10th Anniversary of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Where were you when you heard the news ten years ago that the United States was under attack? What were your thoughts? What do you think now?

The Rohrbach Library is looking for your thoughts and memories to share online and on displays in the building this September for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Click on the “leave a comment” link above and then scroll to the bottom of the comments section to add your own memories and join in the conversation. If you don’t want us to use your comments in our displays, please let us know.

Keep watching our The More You Know blog for upcoming events related to the 9/11 Anniversary.

For those looking for some resources as they think back in time, check out the following:

  • NBC New York 9/11 Anniversary site
  • Do a search for 9/11 in ebrary for tons of great e-book resources! (requires valid login)
  • Check out our databases for articles and research surrounding the 9/11 attacks (requires valid login)
  • Check out Films on Demand for some interesting film segments, including Living After 9/11Voices of 9/11Patriotism and the Press Following 9/11,  and even Limited Speech after 9-11 (requires valid login)

Need even more resources? Contact a librarian at 610-683-4165 or check out the Library’s Web site for more ways to contact a librarian.

For more information on the 9/11 displays, please contact professor Bruce Jensen at rjensen@kutztown.edu.

26 Responses to “10th Anniversary of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks”


  1. 1 Karen Wanamaker June 30, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I remember being at the Reference/Research Help Desk at the Rohrbach Library. I had a few people asking me if I knew what was going on, so I sat there for the next hour or so trying to bring in the live feeds from the news outlets. We’ve come so far in technology…I wonder how much more we would have seen in this age of smart phones and Facebook and Twitter.

    I also remember the sinking feeling I had in my stomach when I heard about the plane going down in Somerset County, PA. I’m from near Johnstown, so I called home and heard that they were shutting down the airport and some roads. Quite a tense time. Our world will never be the same after that day.

  2. 2 Jonathan Imber Shaw July 14, 2011 at 8:57 am

    I was beginning my first semester of PhD studies at NYU in lower Manhattan. I was living in Philly and commuting up, and that morning I caught a ride halfway with my wife, who was working in Trenton (ah, the tri-metropolitan life…). When we got to her office, her boss told us that a plane had just flown into the WTC. I thought, “Man, the trains are going to be a mess…” and headed over to Trenton station to catch Jersey Transit into the city.

    When I got to the station, there was a lot of tension and confusion. The station staff had wheeled a couple of televisions out onto the concourse, and I gathered with some fellow travelers. We watched the second plane hit its tower. People were weeping. A man standing next to me, in an Aerosmith t-shirt and hi-tops, said, “It’s going to be war.” I said, “With who? That’s not a state-sponsored action. It’s terrorism.” We were both right.

    I caught a bus back to my wife’s office and we sped down to Philly to get our toddling daughter from her daycare center, located next to City Hall. The airwaves were full of panic and confused accounts. The Pentagon had been struck (true), there were fires on the DC Mall (false), the Towers had collapsed (true), there was an explosion outside the State Department (false). We got into town and ran into Center City, expecting every car to explode, every Federal building to burst into flames. I had never been that scared.

    Classes at NYU were suspended for the week. When I went back up the following Tuesday, the trains were silent. I think we all figured that it was just a matter of time until one was bombed in the tunnel. I had nightmare visions of flame and riverwater and tried to figure out how I would rather die. I think we were all a little crazy. Many of my professors were living out of their offices–John Guillory (a very snappy dresser) looked like he’d worn the same shirt for days, and at the beginning of class, he hung his head over his text and said, “I just want to teach. I need to concentrate on something that makes sense to me.” A fellow student asked that we close the windows. The air in lower Manhattan was rank. It smelled like burned death. We read Roman Jakobson and tried to convince ourselves that his arguments about the poetical nature of language could accommodate our collective loss of words.

    Jonathan Imber Shaw
    KU English Department

  3. 3 Rosalie Evans July 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    On September 11, 2011 I was sitting in my 8th grade history class when the news about the terrorist attacks came in. The home economics teacher came rushing into my classroom out of breath stating that the towers are coming down. In 8th grade we didn’t have much knowledge of what this meant for our country. All we knew at the time was that there were twin towers in NY. The history teacher turned on the television and we watched one of the worse days in history live on television- a real life history lesson.

  4. 4 La Profa July 16, 2011 at 10:07 am

    What sticks in my mind post 9/11 are the cars flying little American flags from their antennas. Within weeks the omnipresent car flag would be de rigueur from sea to shining sea.
    The forward-thinking entrepreneurs who imported those millions of flags from China in the months that followed (just google “Sweatshop Stars and Stripes” for a good read from a 2001 issue of _Salon_) were merely the tip of a very long spear when it came to turning a buck off the attacks. Profitable industries, and lucrative wars, have arisen and capitalized on our post-9/11 patriotism, fears, and loathing. And funding here at home for “extras”–you know, luxury items such as schools and libraries–has dwindled. Those wars have cost so many lives, so much money.
    We who grew up on dystopian fiction and films are hyperaware of the way phrases like “homeland security” and “USA PATRIOT Act” don’t exactly glide off our tongues. We felt like characters in _1984_ when we learned our government was creating a new department called Homeland Security; felt we were extras in _Brazil_ when that DHS ignited Orange Alerts and advised us to stock up on duct tape to seal our homes against chemical attacks.
    The first Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, who now gets $75,000/month from the natural gas industry to spread the news that gas drilling is good for the environment and doesn’t harm anyone’s well water (which is just naturally flammable, Mr. Ridge says), went directly to the Board of Directors of Home Depot after completing his ‘service’ to our ‘homeland.’ Telling us to save ourselves with duct tape. Weird but true–like a lot of things that have happened around the homeland since 9/11. The country has changed in some mind-boggling ways.

  5. 5 rohrientation July 20, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I had a habit of listening to news each day when I woke up. That morning, for some reason, instead of turning on the radio I went up hiking. We were living on the West Coast so the attacks had already happened before I stepped out the door, but as I walked up the trail I was oblivious. It was peaceful at the top; I sat and read, never wondering why there weren’t airplanes crowding the normally busy skies of Los Angeles.
    On the walk home I stopped in a supermarket. People there seemed somehow different. And there was no Muzak. Instead voices on the store’s sound system were saying confusing things that I couldn’t make out. At the register I asked the cashier what was going on.
    “Oh, man! You ain’t heard?” He turned to the bagger. “He ain’t even heard!” Back to me. “They attacked New York, man! Thousands of people dead!”
    Once I got home it didn’t take long to catch up with the news. By late afternoon I’d seen some of the TV clips a half-dozen times. Phone calls, emails…just sitting at the computer and in front of the TV I could already sense a change in people. I remembered something that happened 20 years earlier when US hostages were taken in Iran: there was a vicious rash of hatred and suspicion directed at people here who had nothing to do with the hostage crisis, nothing to do with Iran. I saw emails and words on the web in those early hours of 9/11 that made me think such things might happen again.
    Human nature, I guess. We’re good at knowing when we’ve been wronged. We’re just pretty lousy sometimes at figuring out who’s really responsible and where to seek vengeance. Sadly there’s never a shortage of clever, powerful people who know how to manipulate that weakness in us.
    We lived a block off Hollywood Boulevard. On any night those glowing sidewalks of the Walk of Fame are packed with tourists and junkies. Not that night. We walked from La Brea all the way to Vine and back. There must have been a few other people out, there may have been a couple shops lit up, but I can’t picture them. All I remember is a darkened ghost town.
    Some visiting student friends had been scheduled to fly home across the Pacific the next morning. That didn’t happen. Passenger flights were grounded for days, and after that schedules were jumbled. So we got to spend a little more time with them; they had an amazing chance to see the US change very quickly.

  6. 6 Anne Manmiller July 20, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I was working as the secretary at a small Catholic elementary school and I started getting calls from parents telling me what they were seeing on tv and hearing on the radio. The fifth grade teacher turned on her classroom tv and I watched as the one tower fell. I remember her saying, “Class you are witnessing history.” We got all kinds of reports, some accurate, some not so much. I interrupted the principal who was in a meeting to tell him of the events taking place in America. Shortly after the plane went down in Pennsylvania I started getting calls from the parents wanting to pick up their children as they wanted to be together in case the attacks kept coming. The most touching moment for me was when the first grade teacher walked down one of her students to meet his parents in my office and he looked at her and said, “Mrs. N. could we say the goodbye prayer?” and she replied with tears in her eyes, “Yes, I think that would be very appropriate today.” The day will always be seared in my memory and I felt very happy that I worked at an institution where prayer was encouraged because we needed it that day. The first grade teacher later told me that she had a relative who worked in one of the towers but was not in the building when the planes hit. I have found it amazing that no matter who I speak to they know someone who worked in the Twin Towers and whether they lived or died.

  7. 7 Andrea Mitnick July 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I was teaching in my department of Communication and Theatre here on campus when suddenly a former student of mine came flying around the corner of the hall and into the departmental office shouting my name. She was directed to my classroom where she unapologetically burst in and gave me a huge hug. I had no idea what was going on, but she had heard that planes were crashing into the Trade towers and knew that I had been working with Merrill Lynch as a consultant and spent a good bit of time on the 23rd floor of the North Tower working in their corporate headquarters. She also knew I had spent many evenings sleeping in the Marriott housed at the base of the tower. I excused myself from class and went with Toni (my student) down to the office housing Electronic Media where a large TV was on to watch as the Towers suffered more hits, and then began that long agonizing crumble – ashes to ashes dust to dust. As we stood there with a few others, dumbfounded, i was thankful I was not there that morning, thankful for such a friend as Toni who cared so deeply about my welfare, and reminded of all the people around the world for whom this sort of madness had been, or is, almost an everyday occurrence: northern Ireland, Iraq, Israel, The West bank, and now, as I write this, pristine Norway. May there be peace someday.

  8. 8 Deana Waydelich July 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I was on my way to classes at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I had just dropped my son off at my sister’s house to watch while I was at school. I was listening to the radio when one of the DJ’s said they just got a call and had to confirm what they were told. She came back to the mic at said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. At first I thought that it was a problem with the plane and it crashed because it had lost control. All the way to school on my short drive they were talking about it. I walked from my car into the student union and stopped by the media room to see what the new had on it. That is when the second plane hit. I don’t remember sitting down but as I watched the screen people started to enter the darken room and watch. No sounds were made as we all stared at the screen. I felt the wetness of tears fall down my cheek. For hours I sat there watching as the World Trade Centers fell, the Pentagon pictures were released, and them staying the another flight was unaccounted for. For days I watched the news, heard the report, listened to President Bush give his speech. What stuck with me most from his speech, “We will not tier, We will not falter and We will not fail.”
    I am not an emotional person, but even 10 years has not dulled the pain and heart ache I still feel when I talk about, read about, hear about or watch about the attacks on 9-11.

  9. 9 James Hanley July 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I was at work , head of R&D of a Co. in Fl. , when my wife called ,saying a plain had hit the wtc , being from New York City , I was surprised and asked if the weather was bad , she said no, sunny and clear , I thought that was strange and then she said ” o my God ” another plain hit the other tower .My reply was , we’re at war . That’s what I remember that day .
    I might add I did a youtube video and song for the 10th anniversary , if anyone would like to see my point of view of that day . It’s ” Since nine eleven ” shlushashlu and it will come up first shlushashlu is part of my email , youtube linked it with . I’ll never forget that day peace and love , Jim

  10. 10 Drew Dillard August 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Introductions, Starbucks and the days’ itinerary were passed around as we loaded into the 15-passenger van in front of the Austin Studios on a bright, cloudless morning. A million details to juggle and, as Location Manager, today was my show.
    We were embarking on a scout of potential locations for the motion picture “The Life of David Gale” with esteemed director Alan Parker (Angela’s Ashes, Mississippi Burning, Fame) and a dozen other, mostly British, producers and key crew members. I settled in for the 30 minute drive from Austin to Taylor, double checking the details of our ambitious two-day itinerary. Then I made a mistake.
    Our first stop, The Taylor Café, while being an ideal movie location—sawdust on the floors, layers of BBQ smoke and nicotine on every surface and decades old signage that even the most skilled scenic artist would be challenged to replicate—also had the reputation and appearance of practicing racial segregation—separate entrances, whites on one side of the bar, blacks on the other. Although this anomaly had generated a fair amount of media attention through the years, it had also been well-established that the café’s owner, Vencil Mares, was not racist and the “practice” was little more than a deeply ingrained habit, perpetuated by both the blacks and whites.
    My assumption that this tidbit of information might serve as an interesting trivial talk point could not have been more wrong. The out-of-towners were shocked. They couldn’t believe they were being marched into a place of such barbaric custom and forced to consider patronizing it with thousands of dollars as a location for this motion picture–as if filming there might send a message of approval.
    Back-peddling the best I could, I assured them it wasn’t really what it looked like. But, unfortunately, I’d been to the Taylor Café many times and knew exactly the less-than-subtle image one is confronted with upon opening that screen door. And even though it was still early in the day, I also knew there would be just enough AM “imbibers” to render the experience “real.” The tension in the van grew palpable—a lot of jet-lagged Brits wondering what they’d gotten themselves into.
    We pulled up and began unloading. The success or failure of this scout still squarely on my shoulders, I darted ahead on the off chance there was something I could do to temper the experience and save the day. Opening the door, expecting the worst, what I actually saw could not have thrown me more: roughly a dozen black and white people, completely intermingled, on the same side of the bar–the “white” side of the bar—and all silently staring at something just over the bartender’s head.
    Still focused on my job, I headed toward Mr. Mares to announce our arrival. But as I did, I couldn’t help but remain distracted by whatever arresting image had united everyone’s attention. I glanced up at the TV screen just in time to see the South Tower crumble to the ground.

    Drew Dillard, Austin, TX
    from his upcoming memoir “You Really Should See Someone About That”

  11. 11 Carissa Pokorny-Golden August 22, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I was home in bed on 9/11 recovering from kidney stones when the phone woke me up. A fellow Navy Reservist was calling to ask me if I knew if our unit’s Executive Officer was all right. Confused I asked her why I would know something like that, when she told me to turn on the television. She waited until I turned on the television and I dropped the phone immediately…the Pentagon had been hit by a plane and I watched in horror as people fell from the World Trade Center. When I picked up the phone I was crying…I remember hanging up with my shipmate and dialing my Executive Officer’s number at the Pentagon – I don’t know why I did it…I guess I thought he would answer the phone. He didn’t. Thankfully the concussion (threw him into the wall behind him and under his desk – his office was by the point of impact). He survived but twelve of his office mates were killed. I’ll never forget his telling me later that my wedding gift (a bronze sculpture) was in his office that day – I never received it. I often think about that sculpture and the day our lives as we knew them would change forever. Up until that point I had been in the reserves for eight relatively peaceful quiet years…I was planning on getting out and instead I re-enlisted for four more years. Since then I have seen many of my shipmates mobilized to war zones, some of them have come home while others have not.

  12. 12 Alta August 23, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I had taken a year off between college and grad school and was working in a bank at the time. I remember the morning that it happened was absolutely beautiful. A customer came in and casually stated that a plane hit the WTC. My supervisor and I then turned on the TV in the bank just as the second plane hit. We were in complete shock and immediatey notified the managers in their morning meeting. The managers then started making phone calls frantically to see if their loved ones were ok.

    I think the other thing that stands out in my mind- that night my now husband and I went for a walk in his neighborhood. You could hear CNN from every house as we walked the block. Everyone was captivated, shocked, and trying to understand what was happening.

  13. 13 Rebecca Lawrence August 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I was sitting in the SUB alumni auditorium and we were dismissed early from our Freshman Colloquium art course. Dr Marilyn Stewart was one of the faculty members who made the dismissal announcement. I went back to my boyfriend’s room at University Place and turned on NBC news. We watched the second attack on the WTC as it was happening live and took a picture of the TV screen. The photo is still in our album. The shock and horror stunned all of us as we tried to make sense of the concurrent events. There was plenty of commotion in the dormitory. Later I remember talking to my mother, aunt, and briefly my grandmother about the events as I sat at my desk in my room in Schuylkill Hall. The phone conversation with my grandmother included the last words my grandmother ever spoke to me. 5 days later her battle with cancer ended.

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