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Press Pass
By Tim Wiederaenders
Daily Courier Editor Tim Wiederaenders shares his insights.
Monday, September 10, 2012

Blog: Where were you on 9/11?

Tim Wiederaenders

Photo via the AP
The second plane to crash on Sept. 11, 2001, takes aim at the World Trade Center while the effects of the first are only beginning.

I was on the way to work the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. As I passed Buchanan Drive on Williamson Valley Road, the radio station's announcer came on saying, in a confused tone, that a plane had struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It was just before 6 a.m. (the plane crashed into the building at 5:46 Arizona time).

I thought, "What kind of pilot cannot fly and avoid buildings?"

Just before I arrived at the Courier's downtown offices, the same voice reported, in an upset tone, that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center, this time the South Tower. Time: 6:15 a.m. (actual impact, 6:03 Arizona time).

It was then that I realized - along with everyone else - once could have been a mistake or accident, twice is on purpose.

It continued from there at 6:37 a.m. and 7:03 a.m. with the crashes at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa., respectively.

We often recall exactly where we were when famous people died (I was in the front yard of my childhood home when news of Elvis Presley's death came out, and was sitting in a car with my brother when John Lennon's killing was announced).

The events of 9/11 took the shock of those passings to a new and different level.

"We are now touchable," a friend reminded me that Tuesday afternoon, dispelling the false sense of security my generation had become used to believing. I think it may have compared with the attacks on Pearl Harbor; however, I cannot say for sure.

What do you remember? Where were you? Which day stands out most to you?

In honor of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, remember not to let the fear overtake your thoughts. Stand tall, never forget, and know that the American spirit may bend - but it does not break.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: Confused in another country

I was in Japan. It was happening in the evening there. I was supposed to meet friends out for drinks, but didn't feel up to it so stayed in. Saw it happening on the news but was all in Japanese so didn't understand quite what was happening. Couldn't get ahold of anyone so spent the entire night worried and confused until I got notice sent to the school where I worked from the Embassy.

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012
Article comment by: KC Kimmel

I was shocked. Later I asked myself, how could two jets bring down three steel and concrete towers WTC 1, 2, and 7 at free fall speed? Truly one of the biggest mysteries of all time. To this day, I cannot explain it. I googled arcitechs and engineers on YouTube and even these experts could not understand it. One of the biggest mysteries ever.

Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Article comment by: Midge Baker

@Jennifer Barone

My sincerest condolences for the trauma you've suffered, and my utmost respect and admiration for your courage since.

We will remember. "Remember 9/11" has joined the sacred ranks of our country's joint consciousness along with "Remember Pearl Harbor."

On 9/11, here in Prescott, I was still in bed after having worked night shift. My husband was awake and watching the news. I awoke to the words, "Honey, come quick -- we're under attack..."

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Article comment by: Jennifer Barone

I am a WTC survivior of the first terroist attacks in 1993. I was one of 1,600 people injured. I had a gut feeling not to stay down stairs in the lower levels. I took the elevator up and as I exit it, bombs exploded, threw me up in the air about 15 feet, rest is history.

On 9/11 I was in NYC watching the World Trade Center finally collapse-again-as they tried in 1993. To my surprise, many people did not hear about the 1993 event, not sure why (look up WTC bombings/1993 on Youtube...you wouldn't believe the 4 feet of files between the FBI and the head of security).

9/11 changed my life forever, please don't ever forget. Thank you to the lady/reader who said she listens to the names read every 9/11 as I do.

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: Steven McBride

I was a hotel trainer at that time & would fly out every week to a different location in the U.S.

I was getting ready to head to the airport when a co-worker called & told me to turn on the TV. Like many others, I wondered how a plane could hit one of the twin towers in broad daylight? Then the 2nd plane hit & we all know instantly it was a terrorist attack.

I had been through many airports prior to 9/11/01, & sorry to say, but it was not a big surprise that they were able to smuggle the knives aboard the planes. I witnessed all kinds of things get through security (except for obvious items like guns) that would never get through today.

I also remember that the smaller, regional airports seemed to be tighter on security than most of the big airports.

We must never forget. Going through airport security today is a pain, but it's worth it. Al Quieda & other terrorist organizations are still out there.

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Article comment by: J Glenn

I was on the air force base in Albuquerque New Mexico helping my brother and sister in law with thier new baby because my brother had to go over to Hawaii for a week after my niece was born. I was watching the news when I saw the second plane hit the tower and was just watching in unbelief that what I was seeing was real. Then hearing the jets scramble and fly overhead and no longer hearing planes takeoff or land at Albuquerque airport.

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Article comment by: Ed Boks

I was a block away from the Pentagon attending an animal welfare conference. My staff and I rushed to the site and immediately contacted Channel 3 in Phoenix and served as their volunteer on site "reporters" for the day. My most remarkable recollection of the day was that there was absolutely no evidence of an airplane.

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Article comment by: Dana Hoyer

I was sitting on my couch TV on but muted getting my daughter ready for school that day. I was watching the live broadcast of the first tower when the second plane hit.
I was in such shock, i didn't realize it was this country until i turned up the TV.
To this day i am still in shock and very surprised that more people don't care about this. Yes we must move on but never forget because if we forget then we are letting down our guard and letting the terrorists know there is another opportunity to attack us, lets not forget this was not the first attack on the World Trade Center by Islamic terrorists.

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Article comment by: BIG E

Everything I need to know about Islam i learned on 9-11-01. I will never forget!!

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Article comment by: J S

I was living in Phoenix at the time, getting ready for work and getting my son ready for school. I was also pregnant with my daughter. My sister lived in GA and called to ask if I "heard the news". I turned on the tv and watched in awe as the second plane went into the towers. I called my mom who also lived in AZ, and all she could say was leave work, pack up your things, come here and get out of the "big city"! In fear that something may happen in Phoenix. I will never forget how unsafe I felt due to the "unknown". My thoughts and prayers are with all those that lost their lives and the survivors that live with the tragedy.

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Article comment by: Stacey Perroncino

I was pregnant with my son at the time and had just woken up and turned on the TV, I could not believe what I was seeing. I thought a plane went off course but then the second one hit and I just knew it was done on purpose. This day is hard on my family because my husband lost a cousin. I sit and cry every September 11th. Right now I am sitting and listening to the reading of the names at the Memorial like I do every year.

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2012
Article comment by: G. Herbert

Here's to hoping the answer is, hadn't been born yet.
If I say I'm over it, and that I want nothing more then to live well for the rest of my life, am I less of an American?

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2012
Article comment by: Ghost of the Real Prescott Patriot

I was thinking....Wow, our criminal government really pulled one off this time!

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2012
Article comment by: J T

Was living in New York back then. Lost a cousin that day. He was never found.
For months, the first thing I'd see as I headed to work were the spotlights that lit up where the towers once stood. For the first few days, the lights were to help with the "rescue". Then they were to aid in the "recovery". Soon after, it was decided that the public needed to start healing instead. The recovery didn't end, rather it was stopped. I won't even begin to get into that here. It would make anyone sick. Those same lights would then assist in the "clean-up".
Those lights would be the last thing I saw every night heading home as well.

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2012
Article comment by: J L

I was in Sarasota, FL working on 9/11. Heard the sirens of the Presidents motorcade heading to the airport.

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2012
Article comment by: Jack Dale

I was helping my wife get the kids ready for school when my dad called and told me a plane hit one of the towers. I was thinking he meant a small plane and it was an accident. I turned on the tv just in time to see the first tower collapse. I could not believe what I was watching. Being a firefighter, I knew right away that at least dozens of firefighters had just lost their lives. I was glued to the tv the rest of the day hoping to hear some good news but it never really came. My prayers still go out to all of the victim's families.

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