I was a trader in the institutional securities business, working at 60 State Street on a high floor. The market hadn’t opened yet, but there was a cacophony of telephones, shouting, TVs, then silence. Absolute silence. My first reaction was horror, then worry for family and clients in New York City. Then we shut the office and ran. I walked home, sobbing, 5 miles.
Joan B. Brouillard / Glen, New Hampshire
September 11th happens to be my birthday. That year, I was turning 41 and was enjoying the fact that, after many years of disappointments, I had become a mom. After the towers fell, I didn’t know what to do or how to feel. When I went home, I wondered what kind of world I had brought a child into.
Leslie MacPherson Artinian / Quincy
I had just begun my sophomore year of high school. I was sitting in class when rumors started floating around that a plane had hit a building in New York. My third period was study hall. Someone had a cellphone and was relaying information to us from the person on the other end. At lunch, a TV was brought into the cafeteria so we could watch the news. The school day continued, but there were no lessons. We watched the news coverage of the attacks. My father came to pick me up at the end of the day. We rode in the car with the radio on, and the strangest thing was there was just music. No DJs. No commercials. Music played for more than 40 minutes straight during what was supposed to be a talk show. At home, my family and I watched the coverage into the night.
Sarah Giannetta / Everett
I was in a plane sitting on the runway at Logan. We were sent back to the gate. When the flights were all canceled, I collected my luggage and took a cab back to Haverhill, where I had been staying with family. I stayed there till I could get a flight out on Saturday.
Daniel J. Ryan Jr. / Menlo Park, California
I was working on the 56th floor of the John Hancock Tower. When the second plane hit, our building was evacuated. The streets were clogged with people and cars. I heard someone say that there were more planes unaccounted for and that the president had ordered them to be shot down. We all kept looking up at the sky.
Mary Ann Fordham / Norwood
I was a senior at Wellesley College. My strongest memories of that day are of students who had met only days before comforting one another as they tried to reach family in New York and Washington, D.C.; dining hall employees tiptoeing through my dorm to find out why we hadn’t come to breakfast, then carrying trays of bagels and fruit to us because “their girls” had to eat; professors tracking down former students and letting the community know who had been accounted for and devoting classes later that week to talking through our fear and anger.
Lauren Dennis / Georgetown
When I got home that evening to my South End apartment, it was eerie. Usually, I could hear sirens go to and from Boston Medical Center and planes landing and taking off from Logan, but for that one night, there was nothing at all.
Andrew Ryder / Ames, Iowa
I worked at the Staples corporate office in Framingham (still do). I was in a 9 a.m. meeting when a co-worker came in and said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I thought one small plane had had an accident. Then the news started to take shape. An unforgettable sense of loss and fear.
Jane Scanlon / Hudson
I was in eighth grade in Merrimack, New Hampshire. For most of the day the teachers kept the news from us. I remember I was bending down at my locker to pick up some books when another student told me the Twin Towers fell. I watched the news with my family when I got home.
AJ Deraney / St. Petersburg, Florida
My wife and I were at
William Brant / Cumberland, Rhode Island
After daily Mass at St. Joseph’s on Hope Street in Providence, I invited the folks who were there, including the priests, to come across the street to my house for coffee. It was a lovely morning, and we sat on the porch, enjoying one another’s company and the sunshine. The telephone call from my daughter-in-law changed everything. Most of my guests had already left, but the few remaining went with me to the TV and watched the unbelievable happening.
Margie Cuthbertson / Lake Barrington, Illinois
I was working on Capitol Hill in D.C. at the time. Most of us were in the office when the attacks happened, and we could see the smoke pouring out of the Pentagon. We had no way of knowing if we were a potential target, so we just wanted to get out of there. At that time, the Capitol complex did not have the emergency procedures in place that it does now, so it was pretty chaotic.
Jen Crawford / Boston