9/11 – Where Were You?

I was in my first semester at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. I had made it a goal to get to the school by 7 every morning to study for a while before classes started, so I was sitting in the study cubicles when I saw a few people running down the hall.

My curiosity was peaked, so I followed the folks to the common area where there was a small TV which generally showed only school announcements and stuff. It was tuned to the news, and it looked like the Twin Towers were on fire.

I, along with several others, stood there and watched as the first tower fell. Ironically, I had to leave the scene to go to theology class.

I’ll never forget it. Where were you?

Subscribe to MichaelKelley.co

Never miss a new post. Subscribe to receive these posts in your inbox and to receive information about new discipleship resources.

You have successfully subscribed. Click here to download your bonus.


  • Eddy says:

    I was in college at the time. I was asleep on the top bunk in my dorm when one of the girls in the dorm busted in and woke me on. She turned on the TV to the news channel.

    I was really disoriented. The rest of the day was surreal.

  • Zach says:

    Walking into a college ministry team meeting at the apt of our college pastor. One of the team members walked in with us and said, “One of the Twin Towers blew up.” We watched on the TV all the morning. It’s an odd feeling experiencing in the present a moment that will forever be etched in your mind. I remember having that feeling that day, knowing I would never forget what I was experiencing and watching.


  • emily says:

    this is wierd to think that I was at Samford…in Economics class, a few feet from the divinity school. I definatly didn’t go to convo after I got back to my apartment and watched the news.

  • Megs says:

    i had just woken up for my 9:15 sociology class. As soon as my light came on, one of my suitemates started knocking on my door. She must have been watching for someone else to wake up. i’ll never forget how insane it sounded to me when she told me that our country was under attack. For a moment, i wasn’t sure if i was actually awake or not.

    The rest of the day was a blur of disbelief and community – most of us staring in shock at the news and video footage. Frantic phone calls were made to loved ones in the affected areas . . . lots of waiting . . .

  • Pamela says:

    I was working in Brentwood and after the 1st plane I called my dad in Dallas. He was unemployed at the time and I knew he would have the news on. I was on the phone with him and heard the news reporter in the background when the 2nd plane hit. My dad cried. I cried. It was at that very moment that the nation knew something horrible was happening.

    It was probably around that time that someone in our office found a live news feed on the computers. I will never forget having to explain that day to my children. They were old enough to “discuss” some pieces of it in school (at least the older ones were). 5 and 6 (1st and 2nd grade). Sad how there is no way to shield them from things like this when it is all over the media (radio, TV, newspaper). If they hadn’t discussed it as a group there is no telling what they would have been telling each other. Very sad.

    My oldest (again, 6 years at the time) first question was are they going to re-build those buildings. He had no way to comprehend the magnitude of what was happening.

  • Jana Kelley says:

    It was my first month of teaching and I was sitting in my classroom with 25 sixth graders. The vice principle came around and quietly told us what was going on. We were then told not to tell any of our students and try to go on with our day as normal. As normal, really?
    When the students came back from their PE class the news had gotten around to them. I then spent the next hour talking with the students about why I didn’t tell them and what this means for our future.
    I felt like a 12 year old talking to 12 year olds. I won’t forget it.

  • liturgicsjay says:

    I was in college and had just moved back into my parents’ house. Dad came in and woke me up, turned the TV on and immediately told me we were under attack. It was freaky. My then fiancee and I were scheduled to honeymoon in NYC three months later.

    I arrived on campus at school and everyone was glued to the TV in the JBK. By 9:30 I was in class and the teacher brushed it off like it was nothing. It was a strange, strange day.

  • Ashley says:

    alone in our new little house wondering what in the world was going on. I remember waking up that night and recognizing the strange quietness as no planes were in the air. For the first time in my life the whole world felt so unsafe.

  • Amy Wright says:

    I was in my apartment sleeping. Jay called to tell me that a plane had flown into the first tower. I turned on the t.v. in time to see the second plane hit. My roommates and I just stared in horror. It was interesting to have been in NYC a couple of years earlier and then to go a couple of months after the attack. Everyone in the city seemed to go from “move out of my way” to “hello, how are you.”

  • Craig Webb says:

    I was a pastor in Maui so it was early morning. A fellow pastor called me at 4:30 a.m. and told me to turn on the TV. It was a terrible way to wake up.

  • Heather says:

    I was also in college in PA, only two hours from the city. I went to my first class without knowing what was happening. A few students had some sketchy details, but the possibility that this could be big didn’t even cross my mind, and class went on normally. Then I had to go to the bookstore to buy something, and they had TVs on and I realized just what was going on. I went to my next class, and the professor offered us the chance to discuss what was happening or to just go. Since we were in one of the few rooms without TV or Internet access, we all voted to go home. The rest of the day was spent watching TV, switching channels when you got tired of the footage from one network. We also visited the chapel on campus.

    The one really distict memory I have from that day was how blue the sky was and how under different circumstances it would have been a gorgeous fall day. It was unreal that something so dramatic could be happening so close to us. Even now every time I see a cloudless sky I remember.

  • Carrie says:

    Married for about 35 days and sitting in my cubicle at work. Someone sent a company-wide email that said “Planes have just crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.” The idea of anything sinister was so far from my immediate suspicions that I first thought “Wow, someone at air traffic control just got fired.” Within an hour several employees who lived close by had gone home to grab portable TVs and we watched the towers fall while I tried to get in contact with my hubby, who was in one of the top 5 targets in the nation, and furiously refreshed CNN.com every minute or two. The most surreal thing I remember afterward was the first time I saw a plane fly over again after they were absent from the skies for so long; I couldn’t imagine how anyone could be willing to be on a plane.

  • Hoppe says:

    On a plane.

    We landed and were hustled out of the airport, which they were effectively shutting down. We had no idea what was going on. None of the airport employees would say anything. We were the only people in the concourse. We hustled out to the car just to find out what was going on. That’s when the phone messages from my wife started rolling in. I still think about the pilots of my plane and how they must have found out, and what they must have felt, still in the air.

  • Christopher Lake says:

    I was living in Silver Spring, Maryland (about 35 minutes from D.C.) when I woke up and, not knowing that anything was happening, went from my bedroom to the living room, turned on the TV, and saw the news. I called my girlfriend at the time (in Australia), and we shared our shock and sadness over the phone.

    More than any of those details though, I think about how, on Sept. 11, 2001, I was still dead in my sins, and without God and without hope in the world. The events of Sept. 11 didn’t change that for me (a sign of just how hardened my heart was toward God). I mourn for the people who died on that day. I hope that as many of them as possible, in God’s will, knew Him in a saving way. I thank God, in humility, that He allowed me to outlive my rebellion against Him. I didn’t deserve such mercy from Him, on Sept 11, or any other day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.