There are few moments in life where people can tell you exactly what they were doing when they occurred. For some, it's when JFK was shot or when we landed on the moon. For others, it was the Berlin wall coming down or The Challenger exploding.

Unfortunately, despite taking place 20 years ago this Saturday, for many, the memory of where they were when 9/11 happened is still quite fresh in their minds.

The devastating events of 9/11 took under two hours to unfold but have left a lifetime of impressions on anyone old enough to know what was going on that day.

As we take a moment to honor the memory of that day, we thought we'd share with your our personal stories of where we were when the towers fell.

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JStew: Like most folks, I’ll never forget where I was when 9/11 happened. I was working at a super high-end restaurant in Portland. It started innocently enough. I was just doing my morning prep, and someone came in and said a plane hit one of the Twin Towers. Obviously, this was pre smartphones, so we all thought it was just some kind of terrible accident. In fact, we didn’t even know yet that it was a large passenger plane. We all assumed it was a small private plane that had somehow crashed. 

A little while later, we hear there’s another plane, and that they were carrying passengers, and then word started to get around that it was definitely a terrorist attack. I felt especially spooky because the owner of our restaurant owned a couple in NYC as well. So I began wondering if my NYC counterpart had gotten out ok, or was even affected. Then we just closed for the day, and everyone went home. 

Cori: I had taken the day off from the station (I was working a different morning show at the time) and had gone to MedNow in Orono, bright and early that morning to be there at 8:30 when they opened. The day before, I had stupidly ridden on my drummer's Harley, from Winterport to August and back, to take part in that year's Toy Run, and forgotten to put on sunscreen. So I had a pretty severe sunburn, bordering on sun poisoning, and went to have the doc check it out. I was in the lobby, with a handful of other people waiting to be called back when the receptionist came out from behind the desk to turn up the volume. We all sat there, watching in horror, as the towers were hit. The physicians came out to the lobby to watch with us. Everything came to a stand-still for almost half an hour.

After I was released, I went to my mom's, as she lived close to where I was and had cable. We both just sat there, in disbelief. Despite being a total mess, physically, and in pain, all I wanted to do was to go to work and help. But they assured me they had it under control, so I stayed with my mom, and we watched the news for the rest of the day, just shaking our heads and crying. The image that left the deepest impression on me that day was some video that was shown of people jumping off the roof of the towers, rather than burn up as they collapsed. I recall trying to wrap my head around how awful and hopeless those conditions must have been for them to make that decision.

I vividly remember returning to work the next day, and having a really difficult time keeping it together as we delivered the news and tried to give people answers. I remember the listeners who called, wanting to talk or make dedications or requests in honor of those who had lost their lives.

Another thing that struck me about that entire time period was what an amazingly tight and honorable brotherhood both the NYPD and the NYFD had at the time. The bravery of those men and women who ran towards the towers as everyone else ran away, that's something that I have deep respect for.

DJ Fred: I went on the air that morning at 10 from the WWMJ studio in Brewer, immediately following the attacks in both New York and at the Pentagon, and right when Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The music went away and I began to read the news that we were receiving from the AP.  At the same time, we all gathered in the studio and came up with a game plan as to how to provide coverage.  I remember that we sent someone out to Bangor International Airport to interview folks there.
I remember the listeners that morning.  How they called and every business and request line in the building was lit up.  The one memory that I'll forever hold was the honest and frightened waver in certain callers' voices, and how distraught and scared they were while looking for answers, while we were as well.
Watching the towers fall on the newsroom television produced numerous feelings within.  Surprise and sadness initially, and then extreme anger.  I remember wanting to chase whoever was responsible for what was happening all the way back to where they came from, which we eventually did.
In the somber days following the attacks, there were numerous and memorable occurrences, like the telethon where big celebrities answered the phones and collected $ for the victims and their families and musicians like Bruce Springsteen singing "Rise Up."
There was the concert for New York City organized by Paul McCartney, where The Who got back together and performed Won't Get Fooled Again" for a venue filled with first responders.  I remember David Bowie sitting alone on the stage that night, and singing America, the song by Simon & Garfunkel while playing a lone keyboard.
I remember our country showing its strength again when then-President George W. Bush threw a strike over home plate at Yankee Stadium while throwing out the first pitch before the first game played following the attacks.
Something like 9/11 you just don't forget.
Paul Wolfe: On September 11, I was in 7th grade. I remember all of the teachers having a meeting in the hall mid-class. When they returned to class, it was obvious something wasn’t right. However, the day would proceed as usual with no mention of what was unfolding. Perhaps they felt we were too young to understand, or didn’t want to frighten us. It wasn’t until I got home and turned on the TV that I realized a dark chapter in history was written that day.

NEVER FORGET: Images from 9/11 and the days after

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