News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Max Jones

August 29, 2011

MAX JONES: 9/11 ‘moments’ still vivid 10 years later

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, Americans are recalling in vivid detail where they were when they first learned of the terrorist attacks.

It is certainly a moment — and a day — I’ll never forget.

I arrived in my office just after 7:30 that morning and was organizing my schedule, paying no attention to the news wires at my fingertips. I was alone until a few minutes past 8 a.m. when colleague Sheila Ter Meer arrived, set a few things on her desk and quickly hustled toward the television in the back of the newsroom.

Odd, I thought to myself. I wondered, “What’s going on?”

I walked from my office toward the TV, which Sheila was now watching intently. She told me that an airplane had struck the World Trade Center, and within moments we were watching the first replays of the second plane hitting the south tower. My reaction was immediate, and most likely no different than other Americans watching and processing those initial images. “This is no accident.”

While those first minutes seemed to move in slow motion, the rest of the day was a blur.

And that’s the way it was, it seems, for lots of people.

The coordinated attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are defining moments of a generation. Whenever the topic of that day comes up, people often share recollections of where they were when they first saw on TV or heard about the commercial airliners striking those iconic buildings on the New York City skyline. It is a highly personal experience no one will ever forget.

As part of our coverage of the upcoming 10-year anniversary of 9/11, the Tribune-Star and Tribstar.com are inviting readers to share their recollections of that moment with us. Just send us a brief message via email to opinion@tribstar.com describing where you were. Or send me a printed letter at the Tribune-Star, P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute IN 47808.

We will compile responses and post them online in coming days and incorporate them into our print edition as well.

I also urge you to watch the brief video we’ve posted to our online edition (www.tribstar.com) featuring people at each of the affected sites where terrorists struck that day. (Just click on the “9/11: Where were you?” link.) These testimonials were produced by the Tribune-Star’s Mark Bennett as he collected information this summer for his upcoming three-part series, “Walking in the Shadows of 9/11,” which will begin Sept. 9 in the Tribune-Star and Tribstar.com.

I’ll write more about Mark’s series in next week’s column.

Max Jones can be reached at (812) 231-4336, or by email at max.jones@tribstar.com.

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