9/11 Tribute & Giveaway (WINNERS ANNOUNCED!!!!!!)



Since this was an extra special tribute so I decided to award TWO lucky winners with a copy of National Geographic’s “A Place of Remembrance” in honor of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum located at Ground Zero in New York City. And the winners are:


#7: Amy Hill


#11: Jenny (Winstead) Ramage


Congratulations Mrs. Hill and Jenny!!!!!!!!!


I am really excited Mrs. Hill and Jenny were the randomly selected winners. The three of us were together at Webster County High School on September 11, 2001. 

Mrs. Hill (I’m sorry, I cannot call a former teacher by her first name!) was my freshman Honors English teacher. Jenny and I, while not in the same class the morning of 9/11, were students at WCHS. It is an honor and my privilege to send this special gift to these special ladies who were with me on this tragic day in our nation’s history.

I wish I could provide every participant with a copy of “A Place of Remembrance”.





I think every generation is marred by a particular event or situation in their lifetime.  I will never forget Tuesday, September 11, 2001.


I was in Ms. Catlett’s Honors English IV class with seniors at Webster County High School in Dixon, KY. During our lesson, Ms. Catlett excused herself to the hallway to speak with Mrs. Scholar, our principal. Ms. Catlett returned and immediately turned on the television. The screen showed a live view of New York City and black smoke was coming out of one of the buildings. A few minutes later, I watched the second plane crash into the south tower. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I watched black smoke roll out of the World Trade Center, moments later people were jumping out of windows 70-80-even 90-stories above the ground. A few minutes later, the south tower collaspe. This had to be a bad dream. Just like a nightmare that wouldn’t end, at 10:28 am, I watched the second tower fall.

As yearbook editor, I knew I had a responsibility to my classmates and future classes at WCHS to memoralize the events on that tragic day in 2001. Ms. Catlett helped me collect newspapers from across the country with headlines and photographs. Together, we created a collage and I wrote an editorial. I take pride in knowing that the images and words from 9/11 will be a part of my high school’s heritage forever.

Nicole, 27

My greatest memory occurred two days after 9/11.  My wife and I, along with my brother and his wife, were scheduled to fly to Chicago on Thursday for our cousin’s wedding on Saturday. We went to the airport because the airline thought we could make it. As we stood in line, this well-dressed man walked by the counter wearing a turban. Everyone, including the airline employees, stopped what they were doing and looked at the man. We stood still and stared. 

I felt horrible for my judgmental thoughts about a man I knew nothing about. His choice of head attire caused anger and hate in my heart which, I believe, caused God to be disappointed in me, which is one of my greatest fears. Shame came be a great teach, I have definitely learned and grown from this experience.

Alan, 43



I was Director of the Sam Rayburn Student Center at TAMU-Commerce. I was going to a staff meeting when the first announcement came out. Sensing that this was a critical event, the staff immediately created a live TV feed to monitors throughout the building. Hundreds of students stopped what they were doing – stood, watched, waited and wept. I checked on friends who live and work nearby, as well as those who travel for a living ~ as they were stranded as airplanes were grounded. 

The events of 9/11 inspired me to:

  • be thankful for freedom to assemble, travel, and speak
  • acknowledge fear, but not let it control me
  • receive each day as a gift to be used, shared and enjoyed

Rick, 57

On the morning of September 11, 2011, I was in a hotel in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. In an instant, I watched in horror as the towers came tumbling down. My coworker and I said a prayer, then I called home to check on my family.

My colleagues and I were stuck in the hotel so we attended the sessions and afterwards went to dinner. One thing I remember most was traveling by skytrain to the city for dinner and eating dessert at a place called Death by Chocolate. We all ate outrageous chocolate desserts, some ate two! 

My life has definitely changed since 9/11. In 2001, my son was in high school. Now, he’s preparing for his wedding. My mom and husband are both deceased. Some equate 9/11 to Pearl Harbor and, for some reason, that feels comforting to know we WILL get through these difficult times.

Debbie, 56

It was Tuesday. I was working on the post-partum floor when I heard a patient’s family member gasp. Voices begain to get louder, along with the TV. I decided to turn on a television in an empty room across from the nurses’ station. As I did, an airplane suddenly crashed into the second tower. 

I could not stop thinking about my kids. My oldest was three years, my youngest was 18-months. I wanted to take them and run into the wilderness. I wanted to get away from the violence. I remember being very thankful that my husband is a country boy ~ he can kill and cook his own food, he’s resourceful and we would survive off the land, if needed. I had crazy thoughts.

Once I gathered myself, I couldn’t help but grieve for the lives lost as they suffered or fell from tall buildings. I cannot imagine what those people must have felt as they fell to their deaths. It was more than I could fathom.

The events of 9/11 inspired me to pray for our country, leaders and, yes, even our enemies.

Jan, 37

I will never forget 9/11/01.  I had been in my freshman year of college less one week.  I used to turn the radio on every morning when I was getting ready for class, and that particular morning, for some reason all I could pick up was news on every station……then I actually listened to what they were saying.  I called my boyfriend who lived down the hall from me, and asked him to turn on his TV.  (My roommate and I didn’t have one.)  I remember my words exactly, “Turn on the TV.  Terrorists are attacking America.”  I dressed and ran to his room. We stood and watched in shock, we didn’t know what to say. Even though I knew my mom was safe at home in Paris, TX, I still called her. I’m not sure why. 

My classmates and I talked about this in a way that you would about a movie or book – it didn’t seem real. Why would someone attack America? Why would someone kill thousands of innocent people, even children? It didn’t make sense.

Since 9/11, the world has never been the same. Now, when I go to airports, I have to limit my liquid quantities, the weight of my bag, and take off my shoes and sweater before boarding the plane. I have to be swabbed or walk through metal detectors while someone in security rifles through my luggage. Businesses and schools now have terror emergency plans. As a child, I never would have dreamed of having to think of a plan for what to do with everyone if a terrorist attacked our facility. And, I never looked a Muslim and questioned whether or not his or her intentions were genuine. I think my heart breaks most of all for them because life in America will always be a challenge for their people. Ignorance breeds violence, and ignorant people simply don’t take the time to learn that Muslim Americans are not the same people who took away our innocence. 

In a line from one of my favorite movies, The Crow, one of the characters says, “Your childhood is over the moment you know you’re going to die.”  9/11 was sort of like that moment for Americans. Suddenly we were no longer innocent – we were victims. We were no longer the naive youths who could count on the safety and security of our homeland. Our childhood, in essence, was over after 9/11. 

Kimberly, 28

I was in Virginia teaching preschool with the most interesting class of 11 boys and no girls. A parent called to tell me what was happening. I turned on a radio and listened to Dan Rather’s report, while trying not to let my students hear the news. That wasn’t hard, as 11 boys are very noisy. Every 20 minutes or so, I would go into my closet to compose myself as I was so upset and didn’t want to alarm or scare those little boys. The hardest part of the day was taking them outside to the playground. As we were in the same state as the Pentagon, I kept one eye on the kids and one eye on the sky. It was a beautiful day to play outside, marred by terror and hatred. My babies did not deserve that, nobody deserved that.

Carolyn, 58

~ Giveaway Announcement ~

To mark this special anniversary, I am giving away ONE copy of A Place of Remembrance. To enter, please leave a comment on this post with your name and email address. One entry per person, please.

Contest ends Thursday, September 15. The winner will be selected by Random.org.

A Place of Remembrance honors the fallen and celebrates the spirit of hope as it tells the emotional story behind the creation of the National September 11 Memorial, from the tragic events of 9/11 to the process of rebuilding on these eight sacred acres in downtown Manhattan.

Like the memorial, this official commemorative book from National Geographic is a lasting tribute to those lost in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, and it lists the names of all the victims and where to find the inscriptions on the memorial itself.

***Proceeds from its sale help support the memorial.***

Peace, love, and remembrance,



  1. It was so surreal to me, as a wife, a mother, and a teacher. This was the year – mere months – after we had separated from a military career, and that had been such a difficult, gut wrenching decision for Brandon. He traded the only thing he had ever loved more than me, for the love of his daughters. He was such a tremendously great soldier who loved sacrificing for his country, but after twelve years he stopped beign America’s hero so he could be a hero to our children.

    I was sitting in my classroom, during my conference period, working and preparing for my sophomore English class to enter when I began receiving emails instructing me to turn on the television. I watched the second plane strike and thought it was a bad movie. I called Brandon, who was working the night shift and home sleeping; I knew he would want to know, to see for himself. We discussed the possibility of war – it was inevitable as we both knew, even while it was still happening.

    I apologized to my husband before hanging up the phone. While grateful to God I had him safe, in DeSoto, Texas, I apologized to him because I knew he would miss the fact that he would not get to fight for his country again. This very tragic day has brought about a variety of different tragedies for all of us and for him, it brought more ways he is unable to serve each and every one of you possibly reading this post.

    Then….I braced myself for the ignorance that graced my classroom with questions like, “Will there be a war? Will I have to fight in a war? Who are professional soldiers? Are soldiers robots?” Honestly, teachers really do put up with a lot of stupidity…

  2. I am old enough to remember exactly where I was when President Kennedy was shot and exactly where I was and what I was doing at 9/11. I was sitting in my office at Probation and Parole working on a report. Joyce, a coworker came into my office and told me there had been a plane wreck in New York City. I ran to the TV and watched as the second tower was hit. We could not stop watching the television. We talked of war and what was going to happen. We cried. P&P Officers kept coming to me asking to go home because they wanted to be with their families. I understood. I called my Mom and cried with her. I went back to my office and through the windows I could see all the planes coming into Louisville, KY. It was very scary…one after another

  3. I blogged about it, http://ceceliafutch.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/the-loss-of-something-important,
    about the vivid memories and sense of loss. There are also stories of survival and heroism that inspire us that came from that time in our history. Very sobering, all of it.

  4. I, too, recall this day vividly, almost as though it was yesterday instead of ten years ago. I was in my classroom at WCHS teaching English IV when I received a phone call from my ex-husband. He was traveling out of state for work with colleagues and they noticed that “something was going on.” I turned on the television in my classroom and watched with my students in horror as the first tower burned and the speculation increased that America was under attack from terrorists.

    I remember calling the secretary in the front office. Until that time, never would I have thought that I would utter the words, “America has been attacked.” My seniors sat quietly that morning, unable to grasp the magnitude of what was unfolding before their eyes. Like Regina and Amy, I left that TV on for most of the day as we all searched for some understanding of what had transpired. Looking back, I realize now that for many of my students, September 11 was a day that they became adults because the innocence of their childhoods was erased.

    I cannot remember the faces of the students with whom we were having the conversation later that day, but I remember Amy Hill and I talking with them about what had happened. Amy said, “I don’t think you are understanding the significance of what has happened today. Our world will never be the same.” She was so right. So many things have changed in the last ten years: the obvious loss of life, increased restrictions of travel, unfortunate mistrust of others, etc. For me, though, the loss of the notion that we were safe in America because “those things” happened in other parts of the world was a big one. Just as my students lost the innocence of their childhoods that day, so did we all lose a small part of innocence about our world and the darkness that can harbor within the human heart.

  5. I will never forget this day either. I was sitting in Mr.Roy’s English class and I can remember him telling us we were going to war. We watched the 2nd plane hit as well. All I could think about is my family and I was glad I was surrounded by my closet friends. 9/11 has lots of meaning to me my best friends lost their dad in a mining accident when we were in the fourth grade and it happened on 9/11.

  6. I was at work when my boss came up to me and said we have to go to the cafeteria to see what happened at the twin towers. I didn’t even know what the twin towers were. As we arrived and saw the one building burning, I stared in shock. When the second plane hit the second building, I turned to my boss and said, “O My God, we are at War”. He, being an active reserve, just knew he might be called up for active duty. We both had a look of fear on our faces. He later was called up for active duty for 24 months.
    How could this happen to our great country? The loss of so many lives? Why?
    My prayer every night is for those who lost their lives. May God hold their souls close to Him in Heaven. For their families who lost their loved ones, that God will guide them in their lives toward peace.

  7. I too will never forget where I was, what I was doing, who was with me & even what I was wearing the morning of September 11, 2001. It was a day that even now, 10 years later is hard for me to believe was real.

  8. I was also in a classroom at WCHS. My Honors English III class finished reading the play, The Crucible and we were ready to watch the video. I was standing under my wall television, rewinding the tape, when I heard a student say, “Mrs. Hill, what is going on?” I stepped back, and on the screen, was Katie Couric trying to explain what was taking place. We watched in complete silence. When the bell rang to change classes, many did not move because the wanted to know what was going to happen next. As my next class entered, they came in, took their seats, and watched in silence. There was concern about whether to allow students to watch the news or not; however, my television was never turned off that day. There was almost a fear of turning it off because no one knew what was going to happen next. We will never forget . . .

  9. 9/11/01—I was teaching a senior English class–the Middle Ages and Chaucer as I recall. The school principal came to my door to tell me a plane had hit one of the towers–at that point Chaucer and the Middle Ages were of little importance;I turned on the TV and we began watching more events as they unfolded. My classroom was silent; we sat watching in horror as America came under attack. Soon after we saw the second plane hit, a school administor stopped by and suggested I might not want to allow my students to watch due to the graphic nature of the news feed. His was advice I ignored, for I believed then and I believe now those young people needed to be witnesses to events that would have a lasting impact on their lives.

    In the days that followed we had many discussions about ‘did you see?’, ‘did you hear?’, ‘what if…’, ‘do you think?’…..On Friday evening prior to our football game we held a candlelight vigil…most of my students took part in both the vigil and its preparations. I had cards printed with a statement of remembrace, and I provided blue ribbon with white stars to attach to the cards. My students stood at the admission gate and passed them to each person who entered.

    Despite the fact that more people worked in the twin towers than the number that live in our rural county, the impact on our community was significant–just as I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when JFK died–I as well as my students will long remember where we were and what we were doing 9-11-01.

    Regina, 61

  10. I will never forget 9-11. Praying for all of those families!

  11. What a great idea to collect the thoughts, feelings and memories of a diverse group. Thanks…. Millerick@me.com
    Rick Miller

  12. Kimberly Hulsey says:

    This was a lovely way to remember the victims of 9/11 and their families. It is a day that will forever be etched in my heart. Love you!

  13. Our lives were changed that day for sure.. We will always remember what we were doing, where we were at that moment.. I was working in an insurance office as a receptionist, when one of the guys came out of his office and said ‘ a plane has crashed into the Trade Center’.. we thought as many others who heard, an accidental plane crash.. that morning was filled with terror, not knowing what was next. I wanted to cradle my daughters and grandkids around me. The eeriest feeling was not hearing or seeing planes in the sky..I learned that we have to take every moment to tell those we love of our feelings.. hold them close and let them know..

  14. Very nice post!


  1. […] enter the contest, simply click HERE. […]

  2. […] 9/11: Ten Years Later …. “A Place of Remembrance” giveaway (mrshutchison.wordpress.com) […]

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