‘Saw the second plane hit. Felt like America died’

By Bobby Bryant, Editor


Twenty years ago this week, the horror of 9/11 came in two waves. The first wave hit at 8:46 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, when the hijacked jetliner Flight 11 plunged into floors 93-99 of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. Everybody thought it was some kind of insane accident. The second wave hit 17 minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., when another hijacked jetliner, Flight 175, hit floors 77-85 of the South Tower. Then we knew: This was no accident. This was war. This Saturday marks two decades since the terrorist attack that launched two wars. The News & Press asked readers of our Facebook page to tell us where they were and what they were doing when the planes hit the towers in New York and the World Trade Center crumbled. Here is most of what they said. Some responses have been condensed for space reasons. To read complete versions of all our readers’ 9/11 responses, go to the newspaper’s Facebook page. My youngest daughter, Meagan, had a 9 a.m. appointment to see Dr. Matthews at Pee Dee Health Care. We arrived early and as soon as I checked her in and sat down, a news break interrupted regular programming showing the first plane had just flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. During live coverage 18 minutes later it showed a second plane flying into the South Tower. At that point I immediately realized that something wasn’t right. Meagan was called back to see Dr. Matthews and just as he walked into the examining room, he had a pale look on his face and said, “David, these are some sad times we’re living in.” Everyone was in shock and all eyes were glued to the TV. As we were leaving, I noticed on TV that a third plane had just flown into the Pentagon. Needless to say, when we got home, I hugged my daughter a little tighter and started praying like I’ve never prayed before. I’ll never forget in the days, weeks and months that followed how Americans all came together and started flying American flags everywhere from homes to even their cars. We need that kind of patriotism back in America right now. — David Weaver At school. Was my second day of high school so I didn’t have many friends. When the teachers told us what happened, I was scared. I had to walk all the way home and it took forever. Amanda Fitzpatrick walked me halfway and I’ll never forget that. I made it home only to sit on the fire escape and watch how dark it was getting. Just totally afraid … — Asia B. Coward I was sitting in Dr. Subar’s office reading my Bible. When it came over the news on TV, I just forgot about everything, even the pain in my foot. I could only pray. I cried and cried. It was a long ride back home from Florence. — Evelyn Ellerbe At work in Minneapolis. We stopped and pulled a TV into Scheduling and watched the surreal unfold. Saw the second plane hit. Felt like America died. — Chuck DeWitt I was at the beach watching “The Today Show” when the first plane hit! Glued there the rest of the day! — Barbara Raines I was in 8th grade. 1st period. Mrs. Frances McCluney’s English class. I was so afraid when I saw the TV screen. We went home early from school that day. — Amanda Hoffman Colbert I was right there when it happened. I will never forget that day. — Robert Watson Getting ready for work (as) Deputy Director of Emergency Management for our county. Had the TV on in the background when my boss called and said to get in to work right away. I lived less than a mile away and did not get home for five days. Such a terrible day for the USA. — Linda Brooks Walking my morning walk in downtown Lamar when a friend stopped me in front of the Post Office. Shocked wasn’t the word. Returned home and stared at the TV for the remainder of the day. — Gayle Tolson Gilbert In Würburg, Germany, heading into the headquarters gate to meet my financial advisor when all of a sudden some guy came into the subway and turned the TV to the station. When I (saw) the second plane hit, I knew America was being hit by terrorists. — William Johnson Homeschooling my two children at home. My mom called and said, “You might want to turn the news on and let the kids watch it because something bad has happened at the tower in NYC, and it’ll probably make history. It’ll be good for them to see.” Little did we know how horrible it was really gonna be! — Tonja Cassidy

Author: Stephan Drew

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