It's the question that's often first asked or first told when the subject of the worst terror attack in the nation's history comes up: Where were you? What do you remember most? The Associated Press posted an inquiry on Facebook this week asking people around the world to describe their most vivid memory of Sept. 11, 2001. A sampling of their verbatim responses follows.
Nancy Collins DeBaere, 49, from Longmont, Colo., was planning to attend a career placement conference on Sept. 11.
"i was at home, getting ready to go to a career placement conference that i had been attending that week. as usual, while i was getting ready to go, i was watching NBC news .. the today show. when i turned it on, they were talking about a plane had just hit one of the towers. Katie Couric was speaking ... and they were showing the building burning ... and they were talking about if it was an accident or something else. the next second, the second plane flew into the other building .. on live TV. it was complete shock. and then someone said, "well i guess we know the answer to that question" or something like that. at that second you knew that this was "on purpose" and not an accident. i listened to the radio on the way to the conference and heard about the explosion at the Pentagon ... etc. everyone at the conference was distraught and dumbfounded ... they let us go home. i will never ever forget this.
Adam Culver, 29, from Huntington, W.Va., lived in Bluefield during the attacks.
"Going to class at 10am and everyone who had been in classes since 8am had no idea what was going on, and I had to explain it to them. Also, months later visiting NYC for the first time, not paying attention to where my group was headed, and being startled by the sudden silence as we emerged from the subway a block away from Ground Zero. It was like the traffic wasn't even making noise, and the air felt heavy, and walking around the corner to see that blue.tarp stretched out for what looked like forever, covered in memorials. It was one of the the most humbling experiences of my life."
Tom McCool, 52, was in his hometown of Lafayette, Ind., during the attacks.
"Hearing that a plane hit the second tower and realizing that the first was no accident. All the TVs on campus were on the news and everyone just stood in silence and watched the events unfold. I went to my church and prayed."
Gene Bachman, 34, from Yarmouth, Mass., was living in St. Paul, Minn., on Sept. 11.
"I was at work picking up clients bringing them back to the day program when I turned on the radio, after the first plane hit and I just kept thinkin it was a radio spoof, them my boss called on my cell phone and asked if we had clients in the van to shut off the radio and he explained what had happened,when we got back he had moved a tv into his office and we all took turns goin in all day to see what was happening
Coy Ferrell, 19, from Jeffersonton, Va., remembers the sound of fighter jets.
"I live about 60 miles outside DC on the Virginia side - I was 9 years old on 9/11 - and at least here they had a constant patrol of fighters all throughout the region from soon after the attacks to weeks after the attacks. Whenever I hear a jet fighter I still cringe. I will always remember that.