Viewer's Voice - 9/11 Five Years Later

By: Scott Saxton
By: Scott Saxton

"I no longer fly on airplanes. I don't feel as safe as I used to." -- Mark from Ashland

"I know that 9/11 has changed my life. Not only is it my birthday but a day in history. It will always be remembered as "9/11". I look at it as the way it changed our nation. Before the attacks we didn't stand as a nation...not as close as we are now. After the attacks, I believe that we stand closer together as a nation. I know that after the attacks I have personally became closer to my relatives and my friends. I am a lot nicer to the people I meet. It has changed my outlook on a lot of things. Don't take life for granted, because one day you may be here and then next you're gone. Just like that." -- Crystal from Olive Hill

"When the towers were hit, I was in school. At first I did not know for sure what was going on. Until they told us. I was still a little confused because nothing like this had ever happened. When I got home, my mom and dad were watching TV. They were talking about it on the news. They said that the first tower was hit by a plane. At first they thought it might be a low flying plane but it wasn't. Then we watched as the second tower got hit. It was like watching a scene from a movie. I almost couldn't believe it. It was frightening. The scary part was I didnt know why it was happening. To think what if it happened here crossed my mind for a second. Then when the war started. That was even scarier. My dad had always told me about the Vietnam War but I never thought we'd have another one. I was wrong. One thing that kept crossing my mind was what if my dad had to go to Iraq. After awhile, I didn't think they were gonna send him. Until fall of 2005 when he left for training to go. I was sad the morning he left. I wanted to cry but I didn't. He said he will be back in November of this year. I just wish all of this would end." -- Renee from Fort Gay

"This has drastically changed my life and my family's life the past 5 years as our son is active duty military and has served 3 times already in Afghanistan and now has orders to go into Iraq. We live in fear for his life, plus the lives of other men and women in uniform. Along with that, the airlines have changed rules and regulations and now look at the prices for fuel!" -- Kathy from Evans

"9/11 has made me keep my guard up and aware of my surroundings when I go places where there is a lot of people. I just feel now when you go out of your comfort zone, that you are constantly looking over your shoulder for things that 6 years ago you never thought about."
-- Bruce from McArthur

"I can remember September 11 like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my second period math class my sophmore year in high school when a gentleman that had the same teacher that I had walked into the classroom and told us to turn to the news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. At that time we thought nothing of it. Then by fourth period we had found out that it was a terrorist attack when I heard that its like chills just ran down my spine. Then we heard of several other attacks that day; the closest to home being the plane that crashed in Pensylvania. I'd have to say that that was the scariest day of my life. I mean if you think about all it would take is for them to hit one of our chemical plants and it would kill off all of WV as well as our surrounding states. Not long after the attacks my mom came and picked me and brother up from school. I was a nervous wreck I couldn't stop crying not knowing what was going to happen next and honestly too afraid to find out. I took a nap to help ease my mind. When I woke up, I walked outside as well as spoke to my family just to make sure everything was okay and that I was still alive. This was a very sad event. All of the people who were either hurt or killed didn't deserve to be treated like that. No one does. I mean that act was just not human. There was a daycare in the World Trade Center, filled with innocent children who didn't deserve to be hurt or have their families hurt and killed. I never thought I'd experience anything like this in my life. The 9/11 events made me respect myself as well as my family more because tomorrow is never promised. Everyone should think about that because what would you do if you lost some one you loved dearly and and lost them without being able to apologize for the way you acted or say your last goodbye. Now with all of the stuff going on with Lebanon and Israel, I'm a little shaky because it seems like no matter what happens we somehow find a way to get involved." -- Whitney from Charleston

"I pay attention more. Just a couple of years ago, I noticed a parked truck with someone taking photos of one of our local plants. I went straight to the police. Right now, I have a son in Florida on vacation. After hearing the news on the new terror alert, we spoke with each other about him flying back home and what he can and can not bring back." -- Beverly from Ironton

"I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my high school history class when my teacher ran back into the classroom and turned the tv on. We all looked at each other like what is going on, then we saw it. One tower was in smoke and we thought nothing about it, a plane accidently crashed into the trade center. Most of us began talking and not really paying attention, then i looked up and my teacher screamed oh my God! In that instant, as all of us watched, that plane hit the building. All I can remember was hearing everyone gasp and then utter silence. No one moved. It was so quiet that my ears rang. I didn't know what to think or do what did anyone know what to do? I was in shock as was my whole class. Then a girl started screaming and said my mom is in New York today. She later found out that her mom was across the street in the verizon building and was ok. My teacher had a daughter who worked in the pentagon but she had been late for work that morning. It totally changed my life and my future childrens lives. I will never forget watching it all happen. I was scared and confused. When you watch thousands of innocent people die in front of your eyes, it is life changing. I pray for the families of the innocent people that died and for the soldiers who have died protecting our country. I will never forget 9/11." -- Emilee from Huntington

"Since 9/11, I have become more aware of my surroundings. If there is something suspicious. I take note and if it warrants a call to the police, I call them. I worry in the back of my mind that a terror attack will happen here in the tri-state area. I have to wonder IF the emergency response teams in the area are truly ready for this. I feel that people in general are more aware of their surroundings and take notice of the security levels and their importance. Our soldiers, police, and all emergency response teams are all out there putting their lives on the lines everyday to keep us safe. They really deserve our thanks." -- Christy from South Point

"I live more in the moment than planning... tell people I love them more. Just living for the moment mostly since on that day I was at work and no idea till my mother called and said we were being attacked."
--Joann from Ripley

"My husband and I were in DC on this day. I can no longer be in large crowds of people. We were walking by the FBI building when I heard something and looked to my left and seen hundreds of people trying to get out of the building through a space of about 12 inches. All the safety walls were in place and they were just trying to get out of that building the best they can. My son now serves in the Army and is waiting to go to war after October 14th. I think about what he will be seeing and how this trip will change his life." --Annabelle from Decatur

"I had just returned from a cruise with my family on Monday and I was at work, when someone from our other office called and said that the World Trade Center was just ran into by a plane and then my day went to bad to worse for the next 6 months or so it seemed. I worked for National Travel at that time, so you can guess what we were doing!!!" -- Nikki from Montgomery

"I will never forget 9/11/01. I was pregnant with my second child. And I was at work on an ambulance that day. I watched while the first two planes hit and heard about the others while on a call. I was in disbelief. I looked at my partner that day and questioned whether I was really awake or was I just dreaming. Everything happened in slow motion. I cried to my mother and said "What kind of world am I bringing this child into?" I was in a panic to find my son and assure that he was in a safe place with family. I wasn't allowed to leave work because of the situation, so I was forced to tell him I loved him and would be home as soon as I could (two days later). I was pulled in so many directions that day and several days following. As a mother and as a member of emergency services I felt overwhelmed. I just watched as people lost their lives and I couldn't do anything about it. That is very hard for someone in my line of work to do, you feel like you should do something, anything. I think that is the reason so many people of our area Fire, EMS, and police departments went to ground zero. They had to do something. Security of our buildings and trucks have become more strict. Policies about responding to chemical or terrorist acts have been beat into our heads for a lack of better words. Everytime I look at anything and 911 appears on it, even my clock radio, I remember that day. I have a 911 charm on my bracelet to remember my emergency service brothers who gave their life that day. So many of them left young children. It also reminds me of my family and what I hope they never have to go through. I have worked in emergency services my entire adult life. You tend to get used to the shifts and being away from family. It helps remind me that any day could be my last, and every " I love you" may be the last they hear. I don't take that for granted anymore." -- Crystal from Coal Grove

"The change I experienced was "a wake-up call". I was a back-slider. One of the first things I thought of was "this is one of the scariest thing I have ever seen", and I knew that there was only one way to get through it, and that was to re-dedicate my life to Jesus Christ. So I repented, turned away from my sins and returned to my home church where I had been a member for about ten years (back in 2001) and I am trying to live as best as I can and be whom God has called me to be." -- Lori from Charleston

"My brother was in the pentagon when it was hit by a plane on that awful day. When I heard the news, I thought when was the last time I talked to him and what did he say? Of course, phones were down and all attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. I didn't know if he was alive or dead. News from him came late that night and the relief was beyond words.
Since that day, I realize how short life is. I try to count my blessings everyday. I frequently tell family members that I love them because you never know if you will see them again.
This life is short and precious, and none of us know the day or the hour we pass from this one onto the next. That was so apparent on September 11th." -- Gloria from Sissonville

"I vividly rember the morning it happened. I was working at a local band and the whole day just felt..well.. different. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then I see my supervisor's face as he is talking on the telephone about ten feet from me. I asked her what was wrong and she could hardly get the words out. I ran home immediately and got my portable television so we, at the bank, could see what was going on. The thing about 9/11 is that my husband is a professional firefighter in the city of Huntington and my mind swam with thoughts of..oh God. That could've been him. I prayed more that day than I have in years. The thing it has taught me most is that you have to learn to slow down in this busy paced world of ours and really and truly appreciate what you have in your life. People who love you and people whom you love. I pray for the family and loved ones of 9/11. I surely know I cried enough tears with them." -- Gwyn from Huntington.

"We never thought that this would ever happen to us but it did and now you look at things different than you did then. Like life, family, friends, you want to think and say more to the ones you don't get to see how you love them and how important they are to you. I believe that we are stronger than we were then because we see how fast things happen, and how our loved ones and other are taken from us when we don't think any thing like this would happen to us." -- Wilma from Rutland

"On September 11, 5 years ago, I was in the 4th grade. I was sick that day, and had just woken up. I overheard my mom repeating "Oh my God" over and over again. My dad and my mom had left for work, and went to go see what was going on. I didn't see anything, so I turned the TV on. There it was. Smoke was pouring out of both towers. I was shocked. They showed video of the planes flying into the towers one after another. My heart sank in, and I found large tears in my eyes. That day, I learned that there was true evil in the world, but I also learned how a country can come together in a time of crisis. 9/11//01, a day that I will never forget." -- Nicholas from Ripley

"The events of 9/11 have changed my life in ways that I thought I would never have to worry about in this country. I trust no one and fear everyday for the safety of my family and friends. I fear leaving the house and hate to send my kids to school every morning. I guess life must go on but the events of that day are hard to forget and even harder to keep from wondering what will happen each day or even if we will see another day. I think our whole world has changed. We will never be safe again no matter what the government does. We shall never see the days again when we could trust our neighbors and a strange that might move into your home town." -- Tanya from Hitchins

"I always had felt sorry for the people who live with terrorist's activities on a daily level such as some of those in the Middle East, but until it hit our soil, I never knew the fear. At that particular time, I lived in a state of fear to a point. I still went to work and sent my children to school, but, I kept an eye on the news, was constantly worried that we were going to have a war on our soil. How people live with it I will never comprehend. Now, I am more thankful for the things in my life, knowing at any given moment life can change. I am so proud of our military who are protecting us and keeping my country safer for my children. I look up to the officials who must make these no-win decisions, I would not want to be in their shoes. I may not always agree with them, but they are the ones in the positions to make the decisions. And we elected them, so we should support them.
I don't feel there will ever be "world peace", but the countries that disagree should have ways of problem solving that do not involve terrorists rearing their ugly heads. The countries should unite and make the STAND that they will not tolerate terrorist activity in any way shape or form. The biggest change I made after 9/11 was that I voted for the first time in my life." -- Mary from Barboursville

"It has reminded me to always tell and show my husband how much I love him because when he goes off to work he may someday possibly not return. Just as many of the people in the towers and on the planes did that day. We can't take it for granted that our loved ones will always be there." -- Susie from Portsmouth

"The events of 9/11 have made many, including myself, realize what kind of world we live in today. We cannot take our freedom for granted anymore, yet we can take steps to insure that America will stay strong throughout any disaster. I firmly believe that each and every Amercian citizen was affected by these attacks, and each of those Americans can have an influence on what our future America can be. It's all a matter of how patriotic you are. We each can make a difference in little or even big ways. God Bless." -- Drew from Russell


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