I know Clarence -- those phones like to spell check for you. Mine does that too.: )
I had gotten to work that morning at 8 AM, nothing of note on NPR's Morning Edition, and prepped for the second day of teaching two students in the fine art of parametric test system troubleshooting. Started class at 9 and taught until 10:30 when we took a break and I went online to see what was going on. A friend almost immediately contacted me and told me that: "Someone has flown a plane into the World Trade Center!" There wasn't time for much by way of details, but I was still thunderstruck by this news.
Still, I had two students, one Taiwanese, one Chinese, to teach about configuration files and calibration techniques, and I somehow managed to do that over the remaining four hours of the course. I let them go early that day, though - my heart really wasn't in it.
I was able to catch up a little bit listening to NPR over lunch and after the class ended around 4 PM. I remember meeting an associate in a corridor and commenting,
"I guess we're at war ... question is, with whom?"
I'm a young kid... I was a sophomore in high school that day. At that time in my life, I had a strong empathetic tie to people, or so it seems to me. I woke up early that morning with a horribly upset stomach (later on, I figured out that it was when a lot of these terrorists were being checked in at the airports). Since I didn't keep breakfast down, I stayed home, and attempted to go back to bed since that's closest to the bathroom.
My mom calls me from work to tell me to turn on the news - she heard that there was an accident with a plane and a building and wanted details. I missed her first call because I cleaning up after being violently sick again. Called her back, and she told me to turn on CNN and tell me what they're saying - she didn't believe a coworker telling her, and her company was a paranoid company and shut off personal internet use the moment that they could. I told her all the details... only to miss the second plane crash because I was again heaving up everything possible.
After that, I was perfectly fine, health wise. Emotionally, I was behaving as if I knew someone there. Surprisingly, the pentagon plane didn't bother me physically (if the other three incidents were actually something that bothered me), even though I had a cousin working in the building. Turned out, he took the day off because it was so gorgeous so that he could ride around on his bike. He most certainly would have died had he gone into work.
I was just getting to work at the print shop I worked at at the time. Everyone had TVs on and hardly anyone was working (NOT usual). I asked what was going on and my friend said, "Somebody bombed the World Trade Center." We watched in disbelief as the second tower was struck and as they both collapsed. A little later today, while everyone was voicing their fears about who was it, why, etc. I specifically remember cynically stating that my biggest fear was that "I just hope Bush doesn't twist this into an excuse to invade Iraq and finish what his daddy couldn't." Hmmm.... I wish I hadn't been right.