POLITICS
09/11/2014 12:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

We All Remember Where We Were On September 11. These Are Your Stories.

We asked our readers to share their memories of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks 13 years ago. Here are some of their responses. Share yours in the comments, or tweet using the hashtag #WhereWereYou.

"I was working in an office tower when the attacks happened. When I got home I called my friend (an agoraphobic) and told him to put the TV on. He asked, 'What channel?' I told him that it didn't matter." -- Nathaniel Hussey

deb ruffin

“I was at work and I got a phone call from my best friend, and he said, ‘Turn on the TV,’ and I was like, ‘Turn on the TV for what?’ And I turned on the TV and everybody at work just took a breath, just took a breath. Because we work with little children, so we were trying to figure out how are we going to explain this to these babies, because we knew what was coming next. They were going to be asking questions.” -- Deborah Ruffin, above

"I was in grade four. I lived in Ontario at the time, close to New York. They sent us home from school, and I remember thinking the news footage was a movie. 9/11 was definitely one of the biggest doses of reality I ever had as a kid." -- Kaitie Stevens

"I was eight blocks from the WTC and I heard both planes hit the buildings. A terrible day I will never forget! I feel like, for a few hours, I was in a combat zone. I remember those hours now. I can't imagine the stress our service personnel endured for months and years!" -- Bill Swift

"I was at the grocery store with my youngest child. The man loading my car told me that a small plane had hit a building in New York. I didn't believe him. When I got home I turned on the TV and saw it. Have never been so shaken in all my life. I called my husband to make sure he wasn't working at the Pentagon that day (he wasn't). Then I rushed to our elementary school and brought my other two kids home. I just HAD to have them with me. Fighter jets flew over our house in DC for days and weeks after that. Terrifying." -- Chris Nielsen Berg

kimberley mccoy

“I remember driving to school and hearing it on the radio. The first thing I thought of was that it wasn’t an accident, and I just remember thinking, 'Oh, please, let it have been an accident.' ... I still went to school, and I parked, and I walked in and there was no one there except for two muslim ladies and they already looked like they were blamed. It was so hard to see." -- Kimberly McCoy, above

"Waiting to hear from my wife, who worked at the Pentagon." -- Sean Evans

"I was in 11th grade in computer class. I'd heard in the halls that the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty were also gone, so I was feverishly searching the web for information. Then the school turned off the internet and I (and just about everyone else in the class) freaked out. Our teacher was oddly calm... appeared to be meditating. They released school early and most of my fellow drumline members came to my house and watched CNN." -- Nick Scholl

soren bn

“I was actually home with my son. He was ill. And I was just watching, zapping through the channels, and I stopped at CNN. And I saw that something was happening in New York, breaking news. I continued to watch while he was asleep and I watched the second plane flew into the second tower. And I mean, I couldn’t believe my eyes. And the story continued on and it was all over the news. I rang my wife and we were... Yeah.” -- Soren Beuyers-Nielsen, above

"I was having my daughter. When I came to I saw everyone crying and whispering. For those few seconds I thought my daughter died. I was so relieved to know that wasn't the case and so sad to know so many died while she was being born. Bittersweet moment." -- Susie Cervantes

"Supposed to go to work at the Pentagon that morning, but our crew got called off for the day." -- Wayne Hood

jackie bryant

“We were at home because it was after school so [my kids] had the TV on. All of a sudden, it cut from children’s TV programs to live footage of the planes…[we reacted with] shock and disbelief." -- Jackie Bryant, above

"Was in Southport in England looking in an electrical store thinking it was a film on the TVs. When I realised what was happening, I cried my eyes out." -- Sharron Fidler

"Just joined the military five months prior. Was taking a class on radar operations when the Chief burst in the door and broke the news. We all laughed at first because he was quite the prankster and we thought it was just another one of his jokes. But the look on his trembling, red face when he told us it wasn't changed the mood very quickly. For the next two weeks, we were locked down on base." -- Marcel Wormsley

stephanie downs

“I started out at home -- I’m from Littleton, Colorado, and I was watching the TV and I honestly didn’t know what was happening… I work for the federal government at the Federal Center in Denver. I went to work, and over the course of the next three or four hours, I think we started figuring out that it was a terrorist attack. We closed the government and we went home. It was a shocking thing but for us, we’d already been shocked once: I live within three, four miles of Columbine High School, so we’d already had that tragedy as well." -- Stephanie Downs, above

"I was in my first year of college in the student life office, about to sign up for the air force, when they put the news on the big screen TV in the game room. I never did sign up. It's always been a regret." -- Liz D Stratton-Mua

“I was driving from home to my work. I was passing through downtown Los Angeles when I heard the news around...seven in the morning. I heard that this is what had happened, and what a shock.” -- Rashid Siddiqi

roohi and rashid

“When I heard about 9/11, I was in the school with my kids and it was shocking. I was, everybody was crying over there, and everybody was very disturbed with this, about the news.” -- Roohi Siddiqi, above with Rashid Siddiqi

"I was in the fourth grade, and we were supposed to be reading our books. I pretended to be listening to an audiobook on my Walkman, but I was actually listening to the radio. Suddenly, the music was interrupted and they made the announcement. I was hesitant to tell the teacher because I didn't want to get into trouble for not reading, but then after the second plane hit, I heard the DJ say something about aggression and attack, and I went to the teacher and just asked her to listen to what I was listening to." -- Joshua Spanks

"In building two, 46th floor. I knew immediately the terrorists had struck. Just had no idea they were using commercial airplanes. I thought they planted bombs. As we were proceeding down the stairs, they announced it was a twin engine plane accident and you can "stay where you were or continue downstairs," so I took the elevator. As soon as I stepped out on the ground floor, I heard the second explosion. My curiosity was now DEAD. I hopped on the last train to leave the underground station, unscathed, and didn't eyewitness any of the carnage."-- Patrick Montero

gera bizuneh

“I was in Addis [Ababa]. It was our new year that day. Our new year is on September 11th. At night, after the celebration, that’s how I heard the story and it was sad...it was not a good way to start your new year.” -- Gera Bizuneh, above

"I was there. Got knocked down by the force of the collapse of the first tower. Ultimately I walked all the way to NYU hospital, covered in dust, soot and grime. Got some oxygen, they gave me a sandwich, and then I got on the bus, went home and bawled for a very long time." -- Jennifer Mittelman

"I was in NYC, a 15 minute walk from the towers. I was sleeping when I was awaken by a loud sound of an airplane landing. I went back to sleep, not suspecting anything. I was then woken up by my phone ringing over and over. It was my parents from overseas worried if I was OK. I went downstairs and saw a cloud of smoke and dust approaching from down town. I went back upstairs and watched as the second tower collapsed. The helplessness was overwhelming. That evening NYC was eerily quiet as I walked by Macy's on 34th street that was lined up with US flags." -- Dana Agmon

lacy crawford

“I was in 9th grade. I was going to class and I sat down and the teacher turned on the TV and we were all stunned seeing, seeing smoke come from the building." -- Lacy Crawford Jr.

"I am a teacher. That day I was on my duty period in the attendance office, checking in late students and listening to the radio. They interrupted the music with the new of the first tower hit. I called my husband who was already watching the TV with our elderly neighbor who had come over to tell him to turn on the TV and who stayed with him so they both would feel comforted. I was talking to him as he watched the second tower get hit. My husband is a Muslim, from another country. We feared for our country and were saddened by the loss of so many lives... And I feared for him. Fortunately, in our town, the only reactions we got were people reassuring my husband how much they cared for him." -- Rosemerry Rudesal

"In fifth grade watching channel one news. A teacher came in to our class and pulled our teacher aside, our teach came back in a panic and switched the TV to the news. None of us really knew what we were seeing as our teacher began to tell us there had been a terrorist attack." -- AaronandShannon De Senna Fernandes

"I was in Disney World. The happiest place on Earth became very sad and somber. I cried all day. Vacation from hell." -- Randi Redington

liz schuelke

“I was in the flute section, and I was the second chair. The first chair leaned over -- she’d come to school later than me. He said, ‘Did you hear the Twin Towers have been hit?’ I wasn’t sure what that really meant. We spent the rest of the day watching footage and teachers stopped class and we were released early and all that stuff. Coming from Texas and now living here … I was just telling a friend today, it felt a little distant, you know? … I [later] worked at the State Department, you know, where people had to be evacuated and know people involved.” -- Liz Schuelke, above

doug jarnot

“It was in middle school and it was one of those reactions that you’re just watching on TV … disbelief of what’s actually going on. I think it’s more shock, then you kind of realize actually what happened and there’s people that died, so kind of a sad day.” Doug Jarnot, above

"Home with my youngest child getting ready for his first day of preschool. My hubby was on the 80th floor of the South tower. I didn't know he had survived until several hours later when he was able to get a cell signal and call us. Those were the worst hours of my life." -- Pamella Bailey Orita

teresa sprung

“We were talking about memories that shape generations. ... I just remember waking up in the morning for high school and finding my mom in her room crying, her repeatedly saying, 'I can’t believe this is happening,' and, 'You need to watch the news more!'" -- Teresa Sprung, above

joan mazzonelli

"I was in Chicago ... We couldn’t make very many phone calls. Some phone calls did go through, but many of them didn’t. My brother worked in the financial district. I had a cousin who lived [in DC] relatively, not really close to the Pentagon, but close enough that I was concerned. So it took a day and a half or so to calm everybody, to make sure everybody was OK." -- Joan Mazzonelli, above

Some responses have been edited for clarity.

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