We Remember: 9/11 The 20th Anniversary

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Jordan Turner, Community Reporter on top of The World Trade Center Nine Months Before it Fell

When groups of people come together and begin to talk about 9/11 and their personal memories of the terrible events that took place that day, everyone has their own story to tell. When asked where I was on 9/11, it’s almost as if I could be thrown back into my 4th grade classroom located in Great Falls, Virginia, which was located right outside of Washington D.C. I remember being confused as I watched my fellow peers, whose parents worked at the Pentagon and the White House, were slowly picked up early from school throughout the morning and early afternoon. Teachers were silent. Classrooms were empty, and no one had answers.

When school was dismissed I remember walking home from the bus stop to see both of my parents home, which was strange since my father normally didn’t arrive home until 7PM. I walked into the house and watched in horror as replays of the events which occurred that day were aired on the television. Images of falling men and women, images of buildings falling, sounds of screaming, tears and terror in the voices of those who covered the event on Ground Zero. I watched as my parents cried and held onto each other, stuck in fear, and shock from what I slowly learned over the next few days was a Terrorist Attack on the United States of America. In the days after, a group of neighborhood friends and I gathered together to create a poster for the white picket fence that outlined our neighborhood. “God Bless America,” was written in Red and Blue along the white paper. It hung there until the very last piece of paper was too tattered to hold onto the fence.

Although I was only 10 when the events of 9/11 occurred, the lasting impact of living through that historical and tragic event has continued to follow me throughout my adulthood. Throughout the years I have shared and learned about the stories of others who experienced 9/11 personally and from a distance. Every year, feeling as though I have to do it, I watch video footage of that day, and tears still fill my face as I relive one of the first and most lasting memories of my childhood. Friends, family and community members rarely talk about that day anymore. However, the responses and memories remain the same: shock, devastation, awe, fear and confusion.

Ground Zero Memorial photo by Emily Gammon
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On the Eve of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, it becomes harder to process and imagine how my husband and I can explain and help our own children understand the impact that day had on the lives of the American People. In Today’s American History Textbooks, 9/11 and the War in Iraq are outlined in its very own chapter towards the end of the book. Teachers, who are plagued with their own emotional stories from the events of that day, are now responsible for sharing and educating the next generation of citizens with the stories of those whose lived life experience remains. For many Americans the day is filled with reminiscent thoughts about how communities, that were once segregated, came together to show their American Pride, to hug and hold when tears were formed, to understand that in that day, and in the following months, we were for a short time a peaceful and joined nation.

On the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, cities, people and countries around the world will take a moment of silence at 8:46 AM to remember those that were lost. To remember those who risked their lives, and to remember those who continued to fight for days, months, and years following the attacks. TXKToday staff and their families will take this moment to remember their own experiences, and to educate their young family members about the significance of the date, September 11th, 2001.

Ground Zero Memorial photo by Emily Gammon

To those who lost family and friends. To those whose family and friends joined the military, or deployed after the attacks of 9/11. To those, who to this day, still remember every little detail of the day on September 11th, 2001, we stand with you. Thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your memory, in honor of those 2,977 souls who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001.

The last surviving tree from Ground Zero, photograph by Laken Marley

Timeline of Events to Remember on September 11th, 2001

8:46 AM, the first plane hit the World Trade Center (North) Tower.

9:03 AM, the second plane hits the World Trade Center (South) Tower.

9:37AM, American Airlines Flight 77 hits the Pentagon.

9:59 AM, the South Tower collapses after burning for 56 minutes.

10:03AM the fourth plane crashes into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers storm the cockpit, preventing another attack on what news sources believed would be the White House.

10:28 AM, the North Tower collapses.

5:20 PM, 7 World Trade Center collapses after the damage it took from the falling towers.

 

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