I was at the dentist. At 8:50, the dental assistant got a phone call from her husband, who worked in a building next to the WTC. He told her that a plane had hit the North Tower, and that she would hear about it on the news, and he wanted her to know he was okay. At that point we were all puzzling over how a plane could hit such a large building, it had not occurred to us yet that it was intentional. 20 minutes later her husband called back to tell her that there had been another explosion in the South Tower. At that point many people in neighboring buildings (could not see and information was limited) had believed that that explosion was caused by the initial North Tower explosion. That something had flown across and that possibly a boiler blew. I left to go home shortly after, and as soon as I got home, I turned on the TV. Within the 10 minutes or so, the footage of the second plane flying into the South Tower was being broadcast. There was no question of accidents, it was a deliberate attack. Then the Pentagon attack came on, and then flight 93 in PA.
I sat in front of the TV in shock. I went up to the upstairs bathroom, at night we could see the lights from the Towers (though we are about 40 minutes away), and I had some crazy notion that I would see something. But, in the daylight, it was too far to see. I went back to the TV, wondering why I thought I would see anything from my window. I watched until I had to pick my daughter up at school (she was leaving early). It was around lunchtime and when I pulled up to get her there were dozens of students outside frantically trying to call loved ones from cell phones. Of course all cell lines were out. These kids were wandering around crying. Our town did lose several lives. We lost a close friend (in the WTC) and the brother of another friend (on one of the planes).
It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years. The memory of that day is still so vivid. UMBS, your story was chilling and eloquent. Thankfully you are here to tell it.