Only a handful of events in history are so powerful, so memorable that the moment they occur, they are forever etched into our psyche. The world changed forever in that instant. No amount of time that passes after those kind of events can dilute those memories, and we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when they happened.
The day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the first time man walked on the moon, the morning the Space Shuttle Challenger crumbled 73 seconds after take-off, the Columbine High School massacre and the Northridge earthquake, which had the largest recorded ground accelerations ever in the North America, are each one of those types of events that make history and forever change us.
On this Patriot Day, read on as readers share their memories of fear, disbelief and utter sadness as they recall where they were and what they were doing the moment they found out that the United States was under attack on September 11, 2001.
- Schwartz Voula: I woke up in time to see the second plane hit the tower.
- Helen Murillo Miranda: I was on my way to Bart and about to jump on a train to SF. I never made it onto the train. We thought SF was next. Sarah Tully: Getting ready for work, not wanting to kiss my my kids goodbye.
- Marvin Miller: At the time of the incident, visiting Hohensalzburg castle in Austria. We were curious how oddly the staff was treating us. We did not discover what had happened until we arrived in Munich that evening.
- Susan Musante Wong: Receiving my annual "Birthday" phone call from my BFF in PA - telling me to turn the TV on because I wouldn't believe what was going on. I just stood in front of the TV in shock and disbelief!! My son was also starting Kindergarten that morning and I didn't want to let him go. I was so scared of the unknown. A day I will never forget.
- Karin Knudson O'Connell: My sister Holly Knudson Moore was standing in a hotel room in Manhattan that morning and had planned to go visit the view from the towers until they saw what was happening on the news....scary stuff!
- Gustavo Guadamuz: First year in the military, was recalled then off I went to play.
- Gabe DeLeo: DVC when it was over in Crow Canyon...English class the teacher rolled out the big T.V. with the straps 2001 style
- Brandon Mark Leclère: The driveway of our house in Walnut Creek about to leave for school. Heard it on the radio.
- Nick Vezmar: Came downstairs and my mom was watching TV, I was 12 at the time. I remember the teachers at the middle school were watching live coverage on TV, and the school principal forced them all to turn it off to they could actually teach class.
- Mary Lindemuth Arulanantham: Driving the carpool with a bunch of middle schoolers. They came out of the house upset by what they saw on tv; I turned on the radio to make sense of what they were telling me and had to pull over because I was so shocked.
- Isabel Lau: In my kitchen. I was starting breakfast for my family, I always turn on the TV to watch the news. I could not believe what I was seeing.
- Cathy Lothrop Hager: I was in a plane on my way to Phoenix. Very scary stuff.
- Gianna Stoneham: I turned on news because wanted to see what was going on in Livermore that night about 2 am. We heard sirens all night, it happen to be a fire in the apartments on east ave (which we never turn on tv while everyone is getting ready for school.)That's when the first plane hit.
Share your memories of what you were doing on September 11 with us in the comments section below.