Remembering 9-11

It is hard to believe it's already been ten years since such a life-changing day. Our staff was working a few miles from the Pentagon at the National Military Family Association office. Everyone hovered around the television in utter disbelief about what happened to the World Trade Center. The phone was ringing off the hook when our building shook from the impact of the crash into the Pentagon. A plane later went down in Pennsylvania. As military spouses living on nearby installations, we struggled for hours to get home while our spouses worked through the night as so many others did.

That day, and in the days since, the Nation mourned the loss of life and celebrated the heroics of so many. 

The past ten years saw many changes to our lives: growing families, deployments, many moves, and a constantly renewed respect and pride for our service members and their families.

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts. Where were you on September 11, 2001? What do you remember? How has life changed? Is there a loved one you’d like to pay tribute to? A military family you’d like to honor?

This is your space to remember and reflect.

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Read what others have shared:

Items 26 - 34 of 34  Previous12
Comment: Like so many other Americans, I distinctly remember where I was on September 11, 2001. I was in the hospital and had just given birth to our seventh precious child. That sweet little girl has since watched her Colonel daddy go to Iraq twice as well as serve during several other deployments. She is the proudest little girl, and she has sent countless letters, pictures, and cards to her real-life hero father as he served. She knows he makes a huge sacrifice for others, and she contributes in that sacrifice by willingly sharing him in his role as a soldier.
Submitted by: DollyG on September 6, 2011
Comment: While distrubing WIC vouchers to clients at the Tarawa Terrace site in Jacksonville, North Carolina that frightful morning, my office phone rang. This was nothing unusual. When I answered it, my husband was on the other end. He was telling me that he was driving as fast as he could away from the Pentagon. He went on to describe what he was seeing, the sounds, the smells, and the traffic. I could hear sirens and his cell phone was going in and out. He asked me to sign out and go home as fast as I could and turn on the television and wait for him. He stated his meetings there would not take place. I could hear panic in his otherwise calm voice. I had no clue as to what was the matter. I watched, frozen in fear, as buildings burned, ashes fell, families searched for loved ones and humans jumped from buildings, and was grief stricken for individuals I had never met but had a kinship with simply because we were Americans. My husband found me in a blanket on the couch. I could not move. I knew people in the Pentagon building. We knew people who worked across the street from the Twin Towers. I decided to call my supervisor and tell her what was happening before she left for lunch. I told her I would be bringing in a television when I returned. We had to know what was going on. Talk soon began of troop movement, rumors had to be stifled and it was only a matter of time before I found out that my friend's son had been killed in the attack on the Pentagon. Nothing would ever be the same again. Not for the children, the mothers, the fathers or the nation.
Submitted by: julianwellington on September 6, 2011
Comment: On 9/11, I was working at a Day Treatment Center for Developmentally Disabled Adults, in Astoria, Queens, at the entrance to Riker's Island (jail), across the water from Manhattan. We only had a 13 inch black and white tv at work. The reception was only clear on a Spanish Language News Station. We watched with the Adults in our care while the Gym teacher translated for the rest of us. But we could see and we felt the terror without translation. All day long we heard the sirens from Riker's Isalnd as the EMTs and Correction Officers sent truck after truck of officers to help at the Trade Centers. The Highways were closed and we only had noon time medications for the Adults in our care. Our phones were plug ins and only the old land lines worked. We were not able to communicate with the other facilities. We had no way to know if the evening shift was able to make it. We did not have the facilities if the Adult's had seizures or acted out without their medications. We took turns at our disaster posts, while others kept the Adults calm despite the never ending sirens. Like everyone else, calling home was impossible. So we waited together. At about 3pm the highways were open and staff somehow made it to work that afternoon. All I wanted to do was to find out where all my relatives were. My husband's brother worked for Port Authority. My brother worked in Manhattan. Thank God all were ok. It was the first time in 5 years my brother in law did not go to get the payroll at the Trade Center. We all collected socks for the firemen as they excavated ground Zero that Fall. The Ground burned for months and the heat burned through shoes and socks. All they asked for was socks. I still haven't been to Ground Zero. I have not been able to go.
Submitted by: carylrobin on September 6, 2011
Comment: On September 11, 2001, I was getting ready to attend one of my classes in my first year of graduate school. I was so shocked and scared when I tuned into the television (shortly after the first plane had crashed). I remember worrying about family members and friends and praying for all of the people affected by this tragedy. My school did not hold classes, but there was a "support group" type of meeting to discuss the impact of this event on everyone. I still remember to this day how emotional the class was discussing how eerie and surreal it all felt. I am so grateful for all of the 9/11 heroes that day, and I continue to pray for the families of all the victims and everyone affected by this event.
Submitted by: Nikki on September 6, 2011
Comment: On September 11, 2001 I was getting ready for work when I heard the news. We were at Fort Lewis when it happened. The post was closed down and serious restrictions were put into place as to who would be allowed on and off the post. I remember waiting in a LONG line to get to work that day since it was on post that I needed to go. I remember seeing children being lined up outside of their bus so their backpacks could be checked before entering post. I was a civilian worker at the time, so of course my vehicle was gone through vigorously and my identification had to be verified via phone to my place of work. It was a terrifying feeling. Three years later in January of 2004 my boyfriend left for his first tour in Iraq. It was a devastating feeling, but I knew it was something he wanted to do and I supported him. He came home on mid-tour after a grueling 9mths in Iraq on September 10. We flew to Reno that same night and were married on September 11, 2004. It was an honor to be married on that day to my best friend. It was a tribute in some way to those who had fallen on 9/11. We deeply appreciate and value the meaning in what it takes to have served and to continue serving our country. 10 years later the gratitude has not faded in our family, for we live it everyday. We have gone through every frustration, hardship, joy and love that comes along with being a military family. We have been separated because of war on more than one occasion, yet we remain strong. We follow orders (sometimes foolish) not because we have to, but because we support our soldier. No matter the outcome or location of this war; we remain faithful to our soldier, we remain appreciative of all the other soldiers, and we will always remember those who have fallen on 9/11.
Submitted by: Sunrise5254 on September 6, 2011
Comment: We were in the car when the first plane hit. My mom called my cell phone to tell us to turn on the tv. We were on our way to the WIC office in Norfolk VA with our son who was only a couple weeks old at that point. My husband was still on his "baby leave". She told us about the plane hitting. We sat in the parking lot for awhile listening to the radio trying to figure out what was going on. Eventually we made our way into the WIC office, the room we were going to was one of the few tv's in the bldg. There were many Department of Health people in the room watching the tv. We all watched in horror as it unfolded. Eventually they cleared out the employees and we went about our business with the WIC people. We stayed there until around noon then drove home. The streets of Norfolk were so empty as we made our way home. It was lunchtime and it was so eerie driving home. Once we arrived home, my husband called his ship and was instructed to go to the ship immediately. We packed his bag and we got in the car to drive him to the pier. We lived a mile away from Naval Station Norfolk at the time. What should have taken us five minutes, ended up being an hour sitting still as they were trying to get people on base, not even having moved a quarter of a mile from the street we lived on. My husband ended up walking to the base while me and our son went home. I spent the afternoon with friends whose husbands were deployed. All of us wondering what this all meant and not having a clue as to when we'd be seeing our husbands again. I will never forget the fear we all felt and the heartache we felt that day. We had friends and family both in NY and working at the Pentagon. It was such a huge relief that they were all safe, but so heartbreaking knowing so many were not safe and so many lives were lost. It's hard to believe that it happened 10 years ago. I still remember every detail of that day so very clearly.
Submitted by: Dawn R. on September 6, 2011
Comment: My husband was getting ready to go TDY that morning and therefore did not go to the Pentagon as planned but rather he went to pick up his rental car. When the Pentagon was hit my then 16 year old daughter and my 6 year old son were at school in Alexandria, VA and my oldest was in college in Pennsylvania. My daughter called hysterically from school totally scared that her dad was injured. She would not calm down until she was able to come home and see for herself that he was safe. Meanwhile, my son's first grade class was learning the words to "O Beautiful". His teacher had given each one of the kids a line to make a drawing from. His was " For Purple Mountains Majesty". His teachers did a heroic job that day of keeping the kids in school until all had been picked up or accounted for at the end of ther day because for some parents, coming in to NOVA from DC took HOURS. I still have that drawing and I have written this account on the back of it. Our lives changed on that day and my now 16 year old son has seen his Dad and his now 25 year old sister deploy. His young memory is of war and terrorism. At the same time he has witnessed the respect and pride that our nation has for its military, he shares many of those feelings, and he realizes that although we are not as carefree as we once were, we are a strong people and nation.
Submitted by: patty on September 6, 2011
Comment: Thank you to the first responders for their sacrifices. Please consider placing a battery operated candle in your window to honor our heros!/event.php?eid=189578277774223
Submitted by: bulldog mom on September 6, 2011
Comment: We were stationed at 29 Palms, California, at the time of the attacks. I woke up to the phone ringing and when I answered, my father-in-law was on the other end of the call screaming that we were under attack. In a panic I turned on the TV and watched the rest of the horror unfold. My husband was away for training and I was home with our young son. I've never been so grateful to live on base as I was that day. Of course I was scared, as were so many of us. But I felt safe and protected and extremely PROUD of our military. I know that time has erased the profound sadness I felt, but my feelings of pride haven't faded. While my husband has since retired, my brother is still serving. The 10-year rememberance has been on my mind a lot lately, and I want to be sure to say thanks to all our service members, police officers, fire fighters, and first responders for putting the need of others before their own. And a special thanks to all of the families who stand by them.
Submitted by: Navy wife, Army sister on September 6, 2011
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