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Where were you when the world stopped turning?
Old 09-10-2021, 02:33 PM
  #1

This song still makes me tear up every time I hear it. I was in my second week of student teacher at a school in a suburb of NYC on 9/11. I was writing the morning message when the first plane hit the WTC. The second plane had hit when the students started to arrive. A little boy walked in and announced "My dad says we're at war." I remember praying that none of the children would go home to a house where a parent had died in the attack.

Where were you when the world stopped turning?


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At school
Old 09-10-2021, 02:40 PM
  #2

A fellow teacher told me. I called my DH and told him to turn on the TV, that ##### was happening. We watched in the library. It still seems unreal.
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Old 09-10-2021, 02:49 PM
  #3

I was on the west coast and woke to my clock radio alarm (remember those?) I sleepily heard something about a plane crashing but there was something about the announcers voice that made me listen more closely. Then I turned on the tv just about the time the second plane hit

We had very few kids come to school that day and it was hard to explain to the few kindergartners that were at school what had happened. Mostly kept it to ďsomething sad happened but the adults were handling itĒ.
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Old 09-10-2021, 02:52 PM
  #4

Standing in a field with the sun shining down on me as I did recess duty. My Head came out to tell me the news. It felt surreal.
Later, like now with Covid, Vermont became a place of refuge for NYC families.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:00 PM
  #5

I actually had an early plan period that year and was surprised to see office staff and another teacher around the small television in our faculty lounge. So very sad and terrifying. Then, I had to go back into class with my fourth graders, teach, and say nothing. I believe my principal announced something around lunchtime with prayer.


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Old 09-10-2021, 03:03 PM
  #6

I was working in early intervention and had just gotten to my first home of the day when the news announced the 1st plane hit. By the time I gathered my things and had gotten into the house the second plane had hit. The father of the child I was there to see was a pilot, and mom wasn't sure where he was flying that day. Needless to say she was a little stressed out. While I would have liked to have been able to listen to what was going on, I was also glad I was able to keep her child occupied for an hour while mom tried to reach her husband.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:10 PM
  #7

I was at school, in 7th Grade. I was in a 7th/8th grade multi-age class at a Pre-school to 8th grade Montessori School. A bunch of us had Spanish that morning at 8:30 that morning and we went to leave the room. As we were leaving the room, the principal and another teacher came towards our room and told us to come back in the room and sit down in our community meeting area. As we were all sitting down, the principal and other teacher took our teachers out in the hall to tell them and decide what to do. Apparently, the teacher with the principal heard first-her husband was at home and he saw it and called her. She then went and told the principal. They decided that at 7th and 8th grade, we were old enough to know, so they told us and we watched nothing but the news until lunch. At lunch, we brought lunch back to the classroom. They didn't want us to eat in the cafeteria or go outside for recess, because the whole school was all at one time and they were worried that if we wanted to talk about it, younger students would hear and be afraid. After lunch, it was on tv and we were given the option to continue doing our work or to continue watching the news.

I also remember having a hard time to focusing on school work that night and also sleeping. I was having so much trouble concentrating.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:17 PM
  #8

Asleep. It was 11pm here. I found out about it on the morning news on the 12th. It was surreal.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:18 PM
  #9

I was a SAHM, my DD was 2. I was watching Today on NBC and watched everything unfold. The first plane hit and they brought in Tom Brokaw to join the Today crew. When the 2nd plane hit, everyone realized it wasn't an accident.

I looked at my DD playing, she had built a building and plane out of duplo blocks. She crashed the plane into the building. I turned the TV off.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:27 PM
  #10

It was my freshman year of college. I woke up because my roommate was talking on the phone about a plane crash. I was thinking that was pretty rude of her because I was still sleeping, but then I got the sense that this was bigger. All of us gathered in the lounge to watch the news and saw the 2nd plane crash. Oddly enough, I was wearing a shirt as a pajama top that someone had gotten me that had a drawing of the twin towers (NY skyline) on it.


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Old 09-10-2021, 03:27 PM
  #11

I was getting the kids ready for school, hubs was on the road headed to the airport for a business trip that never happened.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:33 PM
  #12

Teaching middle school. It was my planning time, so I didn't have students. It took a while for everything to sink in that morning for me, since I kept hearing bits and pieces and it got worse and worse.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:37 PM
  #13

In my kindergarten classroom in Ohio. A teacher in the hall told me. Took a long time to process. Watched some news in the school library when my students were at lunch.

We didn't say a word to the children, but some families started picking them up early that day, especially the families of our Muslim students.

Meandmyhouse, I have a similar story of one of my students building a wooden block tower and knocking it over with a toy plane that day. Except the children had not seen or heard what happened. Gave me chills.

I remember being glued to the TV that night. We also went out and waited in a huge gas line to fill up our car for some reason.
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I was in my first grade classroom.
Old 09-10-2021, 03:50 PM
  #14

I was teaching, when a mom came to the door. She was bringing her son in late, which was not unusual. She motioned for me to come over. She took me out I. The hall and told me what had happened. By that time, she had watched both planes hit. She was freaking out. Our principals sent out a statement a few minutes later telling us what had happened and asking us to not say anything to the students yet. They sent a statement out to parents telling them that we were leaving it up to them to tell their children what they wanted them to know.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:52 PM
  #15

The first plane hit just as our students were arriving to school. Some had seen it on TV. When the second plane hit the Principal discreetly came to tell each teacher. At my break I went to the lounge where they had wheeled in a TV. We were not allowed out for recess. Some parents picked their children up early from school.
One of the eeriest things for me as I drove home that day was not hearing airplanes in the sky. I live by one of the busiest airports. We did, however, hear fighter planes circling and taking off.
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Had a bit of a scare
Old 09-10-2021, 04:26 PM
  #16

I had just started at a new school. I heard the initial news on the radio as I was driving to work (in California). I heard they decided to land all airplanes because the U.S. was under some sort of attack. By the time I got to work I was in full panic and crying mode because my brother-in-law had supposedly left for his business trip but we didn’t know if his flight had taken off or if it was aborted. He wasn’t answering his phone.

Since I was new to the staff, no one approached me. I could hear teachers and staff whispering, asking each other why I was crying, but no one dared to ask me. The tv was on in the lounge but I couldn’t watch for fear of bursting out in more tears. Finally the principal came over and pulled me into her office. While there, I got a call from my sister telling me that my brother-in-law had turned off his phone, for some reason, but he heard the news on the radio and decided to turn around and go back home.
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didn't know
Old 09-10-2021, 04:27 PM
  #17

I was working in Kindergarten. Office staff came to each room and whispered to the teacher - do not turn on tv or computers, do not answer the phone. We were not told why. We were told to meet in the school library immediately after dismissal. We did not know why. Students (K-5) were not told anything. Office staff met each parent picking up students to tell them we had not shared any info with the students.
Had no idea what had happened until entering the library at 2:45 and saw the tv coverage.
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Old 09-10-2021, 04:28 PM
  #18

I was a freshman in community college. I was still living with my mom. She woke me up after the first plane hit and we were watching the live coverage when the second plane it.

I went to school on the city bus before cellphones were as proliferous . All the classes were cancelled. Two other people and I waited the hour for the bus to return and take us home.

I went to work at a daycare that day and several parents were late. Like 2 hours late. We found out that there was a rumor that a gas shortage was coming and almost everyone in town was panicking and buying gas .

My cousin was working at the World Trade Center and we were unable to reach him. He was in an adjacent building that was not hit directly and he was evacuated before the massive collapse and he survived.
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Old 09-10-2021, 04:32 PM
  #19

That morning my DH had sent his parents home from a weeklong visit with us. They were suppose to fly out on the 12th, but DH worked for an airline and he saw that they could have better flights with smoother connections on the 11th. Since they were flying with his privileges that was possible.

Both of us were at work. I had just dropped my class off for gym class when the music teacher told me there was a plane crash. I freaked out and called DH at work. That was when he told me it appeared to be an attack.

His parents were stuck in the Detroit airport. We contemplated driving there to pick them up and bring them back to our place, but realized we couldnít really do that. They wound up staying at the airport several days and taking a Greyhound bus back to FL.

I remember the long gas lines in our little town when I drove home that night. I also remember how quiet everything seemed. I also prepared a survival kit that I stored in our basement. I think it is still thereÖ..
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Old 09-10-2021, 04:35 PM
  #20

On the West Coast in Vancouver BC, I was driving to work and a special bulletin came on telling about the second crash. I looked at the driver in the next car who mirrored my mouth agape look of shock as we looked back at our radios and tried not to cry.
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Old 09-10-2021, 04:40 PM
  #21

Early in the morning, I watched tv in horror as the towers fell. I was concerned there might be other attacks. I was subbing in a 1st grade class that day. The principal called all staff to the library before school to discuss what to say. I was so happy the kids were too young to know anything, so the day went smoothly. I did worry all day about what was happening, but no easy news access so I had to just carry on. It was just a very weird and anxious time.
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In California that day
Old 09-10-2021, 04:40 PM
  #22

However, I lived in NYC when they were building the Twin Towers. At the time, there was lots of negative talk- They're too tall; they'll ruin the skyline. Then New Yorkers gradually embraced them. Having them hit was gut-wrenching.

I saw the towers hit on the news while getting ready for work. I heard about the Pentagon in the school parking lot. That one hit me hard. (I'm an army brat.)
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Sept 11 2001-20 years ago
Old 09-10-2021, 05:10 PM
  #23

Year 4 of teaching
In my classroom
20 minutes after school began
Doing the morning Calendar Math
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Old 09-10-2021, 05:48 PM
  #24

I was driving to school listenng to NPR. I honestly thought the first plane was some yoyo like the guy who landed in Red Square. By the time I parked I knew it was serious. We were not allowed to turn on our TVs. I taught 3rd, so that was appropriate. Some of my teammates caught bits and pieces of news. It wasn't until I drove home, I learned more about the attack.
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Old 09-10-2021, 05:57 PM
  #25

I was teaching third grade. All was going well. Then my TA came in & whispered what had happened. I sure tried to act as if nothing had happened. We were told not to tell the students.

When it came time for lunch I sent the TA to the office to find out what the procedures were going to be that day. The 6th grade ate lunch right before us & there would be some overlap. Principals told us to tell the kids what had happened, but don't give a lot of details.

I recall that most of the teachers hurried home after the students left.

I called to check in with my parents. Dad had lung cancer then & had served in Belgium during WWII.
As a vetran this sent him into a frenzy. He died 4 days later. He was so distraught over this that I think it just nudged him into the next world.

We went to the local florist to order flowers for the casket. We told them what we wanted, but they couldn't guarantee anything. The planes were still grounded during that period. In the end the flowers were beautiful & they used what flowers they could find locally. That floral detail seemed so trivial.

I certainly hope we never witness a tragedy like this ever again.
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Old 09-10-2021, 06:01 PM
  #26

I was teaching 7th graders. During class change one of the teachers mentioned. I didnít know what they were talking about. I turned on the tv and watched the second tower get hit. The kids were scared.

I also remember that I was really, really sick. Iíd gone to work anyway because I had already missed several days and been hospitalized on the first day of school. That evening I watched tv coverage all night while on the couch.
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Old 09-10-2021, 06:04 PM
  #27

My part time teaching job was afternoons and I'm not a morning person, so I was in bed listening to news on my radio. Soon after the second plane hit, I got a phone call from DH who worked in a tall building in the Chicago loop. He called to say that his company was closing and he and our son were on their way home.

Commuter trains were just filling up and heading back out to the suburbs, so schedules, etc. He didn't get home before I had to leave for work. My students at the time were pregnant teens and they were all aware of the events before they arrived for afternoon classes.

That evening we had a prayer service outside on our church lawn and many, many people came. In the middle of the service we all froze in fear when we heard and saw a military plane fly over.
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When the world ended
Old 09-10-2021, 06:54 PM
  #28

I was at home (CA) getting ready for school, listening to the radio as I moved around my house. When he announced the first tower had been hit by an airplane, I could hear the shock in our local radio announcer’s voice.
I was horrified. I went to work but it was very hard to focus. I was SO ANGRY that this had been done to my country! I could NOT sleep that night; instead, I listened to NPR all night long to try to process what had happened. I cried bitter tears.

Although I’ve lived in CA most of my life, NY is my native state and NYC is my favorite city. I felt terrible for all those who had died, and very proud of the passengers who fought back and made Flight 93 crash in a remote field and who certainly saved many lives.
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:51 PM
  #29

Bringing my class inside from recess.
I still remember every moment of that whole day. That amazing sky on the way to work.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:59 PM
  #30

I was getting dressed for work and watching the news when I heard about the first plane. I thought they were talking about a small plane, like a Cessna. DH came downstairs and I was drying my hair when he started screaming that a 2nd plane had hit the WTC. We knew then that this was not an accident. I was almost at work when the Pentagon got hit. We rolled a tv into the main part of our office (I was not teaching at the time) and we watched the news almost all day. Sept. 11th is my oldest son's birthday - he was 13 that day.
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On the West Coast
Old 09-10-2021, 10:18 PM
  #31

My husband and I were just getting up when my mom called and told me we should turn on the Tv. We watched in horror the building burning and then saw the 2nd plane hit the building — making ourselves and everyone around the world instantly realize that it was no accident.

My husband and I were reporters at daily newspapers at the time - so you can imagine how insane our day became. I was also 7 months pregnant with our first child.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:18 AM
  #32

Teaching 4th grade ( still am). That morning I was SO exhausted, and I looked at the sky as I entered school and noticed what a beautiful intense blue it was. Whenever I see a sky like that since in my mind I call it "Sept. 11th blue"

It was during my prep and teacher in adjoining room came in to tell me. That was 1st plane. Thought it was a terrible accident. Then he came in again to tell me about the 2nd. We knew right then our world had just changed.

My twins were in 1st grade at my school and I just wanted to go get them and go home. Of course, we couldn't/ didn't.

It was the hardest teaching day of my career as we had to keep teaching with all these emotions. All we told the kuds was to not turn on the tv when they got home and to wait for their parents. My twins' only real memory if that day was that message.
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:22 AM
  #33

I worked second shift at a newspaper.

My routine was to stay up until 3 or 4 a.m. and sleep until noon.

I fell asleep to MSNBC and briefly woke up when Don Imus announced a prop plane had hit a building in NYC.

Woke up for good an hour later when it felt like all hell had broken loose.

Got a call from my boss asking if I was OK. I think it was my day off, but I went in to work. Not unusual on big news days.

There were lines at gas stations on the way to work and little to no traffic.

I worked next to the tallest building in Oklahoma and a news editor kept commenting that the longest ladder the Tulsa FD had only went half way up that building.

Lots of coworkers picked their kids up and brought them to work. Poor kids.

My Dad worked for the federal government and got a call at 10:00 a.m. to go home. Not sure what danger was posed to a group of auditors in the Midwest, but Dad went to a bar. Cell phones were not common and at 24 that was the first time I had called my Dadís work to check on him.

I worked in sports and really spent most of the day watching the newsroom TV and looking at news stories and photos from the wire (computer feed). Too many jumping bodies. To this day I cannot stand those images. No sports for the next few weeks so I worked news side.
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Where I was
Old 09-11-2021, 04:16 AM
  #34

I was teaching in a Catholic school in Maryland. My DH and DD were working at Andrews AFB. My DH always had meetings at the Pentagon. I was so fearful for their safety. One of our church members was killed in the Pentagon. Her DD was in my youngest DDís high school cosmetology class. My DD served as a altar server at her memorial service.
I canít actually remember anything but numbness.
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Old 09-11-2021, 04:52 AM
  #35

I was at school. I remember being in the teachersí room (on prep) and watching the second plane hit the North Tower.

My youngest was in college in NJ and a short train ride to NYC. He called the school secretary to say he was at school and fine. Oldest worked in Boston. He also called the school secretary to say he was fine and on his way home. There were rumors of other attacks (by other means) and the company decided to send everyone home. Most of the large buildings in Boston evacuated that day.

In those mostly pre cell phone days, the school secretary fielded faculty family calls (mine were not the only ones who called) between the parent pick ups. There were a lot of pick ups. Parents wanted their children close.
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Old 09-11-2021, 05:05 AM
  #36

I was 15 and a freshman in high school. I was in my math class, all of the classrooms had TVs in them and we watched news coverage all day.

My dad lives in NJ and would routinely go to the city/World Trade Center for work. There were a few tense moments trying to get ahold of him. My mom taught at my high school so she was able to get ahold of him before I knew everything that was going on.
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Old 09-11-2021, 06:01 AM
  #37

I was getting ready for work and listening to the radio . The radio host was confused as to what was happening. It was so unusual to hear him like that I became concerned and turned on the tv.
Son began watching it with me. In hindsight I think that event changed my son from a child to a worried young adult who realized that his world isn't as safe as he had thought. Our adult children have been forever changed by the WTC attacks on America and the pandemic.
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Old 09-11-2021, 07:21 AM
  #38

I was a teacher's aide at Headstart. The office staff came around and told each teacher about the first plane. I remember a lot of crying and being crowded around a tv in the breakroom.

One of my coworker's family member was actually a part of the Secret Service at that time. She was allowed to go home to be with family because they were unable to get in contact with him. He turned out to be safe.

We were allowed to leave once all the students were gone. I went to get my 3 kids immediately. My kids were 9, 5, and 3 at the time. I remember watching tv all night in disbelief. It was then that I realized the world shifted and would never be the same.
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Old 09-11-2021, 07:24 AM
  #39

I was in bed on the west coast during my senior year in college. My then boyfriend (now spouse) called me from a work trip in Boston to tell me the Trade Center was on fire. In my sleepy haze it took me a while to figure out what was going on. Later that spring I did my student teaching on a nearby Army base, where lots of parents were getting ready to deploy. It was a more challenging experience, but immensely valuable. Little did we know that four years later my spouse would end up serving in Iraq.
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:42 AM
  #40

I was on the West Coast, and had just stepped out of the shower, when I heard that a plane had crashed into the North Tower. I thought it was an accident, until about 15 minutes later another one crashed into the South Tower. At that point I knew it was an attack.
Driving to school I cried as I listened to the radio, and I saw other drivers doing the same. As I drove by the airport, it was eerily quiet with no planes taking off or landing.
Once at school it was chaotic because we had a brand new replacement principal who had just started the day before. The principal was not familiar with the school or the staff, and was panicking. The principal told us we were not allowed to watch TV or listen to any reports, not even in the staff lounge. That did not go over well. We had an empty classroom that was always kept locked but we could enter it using our keys, and we had the TV in there going all day. As teachers went on staggered breaks/lunches they would watch and report back what they heard to the rest of us.
About 1/3 of the students did not show up for school that day, due to the southern border being closed. The border would stay closed for several weeks, and those students were unable to come to school.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:51 PM
  #41

West coast-I was sound asleep and Rlyn called to tell my mom to turn on the TV. I was so P.Oíd at her for calling and waking me all to tell my mom to turn the n the stupid tv for what I thought would be a talk show. After I realized what was going on, I was a bit in shock. I had promised a friend living at camp I would babysit her 5 year old daughter while she went on an interview. That kept me occupied during the day. Then I had orientation for Sunday school that evening (2 hours away). I didnít know if I should go or not. I went and we did a prayer and went on with Orientation.
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:14 PM
  #42

I was getting ready to go to one of my college classes. I was an older student at that point. I was terrified to leave the house and drive the 40 minutes to school. The professor yelled at us because the class kept talking after he wanted to start. He hadnít heard anything. He went to check because he didnít believe us (he thought it was a war of the worlds type prank). He came back and canceled class. He was visibly shaking.

A few days later my 18 month old pointed to an image on the TV and said ouch. Turned it off immediately.
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Old 09-13-2021, 06:16 AM
  #43

I'm in the UK so it was early afternoon for me.

I was working as a childminder and both my daughter and the two children I minded were asleep, one asleep on me, so I turned on the tv to watch a movie while they slept. The show was interrupted with news of the first aircraft crashing and I sat in shock watching what was unfolding in New York. The BBC had a live report going so I watched the second plane crash and couldn't believe what I was seeing, I tried to convince myself it was just a repeat of the original crash but obviously it wasn't.

As the little children started to wake up I turned off the tv so that they wouldn't see it and then took them to the park on the way to school so that they didn't ask to watch cartoons (all 5 channels I had were showing live news of the events). I popped into a friends house on the way to school and she told me about the pentagon crash, we were just in shock.

On the walk home from school, with the three little ones, my two older boys and an older boy I childminded I explained that there had been a bad accident in America which was on tv so we wouldn't watch cartoons when we got home as normal but that I would find a treat for them instead. Once the minded children had been collected, I told my boys who were 7 and 9 what had happened and let them watch a bit of the news with me so that they were prepared for school the next day.

My thoughts and prayers were with everyone in the US and I spent the evening writing notes to friends and family that I had in the US sending our thoughts and love.
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:20 PM
  #44

I remember I was home sick from college and watching GMA which I had just turned on. They were talking about the first plane hitting the building. I then saw the 2nd plane hit and was just thinking they were reshowing the 1st plane. I just kept the TV on all day. I later learned from a niece that the German CLub from my home district was suppose to be at the top of the Towers sight seeing at 8:00 that morning. It was a couple of hours before the district was notified that the buses had been delayed in NJ. The students did see the planes and smoke but that was all. They didn't get home until after midnight because of traffic.
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