Where were you on September 11?

The South Pool is one of two pools that mark where the Twin Towers once stood.
Photo by Hailey Minton

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, I was playing with our first child, Koby, he was 6 months old. Today he is a grown man of 18 years old. I can clearly remember his round little face, he was such a happy baby. He was also a morning person which I am not, so I turned on Sesame Street and was resting on the couch while he watched Elmo. Ryan had gone to work early that morning. He worked as a district manager for Cutco Cutlery and primarily recruited student salespeople. That day he had a booth set up on the campus of UNLV and was handing out fliers and talking to potential representatives. Ryan later mentioned that someone gave him a sour look and called him insensitive when he tried to call them over to his booth when another student said, you need to go over to the common room and watch the TV. Ryan immediately called me and said to turn on the news; I could tell he was very disturbed. When I saw the first plane hit the tower, my initial thoughts were that someone had pulled some Hollywood stunt or a joke. Boy was I wrong! I felt so many emotions that day and in the months to come.

Later that day, I talked with my mom and found out someone my dad worked for (a close friend) lost immediate family in the second plane, I also later learned that my sister-in-law lost her sister’s husband in the Pentagon explosion. I couldn’t stop crying for days, my heart just hurt. How could this happen? How could anyone intentionally hurt another person let alone thousands of people! The ripple effect was huge. It was felt around the world. Ryan and I went on a drive later that day because we needed to get away from the TV. If you have ever been in Las Vegas you probably know the skies are always filled with airplanes. There is a constant line-up of planes in the air either landing or taking off, but that day the sky was empty and silent, in an instant the world stopped turning.

Within time, the world started spinning again, slowly. Life continued on and we all had to go back to work and to school. We had to go to the grocery store and buy food. We were all hurt and sad but life started to inch forward. We started to notice something was different though. Neighbors were talking to each other, which was not common in Las Vegas, but we would see people outside standing on the sidewalk visiting. We saw people serving others wherever they could. We saw different churches coming together as one to help all those in need regardless of their beliefs. I saw people in grocery stores letting a mother with 3 little children go first in the checkout line. The honking in Vegas isn’t as bad as maybe New York City but it still happens quite a bit more there than here (mostly the cab drivers) but the honking was non-existent for a while.

As a society, we were more patient with each other. We hugged our loved ones more and maybe even a little longer. We turned our thoughts to God and saw the blessings we had in front of us instead of looking outwards for what we wanted and didn’t have. We saw a common theme in our lives, we were proud to be Americans. We were determined to protect everything that meant so much to us…family, freedom, neighbors, religion, etc. We saw people that were perfect strangers helping those in need. The stories and pictures of people helping where they could were inspiring.

One world Trade center was built after the twin towers were destroyed.
Photo by Hailey Minton

The World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in New York City. Two of seven total buildings, known as the twin towers and were visually recognizable nearly everywhere in the world. The attack that happened on the morning of September 11 killed 2,606 people in and within the vicinity of the towers, as well as all 157 on board the two aircraft that were flown into them. Once the towers collapsed, they also destroyed the remaining 5 buildings and ten additional buildings in the surrounding area. Today new buildings are being built around a memorial to those who were killed in the attack. The twin towers were replaced with one building, which is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, called the One World Trade Center. There are to eventually be 6 sky scrapers in the complex and an elevated park.

Mitchel Scott Wallace was a first responder who died while trying to save others.
Photo by Hailey Minton

Here are a few accounts of people who told us their story of where they were on September 11, 2001.

“I was on my way to work in Craig Colorado. I couldn’t get in the school where I taught. Everything was locked up tight. I had left my keys at home and had to wait for almost 20 minutes until somebody else came who had a key. She told me that something had happened in New York and all the schools were on lockdown because they didn’t know if it was widespread. We watched the news in almost every class, all day long.” Ray Zentz

“I will never forget, I was driving to work and just got out of my car at the office. I was listening to KBUL 93. They said a twin engine plane had just hit the tower. I was thinking a small twin lost power and hit the building. I got into the office and started hearing more. I tried to get on the web, but so was the rest of the world and it was killing the internet around the country. I was asked to set up a TV in the break room. It was a sad day.”  Matt Westrich

“Being a newspaper reporter, my September 11, 2001 was filled with shock and the need to do my job – reporter mode. Running late that morning, I had failed to turn on the television news. It wasn’t until I got to Roy Junior High to drop off one of my kids, when a couple of the neighborhood children asked me about what was happening with the Twin Towers. I then rushed to work to collect information for a newspaper extra to go out that afternoon. My work day lasted from nearly sunrise to sunset. It was a scramble the whole day and admittedly I cried at the end of it. Three locals were killed that day. They have since been honored at a Kaysville Memorial.” Byron Saxton

“I was sitting in Jessup MD. I am a truck driver and was on my way to the Pentagon to pick-up that day. I had to stop before getting there because the load was not going to be ready. One of my daughters and I sat there the night before and waited. September 11, I came out and saw the towers being hit and even coming down. We then heard about everything else happening. We then had to sit there for three days until they opened the roads again.” William Cain

Where ever you were, we are certain you remember the feelings of fear, dread and anger you must have felt because we felt them too. We also hope that each of you will use those feelings to remember how we acted after those events. It changed us, mostly for the good. Let’s use that to be more kind, forgiving and understanding of each other.


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