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Where Were You On 9/11?

As a team, Upright Communications recalled our personal accounts on September 11, 2001. Nearly two decades ago, it is amazing how much detail we are able to include in these stories regarding whereabouts and emotions regarding that dreary Tuesday morning.


Gosh, what a terrible day…I still think about that day like it was yesterday. I was in math class my freshman year of high school. We received news of the towers being hit over the classroom ‘loudspeaker’ and I remember my teacher who was originally from NYC running out of the classroom in tears with her cell phone in tow. I actually don’t remember her coming back into the classroom that day and I think we had a ‘substitute’ of some kind take over. Luckily her family was okay, but it was such a scary realization what was happening and her sheer panic made the situation seem unbearable before we even saw footage of the attacks. I had no idea what was to come…

It wasn’t until gym class, several periods later, where Ms. Sizemore (her name was perfect for her because she was a heavyweight bodybuilder, amazing!) let us watch the news so that we could be aware of the situation. I’ll never forget seeing the repeated footage of the planes crashing into the towers and how devastating it was. It was almost paralyzing. I just remember feeling immense pain for the poor people & never fully comprehending how that day forever changed history.

While those memories are horrific, I am so proud of our military, first responders & policeman for their bravery & continued bravery as we fight terrorism. #America


On 9/11/01, I was 2000 miles away from home visiting family with my four-month-old son. We were scheduled to fly home on 9/12. The images on TV were horrifying and I knew I couldn’t possibly get on a plane the next day – perhaps my new mom instincts had a little to do with that.

I called the airline and they were more than accommodating to re-book my flight. (Even several days later the airport was eerily empty, perhaps only 3 other passengers on our flight.)

Looking back I think the airline’s helpfulness to change my flight was my first glimpse of the We Will Get Through This Together attitude that enveloped our country after the tragedy.


On the morning of 9/11/01 I was driving to a client meeting in Dayton, OH, about an hour from the office.  I didn’t know what was happening until my client met me in the lobby, told me what was happening and took me into the break room where we watched the news on TV for an hour before finally talking business.

After the meeting, I listened to the news for the hour drive back to the office and continued over the ensuing days to admire the bravery and resiliency of New Yorkers and the entire country….it was amazing and made me very proud!


It was mid-morning when my school released the news about the attacks. I remember seeing parents flock to the school to sign-out their kids and bring them home. A handful of students were crying and all of us were confused. The atmosphere was somber and we all had broken hearts.

Following the days of the incident, I noticed people driving around with American flags on their cars. I saw signs and posters throughout our town that said ‘divided we fall but united we stand.’ I remember being at school the next day and watching all of the students stand a little taller when saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

Despite the horrific tragedy that was from September 11th, I remember the unity that was amongst us all. An energy that was strong, defined, and undeniable. Although our world may never be the same, we will be stronger than ever. I think about those around the city, first responders, passengers on the plane and their families very often. I hope they are all doing okay and they have found an outlet for peace.


I remember feeling vulnerable and frightened as the events of 9/11 unfolded on live television. Our family was living in an apartment while our new home was being built. My children were in kindergarten and 3rd grade and the local school bus routes didn’t provide service to our complex. Every day I drove them both to and from school.

I returned home after our drop off that morning and turned on Good Morning America. When the first plane hit there was speculation that it was an accident. But when the second plane hit, everyone knew it was a terrorist attack. That’s when I got scared. My immediate reaction was to call my husband and tell him I wanted to pick up our children. Thankfully, he talked me out of that and convinced me that I needed to keep as much normalcy in our routine as possible. I’ve rarely felt such joy and relief as when I picked them up that afternoon, collected my (extra-tight) hugs, and took them home.


On 9/11, I was in US History class as a junior in high school in Ohio. My teacher was so busy with his lesson plans that he didn’t realize the significance of the situation. Another history teacher began frantically wheeling televisions into every classroom that didn’t have a live TV, and my teacher protested! He said we had no time to spare in preparing for an end-of-year history test. Yet finally he gave in, and we joined the rest of the school in watching the footage within minutes of the first impact. Maybe because my teacher didn’t “get it,” it took a minute to understand the situation. Even with the plane crash in Pennsylvania, the events of 9/11 felt physically very far away from us, which is strange in hindsight. Since myself and many of my classmates did not personally know many New Yorkers, we felt physically safe that day, unlike so many who lost their lives and loved ones in such tragic circumstances. Yet, we all walked around with a palpable heaviness for weeks. Those weeks in our country were chaotic and scary and deeply, darkly sad. Truly, 9/11 felt like an attack on all of America. The horror and grief were very real in my high school hundreds of miles away. We honor the fallen today and will never forget.


On Sept. 11, 2001, I was in the 7th grade.  It was homeroom between classes, and I remember the teachers were coming and going through the doorway very quickly all of a sudden.  I can’t quite remember what words were said, but some kind of in-person announcement was made by my homeroom teacher. They wheeled in one of the portable television units and turned on the news.  I couldn’t see the screen very well, but I could make out the burning towers and the reporters. Most of us were silent, but some of my classmates started crying.

One of the only things I can clearly remember was how quiet the whole school was.  The lights were all either turned off or dimmed. The bright sunlight from the outside windows contrasted sharply with the solemnly lit gymnasium we were all shuffled into to be picked up.  It made my eyes hurt. Everyone’s parents came to pick us up. My mom explained on the way home that it was a terrorist attack on New York City. We got home and watched the news in the kitchen while my mom was on the phone with one family member or friend for hours into the evening.  I think my dad was away on a business trip, as he often was during the week but we knew he was okay. It was an extremely surreal experience and for some reason or another, I don’t remember it that well. It was a Catholic school, so lots of prayers and vigils were held afterward. It didn’t feel real for a long time.


I was at work that day, at Upright’s old offices in Hyde Park. We had a TV sitting on the counter out front and we all watched together as the horrific events unfolded. At first, like almost everyone, I thought it was a terrible accident. Then, when it became clear that it was an attack my emotions ran the full gamut from fear to sorrow to anger. I remember wanting to get home to my family as quickly as I could. My wife had just flown in that morning from Arizona so I was relieved that she wasn’t in the air during that time, but I knew how that would affect her. My son was in high school and I knew it would have a profound effect on him as well.


The morning of September 11, 2001, I was at work. A salesman for our company walked into my department and announced that “some idiot” flew a plane into the World Trade Center. The initial assumption seemed to be that it was an accident, but of course, as the events unfolded throughout the morning, it became horrifyingly clear that it was an attack. I remember that everyone had difficulty concentrating on work tasks. Throughout the offices, televisions, and radios were tuned in to hear updates, and I recall scouring news sites for details online.

The thing I remember the most about the time was the uncertainty of when it would end. Even as flights were being grounded, the reports on Flight 93 came in. I remember trying to anticipate what other areas might be targets. While I did not have any fear that Cincinnati would be a target, I did feel like I wanted to pick my kids up from school and go home.

One other thing I specifically remember was in the days following after the planes were allowed to resume flights. I don’t recall how long the flights were grounded, but I do remember it being a bit unsettling the first time I saw one following the attack.


Personally, I was only four years old on September 11, 2001, so my memories from that date are quite faint. I remember watching my Mom hover around the kitchen TV nervously biting her nails and trying to get a hold of my Dad. After the first attack, my Mom quickly left her work and came to gather myself and my younger brother from daycare.

As it turns out, my Dad was also on a plane to New York that Tuesday morning for a business meeting. Being only four, I had no idea what New York was and probably hadn’t been on a plane either. Fortunately, my Dad wasn’t on either of the two hijacked planes and was able to safely land in Pennsylvania before his plane even crossed into the state of New York.