September 11 is our generation’s JFK assassination: everybody remembers where they were on that traumatic day. Whether you were nearby the attacks in New York City, Washington, and Pennsylvania or watching in horror from far away, it is a day that changed our country and many of our lives. Today will be filled with memorial services and constant TV coverage, but some of the most poignant remembrances are already happening on Twitter where people are sharing where they were and what they did.
Jeff Jarvis, who was near the World Trade Center that day, today is Tweeting out his vivid recollection of what it was like to be at Ground Zero (unfortunately, his Twitter account got rate-limited briefly because he was Tweeting so much, but now is restored). NPR’s Andy Carvin is gathering many of the Tweets and rebroadcasting them using the #OnSept11 hashtag (he is also collecting them into a Storify here).
Everyone has a memory about where they were and how the felt. I was living in San Francisco at the time, and woke up to the news. This was right after the first plane hit the World Trade Center and nobody knew what was going on. I turned on the TV and called my girlfriend in New York (who is now my wife). She was on Fifth Avenue watching the smoke billowing from one of the towers. Then the second plane hit, calls wouldn’t go through anymore, and the country came to a screeching halt. At least for a few days. Airplanes were grounded and nobody would go near a tall building anywhere. Where were you #OnSept11?
Photo credit: George Hackett/Getty