September 11 Digital Archive






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LC Story: Story

I was literally driving by the Pentagon on my way to work when I heard a radio DJ mention that there was a report that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. At that point they didn't understand the seriousness of it and thought it was a small plane. I was in my office a few miles from the Pentagon when the second tower was hit. Our company president told someone to turn off the television because people would find it distracting and keep them from their work. Then a friend walked into my office and told me the Pentagon had been hit. I didn't believe her. After one frantic call from my mother and a hysterical call from a friend in New York that one of the towers had collapsed I went to the conference room and turned on the tv. I went back to my office, spoke to my mother again and then went to our CEO in tears and told him we needed to send everyone home. It took me over two hours to make the commute which normally took 2o minutes. It was awful seeing the smoke from the Pentagon. I watched it all over and over again on the television over the next several days.

LC Story: Memory

My mother. She works at the Smithsonian at the National Museum of American History. Her building is located between the White House and the Capitol. When she called the first time I could tell she was really scared. Rumors were flying about bombs all over the Mall area and about the 4th plane potentially targeting the Capitol or the White House. By the second phone call she was terrified. She was very choked up and wasn't sure if she was going to be able to get out of the city. My mom is a very calm, level-headed person. Hearing the fear in her voice shook me to my core. When I got home two hours later she was already there. I have never been more relieved. I hugged her for a very long time.

LC Story: Affects

It made the nation more patriotic, at least temporarily. Long term, I think it made us more suspicious, less trusting. There is a lasting subtle sense of fragility. There was a sense of emotional peace and safety before that was completely taken for granted. I am saddened that if I have children they will never know that innocent feeling I was once privileged to have.


“lc_story19.xml,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed February 19, 2020,