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Eleven Years Later: Where Were You When You Heard About the Towers?

What do you remember about the morning of Sept. 11, 2001?

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was out of my rhythm. I was a student at a new college and needed to get my parking pass. I went to campus early and found that filling out the paperwork took me less time than I expected.

With an hour left between receiving my parking sticker and my first class, I wandered over to a club room to pass some time. As I approached, I heard a TV on—a strange sound in that normally-quiet hallway. It sounded like a fake news broadcast in a move.

I ducked my head in to find two of my clubmates sitting on the couch and watching the rarely-used TV. I saw the smoke and the towers and asked them what movie they were watching.

They told me it was real.

I spent the rest of the day glued to one television set or another watching the footage over and over again in disbelief. It slowly became real, and it took weeks for life to return to normal. But it wasn't the same normal I knew before.

What do you remember from that day?

karen dempsey carney September 11, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Living in Winchester at the time and upon entering a print shop as it opened to pick up some work materials was alerted to what soon followed as the 9/11 tragedy...broker open house in the Back Bay was cancelled took that oportunity to visit friends and thier new born baby in the hospital....that day and for many to follow lot's of TV watching and lot's of tears.
Owen September 11, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I don't understand why it matters where people were at the time of the attacks on 9/11/01. Is that like a coping mechanism that helps people? Serious question.
Matt M. Casey (Editor) September 11, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I'm not a psychologist, but I think it builds group identification and community. If we asked what you were doing on any other date—say, Aug. 12, 2002—I doubt that most of us could remember what we were doing that day. I certainly couldn't. But we all remember what we were doing on 9/11. It's burned into our minds because it was instantly traumatic. Remembering and sharing that memory, I think, allows us to identify a common experience and maybe recognize each other's inherent humanity a little better.
Owen September 11, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I guess it's me then. It doesn't do anything for me.
don young September 11, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Good answer Matt. Personally I was burying Ma at the National Cemetery on the Cape while the fighter jets from Otis scrambled overhead.
Matt M. Casey (Editor) September 12, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Wow. That's an exceptionally heavy day. I'm glad you made came back from it.

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