With the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11th approaching Saturday, Americans are reflecting on this devastating day when militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks with most remembering this fateful day and where they were when they heard the news.

Samantha Lynne Cole“I was in my 8th-grade health class and just finished a test when the phone rang. The teacher said I was going home. I got my stuff and went to the office. My mom was there and I could tell scared. It was on the TV in the office and I saw why everyone was so silent and in shock. My dad was in NYC working by the United Nations building and we couldn’t get in touch with him until later that night. The stories he tells of that day and what he saw are unbelievable. I will never forget that day.”

Karen Kirsch

“Living in Washington, D.C. at the time and walking amongst all the crowds of people attempting to get home after the Pentagon was hit. All the cell service went out and we couldn’t call anyone. The police were in the street directing traffic.”

Rhonda Canler Kollenborn“At home, about to walk out the door for work. Watched the coverage of the first plane hit. By the time I got to my car, the second one had hit. By the time I got to work, chaos, fear, and total disbelief were the main emotions. I worked at a financial institution that was headquartered on Wall Street. I’ll never forget the feeling of wondering if friends and co-workers were safe, of seeing co-workers’ faces when their phone conversations abruptly ended as the buildings began to collapse, and of finding out that people you had spoken to the day before didn’t make it out.”

Lana Smith“I was driving to Clarksville, Tenn. for work. I heard it on the radio when I got to Russellville. I stopped at my aunt’s office and watched the second tower come down. I had several military wives working in my Clarksville office. I let them leave because Ft. Campbell was locking down the base. We worried there would be more attacks around the country. I found out a week later that our CEO’s son was in the first tower. He was a Vanderbilt grad and it was his first job after graduation. He was a lovely young man.”

Pam Morgan“At Executive Inn in Owensboro for Adult Education training. It was a horrible thing to see. Can not begin to imagine how the people near it felt and those caught in it; how they felt and how afraid they were. We must also never forget the attack on the Pentagon and the brave people who died in the airplane crash in Pennsylvania. They were very brave.”

Kevin Poole“I was in an auditorium at the Ohio State University, starting my first term as a doctoral student. The orientation leader came in to tell us that orientation that day was cancelled and gave us the news. I spent part of the day talking with a new friend from Spain who wanted nothing more than to go back home because she was afraid war was breaking out and she wouldn’t be able to get home; and part of the day glued to the tv to see what exactly was happening.”

Carol Parker“We were at Green River, Utah. We went on to Arches National Park and there were several tour buses of folks from other countries there. Everyone was talking about the terrible terrorist attack.”

David Giesen“At Amtrak. Ended up spending the day working with some of the thousands of people who descended on Chicago looking for assistance. One of the more rewarding days of my career because of the way I was able to assist.”

Lori Lyne Thurston“Opelika Elementary in Auburn, Ala. as a teacher’s assistant. When we heard, it was hard to contain our emotions in front of the kids. Also, I knew my son Brian Thurston who was in the Army, most likely would be going into battle. He reminded me he joined to serve our country.”

Chris Harris“I was working at Flynn Enterprises in Elkton that morning when a co-worker came in and was telling us about the first tower that got hit, then WBVR was turned on over the intercom and we lived each second thereafter through the radio’s reports. Saddening how each year the remembrance of that day is numbed down more and more.”

Taylor Mohon Simpson“I was an 8th grader at Lewisburg School. Principal Paul Mullins came into our classroom and immediately turned on the TV. It was after the first plane had hit, and while we were watching the news coverage, a second plane came crashing into the other tower. And that’s when we all knew that it wasn’t an accident.”

Spencer R achel Dunn“Getting ready for class at WKU. Watched the 2nd plane hit as I was putting my shoes on. Went on to class but they canceled classes for the rest of that day. Went home and watched the news coverage as the events unfolded. It was surreal and heartbreaking.”

Jessica Appling“I was in kindergarten but it wasn’t my day to go so I was at home and I was watching TV and it came across as a breaking news alert.”

Gretchen Foster“It was my senior year. I was walking into school and the teachers had the news on in the cafeteria. We all watched as the second plane hit the tower. I was speechless. I couldn’t comprehend what exactly was happening. All I knew then was this was devastating.”

Racheal Beachy“I was in school 9th grade sitting in history class we heard and turned on tv and watched it, it was a sad scared day that day to see all the looks on their faces.”

Sandie Rosser“I was at Emerson in the break room when I saw it on tv, couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Angela Snoddy“I was in Russellville, Ky. at Mansfield motors getting my airbag changed, my mom was with me to help me with my 3-year-old son and my 4-week-old son, we went to a local restaurant and watched the news there. My oldest son has since then spent 4 years in the Marines and my baby boy is now 20 and serving as a Navy Corpsman. Seems like yesterday when it happened.”

Jama Madison“Working at Adairville School and I just happened to be standing in the front office at the time and there was a TV in the principal’s office.”

Gail Guiling“In law school in Cambridge, Mass. Came out of class at 10 EST. Crowds of students rushing toward the student center in distress and we didn’t know why. Got outside of the student center just in time to see on TV the 2nd tower fall. Saw 2 other students collapse to the ground because they had friends and a fiancee working in that building. A friend’s husband drove me to my car parked at the subway station because there was fear that Boston subways could be a target. The city was silent, no honking horns, everyone just intent on getting quickly and safely home.”

Kathy Stuart“Just got the kids off to school and turned on the news. My husband was in Washington state on a business trip. I was horrified I called him immediately to make sure he was ok. He then had to rent a car and drive home. Scary times for sure”

Brian Rouse“My wife and I were at the Nashville airport about 15 minutes from putting our daughter Madessa Jett on a plane to go to combat training. She had just gotten out of Marine boot camp. Very scary time for this Daddy and Mama.”

Jamie Latham“I was living in Nashville and had just walked into the office which was near the airport at that time. Right as I walked in a friend/coworker told me that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. I honestly didn’t even know what/where that was, but I quickly learned after the next one hit. Then the Pentagon and the other downed plane. They closed our office building as we were so close to the airport and had no idea what might happen next or where. I remember feeling like the rest of the world just stopped that day.”

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