Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Ten years later: 9/11 connections


A few months ago, we put a simple call to action out to iReporters: What’s your 9/11 story? Responses soon began to pour in and, among them, connections and themes began to emerge.


There were iReporters who were in high school and decided to pursue a military career that day; survivors who were working in the World Trade Center that morning; and Muslim-Americans who battled with identity issues as they experienced a heightened sense of attention to their religion and ethnicity.


We decided to pair up 10 iReporters who shared 9/11 connections and record them as they spoke about that day and how it affected their lives. The conversations that resulted were emotional, powerful and surprising.


But perhaps the best part about collecting so many stories is having the opportunity to share them with CNN’s audience. The 10-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, is a big story to cover, but through your memories and observations, we are able to tell a complete story of how that day forever changed ourselves and the world we live in.


In addition to the five conversations, our interactive showcases dozens of iReporters’ 9/11 stories in a scroll that keeps growing as more are added to the mix.


Since we published the interactive on Tuesday, we have received nearly 80 responses from iReporters around the world who were inspired to share their 9/11 stories as well. Among the many powerful submissions is the above photo from iReporter Jon Hollender, who said he was compelled to photograph the sunrise over Manhattan on the morning of September 12, 2001. “I was trying to find something positive that morning,” he said.


“'I think the sun rising was a big thing too because it was like, 'Wow, we got through that day.’''


If you have a 9/11 story to share, please upload it here. And be sure to explore our interactive to discover how other iReporters were impacted by that fateful day.

September 8, 2011
Click to view MDMick's profile

On 9/11, I was teaching high-school physics at a school that included a lot of "military brats" whose parents worked at Fort Meade or the Pentagon. I was quietly informed by an administrator that a plane had hit one of the towers at the World Trade Center in NYC. During my planning period, I and my senior aide rushed to the library to watch the TV news. We watched, live, as the second plane hit the twin towers and then learned of the crash into the Pentagon -where her father worked (he was not injured). It was all I could do to keep her in the school building. In the succeeding days, life had changed forever. I had to cover up my classroom windows because planes coming in to land at nearby BWI Airport looked like they were heading toward the school and some kids literally dived on the floor. When the cross country team I coached went to Meade High School and ran in the woods near the Fort, helicopters quickly appeared overhead to check us out. Every school bomb threat had to be taken seriously so schools in the Baltimore area missed weeks of classroom time - until they realized they needed to keep the information away from the news media who overdramatized it and encouraged copycats. The bomb scares ended when the schools/governments/police made a concerted effort to keep the information from the local TV folks.

September 11, 2011
Click to view Siddique's profile

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.

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