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 asking people around the world to describe their most vivid memory of Sept. 11, 2001. A sampling of their verbatim responses follows.
Jennifer Smolen, 35, from Everett, Wash., lived in San Diego at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Received a phone call that morning from my parents back home, telling me to turn on the news. I was living out of state at the time but didn't have cable (nor an antenna) yet. Had to run out to try to buy rabbit ears antenna, and was nearly in tears there and back from the store. This was only after I ran around my apartment packing whatever US Army gear I could gather.... I had just graduated Army basic training a couple months earlier, and kept thinking the next moment, or the next, would bring my call to deploy."
Joe Prostrollo, 54, from Sioux Falls, S.D., was living in Denver at the time of the attacks.
"Working in a television newsroom. When the second plane hit, many of us didn't know if that was live or tape from the first plane hit but a different angle. Control room was screaming--LIVE, LIVE, LIVE. The strangest thing then happened. It got real quiet with no scanners, monitors or anyone talking--just glued to the newsroom monitors."
Jennifer Owsiany, 27, from State College, Pa., was living in Naples, Fla., at the time of the attacks.
"I was a senior in high school. our morning announcements just went off and the TV usually turns black. this time it went straight off and to the news where we saw the towers smoking. we had no idea what was going on. i was in physics class and my teacher said that the towers were built to never fall...and then they fell. i heard of the plane crash in PA and thought about my cousins. next class was english and our teacher would not let us watch. i was so mad. that night we had our band photos taken. i remember hearing on the radio for people to put their lighters in the air, so i took out my car lighter and did that. it was such an ugly day in florida.
Kristen Smith, 30, from Roseburg, Ore.
"I was 19, still living at home with my parents. We live in Oregon, however, my mom was at a business training in Boston. Her coworkers woke me up frantic to know her wherabouts at the time. Her hotel ended up a crime scene, as they thought terrorists had stayed there the night before. They ended up leaving the training early, and because there were no airports really functioning, they rented a car and drove across the country home."
Joshua Hoyos, 18, from Parsippany, N.J.
"I remember being in the 4th grade and sitting in my classroom watching the towers get hit and later come down. My father took my sister and I out of school early and we waited at home for my mother to come home. Beyond that the most vivid memory is that night when my family got in the car and drove through Jersey City and we could see the smoke come out of ground zero. It remains to be the most haunting memory of my life.