The events of Sept. 11, 2001 will forever be etched in the minds of every American for the rest of their lives. We all remember where we were when we found out our nation was under attack and we all remember the fear, uncertainty and grief that embodied the following days, weeks and months.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic day that took the lives of more than 3,000 people in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, PA and affected so many more throughout the United States and around the world.
Throughout the past week, BadgerBlitz.com spent some time recanting that fateful day with several members of the 2011 Wisconsin football team. Below are their memories.
"I was in third grade and at my elementary school. I just remember not knowing anything that was going on. My mother was rushing into the school to get me. My mother is a woman of faith so she really wasn't panicking, but she brought us all home. I just remember looking on TV and seeing, on every station, just chaos. At that young age I really didn't know what was going on. A lot of people were saying the world was ending. It is quite a memory when reflecting back on that day.
"I was scared. My mother kept peace. She made sure that we were under control, but at the same time seeing this on TV and seeing these big planes go into the towers that does something to a young child. I was more frightened than actually just scared. I had some peace.
"My mother wouldn't just come up to the school and grab me and my little sister out of school. I was like, 'Wow, what's going on?' Me, my sister and my two older siblings were all at home at the same time. I was like, 'Okay, I wasn't aware of a doctors appointment or anything.'
"My father was working downtown so he was calling to check up on us. It was quite an experience. He worked in the heart of the city and there was definitely panic and a lot of chaos. People thought the world was coming to an end. That's really all I can remember. People were just panicking. The school was empty and there were parents just coming in and out grabbing their kids. Some children were crying because their parents were panicking.
"It was a very humbling experience. Thinking about it and reflecting at it now, it's just like, wow, there were people my age on that plane and in that building. Life comes at you fast. You never know when or what can happen. We fly on planes all the time and we're never thinking that somebody in front of us could be a hijacker. So it's all about living life and enjoying it. But at the same time you're not living it too fast so you can't enjoy it."
"I was in fifth or sixth grade. I can remember what building I was in. Mr. Corp was my teacher at school. I can remember us turning the TV on in the classroom and everyone was just in awe. It was really a humbling thing. I didn't really at the moment grasp what was going on. It was more when I got home that night and was talking with my parents. It's just distinct in my memory where I was. I remember going to one of my sister's volleyball game that night and listening to the radio the whole way there. It's kind of surreal that it's been 10 years.
"There was just a buzz in the air. I don't think anybody knew what to expect. I think people were in shock and in fear and didn't know what to expect. I don't think I understood or grasped it fully. I was scared because when you're younger it's tough to explain.
"I was in sixth grade. I just remember people being really nervous. We tried watching it at school and I remember going home and wondering why we had that day off. Well, it was because a couple of planes flew into a couple of buildings. I didn't understand the gravity of the situation because it was the worst attack on American soil, ever. I just remember everybody being nervous because we didn't know what was going to happen.
"I wasn't scared because as a little kid I don't think I knew the whole situation. All I knew was that I had a day off. If it was just free I would go play and everything would be all right. I didn't know what would happen after all those events. I was with my mom and I remember asking her what was going on. I remember asking if they were going to harm us and if there was any reason for them to come to Wisconsin. My mom just said that there are a couple nuclear power plants so it was possible, but probably not likely. We're not very populated and don't have that much media attention. But there was some worry on my mom's face.
"It's amazing how one event can bring everybody together. There would be flags on every street and a sense of American pride that maybe we lost today. But for that one period of time, those boundaries and borders that kind of divided everybody were gone. I remember thinking if one event can do this why can't it be a positive event? Why does it have to be negative?
"I was coaching at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. We were getting ready to play that week, I believe it was SMU week. I was sad and angry. I was sad for the people whose lives were taken and I was sad for the families who lost loved one. Like probably many Americans, I was angry about it. If I remember right, I think we took a day off to let everybody regroup and be with their families if they were in town and everything else. You always have those people in your thoughts and prayers. "My wife and my kids were devastated, as everybody was. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, when something like that happens to your country and to your fellow American's it's a devastating thing. I remember we sat and talked with our kids about it and watched TV and prayed together as a family for everybody lost in the tragedy and for the loved ones and families of the ones that were lost. I remember my wife and I sitting down with our kids and talking about it and saying a family prayer together."
"I was at Iowa State sitting in my office. I remember exactly what happened. There, in the offices, the walls don't go up very high so you can talk to each other. Someone said, 'I can't believe some idiot just flew a plane into the World Trade Center. I thought it was an accident, a crash. Within the next half hour, the next quote I remember was, 'Oh my God, we're under attack.' Then you get news of the Pentagon and the plane in Pennsylvania.
"We actually had practice that afternoon because we wanted to get everybody together. Everybody remembers how you felt that day and the game ended up being cancelled. I think every game in the country got cancelled. The emotions that come back are pretty striking.
"All I can remember were the emotions in the room. It was a combination of shock and a little bit of fear and a lot of sadness. Exactly what was said, I can't remember. I just remember the emotion of the entire group. A lot of people were calling their loved ones. We had some kids from the east coast that we all put our arms around. It was a scary time as I'm sure you remember.
"We didn't have any children yet, but I remember my wife and I hugged, we cried and we really just kind of let emotions take over. It was a hard day for the nation."
"I was in seventh grade. I was in Mrs. Bartlett's class. She was my language arts teacher. We had a break in our class. This was back in the day when we had beanbags in the classroom and board games and books. I'm not sure if she got an email or what. I was just in the back of our room chilling. It was a water break for 10 minutes or something. She then turned on the television and we see this building in flames. That was the first tower in flames. Then, on live television, we watched it happen to the second tower. You could hear a pin drop in our classroom. People were just so shocked.
"I was terrified. I had never flown before so even on my first flight to Wisconsin that was the first thing that came to my mind. I didn't know what to expect. My grandmother was just praying the whole time for all the families in the area and people that were in the building. It was a dark day.
"I went to this small school and I was in fourth grade. They said everybody was going home. So everybody's parents started picking them up, but my parents worked in Washington D.C. so I was one of the last to get picked up. There was traffic because they shut everything down. My dad could actually see the smoke from the top of his building. But I got picked up and everything was fine. I didn't know anybody who worked in the Pentagon. There was this girl in my school that was in the Pentagon nursery. The blast marked her face, but I didn't know anybody.
"I was scared. I just didn't know what was going on. Then being in D.C. I was scared. You hear airplanes and you never know. I was scared. It's probably 25 minutes to the Pentagon from my house. I saw the American flag draped over the hole and everything. When it first happened they turned off the lights and waited to tell us. I didn't know what was going on because they didn't really tell us like that. Then later on they had us call our parents. We really didn't know what was going on until they told us. It didn't really hit home until I saw it on TV.
"My dad, he actually went to the top of his building to see what was happening but they had a tough time getting out because of the traffic and everybody trying to get out of the city.