Where Were You 18 Years Ago Today?

Updated on September 12, 2019
W.W. asks from Reston, VA
19 answers

I was sitting at my kitchen table with my 18 month old son in my lap. I was recovering from a D&C after a miscarriage.

I cried. I prayed. I fear many have forgotten what happened that day....

Where were you 18 years ago today?

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So What Happened?

thanks to everyone who shared their stories! May we never forget.

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

I was 8.5 months pregnant with my first. I was at work and at the time worked in a bank branch. My husband called me and said a plane had hit the Tower. Initially it wasn't reported as terrorist so I and my coworkers thought just an accident and how sad it was. Then a customer came in and said a second plane had hit the other tower. Then the fear, sadness and helplessness set in. We set up the break room TV in the lobby so we could all know what was happening as much as we could. I remember customers with military family members coming in crying as their loved ones were called out and we all tried to comfort each other since we all really had not much information. I just remember it was a bunch of good people trying to help and comfort each other. It was a day I'll never forget and I doubt most people will. The thing I remember the most about it though was that in the following days people, strangers showed really how good they can be to each other and what they did to help their fellow humans. I saw a side of humanity we rarely see.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

We did not have kids yet and we both worked at a national lab. We had no TV then and we just got up early, made lunch and drove into work. Once I got there everything stopped...we all were told what was happening and they pulled a TV into a conference room where we all sat and watched and were stunned. When my husband and I got home we had a bunch of frantic messages from a friend warning us not to go into work that it was not safe (she was worried national labs would be targeted next).

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I had the news on in the background while I got ready for work. When they reported the 1st plane hitting the tower, I sat down on the couch in front of the TV to see what was going on, at that point thinking it was a terrible accident. Then watched in shock as the 2nd plane struck, live on TV. The horror of it sunk in when the first tower fell and the veteran news anchor I was watching, who had previously managed to keep up a steady stream of information, went speechless on air.

I lived in the DC area at the time, so I never went to work that day, and spent the day checking on the safety of friends.

I don't think that anyone who lived it can forget. And my kid's elementary school is doing a project where they had to write down their parent's memories from that day, and they are all presenting those memories to the rest of the class today.

ETA: I'd also like to comment that I don't know about others, but I don't just remember it on the anniversary. I actually think of it every single time I get on an airplane (and I fly fairly often). No way I could ever forget.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

In NYC we have not forgotten. We are even reminded of it in normal daily life because of related rebuilding that has continued to this day. I know people who died that day and I know people who captured award-winning photographs. Many powerful memories.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I don't worry about people forgetting that day. Not everyone talks about it, but people remember. My facebook page is nothing but memes remembering 9/11, and I'm sure it will be on the news a lot today. I've already heard about it on my radio (yes, I still wake up to a radio, lol), and they're doing a segment or two on it on the Today Show.

I was working in college campus ministry, which means I was just waking up. My radio woke me up just moments after the first plane crashed, and I watched the rest of the coverage on the Today Show. I spent the day with college students just listening to their feelings and fears. They wanted to DO something, so we all donated blood. We also went around campus passing out flyers for a prayer service that night, which was hugely attended.

I'm still Facebook friends with many of the students I knew then, and it's definitely something we all remember.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I was teaching a class in a K-8 school, and a colleague met me at the door to say a plane had crashed in to the WTC. Staff without a class at the moment went to the library, and we turned the TV away from the windows so students couldn't see. When the 2nd plane hit and it was clear this was no accident, we had to quickly put together a plan for dealing with students and parents. The decision was made to call parents of younger kids and give them the option to pick up and speak to their kids in their own way, or to leave them in class for regular studies. Then we met with Middle School students to explain what little we knew, and try to reassure them. As minorities used to being targeted, they had a lot of fears and questions. We who were not so reassured try to balance meaningless reassurance and the seriousness of the situation (about which we knew so little). Their fear and confusion are what I remember most.

A few weeks later, 3 schools (one Christian, one Jewish, one Muslim) put together a student concert of songs of peace. The 3 music teachers and 3 principals put it together, with input from older students. Girls in hijabs, boys and girls in yarmulkes, and kids wearing crosses joined in friendship and music. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Oh what a sad day today is!

I was at work.. I lived in NY ( Brooklyn) and it was a complete shock! In fact when we were sent home .. by the time I got home and both towers fell..,there were burn papers falling from the sky! I remember military planes flew by .. we were all in shock!

That day my good friend had her first day at a new job the towers.. that i got her.. nothing good came into my mind.. I kept on calling her, knowing she is a single parent with a baby boy! She had to walk home and no cellphones were working. What saved her at least from getting close to her new job was that she was running late.

My x bf had months and months of therapy he saw people jump. Just horrible!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I should have been at my office on Wall Street but happened to be away at a conference for the week. I heard the news over my car radio and alerted my colleagues when I reached the conference center. We couldn't believe what we were seeing when we turned on the television. Immediately we contacted the staff back in our office and tried to tell them the best way to get to safety - but what was the best way? Shelter in place? Flee the office? Building security eventually escorted them down to the basement.

We returned to our office the following Monday and I was able to get back into my Battery Park apartment 3 weeks later. Now, almost 20 years later, I'm in remission from a 9/11-related cancer, caused by all the toxins we lived with down there for months and even years. 9/11 never goes away for everyone who volunteered/helped/lived/worked down there - and it especially never goes away for those who lost loved ones. My best wishes to them.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I was in college. In a town that was rated the worst place to live. I got ready and drove to my history class and was in a hurry because I was late and the professor was giving us a test. I walked into class.. Total silence except for the news show that the prof was playing on the screen. He looked at me and said no test today, you can stay and watch history being made or go home to loved ones. I stayed for about 20 minutes and watched as the first tower crumbled to the ground then went home to hang out with my mom.. I had to work later that day at the worst mall in the state. But they decided to close it for the day. So I didn't have to work.sad day

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I had just started my new job the day before and was in a training on the system that we had to use. We took a break and a guy got on the internet and told us a plane flew into the World Trade Center. Then he said oh my God another plane flew into the other tower. People started panicking and wanted to leave. My boss was conducting the training and said "why are you all needing to leave. We live in Indiana they aren't coming here" so back to training we went.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I was on the west coast and never put the TV on in the morning. But for some reason I did that day. I still remember being in the bathroom getting ready and looking over at the tv. I called my boyfriend who is now my husband to tell him. I woke him up and of course he thought I was overreacting or making something up. I went to work but we all just hung out and left early. Still makes me cry. A wonderful friend was on a work trip to the Towers. She didn’t make it and I still often think about her and so many others like it happened just a few months ago.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I was at work when the first plane hit and at the dentist when the second plane went into the tower. The hygienist was trying to call a friend who was working in the WTC when I arrived but couldn't get ahold of him so she was worried because she wasn't sure which tower he worked in. We didn't know about the second plane until my appointment was over.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

i was living in Southern California. I had one child at the time. pregnant with the 2nd.

I was up early. My husband was already up and at work. He was deployed shortly after the attacks.

I will never forget.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I was in Okinawa Japan waiting out a typhoon on the marine base after having just gotten off the night shift at the joint base domestic violence shelter. I thought the first plane was an accident until the second one hit. I still mourn for not only all those that died that day, but for all those who have died since in the related wars and for all those who have suffered as a result of escalating anti-Muslim sentiment in this country since.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I was on my way to work and heard about it on the radio. Then after I got to work heard about the second tower. It was a hard day. I worked at a University so trying to deal with our emotions as adults and then trying help the students deal was difficult.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I remember my mother would pay tribute to D-day and the surrender of Germany to the allied forces (VE day). They were just detached dates that I knew bc my mother would point them out. I remember wondering why she would always ‘have’ to remember them.

Gosh, what a luxury that detachment was.

And I didn’t realize that until 09\11\01.

I now understand the need to remember and the need to never forget.

That said, I love hearing my children discuss 9/11. Each year they mature and they gain perspective on it.

It is so hard for them to understand how we had to listen to it on a radio bc back then not everyone had a computer monitor or TV near by. They don’t understand, how even then, we still had to wait for news resources to give updates.

But what I do recognize is their detachment from this event bc their childhoods have only been indirectly effected by it. As mine was from WW II.

I hope that detachment stays for their lifetime and beyond.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I was driving to work, listening to CD's as I crossed the floating bridge into Seattle.
Once I got to work our whole warehouse was shut down and everyone was listening to the radio. Someone asked me if I knew what happened, I did not.
I listened to the radio, I cried for the lives lost and how truly scared they must have been. I watched the news, horrified, as people jumped to their death. I cried for the people who received phone calls from their loved ones on the plane that got diverted. I was a bit worried about more attacks.
It was weeks and weeks of listening to horrible, sad, brave stories on the news.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I was in college. Fall classes didn't start until late September at my school so I was visiting friends in norcal. My friends and I had gone out the night before so we got to bed early morning on 9/11. We all woke up late afternoon, around 2-3 p.m. PST. I turned on the TV and saw a plane crash into one of the towers. I thought was watching a movie for a brief moment until I realized I was watching the news.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I was sleeping when my son woke me up to a replay of the plan hitting the first Tower. OMG a plane hit the second Tower and I thought that I had awoke to a bad dream that never ended.

2 moms found this helpful
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