Where were you on 9/11? Jacksonville remembers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Where were you on September 11, 2001? 

Can you recall what you were doing 15 years ago? What  were you wearing? Where were you sitting? Who were you talking to and how you felt?

For most people, that answer is yes. 

To mark the 15-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks we took to the streets of Jacksonville to ask that very question: Where were you on 9/11? 

James Hardwick 

“On 9/11 I was working for Citi Bank and I used to work the early morning shift. About 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. --around that time I was going on my first or second break and I started seeing messages on my phone in the break room. The TV started having alerts on it and then things just progressed from there and we all started realizing what was going on."

"It was really weird—I didn’t know what was going on and first reaction wasn’t like terrorism it was like maybe it was just an accident. And then when the second plane hit and you start realizing it's something.”

"This far away from New York there’s not much you can do but other than just stay in tuned stay informed of what was going on. Of course keep people in your prayers." 

“I feel proud—I love what I do coming from corporate aspect to now being a public servant I definitely feel proud and almost honored to be able to do this especially in light of what happened 15 years ago. A lot of people stepped up and took that path in life that probably never would have, Firefighters, police officers, military.”

Kyle Johnson

"I was at school when it happened but I didn’t hear anything. I think I was in maybe middle school? I got to my grandmother's house where it was on the news and I still didn’t really understand what was going on, it was explained to me but I didn’t understand the severeness of it. Then my mom came to pick me up, and my mom was a teacher, and she explained it to me a little more and she told me that they called all of the teachers into the offices so that they could have a big conference call on what was going on."

"I want to say my mom actually cried when she was explaining it me, not balling but she definitely knew it was bad but I don’t remember talking to my dad about it." 

"I think about it on the day and when it gets close to 9/11. I do take that moment of silence and kind of reflect and think about what happened and now I understand just how bad it was." 

Will Morgan

"I was in the 9th grade and I was In my science class. We moved the desks in the class and we were facing north instead of south. I was in the second row, 4th seat back in a row of five. I don’t think it was when it exactly happened but as soon as I found out I was in my teachers class. I remember being in 4th period science class, it was kind of like a weird feeling in the hallways when we switched classes because we didn’t know. They wanted to wait until we were in our class and that was after the first plane hit—it wasn’t even after the second plane hit. This would’ve been the year that it happened and cell phones were  a new thing and I had just gotten a cell phone and I remember my sister was a senior in high school and she left school to come and get me from my school."

"After that point, once I had left, they were debating on whether to bring in TVs in the classrooms or not. I went to a private school so I think ultimately they did not, but I won't forget being in that room—to the seat. Knowing exactly where I was and not fully grasping it as however old you are -- when you're in the 9th grade but knowing that it was serious to the point where everyone was taking their kids out of school, it was kind of like a mass exodus.

"I remember the classroom in the building, the seat like that kind of mark on history I think the vast majority of people from like the 7th grade up when that happened know exactly where they were exactly when it happened."

"So much has changed just because one incident, the world was shaped from what happened even to this day. The good news is life is outside of just this momentary existence that we have and so we preserve as people, as individuals as families and communities and as a nation and that moment in history is still shaping the world today." 

Norman Bright

"I was at a gas station; it was then called an Exxon. I was working actually." 

“I really went numb, I thought about some relatives, I have a niece who works around the World Trade Center. I have another friend who worked at a xerox corporation and he was a technician and he had just moved out of the World Trade Center maybe two years before.” 

Randy Wyse

"I had actually just gotten off work. I left the fire station and I was at my mother's house. I walked up and she came up and said a plane just flew into the World Trade Center. So, my first thought was that's kind of weird. So I sat down, looked at it and everyone kind of like wow that's really big that's not just a little plane. And at that moment is when the second plane hit Everyone across the nation realized this was not just an accident this is an act of terrorism. We kind of sat there with my mother and watched it for 30-40 minutes. I actually got a phone call from my training academy and asked me 'hey if something happens are you ready to respond and get your gear?' So i got my gear in case anything happened, then I thought about it and I got my kids out of school. We went home and really just sat there in front of the TV the rest of the day."

"I was feeling really shocked initially, but I'll tell you something that really sticks in my mind. To this day, most people do not understand that at that moment when the first building fell what loss of life there was to firefighters. People may of thought well everyone got out but when people are running out, firefighters are running in. So when that building started to fall I was sitting there with my mother, I looked at my mom and I said 'do you realize how many firefighters just got killed?' That's the first thing that popped in my head, knowing the job, and knowing that the firefighters were doing as they were going in the building to get people out and try to extinguish the fire that when it went down there were so many killed. I think when firefighters saw that occur if they were watching on TV Every firefighter realized at that moment that there would be huge loss of life as it relates to first responders."

"Our job has evolved since 9/11 in the areas that nobody would ever imagine. We are chemists, hazmat technicians, structural collapse technicians -- It has really just changed the whole path our department was heading and all the departments in the counter before 9/11. Terrorism is real and and we're equipped to deal with it. "

Bill Schnarr 

"I was in Army Basic training camp. They told us that it happened, we knew that it happened We didn't really see the pictures of it until a couple days later. It was kind of rough time for a new guy to be in the military. As a military guy, if I had to go to war I would go to war." 

Benjamin Cramirez


"I was in Los Angeles, I couldn't believe what had happened. Our captain lost a nephew who went in with 15 people to help the people." 

Richard Ball

"On 9/11 I was actually a contractor at the time and I was at a mobile home getting paid on a job we were doing. I was just stunned, I remember they had it on in the office and I just remember it like it was yesterday I couldn't believe it was happening here. That kind of stuff happened aboard it doesn't happen here I was really kind of blown away by that."

"It just so happened that the first plane had hit and they had the news on in the building. The secretary was watching it and I think she brought it to our attention and then we kind of spent hours there instead of going on to the next job it was really captivating and discouraging. I just cant imagine why, we do so much for everybody why someone would want to do something like that to Americans?" 

Where were you 15 years ago? 


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