Throwback Thursday – Where were you on September 11th?

Pivotal moments in history shape entire generations: moments like the attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the September 11th terrorist attacks. 2021 marks the 20-year anniversary of the four atrocities committed by Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden against the United States. Where were you?

Like the whole country, Bowling Green came to a shocking standstill. This reporter was in fifth grade at Natcher Elementary, a student in her mother’s own classroom. I remember driving home with Mom that day, noticing there weren’t any plane trails in the Bowling Green skies. We kept our t.v. on the news all night long, watching the stories unfold. It was a somber, quiet night, as we sat there glued to the t.v.

A reporter, who worked for the Bowling Green Daily News at the time, remembers the entire newsroom crowded around a t.v. set for days on end. The College Heights Herald staff on WKU’s campus produced a special edition extra newspaper, outlining the atrocities of what happened. 

At the September 23rd WKU football home game that year, the university band played a special recognition of all emergency personnel and armed forces, as over 200 of them filled the stadium to the tune of roaring applause. Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon declared October 22nd to be “Salute America Day” in remembrance of the thousands killed and all emergency, military, and first responders who continued to serve. 

On the morning of September 11, 2001, American Airlines flight 11 and United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the two World Trade Center Towers. American Airlines flight 77 hit the Pentagon. And United Airlines flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Penn. Nineteen terrorists who had been living in this country prior to July 2001 hijacked the four planes. The FBI reported more than four thousand agents were deployed to investigate these heinous crimes.

Americans rallied to help their neighbors in a time of need. American flags hung on every pole and were displayed in every store window.  The security measures this country takes to stop crime and terrorism forever changed so future generations could live in a world designed to protect and prevent. This generation will never forget.