9/11 Ten Years Later: Care2 Members Share Their Memories

This week, we’re taking a look at some of the impacts, memories and changes that 9/11 has created over the last ten years. Some of our Care2 members shared their memories of that tragic day with us, and we want to share it with you.

Yk K.: That day was a Tuesday, and I was on my way to work on the crosstown bus to the Westside from the UES (NYC). I overheard some people on the bus saying that plane hit the WTC building. We all assumed is was a small plane, and as we were turning onto 5th avenue from 86th St. I saw black smoke rising from the the downtown area. When I got to work I was told that another commerical airline hit the Towers, and the rest you know.

Since transportation was sporadic I, like so many others, walked home. On my way back to the Eastside through Central Park I overheard this conversation a young father was having with his young daughter who walked past me. The father was in a bankers suit and he was holding his daughter’s hand while walking. The girl asked her father why they were walking, and not taking the bus. The father answered, “Some very bad people did something very bad to hurt many, many people, and everything is a little crazy now.” To this day I remember the warm September day, the expressions on the faces of the people I walked past, and the relief of finally reaching home to be with family.

Melanie B: It was very hot on Sept. 10, so I slept in the living room, under the AC. My boyfriend couldn’t sleep well, so he had the TV on, and as I drifted into consciousness the next morning I heard the words “planes” and “crash” a lot. When I finally sat up, he looked me right in the eyes and told me what happened. I had a moment of clarity- I needed to do laundry, now, because I had no idea what would happen by 4PM, the time at which I had to report to work at the American Red Cross. It turns out I wasn’t sent across the state to ground zero, but was told to stay in Rochester NY, home of the largest blood processing facility in the world. In that first week, we processed a month’s worth of blood. All of us had all our vacation time canceled and had to work twelve-hour days and six-day weeks. We all got two hot meals a day, donated by local restaurants. I never saw so many people fall asleep standing up before. At one point I walked into a wall in front of my boss, I was so tired. And none of us would have changed anything.

I was taking a few college classes then, so I had to fit my twelve hours into my class schedule, and try to work as much sleep as possible into the remaining day. Unlike most Americans, I didn’t come home and fixate on the sordid images on TV. I didn’t need to, the enormity of the darkness and destruction seemed to have permeated the air itself. But I was safe, I was doing something to help, and I was the recipient of so much good will. And I think the ability of the universe to balance enormous bad with good was the most important lesson I learned from that experience.

Sally E: I live in the UK. 9/11 will be forever etched on my mind. I returned home from an early shift to see my daughter who was being cared for by a friend while I was at work. I never returned home to find my friend watching TV but on that day, she was totally glued; my daughter busy playing at her feet. My friend had been been crying and was unable to speak when I asked her what on earth was wrong. (My daughter looked happy, so I knew she was fine). My friend pointed to the TV and I listened. Within a minute, I had to sit down, I started shaking as I Iistened to more and more about that tragic day and then I began to cry too.

In October 2000 my partner had died in his sleep; I had woken to his lifeless body; he was 45. Thanks to my wonderful friends I was supported and loved and hence, the reason for my friends’ help on that day. It had been a tough and painful journey, one of which I had felt like a victim of pain every single day. However, 9/11 put everything into perspective for me… while it was okay for me to grieve…. my life, my experience of life suddenly became just a grain of sand in comparison to the whole world in which so many many people suffer. On that day, I was able to turn my focus onto something bigger than just me… I stopped grieving for my own loss and grieved for the world instead. In an odd way, I was woke up to life… and realised just how precious it is!

Gerda M: I was at work in Markham Canada, listening to the radio. When they announced that a plane hit the first tower I thought that it was an ad for an action film. When the second plane hit and the towers collapsed I realized this was no commercial but really happening. But what touched me the most is what happened the next morning. A co-worker who is from an Islamic country half jokingly said that I shouldn’t be seen with her, a Muslim. I took her and gave her a big hug and told her not to say that because the people that did that weren’t real Muslims. They were just using the religion for their own selfish agenda. Then we both shed a few tears for all the people that were lost that day.

Muffet J: My apartment was in Brooklyn Heights. From the Promenade we had a clear view of the towers right across the East River. When news of the first plane hitting the tower came on the news, I assumed like many people it was a private plane that had gone wrong. Very quickly it became clear that it had been a major airliner and that we were under attack. I ran the two blocks to the Promenade and joined my neighbors as we watched the flames and black smoke pour from the first tower. Even then, most of us – as we spoke to one another – never dreamed the tower would actually fall. I didn’t even believe people on the floors above the flames wouldn’t be able to get out. I realized that my appointment in Lower Manhattan wouldn’t be happening that morning in any case, so I went home to change clothes. On my way back to the Promenade a few minutes later with my camera, I was walking under one of the beautiful trees that line the streets of the Heights when I heard screams and saw people running. As I cleared the leaves that were blocking my view of the Towers, I saw that the second plane had struck. From across the water we watched together, families and people of all ages and backgrounds, until the greatest horror – the buildings crumbled before us in slow motion. I remember that it really was too much to comprehend. You couldn’t really think, it was too big and too awful. I know I hoped at that point that everyone had gotten out, but I think we knew that wouldn’t be the case.

Mary E: Where was I when the world stopped moving? I was blow drying my hair getting ready for work. I had the news on as I did every morning and barely heard this “Breaking News” bulletin. When I saw what they were showing on TV I just couldn’t believe it. I actually thought it was one of those Saturday Night Live spoofs that they had been randomly showing on TV. I just couldn’t believe it was real. When the reality sunk in I just sat there and cried!!! I woke up my kids to get ready for school and just sat there hugging them and realizng just how lucky we were, but in the same note not sure if we were going to be the next target. I didn’t know wheter I should go to work and let my kids go to school. It was a weird feeling especially when I got to work and the entire office was quiet and somber. We just weren’t sure what was going to happen next and it was so strange that everyone just went on with their day. I will never forget it and my kids were too young to really remember it. Now 10 years later we are still losing our fellow americans to a war we will never win!

Sue N: My husband and I were vacationing in Shenandoah National Park. Our youngest daughter called and told us to turn on the radio. We were in a state of shock as we heard Dan Rather report that not all of New York was burning. When we arrived at Big Meadows Lodge, we hurried to the community room where guests had already gathered around the television set. Newscasters reported that a plane had gone down in Pittsburgh, PA. I gasped and said aloud, “That’s where we live.” Several people in the room quietly walked over to my husband and myself and surrounded us. A woman took my hand and gently squeezed it. At that moment, we were no longer strangers, we became a community.

Thank you for sharing your stories with us. We’ll be posting more of your memories later in the week.

Check out more of our 9/11 coverage here.


Photo credit: Sister72


Eddie C.
Past Member 6 years ago

As I watched the first tower fall straight down like there was nothing beneath it, my heart screamed out - NO WAY
As the second tower fell exactly the same way I jumped to my feet and screamed it to the room. And when WTC fell without a major fire, or impact, after I heard them announce "they were going to pull WTC-7" I didn't say a word.

Becky Y.
Rebecca Y6 years ago

We tend to forget just WHO was responsible for 9/11...Lest we forget:
15 of the terrorists were from Saudi, Arabia
2 were from the United Arab Emirates
1 from Lebanon
1 from Egypt

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe6 years ago

I had worked late the night before and was off that Tuesday, so I slept in. My husband called and told me to turn on the TV. I told him that I never watch TV during the day. He told me about the first plane hitting the tower. I turned on the TV and was in total shock. I thought I was still asleep and having a very, very bad dream.

Needless to say, I cried the rest of the day thinking about all the people who lost thier lives that day. What were they thinking as they tumbled to their death. Hopefully they were all praying to God, and he was welcoming them in.

10 years later, I cried when they showed the Wall of Tears. So sad.

Kate M.
Kate M6 years ago

I was working in DC, not far from the Pentagon. One of my co-workers was listening to the news, so we heard about the first plane immediately. We were watching the news when the second plane hit.

Our main office was located in Manhattan, so we were trying to contact our other co-workers there. Everyone was very concerned.

And then when the Pentagon was hit, there was a lot of confusion about what to do. The subway system was shut down. DC was suddenly gridlocked with people trying to leave in cars and on foot.

I did arrive home safely that day and remember being glued to the tv the rest of that day and the next.

With our main office in Manhattan, we often travelled from DC to NY. Immediately afterwards, we switched to using the train. When the flights started back up, we flew from National airport in DC to JFK in NY. I think there were more armed guards than people flying.

It was all very surreal. I can't believe it was ten years ago. It still feels like yesterday.

Olga Lustosa
Olga Lustosa6 years ago

Just reading and sending all my love to those people who are here, sharing their sad experience.

joan g.
.6 years ago


Alpa Patel
Alpa P6 years ago

I was in WTC from 8-8:20 am on Sept. 11th. I was in the lobby with my father in Tower 2. We came out from the train. It was a normal day and we both did our normal routines talked at the lobby and say hello to people and said goodbye to each other. We were both spared from the attacks because we were both in different locations not at WTC during the attacks, but not too far from the WTC. The timing was the key because we would have been in WTC around 8:30 -9am,but that day we rushed to Manhattan. I did not see the towers get hit, but I smelled the smoke from the Brooklyn Bridge after the attacks. It changed my life because I struggled with health issues, other issues, and fear. I hit rock bottom that time. I became a different person with problems. Many days I would cry or feel ill during these 10 years. I slowly came back and became stronger because of my family, health professionals, friends, God, and other great people who supported me in my darkest times. I shared my story with women who have problems due to wars, not having support from others, health issues, rape, and such. Since 9-11 I have done a lot of social work for animals, environment, advocacy, poor, signed petitions that helped passed laws, volunteering at the temple, and more. I said to myself that I will fight back evil through good services. I prayed every year since 9-11 that bin Laden be punished. I was very happy when I heard he was shot by the Navy Seals. I learned I am so much stronger than I thought.

Thaddeus W.
Thaddeus W6 years ago

(continued part 3 from last post).... .....Of course there is a lot of preparation beforehand to carryout such an implosion. A cover-up at the highest of levels.

While no surpise that bin Ladin was taken out by a Democrat, the Bush Regime isn't crying tears as they still has their money-maker going, are out of the spotlight, are on a level of crime immune from prosecution it seems. Until the Bush Regime is brought to justice, on the subject of terrorism and security "threats", there is little else to talk about....

Thaddeus W.
Thaddeus W6 years ago

(continued from last post).... ....my friends, colleagues, and I talked in great lengths about the upcoming (yet named) attacks. While I was really hoping to be wrong on this, the general thought and feeling around the office that morning (besides disgust and horror) was one of - they (the Bush Regime) REALLY DID IT!

The incredibly profitable illegal occupations of both Iraq and Afghanistan have gone right on schedule. Engineered to cause unrest, breed extremists, spread untold misery, and provide countless $Billions$ of our tax dollars to a handful of corporations. I for one will mostly tune-out this tenth anniversary weekend, because until they bring to trial the terrorists that did this, there is nothing to talk about. Dick Cheny should be easily capturable at one of his book signings. "In My Time" I want to see that terrorist caught and given the same punishment that he thinks is so great.

As others have pointed out, 40,000 tonnes of steel don't just systematically fail in such a fashion. Bringing down the WTC was a controlled implosion (clearly seen in all of the videos of the towers coming down). This complex was built with extra reinforcement so entire floors could be taken out if tenants desired for larger spaces. One of the towers (Tower 7 I believe) which wasn't even directly hit also came down in the same quick, clean, into-itself manner the main towers did. Of course there is a lot of preparation beforehand to carryout such an implosion. A c

Thaddeus W.
Thaddeus W6 years ago

Indeed, Tim - the Bush Regime did it. ("W" himself could hurt a flea. On 2006-09-10 I came within 15 yards of George W. Bush and am 100% convinced that "W" is lucky if he can change his own diaper at day's end without assistance. "W" looks like a genius on camera compared to what he looks like off-camera).

Why else would they line-up such a fantasy criminal dream team around a George Bush namesake and keep President Gore, and later Pres.-Elect Kerry from serving? Laying the ground work was why daddie Bush was having fun blowing-up our troops and the Middle East in 1991 with his "Shock and Awe." Before that Reagan arming and funding bin Ladin, and before that the key members of the Bush Regime put Saddam in power then armed and funded him as well. The Bush and bin Ladin families doing business together (including the Bushes wining and dining Osama bin Ladin) going back to the 1970s. And the criminal masterminds in Dick Cheney (probably the most dangerous terrorist the world has ever known), Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Wolfawich and clan were allowed to execute their plan flawlessly.

Bin Ladin, who of course had been a close personal business partner of the Bush family along with a few other bin Ladin brothers was the obvious tool the Bush Regime would use to give a fake excuse to ilegally enter and occupy a couple of foreign Countries. The targets used seemed most likely as well. I was living in Michigan in 2001 and in the months proceeding the 9/11 attacks my frien