Shirley McLemore

“I was at home in front of the TV and crying a little bit. I felt bad for what happened to all those people. I just hope it don’t happen again. I thank God it didn’t happen in Chicago. “

James Hinton

“I was on Central and Wabash. I was erecting a street sign and I heard it on a radio we had on the truck. I had to sit down because I couldn’t believe it. I think it could happen again.”

Mack Julion

“I remember exactly where I was on that day. I had a court day. It was a day pretty much like today. It was sunny. I was heading downtown, and they were reporting it on the radio. It didn’t quite make sense. They weren’t exactly sure what was happening yet. They weren’t sure if the planes were being high-jacked or if other planes were hitting other buildings. I still didn’t grasped how significant what was happening that day in regards to our national security. In America, we, basically, take for granted our own safety. Being attacked on our own soil is something that no one actually thinks about. This is not like in the Middle East or some of those other countries where there is fighting, wars, turmoil, and unrest. It has affected me in that I haven’t taken as many flights as before, and I haven’t been back to the Sears Tower since then.”

Rickie Brown

“I was on my way to work, and my wife called me and said, ‘Rickie, a plane ran into the Trade Center,’ so I immediately turned my car around and went back home. She thought maybe somebody had just strayed off and ran into it, and I said, ‘N’all, that’s a terrorist’s attack.’ And she said, ‘What makes you say that?’ And, I said, ‘because there is no way somebody did not see that building and they ran into it.’ Then we saw the second plane run into the building, and I said, ‘See, that’s terrorism.’ Now I’m leery of going into large crowds of people because we really didn’t see this happening.”

Jason Ferguson

“It’s just a casualty of war, and I wish they would stop talking about it. They (the United States) are just using that to be able to invade other countries. And, they don’t give a damn about Veterans because I’m a veteran they haven’t done anything for me.”

Vickie Casanova

“I was actually at home. I had just returned from New York. The day before, I was five blocks from ground zero. My daughter was doing her sophomore year at NYU. My younger children, her siblings, were actually running around and playing on the ground at the World Trade Center. I had just got back from dropping my children off to school and people starting calling from around the country asking if I knew what had happened. They knew my daughter lived there and that her dorm was right in the financial district, so they said just turn on the television. The first plane had already gone in. I could see all the smoke and debris. It was many, many hours later before we were able to hear from her. We were just trusting God that she was okay, but it was a long, long day. She was actually one of the people who were successful at self-evacuating. And she was part of a crowd of strangers helping and rescuing children from a nursery school until someone was able to get to them. I’m just grateful she has been able to recover from the post traumatic stress of that event.”

Elma Scott

“I was cleaning up my house. It was early in morning. I was watching it, and I thought, ‘Is this really T.V., or is this a joke?’ When I looked around, I realized this was for real. The plane went through the building and it blew up in the air. I couldn’t believe it really happened. It changed my life a lot to think how short life can be. You can be here one minute and gone the next. You have to treasure your life while you’re here.”

Henry Chalmers

“I was at home in the bed watching television and a very important news brief came on. They showed what had happened, and I said, ‘Oh, my God; all those people in that building.’ In terms of how it has changed me, we need to get more security. Just like they are putting the cameras and stuff out here on the streets, we need more security in the air, especially downtown.”

Nicole Mitchell

“I was asleep, and I got a phone call saying America was under attack. My aunt was trying to warn me. I got up and turned on the T.V., and I saw the planes plow into the buildings. I was devastated from that day to this. And, I have not been on a plane since. America needs to get their business in order. That was crazy; I don’t buy the story the Bush Administration put out about them not being (previously) aware of what happened. I think it was a horrible thing. I think it ruined a lot of families, and it scarred America forever.”

Leo Swan

“Well, I was working downtime at the time. I’m a construction worker, and we were working on the 34th floor. We had got the news that America was under attack. My thought was, ‘Hey, we got to get off this building. If they are attacking America, they might attack this high-rise.’ So everybody got to go home early. I came home and got my family together…we prayed and thanked God that it hadn’t happened to us. We sent a prayer out for the families that were hurt by it. It has affected my sense of freedom in that I don’t think I will ever get on a plane again. A plane crashing into a building puts something heavy on your mind. I just pray to God that it doesn’t happen again.”

Sy Bounds

“I was painting a house porch in Oak Park on Ontario and Forest Avenue. Some people were turning the corner, and they said, ‘Did you hear about what happened?’ While they were saying that, the owner came out of the house and started talking about it. It was an incredible moment. It has placed this country on lock down. This country has not recovered from 9/11. Our freedom has been reduced. It’s a meaner spirit in the country today.”

Paul Shaffer

“I was in the penitentiary down in Grambling. I was eating at the time, and we (the prisoners) were watching the news and it was talking about a plane had hit the towers, and the towers came down. We were just watching the news, and this news flashed across. I was just doing my time and trying to come home and all of a sudden these people are trying to bring America down with this terrorism, with these bombs. I don’t think it changed my life because that was in New York, and I’m in Chicago, but it has changed things in America. They are terrorizing America, and that’s what’s going on.”