The UIS Community

A new kind of conversation addressing issues that UIS students and staff care about.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My 9-11 story

I got on an Amtrak train in Springfield at 6:30 am, headed for Chicago. Cell phones were a bit less common then; I didn't have one, but others did and soon enough, there was still plenty of buzz with people talking about the Trade Center and Pentagon and security issues in Chicago. I heard words like lockdown and "vacate." I learned that the Sears Tower had emptied of people, and so had most of downtown. When I got to Chicago, it was like a ghost town not only around Union Station and the Sears Tower, but everywhere. There were "closed" signs on nearly all the businesses and buildings. I went to one of the few open restaurants to watch video of what had happened. I got the details two or three hours after the rest of the country. Everybody was watching, of course. I had a meeting scheduled but I knew nobody would be there, so I didn't go. I called a friend in the Loop, and he asked me to bring him some food because he couldn't find any places open near his building. So I did. Luckily for me, I had a return ticket to Springfield that evening, and the train actually ran on time. Looking back, I'm surprised it did. I wish I had kept by train ticket stubs from that day. What's your 9-11 story?

Labels: , ,

17 Comments:

At September 2, 2011 at 2:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We foolishyly decided to take our preplanned trip to Kansas City to see two baseball games. We sat in the hotel bar and watched the coverage. We headed back to Springfield in the morning. Ever since that day, I get up each morning and check CNN to make sure nothing similar has happened. I hope it never does.

 
At September 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was working at the IDOT building at the time and they have a communication room that monitors traffic and news all over the state that has a big plate glass window so anyone can see the multiple TV monitors. I was on my way to a meeting when I saw a crowd around the window to this room. The buzz was that a plane had hit one of the towers, so I rushed over to see for myself. About a minute later I actually saw the second plane hit the other tower. It was so quiet because we all knew this was no "accident." Terror had come to our back yard.

 
At September 7, 2011 at 11:09 AM , Anonymous Joan Sestak said...

I remember coming to work that day all excited because we had an event planned to celebrate exceeding are enrollment goal for the fall semester. I wanted to get in early and make sure everything was ready to go for the campus wide celebration. I always have WUIS streaming on my computer and I hear them say a plane had hit one of the towers, so I thought I’d better turn on the TV in the Chancellor office and see what was going on. It looked bad, but the announcer just kept saying they thought it was an accident. By this time the Chancellor and other staff had arrive and we were all standing in his office when the second plane hit the tower. At that moment I think we all thought this wasn’t an accident. Then they started reporting on the other attacks at the Pentagon and the plane going down in Pennsylvania. I remember thinking about my friend’s husband who worked in the Pentagon at that time and hoping he was o.k. In fact she called me saying she hadn’t heard from him, which put a whole new perspective on it for me. After a very tense couple of hours she finally heard from him and he was fine. It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t have a story from that day and I remember it like it was yesterday. I feel like it’s almost seared into my memory, every little detail.

Needless to say we cancelled the event on campus and spent the day just trying to figure out what had happened, and how we could help the campus community get through this difficult time in our history.

That Friday we held an event out on the Quad to honor all those who had been lost, it was a humbling and heartwarming sight to see the campus community gather in one place to show their support for each other and the country.

 
At September 7, 2011 at 12:24 PM , Anonymous Jeremy Herring said...

The events on 9/11/2001 changed the lives of every human being on this earth, especially those lives here at home in the United States of America. It was a world changing day. Personally, It was world view changing day. My 9/11 Story started off like every other regular day during my senior year of high school. I woke up, got dressed, and drove to school (If memory serves me well, probably a few minutes late). I went to my First hour weight lifting class, like every other day. But this day, however, weights were followed by an all senior class presentation by the U.S. Marine Corp. The presentation started off great. We got free key chains, we had a pull up competition, and we got some informational packets, all pretty standard stuff. But then a bout mid way through the over head presentation, our presenter looks casually at his pager midsentence, and then abruptly SPRINTS out of the side door of our cafeteria. No explanation, no excuse me, nothing except the sound of rapid moving dress shoes and the open and closing of the door. We all looked at each other dumbfounded. A few moments later, our principle walks in and makes an announcement that we had been attacked. From that moment on, the classroom televisions were streaming the live reports, and “school” just kind of stopped. The structure that we were all accustomed to disappeared. The barriers of authority that separated student from teacher were knocked down. Everyone was on an equal plane. No one needed a hall pass to leave the room. No one needed permission to leave their chairs. It was very surreal. I will always remember the somber mood in our school that day and the days after. I will always remember the inherent trust between all students and teachers in our building. And I will always remember the footage of those events as they played out in front of our eyes. I hope that with this 10 year anniversary, we will remember all the lives lost on that day, and also all of the lives lost by our soldiers on the front lines keeping us safe and protecting our boarders.

 
At September 7, 2011 at 12:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was out for a jog when the twin towers were struck on 9/11. When I came back home, I turned on the TV and planned on doing some stretching and hand weights, but I was interrupted by the horrible news. I just sat there in shock. I switched between news channels to see if I could get more information from one station or another. I immediately called family to see if they had heard the news and to check on others that may have been traveling that day. My family was ok, but my heart went out to those who didn't make it that day. It just doesn't seem like it has been that long ago. It will leave an immpression in many peoples memories for decades to come.

 
At September 7, 2011 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Celia said...

The 9-11 attacks happened while I was in school. I remember that it was my best friend's birthday, and she brought cupcakes to share with everyone during lunch. I also had music class that day, which I looked forward to as well.

I remember being called out, after my teacher hung up the classroom phone, and told to get my things together, that my grandmother was waiting in the school lobby. I was the first in my class to leave, so I had no idea what was happening as my grandmother, younger sister and I walked home. She tried to explain on the walk over, but it wasn't until we got to the house and turned on the television that I saw what happened.

A few moments we arrived, my grandfather and cousin came in the house. My grandfather picked him up from school like my grandmother did to my sister and me. Every channel we flipped to had the same images, all of them except PBS channel 11, since continued to show cartoons.

I remember vividly how all of us kids we're playing around, yes, playing, during our stay. My cousin and I came up with ways that we were going to beat up the bad guys who did everything on TV. We'd grab him, then get a baseball bat and BOOM! hit him where the sun doesn't shine! Then while he was on the floor, we said we'd kick him and punch him for each person he hurt. My grandma would come in and begin to scold us for being too loud, but while my cousin was there, I couldn't contain my smiles and giggling for long.

In all honesty, as I look back on that day, the severity of the 9-11 attacks didn't get to me until my dad came home, earlier than usual, of course. My sister and I came downstairs, greeted him with a hug, and was told to go to the kitchen. After laying down his bags, he told my sister and I to put shoes out by the door, ready in case of an emergency. I live in Chicago, and my dad stressed that if the Sears Tower was targeted and struck, my family would have to evacuate immediately. That scared me. I heard it in his voice that he was scared too.

Ten years ago, I was a nine-year-old fourth grader in the city of Chicago. I knew what had happened. I knew it was bad. I was old enough to understand that. But I was still enough of a kid to worry about missing out on birthday cupcakes and fighting these bad guys. That's my 9-11 story.

 
At September 7, 2011 at 10:17 PM , Anonymous Marta Sawicka said...

You're right; it's surprising that the trains were even running... That much for security. Tough, I guess in times like that, you can't control everything. It's just a chaos.
I was still in Poland when 9/11 happened. We received the information couple hours later as well because of the time difference. I was at my friend's house when her mother called us to their living room. It was rare, if not the only time when my friend's mother wanted us to "hang out" with her, so I knew something was wrong. When we got to the living room, we started watching the news. One image, which stuck with me over the years, is one of the towers with lots of smoke coming out of it. At the time, no one knew what had happened, so we were really confused and shocked. Then, as the details arose, we were not confused anymore, but we became even more terrified. It’s a crazy world out there and it is difficult to believe that people may hurt other people so badly. It’s sad to realize that despite being in the 21-st century, with all the advancement that we’ve made, people use it for all the wrong reasons. I guess it’s the dark part of our nature.

 
At September 9, 2011 at 8:24 AM , Anonymous Joan Sestak said...

I remember coming to work that day all excited because we had an event planned to celebrate exceeding are enrollment goal for the fall semester. I wanted to get in early and make sure everything was ready to go for the campus wide celebration. I always have WUIS streaming on my computer and I hear them say a plane had hit one of the towers, so I thought I’d better turn on the TV in the Chancellor office and see what was going on. It looked bad, but the announcer just kept saying they thought it was an accident. By this time the Chancellor and other staff had arrive and we were all standing in his office when the second plane hit the tower. At that moment I think we all thought this wasn’t an accident. Then they started reporting on the other attacks at the Pentagon and the plane going down in Pennsylvania. I remember thinking about my friend’s husband who worked in the Pentagon at that time and hoping he was o.k. In fact she called me saying she hadn’t heard from him, which put a whole new perspective on it for me. After a very tense couple of hours she finally heard from him and he was fine. It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t have a story from that day and I remember it like it was yesterday. I feel like it’s almost seared into my memory, every little detail.

Needless to say we cancelled the event on campus and spent the day just trying to figure out what had happened, and how we could help the campus community get through this difficult time in our history.

That Friday we held an event out on the Quad to honor all those who had been lost, it was a humbling and heartwarming sight to see the campus community gather in one place to show their support for each other and the country.

 
At September 14, 2011 at 10:04 AM , Anonymous Dylan said...

I can remember sitting in Mrs. Glovers 3rd grade class. She was crying and we all became concerned that we had done something wrong. When finally she walked across the room turned on the news and my first sight was a cloud of smoke flowing out of the side of a massive sky scraper. After seeing this it became a blur because I was confused as to what was going on. Then they let us out of school after a moment of silence.

 
At September 14, 2011 at 2:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly ten years and three days ago, the Twin Towers in New York City fell due to the extremist religious terrorists of the group Al Qaeda. At the time, I had no idea how frightening and devastating this attack would be to the American people as well as the entire world.
I was on my way to the Buckley Homestead in Indiana where myself as well as my entire third grade class would be learning about the hardships of the early settlers lifestyle on the prairie. I was looking forward to this day, only because I was able to get out of class for the day. On the way there, however, our plans changed drastically. About halfway to our destination, the bus pulled over to the side of the road. It seemed as if all of the students on the bus simultaneously looked at one another in confusion. The bus driver then got on the intercom and said that we would be headed back to the school because there had been an attack on our country. The confusion definitely grew after this brief and extremely uninformative message. When we finally arrived back at the elementary school, we were told that all students had to stay put in the common rooms of the school because there was important information on the news. That is where I first saw what happened to the World Trade Centers. When I saw it then, I could not fully grasp how catastrophic this event was. If I had been a few years older then, I probably would have been much more scared than I was.
We were held in the common rooms in the school until around noon, which was when the buses arrived to take all the students home early. Although we were not able to go to the Buckley Homestead, I still did not have to attend class all day; therefore, I was content. Some students on the bus were talking about what had happened that day, but the majority, in which I was included, were having a great time because of the unexpected early dismissal.
When I got off the bus, I sprinted into the house to tell my mother about my day. I stepped in the door, and expected to see her waiting for me like usual, but instead she and my father were both watching the same news channel that I had watched at school. They both looked extremely disturbed. I knew then the severity of the attack that had happened to our country. My mother and father then explained what had happened in the nicest way possible, if that is possible.
Looking back on that day, I am glad that I was not able to fully grasp the magnitude of the 9-11 attacks. Learning what happened gradually was much better for my still maturing mind. When I see a clip of the attack now, it definitely makes me feel different than it did back then.

Jon Powell

 
At September 14, 2011 at 2:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the twin towers were struck on September 11, 2001, I was in third grade learning about math. A little time had passed after it had happened when our school secretary came and told our teacher the news. She immediately turned the television on and our whole class started watching it. I was eight years old so I really had no idea what was happening or even what the twin towers were. After watching it for a while on tv, I glanced over at our teacher and saw that she was crying. It really hit her hard. After this day, we learned and talked for about four days about what had happened. I learned a lot about the twin towers after this happened.
Taylor J

 
At September 14, 2011 at 2:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the date of 9/11/2001, I can remember exactly where I was and what I did. I was in third grade, Mrs. Davis’ class, when the announcement came on that all of the classrooms needed to turn the TV’s on. As the teacher turned it on, of course everyone was confused and we knew something was wrong. What we saw on TV was truly horrific. I still think it is something that the whole grade school shouldn’t have saw, but I guess they thought we had to be aware of reality. After a while, another announcement came on over the loud speaker saying that all classes were to evacuate the building and stand around the flag for a moment of silence. The whole school was holding hands; it was a moment that everyone had to be there for each other.
I can remember everything about that day. The teachers were crying and the look in my classmate’s eyes (assuming mine as well) was just a daze. There was no traffic, nobody was walking around town, and a lot of the convenience stores closed for the day. I even remember the weather; such a beautiful day ruined by such a horrific tragedy.
We all had to stay in school. However, when I got home my family was all in shock. I’= am pretty sure they didn’t know what to tell me. I can’t imagine how hard it is to explain a tragedy like that to a third grader. I didn’t understand why someone would do that. Thinking of it now, age wasn’t a factor; I doubt anyone knew why anybody would do that. My view on war has changed completely since that day. A lot of people do not believe in war at all; some even protest. However, my view is that there are people out there with 10 pounds of clothes/weapons on them, in 100 degree weather. There are people out there with their own families, fighting for their own or other people’s families. It takes a person with a humongous heart and a lot of pride to do that for so many people. Two people from my hometown have died in that war, fighting for my life, our country, and everyone’s American Dream. I think about them more and more every day, but especially today while writing this. Those are the people who everyone needs to think about, the people that fought for their country trying to save the American Dream from becoming just a fantasy.
I think that a lot of people’s belief in the American Dream went down the drain that day. For a lot of people the American Dream is having a good job, with a nice family. Some people lost both of those things. It’s probably really hard for them to think about the last time they kissed their husband/wife, or the last time they saw their best friend. The American Dream can have endless meanings; but it should never be any farther than within arm’s reach. 9/11 made it hard for anyone to believe that the true American Dream could exist again.
For me, it didn’t change my view on the American Dream much. I believe that it’s always there; waiting for someone to reach out and grab it. I don’t think tragedy should get in the way of anyone’s dreams. It is a given that tragedy can make it difficult to believe in anything. Such a catastrophe as 9/11 can make the whole country have different views on everything in life. However, anybody can have the American Dream. If everyone can just stick together through tragedy; they can make the American Dream possible.


-Cassi Freese

 
At September 14, 2011 at 2:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

On September 11, 2001, I was in my third grade class. All I remember is that our day was normal. We did are normal routines. The teachers played it off as if nothing really happen. I went home at 3:30 as usual, and nobody was home so i watched T.V. I then found out that there was an attack on the World Trade Center. At nine years old I really didn’t understand what was going at the time. There were three questions that I wanted to know. Why isn’t Disney channel playing? Why are plains falling into building? Why the hack is George W. Bush on EVERY channel? I didn’t find out till later that this was terrorist attack. When my father came home I remember asking him, “Daddy what’s a terrorist and why buildings falling are down?” We then went into this long history discussion about al-Qaida and Iraq. The next day at school we went into this long discussion about what was happening, and spent the majority of the day reflecting on life.


CheVaughn Starling

 
At September 14, 2011 at 2:19 PM , Anonymous Gwen said...

I was 8 years old and cannot remember the exact details. Everyone is always shocked about that. I just remember going with my parents to work and them telling me that this event would change our lives forever. And that it did.

 
At September 14, 2011 at 2:40 PM , Anonymous shannon Ross said...

I think September 11, 2001 changed the whole country. I think it made us realize that we are vulnerable. It made us realize that we needed to make things safer for us and our families in order for us to maintain some sort of normalcy. It took a national tragedy for our country to unite show that we truly stand as one.

 
At September 14, 2011 at 2:55 PM , Anonymous Adam Schafer said...

On September 11th, I was in school. I don’t remember my exact situation or location; my school didn’t tell us about what was happening. Maybe they told the older students, but I don’t know for sure. I didn’t actually learn about the twin towers falling until I got home and saw it on TV. Directly, I don’t think it’s impacted much in my life. Indirectly I’ve been affected in a lot of the same ways as the rest of the world, but I didn’t lose anybody in the towers that day or anything. I don’t remember my family’s reaction specifically. We were all somber but it didn’t really impact me enough as a kid to make an impression of my family’s reaction. I think the attack on 9/11 hasn’t effected the American Dream. People still want their kids to succeed. They still want to get a good job doing what they love. And people still want to achieve their goal, no matter what they may be.

 
At September 25, 2011 at 2:11 PM , Blogger Melslack said...

I was living in Dayton, Ohio, the home of Wright-Patterson AFB. The President flew in and out several times that day, as I understand they were keeping him in the air, thinking he was safer that way. There was some fear the base would be targeted, so planes were flying around all day. We had sonic booms all day long. It was very weird and surreal. Dayton was a ghost town, except for the gas stations. Gas went up to $5.00 a gallon, and the lines were miles long. Some streets were impassible due to the gas lines.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home