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ENCORE: APR listeners look back on the 9/11 terror attacks

Pat Duggins

Today marks twenty-two years since the nine eleven terrorist attacks on the United States. Alabama Public Radio reached out to its listeners for their stories from that day, for the twentieth anniversary. There was a flood of responses. Many of these stories were about hearing the news on TV and radio. Still others were in New York City or Washington, D.C. during the attacks. Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack went to ground zero as a first responder to search for victims…

“It’s one thing to see it dimensionally on a TV. But, when you get there, all your senses are aware of what’s going on…smell…sight…taste…feeling,” he recalled.

Pat Duggins

APR listeners heard from other witnesses to the attacks on New York, the Pentagon, and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania…

“This is Heather Elliott in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on nine-eleven. I was working for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court of the United States. And, we were right across the street from the capital which we quickly realized was a potential Target. The court finally was evacuated. After quite a bit of time wondering what was going on and seeing the smoke rising from what we later found out was the Pentagon.”

“I'm Sarah Bryant and I teach for the University of Alabama. I was just out of college and had moved to New York in August of 2001. I lived in Brooklyn and worked as an assistant for book designer in Midtown. I remember that it was a beautiful day. I was riding the train from Brooklyn over the Manhattan Bridge when I heard someone say, 'oh my God.' I looked out and saw that both Towers had been hit. Everyone in the train was silent just staring in shock out of the windows. And I remember bizarrely wondering if people in the lower floors were still working then we plunged back underground and the train didn't see the first station. I didn't know what to do, but go to work. So I got off at 34th Street and walked to the office. My boss is there, the internet was out, we didn't have cell phones. So she and I just need to walk out of the building to see if we could tell what was going on. We were standing in a souvenir shop on 5th Avenue and saw the towers go down on a tiny TV.”

Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack went onto recall how the destruction was wider than just the twin towers.

“Even thought a lot of the buildings did not fall, as tower A and tower B did. Every building within a giant radius was damaged. And, so I think, it was just the overall enormity of the site itself.

Click below to re-hear all of the remembrances from APR listeners like you from the 9/11 terror attacks…

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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