9/11 20th Anniversary- Where Were You When Our Country was Attacked, the Twin Towers Fell and America was Changed Forever?

Nurses General Nursing


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Guest 1152923

301 Posts

I was working as a staff RN in Cardiac Surgery (CVOR) at a Midwestern hospital when the tragic news came over the break room TV.


2,220 Posts

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

I was in bed when my husband got a call from a co-worker telling us to turn on the TV, we were in shock. He had to go to work but I was glued to the TV that day. It was so sad and disturbing that this could happen to our people and homeland.

I hope we never forget the sacrifices made that day by the firefighters, police, paramedics etc, and by ordinary people who died attempting to save others. I hope we never forget how fragile life is, and how fragile our freedom is. God bless America!!



Specializes in Home Health, PDN, LTC, subacute.

Jury duty. We were filling out a 20 page questionnaire about us (it was a death penalty case) when someone came in and said we were under attack. We couldn’t leave until we filled it out.  A month later I had to go before the judge, the defendant and the prosecutor and answer questions about what I filled out that day ?

Bella ' s mimi

18 Posts

I was at work as administrator at a level IV rest home. We were all down in the kitchen/dining room. When we heard of the first attack on the radio.We went to put the Tv on as the second attack happened. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

3,887 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis.

I was working ICU, nights, but had to stay over for a meeting. I was at the nurses station, having just gotten a call that my beloved grandmother was actively dying, and I needed to come now (to my hometown 200 miles away). When I hung up, a patient family member came running out and gave the news. Staff went into patient rooms to watch the hell unfolding. I left right after the 2nd tower was hit. That day I lost my sense of security in 2 ways...the grandma who always had a hug and the right words when things weren't right, and of course, learning about hatred that can lurk and attack from anywhere, showing us that we're never really safe. Other than the day my dad died (a few years later), it's the worst day of my life that I can remember. We should never forget!

Today, as I watch the coverage, I can remember ever detail like it was yesterday. I still cry over all of the details

At the time I was in law enforcement. Was off that day, had the TV on for noise and watched the whole thing. Cell service was down, couldn't get through to my department. Got kitted up and went into work. So did most everyone else who was off that day. We doubled up and patrolled, stopping at the fire hall for coffee and watching their big screen TV. All of us brave-facing the horror we were seeing.

I still cry like a hurt and lost child when I watch footage from that day.



1,592 Posts

I was in a completely different profession and was in a class.  The owner of the school came in and told us a plane crashed into the Workd Trade Center.  It didn’t really hit me what happened.  Then we took a break and everyone’s phones started ringing.  Then the owner came back and told us the towers had collapsed and he started crying.  It really hit at that point.

I remember driving home on the interstate at rush hour but I was the only vehicle on it.  I drove into my town and everything was closed.  It wasn’t until I got home at 6pm and turned on the tv did I truly see for the first time what happened.  I cried and called my mom.  Flight 93 crashed close to my hometown.

20 years later and I still cry every Sept 11th.  My brother worked in Philly in finance at the time and a lot of the people he dealt with in New York on a daily basis died.  It devastated him for a long time.

Specializes in Primary Care, Military.

Hovering half-asleep over my desk in Algebra II class in high school. Found out in the next class, where we discussed the situation openly with the teacher, and some students were given the option to call home from the office if they had family that might be impacted. Many of my classmates and several friends enlisted in the military post-high school. I was inspired to join them as an Army RN, a decision reinforced later by attending one of their funerals. 

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

108 Articles; 9,984 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

It was my second day of work as an MDS nurse for a local nursing home. My sister, who lived with me at the time, had awakened me yelling “Come out and watch this, the World Trade Center’s on fire, the Pentagon’s on fire, they think we’re under attack!” I ran into the living room just in time to see the first tower collapse. All of the kids had stayed home from school, transfixed by the images on the TV. They’d seen the second plane crash into the WTC and were still crying. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing—how could those towers just crumble like that? And who would fly planes into buildings in the first place?

It was after 1000 that I finally dragged myself away from the TV and went to work. Every TV in the facility was turned to a news station where we could see the planes fly into the Twin Towers over and over again. We had a resident who was a Pearl Harbor survivor, and he got upset enough that he had an MI right then and there. They were bundling him into an ambulance as I pulled into the parking lot. 

The facility itself was in chaos. We managers tried going around turning off the TVs, but as soon as we turned off one someone would put it right back on. We learned later about United Airlines Flight 93 crashing into a field, it was assumed that the plane had been aimed at the Capitol or the White House. It felt like the end of the world. I went home that night and hugged my family tighter than usual. 

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years already. In many ways it feels like it happened only a few months ago. I’ll never, ever forget.


1,007 Posts

I was working in a different profession completely, 8 months pregnant with my first child. I’d heard snippets of conversation and my mom called and asked if I’d heard about it. I’d been to New York in high school, including the Twin Towers, and had loved that trip, so she knew New York held a special place in my heart. A coworker ran home and brought a TV to set in the break room so we could watch. I couldn’t get my mind to comprehend the towers being gone, just completely gone. I remember looking down at my belly, sobbing, apologizing, feeling guilty for bringing my son into this insanity, knowing he’d never know the same world I grew up in.  It’s also my aunt’s birthday, and for the first time in several years, the ENTIRE family got together in the middle of the week to be together, even my teenage cousins who were always at work or sports or just with friends. I just felt so helpless, so heartbroken, so overwhelmed. Fast forward 20 years, and my son is now in the Army, fulfilling his lifelong dream. 

Orca, ADN, ASN, RN

2,066 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC.

I was working night shift in a prison medical unit. I heard the first stories from the incoming day shift. One person said that the World Trade Center was hit, while another said the Pentagon. At first I was wondering how one could be confused for the other. I watched the news coverage for about four hours after I got home.

My frame of reference was the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. I was four months out of nursing school, and I heard the explosion outside my apartment. Then I got the call that no medical professional wants to get: My hospital activating the disaster plan and calling in all off duty personnel. That was pretty much my introduction to nursing. The death of a good friend was Count 7 against Timothy McVeigh, and our chief psychiatrist did McVeigh's pre-trial assessment.


1 Article; 198 Posts

Specializes in nursing ethics.

I was in Amsterdam on vacation.  I overheard a man talk about it. There were no American newspapers to read or Americans to ask.  Dutch people were sympathetic.  I worried and womdered when I could fly home. My ticket was for 9/11

Took me a week for a flight. But I still enjoyed my favorite European city anyway.  I learned the details when I returned and I blame Pres Bush for not preventing this!

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