Remembering 9/11

New York on 9/11/2001 from the International Space Station

New York on 9/11/2001 from the International Space Station

Eleven years ago I woke up on a normal morning during my senior year of high school. It would not be a normal day. As my carpool left for school the first tower had fallen but not the second. I remember wondering what the New York skyline would look like if only one tower were to remain. By the time we arrived in the parking lot the radio had informed us that was not a possibility.

Of all my classes the one I remember most was 5th period math. Mr. Putty, our wise teacher had the television off. He stood at the front of the class and said,

"We are leaving the tv off right now, not to ignore the events that are taking place, but to take a breath. To take a pause of the endless coverage of news."

He was right, in all of my other classes we had spent more time glued to the television, to CNN and its endless ticker of information on the bottom of the screen. But during that class we needed a break in the storm, because we all knew that storm would still be going after the bell rang and we stepped back onto the sidewalk. So we did math.

Several personal stories have been posted about where you were when 9/11 happened. The two that struck me the most are from Neil deGrasse Tyson and Frank L. Culbertson. One was in the city, and one was 300 miles above it.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote this article about his family's experience on 9/11.

International Space Station Expedition Three Commander Frank L. Culbertson (Captain, USN Retired), composed this letter on being the only American off the planet on September 11.