9/11: Where were you?

The things we experience play a significant role in shaping our worldview, attitudes and thoughts today. What you can recall from life experience is not quite a carefully archived historical record. Rather, it is often the significant milestones and events that jolted us emotionally and mentally that really form the bigger dots on the landscape of both our individual memory, and on society’s social memory.

Some questions:
1. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Try to recall the exact moment.
2. How did you feel then? How do you feel about it now?
3. Most of you practically grew up with the ‘war on terror’ already in full gear. What are your thoughts on this ‘war on terror’? Did the disaster of 9/11 bring out the best in people?  

23 thoughts on “9/11: Where were you?

  1. 1. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Try to recall the exact moment.

    I was primary 2, mindless, clueless about life.

    2. How did you feel then? How do you feel about it now?

    I think it had no impact on me then but now i think it is a serious issue and something which we have to guard ourselves against.

    3. Most of you practically grew up with the ‘war on terror’ already in full gear. What are your thoughts on this ‘war on terror’? Did the disaster of 9/11 bring out the best in people?

    I think that the war on terror is one which the extremists had their own aims which they want to achieve. The disaster of 9/11 brought Americans together, united together, against the same cause of elimination of terrorism.

    • My Dad told me to watch the news after 9/11 was reported on TV. Then i didn’t feel much about the attack as I didn’t even know what terrorists were! But now I think the attack was extremely cold-blooded. The war on terror was necessary as a deterrent to terrorists, but it did not totally bring out the best in people as the war was fraud with lies and even more killings.

  2. I was a small boy boy when this happened. Guess it didn’t really affect me much. After many years of education, I realised how scary terrorism actually is. The idea of living in fear every single day to the threat of terrorism potential is both frightening and menacing. The only way to combat such attacks is the strengthening of the community to work together against such ugly powers.

  3. I honestly do not remember what happened. Maybe only at night before I saw the news and realised what actually happen. Because we were really young at that time it didn’t really impacted me much at that time since I didn’t really know the consequences of an event of such a scale but now, I’ve realized how important that event was in shaping America and their citizens. Such terrorist attacks on such a large scale was frightening, and besides attacking the World trade centre, another plane actually crashed into the Pentagon, further blowing up the magnitude and scale of such an event.

    Its frightening, thinking about the number of people who have lost their lives or sacrificed them in the act of either saving others or trying to prevent the terrorist from hijacking the plane. Although something positive did come out of it such as being able to realise the heroic acts of people and the firemen and it also united Americans as a country because 9/11 impacted every single one of them, however, it has also injected a widespread fear among the citizens and traumitized them as they realised how such an event might happen again any day any time.

    It did bring about the best among the American citizens but it also showed the ugly side of the terrorists in resorting to such a method to hurt Americans.

  4. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Try to recall the exact moment.
    I was at home and my family gathered, glued onto CNN, watching the first tower collapse. I did not fully understand the extent of the War on Terror and did not understand why people commit such acts. So I remember going to sleep after collapse of first tower.

    How did you feel then? How do you feel about it now?
    Now i understand more deeply the complexties that come with fighting the QWar on Terroe. Terrorists will continue to commit such atrocities as they have a personal drive, which has been driven by teachings of terrorist group leaders.

  5. 1. I cannot remeber exactly where was I and what I was doing on that day.

    2. I thought that it was a tragic event. I still think that it is a tragic event and it has definitely changed the way the world is shaped.

    3. With the recent death of Osama bin Laden – the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist attacks around the world, we seem to be gaining the upper hand in this war against terror. This war is inevitable, due to clashes in religious and political beliefs. Cracking down entirely on terrorist organisations will most likely continue to remain an ideal if the root cause of the hatred in not resolved. Countries, especially USA should make efforts in building strong ties with the volatile Middle East region.

  6. Tivona: I think I was taking a bus home from school. Currently, I feel fear for the unexpected or the unknown. There are things that are hard to unavoidable. ‘War on terror’ aggravates the strain on the relationship that US have with these countries and terrorism is more likened to recur in the future. The 9/11 serves not only as a reminder of terrorism, it shows patriotism and the establishments of new stereotypical judgements on the countries involved (Norway incident).
    Carol: Watching CNA. Back then, it was an unbelievable sight. Currently, it is not predictable where and when such a thing will occur again. ‘War on terror’ was basically anger from the US. The 9/11 did bring out the best in people as many volunteered at the site.

  7. Some questions:
    1. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Try to recall the exact moment.

    I really cannot remember anything at all.

    2. How did you feel then? How do you feel about it now?

    I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t really hit me as real at that time. Now I feel really sorry for the Americans.

    3. Most of you practically grew up with the ‘war on terror’ already in full gear. What are your thoughts on this ‘war on terror’? Did the disaster of 9/11 bring out the best in people?

    I think it’s neccessary. There should be more actions taken to raise awareness and prevent terror attacks. The 9/11 attack didn’t really bring out the best in people because ever since then the Muslims have been discriminated.

  8. 1. I was at home, back from school, I think.

    2. Sorry I didnt even know that it happened. I was unaware. I did not realise the magnitude of the disaster then since I was just an innocent little kid.
    Only in hindsight do we realise the repercussions.

    3. We feel that the US is not the only victim as these terrorists would have their own reasons in conducting this act. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES BACK AROUND.


  9. I was in my room packing my bag for school when my mother suddenly got up and turned on the television. At first I thought it was a movie. Even when I realised this was happening in the US, I wasn’t afraid. I think I was too young to realise the implications. My dad was supposed to leave for US from Germany the next day on a business trip and my mum immediately called him to tell him what happened, telling him not to go. After that, it took awhile for my dad to get a flight back to Singapore and only when I realised how worried my mum was, did I finally realise how scary the whole situation was. The next holiday we went on where we had to take a plane I remember being scared that the same would happen.

  10. I wasn’t awake when the crash happened, but I remember waking up in the morning hearing reports on the attack, and having the channel tuned to CNA the whole day. I wasn’t as traumatized then because I didn’t really understand the extent of it or its implications. Now, understanding why it happened, how it happened and its repercussions, its a lot more terrifying. The attack no longer seems like just an explosion, and it’s hard to accept how many lives were lost now thinking back on how easily I dismissed the even back in 2001. I definitely think that this brought out the best in people as people all over the world reached out to help. Yet it also brought out the worst, with xenophobia and discrimination.

  11. I think at the exact time when it occurred, i was on a school bus back home after school. Then, when I got home, I saw my maid watching the TV, with the newsflash “Latest: …(Can’t remember)…” That was when I first saw and heard of the news.

    I did not bother so much, but I was like “woah! So cool!”, and for a moment i was thinking, “is this real? Perhaps an advertisment?” Until I realised what the acts really meant. Right now, of course my feelings on it have changed, and being older and wiser, I feel for the people who sufferred and the acts of heroism(Flight 93).

    I don’t think much about terrorism, because I must admit I’m complacent, thinking it will not happen to me. But I’m still a little cautious, after I heard recently last year that there were plans to bomb Orchard MRT.

    No, it did not bring out the best in people. Just look at the reaction of the USA, they reacted for violence with violence, beginning an invasion of Afghanistan that still goes on till today.

  12. 1: I just came back from school. (I guess) I was like: “Huh what happened?”

    2: I felt surprised and shocked and could not understand how the Americans would feel. I was pretty indifferent. Now, I feel a little worried about future terrorist attacks that may impact us.

    3: I feel incapable of doing anything to solve it as it is a global issue. I can only pray. The disaster of 911 have brought the best and worst of people. Some helped others along the way at the risk of getting killed. Some left, not helping others and only worry about their safety.

  13. We Don’t remember what we were doing but I remember thinking what the big issue was. Death happened very frequently and the fact that i heard news of so many of these disasters numbed my emotions toward death.

    It brought out the best and the worse in each person. A certain animosity could be felt toward any ‘terrorist-looking’ character.
    it brought about suspicion and paranoia between adults and as a kid I could feel it. The war on terror has been present in our lives for a long time and it numbs us to the cries of the suffering

  14. I didn’t know it happened, i was sleeping.
    I had not much feelings regarding the event. But now, I think that it was a tragic event that left much feared feelings in the people involved.
    I think that terrorism is something that every country fears of and it does not benefit anyone at all. But I think that through 9/11, people are now more aware of the effects of terrorism and are now more prepared if such a thing were to happen again.

  15. We cannot remember what we were doing at that time
    2. Celeste: I didnt remember much about it except the Osama jokes. Now looking back, it is really scary to think these things happen to people.
    Cheryl: Actually i think i dont even know what happened at that time and i was very young, did not listen to the news. BUt as i grow older and after watching that video, i realised how scary it was and it’s like no joke? And i feel sad for those people as they were innocent!
    3.Scary but i think kind of a little complacent as singapore seemed to be very safe place with stringent security check

  16. Some questions:
    1. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Try to recall the exact moment.
    TY: i honestly couldn’t remember what i was doing, i should be at home.
    JO: I should be at home eating dinner.
    2. How did you feel then? How do you feel about it now?
    TY: i didn’t really understand why the event happened, but now i see how terrible it was and how large the impact would be on the world, not only in US.
    JO: I didnt really care much for the victims and people affected back then, as it did not influence me at all. All i felt was just horror. But after watching this video again, then i realize that this was so horrible and disastrous.
    3. Most of you practically grew up with the ‘war on terror’ already in full gear. What are your thoughts on this ‘war on terror’? Did the disaster of 9/11 bring out the best in people?
    TY: I feel that the ‘war on terror’ is an ongoing battle and is a very real threat of our world today.
    I feel that the disaster did bring out the best in people, as people are banded together due to the similar experiences.
    Jo: I think im already desensitized to such stuffs as im a rather complacent person, and take the security of the country for granted. It did bring out the worst in people, as it showed how americans fled from their homes when they saw the incident.

  17. At that exact moment, I was at home watching television, but was not on the CNN channel, and did not find out about the disaster yet. After a while, when my dad came home, he told me about the disaster. At that moment, I was a little more baffled than afraid at the fact that people would dare and choose to sacrifice their lives. However as I grew, I slowly understood what all these meant, and began to feel fearful about such events. I guess such an event has helped the Americans to become more united, and wary against such issues.

  18. 1) At the coffee shop watching the television. I was thinking that it was a movie until my father showed me the newspaper headlines.
    2) Ignorant. Now, I feel worried and unsafe.
    3) People are more vigilant.

  19. i can’t recall what i was doing at the point in time.
    i didnt feel much and don’t know a thing about terrorism. but thinking back now, i feel that it was really terrifying and we should not be complacent about it. it did not bring out the best to the americans as they were too frighthened and feel helpless.
    however, it is truely heartwarming to see other countries reaching out to help them.

  20. 1. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Try to recall the exact moment.
    2. How did you feel then? How do you feel about it now?
    3. Most of you practically grew up with the ‘war on terror’ already in full gear. What are your thoughts on this ‘war on terror’? Did the disaster of 9/11 bring out the best in people?

    1. I faintly remembered that i was playing catching while Juliana remembers she was playing hopscotch.

    2. We were too young to recall anything then, and it did not have that much of an impact on us.

    Daniel’s thoughts: I honestly feel that we should let this event go. Just because it was on American soil does not mean that it has to be commemorated by the world. This simple act or rememberance has turned into something new, billions of US dollars are being spent on making new memorials, the underground one, and also giving those graves a new look, just to make it appear so much nicer. It is not longer just honouring the dead, and instead it’s been given a tourist attraction look. Billions of dollars being wasted on something that should be left alone, if you ask me, if they truly want to commemorate the dead, they should just leave the site as it is, let the site be barren and serve as that reminder. Look at poverty-stricken areas for crying out loud, thousands die EVERY DAY, and yet one event which killed that many gets so much attention. Up to this day millions would have loss their lives to famine, but this all goes unnoticed by the people of the world. Why does this 9/11 event deserve so much attention while these thousands everyday get so much less? These resources could be used to alleviate poverty, but they decide to ‘commemorate’ 9/11 instead. If you ask me, we should do away with all these fancy memorials and just leave it as something gone, there are so many other problems arising. Do away with all that fancy stuff, but never forget.

    Juliana’s thoughts: I agree with Daniel.

    3. As Singaporeans, we do not have much experience with terror ourselves. Our only ‘terror’ being the stabbing incident in Down Town East, a simple stabbing incident and the whole country lives in fear for several days. For heaven’s sake, people in America live with guns, making fun of someone in school may result in him/her blowing your brains out the very next day. Singaporeans do not know what terror is, and we are extremely safe, but we do not appreciate that at all. I do not actually see this as a ‘war with terror’ but rather a ‘war with ourselves’. We are all fighting one another based on different views and because of the unequal standard of living. Why not put that away and dedicate all our focus on eradicating problems like poverty? It has been shown that it took gamers 2 and a half days to scale the entire new area and explore every nook and cranny of the expansion to the World Of Warcraft expansion, and compile that and put in onto the WOW wikipedia. The development of this expansion took 3 months. If this much focus and attention can be placed onto global problems, we may reach the solution so much faster.
    Did this disaster bring out the best in people? Yes and no. I believe all those who helped and did the best they could did, but those who just stood and watched and just served in aggrevating the whole situation did not. There’s nothing worse than watching something occurring while you, instead of doing nothing, just make the situation worse by adding so much exaggeration. Even still, the best of people should be displayed daily, not just when such a situation arises. Amen.

  21. I do not remember what I was doing exactly at that point of time when 911 happened. And I was not told anything about it. Perhaps, my parents thought that it was too tragic and were protecting me from this piece of news.

    But, as I grew older, I came to know about it, though only quite briefly that it was a terrorist attack. I didn’t really think about the issue though. But, upon watching this short video clip and hearing the hysterical shocks by the speaker in this video, it kind of makes me think deeper into this tragic incident and the extent to how many people were affected. Especially, at the point of the video when the video-grapher zoomed in on some dead bodies or things flying downwards parallel to the building. It was then that I got quite freaked out and realised how serious the situation was.

    Indeed, this war-on-terror has made many humans suffer and cause a great lack of peace in this world. I read a passage yesterday that even terrorists themselves have family and friends, so I suppose that they are not so cruel to the extent to kill their own people-mankind that is. Perhaps, they have their reasons for doing so as well. I thought that this is a good perspective to view terrorism, though I acknowledge that it is cruel to make others suffer. But have we ever really thought if these tragic incidents have pricked the terrorists conscience as well? That I do not know.

    But, I hope that there would be less of these kinds of terrorism acts around the world. Moreover, there is no meaning in killing your own kind, we should love and help one another. Perhaps this whole system going around the world is just a wrong turn in human history.

    As for the last question, I cannot really answer it. But what I know is that recently the WTC building is being torn down to rebuild into some other building or mall? So, perhaps the people just want to erase these bad memories and start all over again? But some memories just can’t be wiped out, and till this day terrorism is still on the run, so perhaps not much can be erased. I guess what people can do is to hate the terrorists, and maybe that is the best they can do, or maybe to also help the victims financially.

  22. 1. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Try to recall the exact moment.
    2. How did you feel then? How do you feel about it now?
    3. Most of you practically grew up with the ‘war on terror’ already in full gear. What are your thoughts on this ‘war on terror’? Did the disaster of 9/11 bring out the best in people?

    1. When the event happen, i remember the adults discussing about the tragic disaster that happened, but i wasn’t really into the news and current affairs then.

    2. Only until now and reflecting upon the event, it has struck me the huge number of people killed during the course of the disaster.Tragic disaster that has upset not only the nation of USA, but also caused the rest of the world to become uptight,to brace themselves for any terrorist attacks that might hit them.

    Having the world fully geared up for “War on terror”, allows me to heave a sigh of relief. Even our small Singapore, building up the military and preparing the citizens for terrorist attacks, makes me feel that we are kind of safe in being protected by the government and the SAF.

    Did the disaster bring out the best in people? I’m not so sure about that, but i am glad to see that the disaster brings out the best in foreign countries, rendering help to each other in times of need.

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