citizens? We have not learned anything. We learned to lock the cockpit door. We learned to build wider stairwells. But we did not learn one single lesson that would prevent another attack from happening. We have cringed like sniveling cowards, and given our rights and freedom away wholesale. We allowed them to sign the "Patriot" Act into law. We allowed them to establish a very Gestapo-sounding Department of Homeland Security. As Ben Franklin once said, "Those who would sacrifice freedom for security, deserve neither."

    If we wish to stop future terrorist attacks, we need to change our behavior as Americans. We are still exploiting slave wages overseas. We are still propping up corrupt governments in the Middle East. We whine about 3000 innocent lives lost on 9/11; then invade Iraq and kill a million innocent Iraqis. We build monuments to those we have lost. Yet, we do not even bother to keep a body count on the Iraqis we have murdered. This is the hypocrisy that caused 9/11. More Americans have died in the sands of Iraq than on 9/11. George W. Bush is responsible for the deaths of more innocent Americans than Osama bin Laden.

    If America does not learn to stop electing ideologues, this country will fall. If we do not learn to stop electing those who wish to make personal choices for us, we are doomed as a nation. If we do not stop arguing over stupid non-issues like abortion, flag burning, gay marriage, stem cell research, etc., etc....A nuclear attack by Al Qaeda is only a matter of time. Osama is far more patient than we Americans. He will be back to finish the job on our Capital.

    September 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  58. Luis Pomales

    I was in 6th grade...In Mrs. Flynn's math class and our principle Ms. Zello ran into our room and told us...shortly after we evacuated the school. I was glued to the tv still in shock as to what was going on.

    September 11, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  59. Keith Grillman

    On Sept 11th 01 i was stunned i woke up to a lot of sirens blasting didn't think nothing of it got ready for High School walked downstairs turned on the TV and i was in complete shocked on what i saw. I live in Queens, NY section is Howard Beach and i walked outside into the street and the smoke was viewable from my point of view. That day changed the way how i am as an American, it made me more patriotic made me have more respectful for emergency responders such as EMT's, Fire fighters, police officers, and so on and so fourth because the way EVERYONE united that day to risk their lives and save others. God bless those who lost their lives and God bless the family's and God bless America.

    September 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  60. Xxd

    I went into office in the morning of 12/9/2001 Beijing time, a colleague
    of mine told me that American was attacked by terrorists. I had no
    idea at that time, till I saw the reports from TV. Actually, I could have
    seen the face of the devil behind the windows of cockpit.

    In front of the devil, I realized that I was so closely connected to those
    people on the other side of earth who were in such a huge pain. I felt
    the pain vividly as if a part of mine had lost, forever.

    Look back for the past 8 years, I think 9/11 has changed me a lot but the most important change happened to me is that, I am no longer afraid of evil, with the courage gained from you Americans in 9/11.

    I am facing the most biggest devil in the world now, the CCP who is
    manipulating evrything in my life, what I can see, what I can think, what I can talk and who I can meet, just like millions of the other Chinese.I'd like to say to the devil at this very special moment: I am not afraid of you, I will beat you and win my freedom.

    September 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  61. Sikandar-e-Azam

    "9/11" is a date, not an event. On 9/11, many people were killed by a few very bad people. Two large buildings were destroyed and a third was badly damaged. That's what happened.

    Since this event, many more people have died violently without any National mourning. They were no less important and no less loved by friends and family. With all due respect to all the dead and their loved ones; why does the death of those who didn't die on 9/11, deserve less attention? Why should I be constantly told that I should mourn the deaths of those people who died as a result of the terrorist attack on 9/11, when no one asks me to mourn the deaths of those countless others who have died violently since?

    Is it the sheer number of people dying at the same time that makes it more important? If so, what is the number of deaths that would need to occur to qualify for this level of attention? Should we have a National day of mourning for the victims of the Titanic? A lot of people died there too. How about the Holocaust? Lots of people died there. Even more than on 9/11.

    Ever notice how the victims of the attack on the WTC get more coverage than the others? Bigger numbers? I guess they must have been more important.

    Also, why are we constantly being told how this event somehow has something to do with freedom and patriotism? Al-Qaida was not, is not and never will be in a position to take away any of our freedoms. We can, however, give up our freedoms by over-reacting to what a small group of criminals did. We are doing just that.

    Where does the patriotism come in here? There was certainly plenty of heroism on that day displayed by police and fire fighters. Many private citizens also displayed selflessness and heroism. But what does this have to do with patriotism? Nobody involved in this tragedy was defending their country. Saving lives is heroic, but not necessarily patriotic.

    I can't help but feel like we as a people are being manipulated. Our old nemesis the Communists would be proud.

    September 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  62. Carol Henrichs

    Our collective innocence was lost that day, but unlike those souls who perished, we have opportunity.

    Had it not been for the actions that followed the initial tragedy, we could have used that temporary feeling of "oneness" throughout the country immediately following the events of 9/11 to perhaps do great things.

    Imagine what would have happened had Barack Obama been in the White House instead of George W. Bush.

    Had we enjoyed leadership with wisdom, insight, and the power to keep people united, perhaps some of the wounds we continue to suffer from our stark divisions would have not have occurred.

    The events of Sept. 11 brought us together. It was the inappropriate response to this tragedy by George W. Bush that divides us and therefore threatens us.

    September 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  63. Robert Lake,MI

    It has made me more aware of the fact that any danger we face from Islamic extremists are due to our relationship with Israel! As long as the U.S. gives Israel over $1,000,000 per day in aid and their total disregard to the majority of people who live in that region, then we will always face threats from Muslims throughout the world! I personally have nothing against Jews but looking back through history, these people have made it hard for any other group of people to coincide with them! They dominate the financial industry in every country they reside in and the indiginous people are left to fend for themselves in their own countries! We must take a long hard look at our policies toward Israel and decide if being their friends is more important that the way the rest of the world views the situation.

    September 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  64. Sikandar-e-Azam

    In an attempt to ward off the attacks by those who didn't really read what I wrote, let me say that on 9/11, I too watched the coverage and cried. I was deeply saddened by the loss of life. However, this doesn't change anything I said previously.

    September 11, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  65. Kyle

    I remember being in school an seeing my teacher enter into the class with a dull face.He gave us the news and i was too young to understand and i felt really sad!!!Thank God i hadnt lost any family members but we all distant relatives so i did!R.I.P to them!

    September 11, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  66. Rob O'Brien

    I was working for Disney World at the time, walking the Magic Kingdom with convention clients when my pager went off multiple times. It was my wife paging me. Our home number followed by 911. My first thought was for concern for her, my 5yo son or her parents. I excused myself and called home. I was greeted with: "a plane just flew in to one of the "Twin Towers!". Follwed by "oh my – a second one.". It didn't make sense. I grew up on the Lower East Side of the city, and small planes flew up the East River & Hudson all the time. . . But then it became all too real.
    By 11am the Disney parks were clearing, and by 12pm there was an Orange County Sherriff's car parked on Main Street U.S.A., Cindarella's Castle against a blue cloudless sky in the background. My sisters husband and other relatives were finally contacted four hours later when phone lines opened back up. Few, were in the immediate area when the first plane hit: in a cab 2 blocks away, coming up the escellator when the building shook, running from a near by coffee shop as Tower One fell. To this day I can't help but weep on this day – a day like no other I have ever experienced.

    September 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  67. Karen Wickman

    9-11-01 Remembrance – Where were you on 9-11-2001?

    Read the story of a hero that worked at Ground Zero – fed rescue workers for months.

    September 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  68. Laura A. Fracker

    it brought me my center....MY CHILDREN...and nothing else matters...but TODAY....b/c tomorrow might not come, and today is a gift, that is why...its called the PRESENT....also, it taught me, to have no regrets, and live everyday as it was your last....

    September 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  69. Aesa

    I remember 9/11 as it's my birthday. And I'm a Canadian. Although that doesn't limit how it affected myself and my family. I remember it being an up/down day. There were things going on in my life personally, and then this happened. My cousin worked in Chicago at the time as a stock broker and she was in the middle of a phone conversation with someone in one of the towers and all he said was "they said there's a bomb, we've got to go." And that was it. Later she found out he dies in one of the towers. It was hard after a couple years to celebrate my birthday because of it being 9/11...that kinda overpowered any joy felt that day. But I'll always remember that day as special, both personally and worldly.

    September 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  70. Chuck in Oregon

    911 didn't change my life at all. All it did was prove that the Republican Party is not the one that can protect our nation. Bush's inaction proved that.

    September 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  71. scott

    Why is CNN not doing a indepth report on the 2 video tapes of Acorn advising a pimp and prostitute. Is it because it would embaress the President.

    September 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  72. Gary

    I watched and turned on my aircraft radio to A.T.I.S. to listen to them telling pilots to land at the nearest airport. While I feel the events were tragic I refuse to let terrorist change our whole way of life and turn America into a police state. I have serious question about why 911 was allowed to happen with all the intelligence we now knew existed and the fact that President Bush allowed the Saudi Royal family leave the country without questing by the F.B.I. then selling port security to Ports Dubai and a rushed through PATRIOT ACT I wonder if Corporate America with the help of the Republican party who took pay offs did not set us up by taking industrial jobs overseas and waiting for this economy to crash while they shielded their money in secret off shore accounts to be brought back in when we are starving because the social safety net programs have been gutted and there is no where to turn, then we will find out what all the riot gear, machine guns, pain-field generators and all the other things our large city police departments bought with homeland security money. Think about all the people loosing their homes to foreclosure then loosing their jobs and health care, what happens when you get rid of the social safety nets when you have these kind of conditions existing and people are just trying to survive do you think Corporate America care about your plight or are they there waiting to exploit you? Your real enemy may not be who you think it is, do these people have large sums of money to take on our military or is it someone from within who is setting us up with all the laws that got changed during the Republican ruled past administration? Ask yourself did all the thing done during the last administration really add up or are we being deceived by a Corporate owned news media?

    September 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  73. O

    My life has not changed at all because of this tragedy. It did not affect me directly in any kind of way.

    September 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  74. Shep

    8 years ago today I had just came home from a 36 hour shift on the ambulance. Got some food and went to bed. Not long after I woke to my cell phone ringing. I answered to hear a friend of mine saying a plance had just flown inot the World Trade Center. Thinking this was impossible, that it must be a joke I said "yeah right" and hung up. Moments later my house phone rang and I answered it. It was another friend of mine saying a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I ran and turned on the T.V. just in time to see the second plane hit the second tower. I was in shock to see this tragic event. Immediatly I was overcome with sorrow horror and all I could think is that I wish I was there to help. Today I am a soldier in The United States Army. Today I stood and observed a moment of silence while Taps played, echoing across post. Today is a day to remember those who lost their lives September 11th 2001. It is also a day to remember those soldiers who have lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Never Forget. Freedom isnt free.

    September 11, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  75. David

    Dear Heidi,

    Thank you for showing the observances in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville PA for those who lost their lives on 9-11. They and they families and those who loved them are certainly in my thoughts today and will be, I imagine, each September 11th.

    9-11 stopped me in my tracks literally. It seemed like I was stuck watching the news for weeks trying to comprehend what happened. When I was finally present and accounted for so to speak, it was a relief to talk to the people I saw on a daily basis then. I've always appreciated my friends, but I think I learned to appreciate my family more. The country chose love and healing and in several months time, though shaken, to the very center, this country was back on its feet. I feel the war in Iraq actually caused more suffering here. It might've been necessary, but to inflict the casualties on that country that war inflicted caused deep suffering here.

    Having said that, I think since that time I've learned the importance of keeping yourself together and holding your own so that you can be there for people when they need you. I'm not saying that I don't make any mistakes, but I have unmistakeably learned how important a priority it is to be able to help when needed.

    On the Cost Guard incident, couldn't someone operating that fix mounted camera, push the button to zoom in the picture so that we could see that all the boats on the Potomac were Coast Guard vessels? As to the appropriateness of the time and the date, my guess is the coast guardsmen are ready to train for their missions whether that be interdiction of a vessel in a restricted space or search and rescue. That's not a bad thing. Just need to reschedule.

    Thank you for the heartstopping views of the newly built 7 world trade. With a two foot think concrete slab core, it looks rock solid. The shot looking up from the ground to the top with the blue sky and clouds reflected in the windows was beautiful and awe inspiring. And it is good to know that lessons from the experiences from that day are being incorporated in the design of the builidng. I know it's been reported before but why is construction going so slowly at the world trade center site?

    September 11, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  76. Gina Major

    I was in the White House with my kids–all three just adopted and in America just one year. I was receiving a Congressional Award that night–so my day was bright and happy and exciting. I was with my PA State Congressman on a private tour. Then my life changed.

    He was whisked away, but smiled at us when he left. We did not know why until a few minutes later. Our SS agent Everett got the buzz in his ear and he parted the ropes. I was looking at Dolly Madisons silver coffee urn, and the next minute, my family was ushered over top of the historic rugs and furniture in the White House Blue Room. Two minutes later as we tried to calm children with big frightened eyes who barely knew English, we hopped into the first cab. I watched through the black iron gates as White House Staffers ran from all exits of the White House, in heels, with name tags on chains around their necks flying in the race.

    A plane had hit the pentagon we were told. It was surreal.
    No one on the streets seemed to know yet. Then we saw the rise of smoke. Then we saw TV screens in a store as our cab raced past-and saw the first images of the towers in NYC.

    Every American's life was changed forever. Fear, panic, chaos.
    Inside our mainland. What was coming next? What did this all mean? When or where would it end?

    The day's events reminded me dramatically that life can turn upside down in seconds, in ways you have never dreamed of. And, take the time to enjoy the small pleasures in life while you have them–they can be gone in a blink of an eye. So many lost their lives. So many lost loved ones. But through the fear and turmoil, it reminded me how proud I am to be an American, and to watch my country rise to the occassion...and be the resilient survivor we somehow lost sight of in the past few decades.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  77. Former Viewer

    I'm so ashamed of CNN, I will never watch your network ever again. Your Potomac manufactured scare broadcast was the lowest form of cheap sensationalism I have seen in some time. Heidi, you should be ashamed that you reported unsubstantiated news in the first place, and then that you tried to blame CNN's mistake on a branch of the U.S. military. Shame on you!

    September 12, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  78. Craig Olsen

    What makes me angry about 9/11 are the statements by American's who actually believe that Osama bin Laden is the culprit! You probably also believe that O.J. Simpson is innocent! That there is no such thing as Flying Saucers! That Lee Harvey Oswald actually killed J.F.K.! & that "anybody" can be president! Man,do you people live in FantasyLand!! If I were to tell you THE REAL TRUTH-you would probably hide inside your house for the rest of your lives!!! For fear of what you thought was reality-BUT WASN'T!! as Jack said, " You can't handle the truth ".
    P.S.- Santa & the Easter Bunny are not REAL! Sorry!!!

    September 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  79. Jennifer Vargin

    I was walking in to Albertson's on Texas St. in Bossier City, LA, about a mile or so from Barksdale Air Force Base when I looked up and saw Air Force one flying towards the base, flanked by four F-14s. I had heard the news on the radio about an hour earlier and stopped in the store to pick up a few things. The sight of Air Force One flying so low above me sent a chill through my body. Inside the store, everyone was quiet, no one was talking about the news although we had all heard. There was, however, a complete knowing in our glances at each other that our lives would never be the same. That we would forever be looking over our shoulder, be startled at loud noises, be suspicious of those we were not suspicious of before, live lives a little more sheltered than before. We all lost a bit of freedom that day.

    September 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  80. Terrified

    What 9/11 did to me was to take my whole life away. I lived in country where I felt fairly secure that our government and civil society would just be normal neurotics, to a country that has gone completely insane. I know longer feel safe or secure. I don't trust our government and I don't believe that most of people in this country have a clue as to what is really happening to us. Our civil liberities are gone. I was so petrified during GWB reign I never left my house without my husband. I thought Obama would change some of the really nasty things Bush/Cheney did but I now know there is very little difference between the two parties. I absolutely dread the next republican presidency because I know we will be a living in a full fledged Franco style facist society and government.

    September 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  81. Muin

    Yeah it sorta did – not in a good way

    September 13, 2009 at 12:29 am |
  82. Eric from Ft. Lauderdale

    It changed my life forever. I worked in aviation and my career was never the same. Job loss and even going into a different industry as a result....that one moment even now 8 years later still affects me. Less that those who were impacted personally due to loss of a loved one, but nonetheless a massive impact. The sad part is we are falling back into that false sense of security that nothing like that can happen. I am afraid of a worst attack or something more devastating. Osama's message lately causes me pause and we should all heed that heads up to remain strong, proactive, and operate smartly moving forward as we combat this menace.

    September 14, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  83. David

    The President is getting to be a good speaker, sparkling some of his remarks at the Pentagon on a solemn day.

    The view of the two beams of light reaching up into the heavens from across the Hudson river is one of the most moving sights in my life.

    Thank you for your rept on electromagnetic beaming of electricity, so important to report news of the future.

    September 14, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  84. David

    I guess you should show the people you love that you love them.

    September 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  85. diane

    I dropped the hyphen from my ethnic description. I am an American...period.

    September 16, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  86. Sandy

    Even 3,000 miles away my daughter called me as I was readying for work and her voice, scared...confused instructed me to hurry and turn on the news. She and her family had moved to California just weeks before from New York.

    We gasped in disbelief as we saw that second plane hit th e tower and on into the total collapse of both towers. It was surreal and profound and very scary, When flt 93 was enroute to our nations' capitol I told her I was certain F16.s were to shoot down that plane, brave Americans assessed the situation and took a proactive role in an eminent death sentence to them and saving thousands. After several hours on the phone with my daughter watching everything unfold, I went to work and told everyone to go home to be with their families. As a sales and marketing manager for a global company, faxes and phone calls ensued from around the world. While showing such compassion and sorrow for this attack on our homelands, many wrote and added that this sort of thing has been happening in their countries a very, very long time...even England.

    My daughter was a new mother and frankly, we both were very much affected by the attack. While not in NYC, our sorrow and surrealism greatly affected us.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:57 am |