SAN ANGELO, Texas — It’s been 21 years since the tragedy struck the United States and changed the course of a nation forever. It is a day of pain, hurt and suffering. As time passed, the bad turned to content, and eventually good in some ways. Those responsible were brought to the light of justice.

Despite it being over two decades ago, the simple, yet complicated question is asked constantly. So for today, Sept. 11, 2022, we asked the decade-old question to our weekend staff, “Where were you on 9/11?” Below are some of their responses.

Isabel Albritton

Isabel Albritton, Weekend Anchor

I was in the 2nd grade when 9/11 happened. At first we did not know what had occurred, but we had an early release that day. As a kid, we were thinking maybe there was a half day we just didn’t know about. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized we didn’t leave school early for a good reason. I remember sitting in front of the tv all day as we watched and waited for updates. We didn’t know what this meant. Was this the only attack or should we be prepared for what was to come? I was scared. Mostly because I could see the fear in my mom’s face. I couldn’t imagine the thoughts going through her head as I asked questions. As we continued to watch the news, I remember seeing President Bush on the screen as he addressed the nation on what had just happened. Although my mom couldn’t answer my questions at that time, there was something about listening to the president that made me feel we, as a country, were going to be okay.

Kris Boone

Kris Boone, Chief Meteorologist

As a sophomore in high school, I remember the events of 9/11 and they remain nearly as vivid as that day. We had just arrived in Coach Osborne’s world history class. Our teacher from another class came in a few minutes into class. We turned on the television but continued with our test. The entire class watched as the second plane hit the other tower. Until that moment, there was tons of questions and confusion, hoping and thinking that we were watching the results of a tragic accident. The second plane removed those hopes and cemented terrible reality. The rest of the day was spent shuffling from class to class, from television screen to television. It’s Texas, every extracurricular activity was canceling that afternoon, except football. That practice was spent hearing the roar of T-38s from Sheppard Air Force Base flying circles over Wichita Falls. The impact of that day changed the course of my life as both my brother and I were enlisting into military service within a few years.

Dusty Ellis

Dusty Ellis, Digital Content Producer

On Sept. 11, 2001, I wasn’t even a year old yet but I remember growing up with the aftermath and hearing the stories of my parents. My mother had just walked into class and everyone’s eyes had been glued to the television, she watched the second tower go down. I remember her face whenever she would tell me this story and remnants of the fear and pain that day brought still lingered in her expression. Growing up I was told how the world was rapidly changing around me and every year leading up to Sept. 11, my class would watch as the towers fell and listen to recordings of the lives lost that day and are reminded of the sacrifice of first responders and servicemen and women that allowed us to be in that classroom so many years after. It left the next generation a reminder to ‘Never Forget’; never forget to love, never forget to live, and never take one second of your life for granted because everything can change in an instant.

Jeff Caldwell

Jeff Caldwell, Digital Producer

I heard about the first plane hitting the North Tower at the World Trade Center when I arrived at my job at a local print shop on the morning of September 11, 2001. The internet was not yet the de facto method of getting new information that it is today, so my coworkers and I tried to get the business of the day done while listening to updates on the radio. I spent most of the morning standing at a light table proofing designs as more and more of my coworkers gathered around to hear the latest about what was happening in Manhattan.

Work came to a complete standstill as anchors delivered news of a second plane striking the South Tower and preliminary reports of possible attacks on Washington D.C. Fear and disbelief coursed through the office as sometimes conflicting reports about the attacks were delivered in measured tones. People cried when the anchors said that the first tower, then the second tower had collapsed.

Rescue and recovery efforts were beginning by the time I went home for lunch. I spent the hour with my brother, both of us speechless as footage of the planes striking the towers, the collapse of both buildings, and terrified New Yorkers running from debris clouds played on the TV news. Our lunch sat cold and uneaten.
Late that evening my oldest friend, who had moved to Manhattan a year before the attacks called me to let me know he was okay and described the seemingly endless procession of people walking uptown past his apartment window, away from the World Trade Center.

Everything changed after that day.

Chad Miller

Myself, I was only a tiny little three-month-old on that day. When I asked my parents years ago about it, my mother recalls me being in her arms in our home in Lago Vista. She was watching her shows when it came across the news. My grandparents recall me spending that night with them. For my father, he recalls being at lunch when it came across the TVs and he remembers him and his crew of workers being told to go home early.

Such as some of my co-workers, I was not old enough to remember how it made me feel, but growing up in the aftermath; it taught me what those towers represented and the impact they had when they fell. It helped me understand the impact that our first responders represented in a time of crisis. It also taught me that there can be a time, even if it’s a short time, when people of completely different backgrounds and opinions can set aside their differences, come together and unite.

Today is a day that we should never forget.