Norton Pease, Havre:
I will never forget that day. I lived close to a mile away across the river and was in bed listening to a radio show announce that an aircraft had hit one of the towers.
Just a week or two earlier, an ultra-light aircraft had been caught on the Statue of Liberty's torch.
Thinking that it was a small aircraft, I climbed out my window (top floor) onto the fire escape to look at the towers from the roof. Myself and a large of group of people began to occupy the roof tops of Brooklyn to see the huge amount of smoke. My biggest worry, at that time, was the "Dine Downtown" event at the Trade Center, that I was helping with, would be canceled for the next day, Wednesday. Well, that and the hopes that nobody was hurt.
Upon my second trip to the roof (after getting my binoculars) I heard several people screaming bloody murder followed by a loud explosion. It was at that moment that I had crested the rooftop and turned to see a huge fireball engulf the second tower. It took me a few seconds to piece together the audible events into a picture and understand why everyone was screaming. They had just witnessed the second plane crash.
What I remember most of that day, as many do, is how unbelievably clear and beautiful that day was — it was going to be a perfect day. Soon after the first building fell, all of that smoke came south across the river. It wasn't until the afternoon that the wind moved it east enough to engulf my neighborhood. Just above the smoke were F16 fighters flying so low that you could see the pilots and armed missiles.
The only thing that I had lost in that event were slides and a future studio in the second tower that was set for October. I'm so thankful that I had applied too late to have had a studio through September There was one artist who had pulled an all-nighter in that space that Monday night. He had lost his life as a result. He was my age, and had a similar background as myself (doing the same work in New York at that time). I am a very lucky and thankful person. I reflect on this often.
Candi Zion, Havre:
I was in Pendeleton, Ore., when 9/11 tragically occured. I had competed in the barrel racing at the Let 'er Buck Pro Rodeo the day before; a real thrill as the competiton is held both on the grass and track making it the largest barrel pattern anywhere.
I was in my horse trailer while rodeo slack was going on, but instead of the usual country music, they were playing something else on the loud speakers. I listened and realized something terrible had happened in New York, but wasn't clear what. I ran down to the secretary's office to find out more and heard people on the way talking about a building collapsing; some said it was the Empire State Building.
The secretary had been listening closely to the news and said, no, the Twin Towers were under attack. Everyone was in shock and frozen in place — no one was talking, the contestants, many on horseback, were all listening to the horrible news on the loudspeakers.
I quietly loaded my horse and headed home, passing the underground military bunkers at Umatilla. I thought, my God, if we are under attack, that would be the safest place to hide.
Alice Mapes, Havre:
I'll always remember the day of 9/11. I had just finished my morning cleanup and went into my living room. I looked at the TV and heard a voice say a plane just hit the tower.
I said "What?"
I could not believe what I was hearing and seeing.
I cried and cried.
I was glued to my television all day. I was sick to my stomach.
How did it change my life?
I am even more thankful, and love my family even more, if that's possible.
I am thankful for every beautiful morning and day.
So please, citizens of our fine city, do not bring politics and hatred into this sad but prideful day. Remeber those left behind, but the fallen heroes on that day who left the earth that tragic day. The heroes on that plane over Pennsylvania, the heroes at the Pentagon.
Let us not forget all of our heros, human and canine, who worked deligently, day and night, to look for and find the loved ones and friends. We shall never forget.
Hoorah for our great country, the United States of America.
David and Denise Brewer, Havre:
My wife always sets the radio-alarm, and it was on that morning. I was in bed half awake, but listening to the radio when a news alert came over that a possible plane crash had occurred with one of the Twin Towers. I listened a little longer and my “gut” told me to get up, go downstairs and turn on the news. I was watching and listening to the “Live News” report and in the corner of the screen I saw what looked like a plane coming at the second tower. I sat there; then I stood up in total horrification and watched the plane hit the tower and explode. I knew this wasn’t an accident, and I knew there’d be more. I was also sure the White House had to be a target as well.
I called out to my wife and she came downstairs. We watched and cried together. We just knew this was the beginning of changes in how we go about living our lives.