1.) When did you first become aware of the attacks?
About 9:30 on the 11th. I had just come out of my Cognitive Psychology class.
2.) How did you become aware of the attacks?
My officemate told me about them when I went up to drop off my stuff.
3.) Did you watch them as they occurred? If so how?
I spent the next four hours glued to the TV and trying to get in touch with friends and family–particularly the friend with an office in the Pentagon.
4.) How did you feel about them as you watched them?
Kind of hard to answer. Sick, horrified, angry.
5.) How did you feel later that day after you had got over the initial shock?
I don’t think I got over the shock that day. I still felt sick, horrified, and angry. I also remember being much more aware of the noise of airplanes flying overhead and especially at low altitude as they took off or landed over the next week or so.
6.) At the time did you feel as if you were watching history occur?
Absolutely. This was something that was completely unprecedented in US history.
7.) Did the attacks seem like they were happening far away like earthquakes and famines in third world countries or did they feel like something that would have a direct affect on your life?
Definitely something that had a direct effect on my life. One of my best friends had an office in the section of the Pentagon where the plane hit. Fortunately he was out of the office that day, but the worry until I heard from him about eight hours after the attack was pretty bad.
8.) Has 9/11 had an effect on your life.
I’m currently a defense contractor working on airport screening equipment for TSA. 9/11 has had a huge effect on my life (as have the shoe bomber and the moron who shipped himself to his parents via FedEx).
9.) Do you think that 9/11 happened in a European country or in the Middle East that it would have been perceived the same way?
Probably not–or at least not here. One of the central illusions of American life is that being surrounded by two oceans and two friendly neighbors makes us essentially insulated from terrorism or war. It’s the type of thing we think of on some fundamental level as only happening elsewhere.
10.) How do you feel about the attacks nowadays?
Again, tough to answer. I still feel sickened, horrified, and angry when I think about them; I just spend less time thinking about them now than I did two years ago.
11) Do you think the world as a whole has changed since 9/11?
Absolutely. We’ve embarked on two wars for regime change that probably wouldn’t have happened were it not for 9/11. We’ve also started taking security much more seriously in venues ranging from airports to ballparks to the DMV.