Mem­bers of the North­eastern com­mu­nity share their mem­o­ries of the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Tom Quinn
Lead Day Stacks Main­te­nance Assis­tant, Uni­ver­sity Libraries
Loca­tion on 9/​11: Prov­i­dence, R.I.

I remember watching the news in the school cafe­teria. I was a senior in high school and had heard rumors in the hallway about the first plane crashing. I was already back in class by the time the second plane hit. For a while, no one knew what had hap­pened and a lot of people were wor­ried about their fam­i­lies. Some of my class­mates had aunts and uncles who worked in New York. The school had three or four grief coun­selors ready by the end of the day.

The whole day was unreal. It barely seems like it has been 10 years already.

Lindsey Brod­erick
Fourth-​​year civil engi­neering major
Loca­tion on 9/​11: Suburb of Chicago, Ill.

I remember a lot of con­fu­sion. There were rumors that some­thing hap­pened, but nothing was con­firmed. I was in sixth grade and the teachers were told not to tell us any­thing about the attacks. Even­tu­ally, one teacher did let us know what was going on and we turned on the TV around mid-​​morning. Our school went into full lock­down because we were near a mil­i­tary base in Illi­nois and at that point no one knew what or where the tar­gets were. My par­ents picked me up at school, but I can’t remember if that was because of the lock­down or if it was their deci­sion. My mom was in Florida for busi­ness that day, which made the whole day even more hectic. It wasn’t until I got home that I really started to under­stand what had happened.

I’ll always be able to remember what hap­pened. Knowing what I know now, I think it was a turning point in his­tory. A lot has come out of that day that changed things in the United States and around the world.

Walter Robinson
Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Jour­nalism
Loca­tion on 9/​11: Boston, Mass.

For jour­nal­ists like myself, 9/​11 was an enor­mous per­sonal and pro­fes­sional chal­lenge — trying to report on the most hor­rific event of all of our lives while trying our best to main­tain our com­po­sure. At the time, the inves­tiga­tive team at The Boston Globe, which I headed, was in the early stages of reporting on the wide­spread sexual abuse of chil­dren by Catholic priests, a series we did not begin pub­lishing until Jan­uary 2002. But when the attacks hap­pened, everyone at the paper put aside what they were doing to focus full-​​time on the tragedy.

Our inves­tiga­tive team spent nearly two months on the attacks, focusing much of our atten­tion on how they could have hap­pened, how the ter­ror­ists were able to remain unde­tected for so long, and the many chinks in our secu­rity armor that helped facil­i­tate the attacks. It was a most dif­fi­cult task, made more chal­lenging because of the emo­tion we felt for the vic­tims and their fam­i­lies and friends.

Ivelisse Her­nandez
Man­ager, Columbus Cafe
Loca­tion on 9/​11: Boston, Mass.

I was at the hos­pital get­ting a rou­tine pro­ce­dure when a nurse came run­ning in and screamed, ‘They hit one of the towers!’ All of us went to a nearby room to watch it all on TV and then the plane hit the second tower. I imme­di­ately called my chil­dren, who were also in Boston and said, ‘I need to be near you,’ but we couldn’t get to each other because public trans­porta­tion was shut down at that point.

I can never, ever forget that day. Everyone in New York was run­ning around and the people were falling from the build­ings like little birds or leaves — it was horrible.

Michael Pol­lastri
Pro­fessor of Chem­istry
Loca­tion on 9/​11: Groton, Conn.

I remember 9/​11/​01 as a day that I left for work admiring the clear blue sky during my com­mute. Mid-​​morning, I watched the events unfold on an enor­mous TV screen, along with hun­dreds of my col­leagues, looking at each other in stunned silence, won­dering what was next. In the days and weeks after­wards, I would listen to the per­sonal sto­ries from fam­i­lies of the missing, and I will always remember the heart­break I felt for them.

I have thought of 9/​11 on every crisp, blue sky day since then, reflecting on the uncer­tainty of all of our day-​​to-​​day lives, and how we should appre­ciate and cherish our friends and loved ones.

Jor­dana Torres
Senior orga­ni­za­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tions major
Loca­tion on 9/​11: Garden City Park, Long Island, N.Y.

I heard an announce­ment over the loud­speaker that there was a ter­rorist attack in New York City. I was con­fused why they were giving us so much infor­ma­tion. TVs were wheeled into a class­room and we watched the news with about 60 other stu­dents from other classes. Since we lived just 30 min­utes from the city, a lot of people’s fam­i­lies and friends worked in Man­hattan. Anyone who wanted to call home could go down to the office.

At 12, you don’t under­stand how big of a deal it was. You don’t know what al-​​Qaida was, you don’t know who Osama bin Laden was. It took me a while to really under­stand. One of my first ques­tions was just, ‘Why? Why would they do this?’ I remember talking to my mom about it and she said there are bad people out there who don’t like Americans.