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Local residents share 9/11 memories

September 10, 2006

My family had rented a house in the Outer Banks (N.C.) for vacation. It was my sister-in-law's birthday and we had plans to rent a boat and go out for the day.

Several of us were in the kitchen fixing something to eat when my brother came running up the stairs and told us to turn the television on. We watched in horror as they showed the footage from the Twin Towers. We sat there for a few hours in disbelief as we saw what was happening in NYC. Almost everything around was closed down that day.

We weren't permitted to go out on the boat. Strangely enough, we ended up visiting the Wright Brother's monument, where the first flight was believed to have been taken. It was definitely a day that we will always remember.

I was thankful to have been together with my entire family knowing that they were all safe. I pray for those who lost friends and family on that horrible day. May God bless them all.


- Tina Grim

It was my first semester away at college, Salisbury University. I was getting ready for class. I turned the TV on and was glancing at the news stations when the first plane hit.

I didn't think anything of it, thought it was scenes from a movie, then minutes later the second plane hit ... People were screaming on the TV, I then realized it was real. America had been attacked.

I immediately told my roommates, called home (as my dad works near military installations). I couldn't get through on the phones, hours later I heard from my parents in Hagerstown, ... My roomates and I just couldn't believe what we were seeing. I remember it all as if it happened yesterday.

- Erica Weidman

I was in Virginia doing my student teaching for Bridgewater College. I was in a classroom of first-graders when I found out about the attacks.

We couldn't turn on the television in the room, but the librarian kept us updated. After getting out of school I went to where I was staying, watched some of the updates on the news and went over to the college to be with my friends, and all we could do was cry and comfort each other.

That evening I attended the candle light vigil on campus and called home. My boyfriend and parents asked me not to come home for fear of me not returning to school, against what I wanted to do, I stayed.

I remember the next day at school having a surprise fire drill and while outside the sky was amazingly clear and blue, you could hear the birds singing and the weird thing was, there were no planes in the sky, then out of the blue one came over, sending a shiver down my spine. I later spoke with my cooperating teacher about it and she felt the same way.

It was very hard to keep focus on the children and hold our emotions in. The children asked questions and we answered the best that we could, trying to explain to them why this happened. They all had a different view on the attacks and all had different questions, but I believe they all needed reassuring that it was going to be OK and we were going to protect them.

I also remember finding movies to watch because watching the footage was just to emotional. I just got to the point where I have seen it enough and just couldn't watch anymore.

- Jennifer Burger

I was on a train coming in to New York City on Sept.11, 2001. About 10 a.m. the train stopped and I took a picture of one tower. One tower? There are two.

By noon we came in to Penn Station and were ordered off the train. We stood in the middle of the street for two hours with no explaination or information. Planes flew overhead and emergency vehicles sped by. Rumors passed amoung the approximate 500 people crowded in the street outside the station. One said the White House was destroyed, another said the Washington momument and the Pentegon were also gone.

By 2 p.m. we were allowed back on the train, slowly moving toward Washington D.C. For the first time in my life I was apprehensive traveling through a tunnel.

At 6 p.m. I boarded a train to Martinsburg, W.Va., but at Brunswick, Md., I was again ordered off the train and boarded a bus (to go) the rest of the way to Martinsburg.

I was scheduled to get home at 5 that evening, but it was after 10 when I finally arrived home, tired, shaken, but unhurt.

Meanwhile my family called the train station to inquire about passengers, but got no answer.

It is five years later and I still cringe when I hear sirens and airplanes overhead.

- Helne Brill
Martinsburg, W.Va.

On the morning of Sept. 11 my wife, Marguerite and I were heading north into New York City, when at very high speed we were passed by police cars, ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

I usually have the radio on when we travel, but for some reason that morning I did not. We again were passed by other emergency vehicles and at that time a lighted roadside sign appeared stating that this road (interstate) would be closed to all vehicle traffic with the exception of emergency vehicles.

I turned on the radio and found out what had happened in New York just minutes before.

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