Advice and thought leadership from our experts.

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?

Today marks the 18th anniversary of 9/11! It is hard to believe that 18 years has already passed since this devastating tragedy! Today we want to commemorate the lives that were lost on 9/11 and also the lives that were changed forever because of it! Below are stories from our staff of when and where they were the day the world stopped turning!

“I was on my way to a Milliken plant up in Marietta, SC. Along the way, I had to stop at a Verizon store for a phone repair. The customer service representative mentioned something about a plane flying into the World Trade Center Towers in NY. My first reaction was disbelief, but once I got back into my car the radio stations were full of information – I vividly remember very somber discussions on every station. When I got up to Marietta, I called my client and we agreed on postponing our meeting. Due to this, I promptly went into a small hardware store – sat down on a stool beside the store owner and watched all the madness unfold on a very old TV! I recall being shocked and fearful of the world and my children who were at a very young age. My company had representatives flying on a daily basis. The message to all of us was to get home any way you can and to not travel until further authorized. I was blessed and thankful that I was simply in Travelers Rest, SC that horrific day. “ – Drew Brown, VP of Sales and Marketing

“I was working for the Girl Scouts and was at a United Way campaign kickoff in Pickens where WYFF’s Carole Goldsmith was speaking. I got back in my car and it was all over the radio. I went home for lunch and watched the replaying of the towers collapsing over and over. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before to see those airplanes fly into the Twin Towers and bring all that steel down with all of those people who were just going to work like any other day. I’ll never forget those images.” – Karen Truesdale, VP of Administration

“I was in Charlotte at my condo working on my marketing report and watching the Today Show. Everything unfolded in front of my eyes. I called my mom who was alone in Virginia and told her to turn the TV – we told each other that we loved each other. After that I raced into work – I did not want to be alone. I watched it with co-workers on the television at work. I worked in healthcare at the time and the hospital was in urgent mode. With Charlotte being one of the largest financial markets in the US at the time, everyone was uneasy. Detailed emails from friends of friends in New York flooded in – bringing this horrific day very close to home.” – Katherine Ericson, Marketing and IT Recruiter

“I was at Godshall when I heard that a plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers.  I was scheduled to fly to NY to visit my sister in 2 days and I selfishly thought “Oh no, I bet my flight will be cancelled.” I did not remotely grasp what this “plane crash” meant at the time. I went to the break room to watch the TV and my heart sank with each minute of the broadcast. To learn this was not an accidental plane crash, but a horrendous act of terrorism, it suddenly hit me that those towers were filled with thousands of innocent people. Someone’s mother, father, child, co-worker and friend were killed that day. The shock, disbelief and fear were surreal. From that day forward, I begin to pray for the safety of our country and those families affected, not just those in my immediate life. It put all life’s petty complaints in perspective.” – Cathy Boggs – Professional Recruiter

“I was in my 6th grade homeroom class when I received news about the 9/11 attack. I remember my teachers all having a horrified look on their faces, but I had no idea why. My teacher wouldn’t let us watch the news probably trying to reduce as much panic as possible. At that age, I wasn’t able to grasp just how huge of an impact this attack was and would be for our families and for this country. I remember coming home after school and seeing my mom on her knees in our living room floor crying. We watched the news for the next several hours in silence and shock. My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones in the attack and also in the war that followed. May we never forget!” – Shawn Kinard – Recruiting and Branding Specialist

I was in the office with my team.  The phones literally stopped ringing and things got very quiet. Once we learned what had happened, we watched the TV together and saw the second plane hit the tower.  It truly was surreal. I think we all had an immediate desire to tell everyone we love that we love them.  I’m not sure that I really processed at the time the impact and what it would mean to our country for many years to come.” – Julie Brown, Owner

 We had just moved into a new building with the public accounting firm I worked for.  I heard the news while listening to the Today Show.  I started racing through the office to try to find our TV and watch.  Several other co-workers joined me.  We sat there for hours in shock and disbelief.  Stunned that something of this magnitude could happen at this day and time.  The rest of the day we all went through the motions but our hearts were with those directly affected by the tragedy.   Then I witnessed America coming together and being united following the attack.  That night we were scheduled to have my first meeting as President for the Junior League of Greenville.  We decided quickly to postpone that meeting and allow everyone to be at home with their families.  A week later we held a special memorial candlelight service to honor the 9/11 victims.  It was truly a very special memory that I will always treasure.” – Courtney Thomas, Professional Recruiter

“I was at home that day and remember my brother calling me to come look at the TV. It was right after the first plane had crashed into the tower. I remember calling my mom at work to tell her what was happening. I watched in shock as they continued to show images of the second tower and the video of people running the streets in shock. It was so surreal, and I remember the sadness I felt for all of those people and kept saying over and over how could this happen. It was terrifying to learn that this was an intentional act on our country. I will never forget that day and the impact it has made on our nation.”Wendy Blye, Healthcare and Insurance Recruiter

 “It was a beautiful morning and the sky was so blue.  The air had a certain crispness that felt like the beginning of fall.  I worked for the Greater Roanoke Chamber of Commerce at the time and was in a Workforce Development meeting for the school districts.   All of the Superintendents and Leadership for the surrounding counties were there. One by one, beepers started going off and people began to excuse themselves.  When they all came back to the room, it was clear something terrible had occurred. My mom was a nurse at the local hospital.  They were given the order to prepare for patients to be flown in for care.  We were seemingly so far from DC.  That was when it really hit me.  Watching the family members on TV holding pictures and pleading to find their loved ones was so hard to watch.  The next day I was leaving for work and found my father-in-law on my front porch hanging a huge American flag.  In the midst of such pain, it was so moving to see the resurgence of American pride across the nation. “ – Sara Thompson, Healthcare and Insurance Recruiter

 “I was a Senior in college at James Madison University in Virginia. I was in a marketing class with about 30 other students and someone came to the door to get our professor’s attention. Without telling us what was going on, the professor instructed us to leave class and suggested we move to an auditorium where they were broadcasting the news. I got to a room where there was a live feed just in time to see the second plane hit. It honestly didn’t seem real. We went from thinking it was an accident to realizing that we were under attack. The crash near the pentagon was just a couple of hours away, and my sister working within a few miles of that incident. I had many friends with family in NY, and I clearly remember them not being able to get through to anyone on their cell phones. It was frightening, confusing, and terribly sad all at once.” John Riddle, Manufacturing and Engineering Recruiter

“I had just started my sophomore year at American University in Washington, DC. Every morning I would get ready for class with the TV on merely for background noise. September 11, 2001 – breaking news. I sat there without words as I watched the 2nd plane hit the World Trade Center. Fear rushed over me knowing that the majority of my family works in the city. I was scared for them and everyone else stuck there. About an hour later, more breaking news. A plane had hit The Pentagon. This was only 6 miles away from campus. We were 4 miles from The White House. Sirens filled the streets. Classes were cancelled and the school was on lockdown. Rumors flew – what if they went after a school? Would it be THE American University? It was a scary day. A sad day. A day of loss. And a day that we will never forget.” Celia Blitzer, Office Manager

Written by: Staff at Godshall Professional Recruiting