It's been 20 years since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, which sent shockwaves through the United States and changed the world forever. 

NABUR members recounted where they were when they heard the news, and what they remember about the tragedy. 

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What impact did Sept. 11 have on you? What other factors played into the aftermath?

"I was living in Spokane at the time. My clock radio, tuned to NPR, had just come on and the announcer was saying that a small plane had hit the Pentagon. There was something  odd about his voice that impelled me to do something I never did in the morning - turn on television news. The image that came up was of the twin towers on fire in NYC, which left me disoriented, as I turned over the notion that this most certainly was not the Pentagon! I called a coworker and while I was discussing what was happening with her,  the first tower fell and I started screaming OMG . By the time I got to work the 2nd tower had fallen. I was supposed to fly to Seattle for a meeting, but ended up taking a car instead, staying at a hotel at the SeaTac. The place was silent as a tomb, with what seemed like every Seattle police vehicle, with its lights blinking on the departure ramp. Overhead a couple of fighter jets patrolled the sky. Surreal."

— Kristi N.

"I was watching early local news on KING5 TV in Seattle when NBC's Today Show lead anchor Tom Brokaw interrupted local news and said a plane had hit one of the tallest buildings in NYC, with film showing smoke from impact when a second plane entered the frame on live TV and hit the second building. Brokaw and Katie Couric were debating the size of the first aircraft that hit & Brokaw remarked that it was a large aircraft but hesitated to call it a commercial plane. I watched spellbound for the next couple of hours and remember feeling like this was my generation's equivalent of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and how shocking the aftermath of that event and the Pentagon strike and the aircraft that went down in Pennsylvania were. It was a sad sad day and 20 years later we're still living with the consequences. America lost its innocence that day."

— Priscilla J.

"My mother called and woke up my husband and me. At that time, she'd heard there was also an attack in Chicago. My husband and I raced downstairs to turn on the TV only to see the second plane hit. I told my husband I thought the buildings would collapse. He was explaining to me how these steel and concrete giants were able to to withstand this when the first one fell. 

I remember holding my 3 week old son wondering what kind of world we'd brought him into. He has lived almost his entire life with this country at war. I'm grateful we've pulled out now but fear what we've left behind."

— Barbara W.

 

"I was getting ready for work and the news came on about the 1st plane hitting the Tower. At first they didn't know it was a terrorist attack.  Then the 2nd plane hit.  I sat on the couch and called my mom. I told her i was probably going to get a call from the Red Cross to go to New York as at the time I was on the National Disaster call out list. Sure enough an hour later I got the call. They were forming a list as right at the time they didn't know how they were going to get us out there since all planes were grounded. Two days later they did get us on flights. I remember the airport, which is normally so busy, was like a ghost town. We got to New York and started working with those who needed services and the stories were heart breaking but at the time you could tell that they were not going to let this break them."

— Pam B.

 

"I remember my 7th grade health students coming in before class with this 'crazy' story. So we turned on the TV and it was REAL!

Later, I remember Matt Cadman's High School students coming to Sterling to teach our students about this tragedy and to honor those who died."

— Sue K.

 

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