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There is officially a generation of almost-adults who weren’t alive when the two towers fell on Sep. 11, 2001. But those of us who remember that day recall exactly where we were when we heard the news. On the 17th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, people on Twitter are sharing powerful stories about where they were when they found out about the deadliest terror attack in United States history.
The rallying tweets began to quote-tweet the original question: “Where were you on September 11th?” I was posed by user Jeremiah Dunleavy late Monday.
Woke up early in SF. First plane had already hit. "A tragic accident." Saw the second plane hit. Not an accident.— shauna (@goldengateblond) September 11, 2018
They thought US landmarks were targets. I could see the GG Bridge from my apt, and the Nat'l Guard swarmed and closed it. Fighter jets flew over the city all night. https://t.co/BvfCYPF2D8
I was working at a downtown law firm in Baton Rouge, awaiting the release of my bar results before going on active duty as a JAG. I was ready to go in to work & watching The Today Show.— Coretta (@elegantcoretta) September 11, 2018
Local ppl thought the large Exxon refinery might be a target. https://t.co/RN9tvNFMrn
Many people remember being confused, often too young to understand the weight of what they were seeing. Twitter user @mgooty remembers clinging to her infant daughter as she tried to deal with the tragedy.
Every year on 9/11, I remember holding my 2 month old daughter; being completely unable to put her down, clinging to something that made sense. On maternity leave, I avoided a newsroom and having to struggle to tell such a tragic story and deal with it at the same time. https://t.co/FqpdtVgqpl— MmmmMmmmGoot (@mgooty) September 11, 2018
International users remember, too. User @mchawk saw the news and immediately called his American friends, and @justtweetinman recalls feeling calm knowing that it was “in america, not here.”
sleeping, it happened at 1 am over here, woke up to watch regular morning shows only to see the news "america under attack" on every channel, some kids were freaking out a little at school, i was calm-"it's was in america, not here" teachers spoke about ithttps://t.co/3R7hPkvKIN— just tweetin' (@justtweetinman) September 11, 2018
Other people shared anguished stories of feeling helpless and terrified. One woman, @sarah3579, said that she was certain we were all going to die.
It was the second week of classes in my Master's of Social Work program at Rutgers (NJ). We tried to give blood. We signed up to help with the wounded. Over the next week, we slowly realized there would be no wounded coming to NJ hospitals. https://t.co/kGXIvo8xYw— Meredith Francis (@mwfrancis1) September 11, 2018
I was 6 mos pregnant with my 1st and working in the er dept of our counseling ctr. I had just signed 302 pprs for a client and watched live as the 2nd plane hit. I ran 1 grp therapy and went home early, convinced we would all die. I was thankful my child would not know pain. https://t.co/L6FuTh0LHR— Sarah Odd Numbers (@sarah3579) September 11, 2018
These gristly stories remind us of how we felt that day, watching terror unfold on our television screens. Some people remember watching the second tower fall, others remember almost nothing. Twitter user @AubreyJWilson recalls the sight of people jumping from the burning tower. A heartwrenching thread from @why_balloo chronicles his attempts to reach his mother, who worked at the World Trade Center.
I'd walked into my 7th grade homeroom just in time to watch people jump from the burning tower to their deaths. https://t.co/uzyhAop7eC— Aubrey (@AubreyJWilson) September 11, 2018
I was in computer class when the teacher told us a plane had hit. My mom worked in tower 1, so I spent the rest of class trying to call her office and cell. https://t.co/wBtXVZBplX— Just Balloo It (@why_balloo) September 11, 2018
Remembering where we were when we found out might not change what happened, but it connects us, not just as a country, but as humans.
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.