On Sept. 11, we asked our readers, via our Facebook page, to share their memories of that horrific day in American history, and the following is a sampling of the raw emotion and memory of that day when nearly 3,000 people lost their lives.

CHRIS FALCON

I was in the Navy on leave in Kerrville. I was scheduled to fly back to San Diego that afternoon out of San Antonio. My mom woke me up that morning after the first plane hit. I started watching the news in disbelief and saw the second plane hit and at that point I knew we were going to war. I wasn’t able to fly back for a couple days until they cleared the flights. When I got on base everything was on lockdown. Once every Sailor made it back to the ship USS Coronado we headed out to sea to prepare for what we knew was about to happen. Yes, it was actually a little scary thinking and wondering how long we would be deployed, but I was proud to be serving in the Navy and doing what I could for my country...Hooyah.

ROY AYALA

I remember watching this happen as I was boarding the plane to fly to Kentucky. The faces and the tears as we watched the towers fall on TV. Living in Arlington next to DFW Airport, the night skies were quiet after that. It was very haunting.

AMY KUBIN

I was taking my 3 young sons to day care before I went to work when it came on the radio. People talked about it all day and my boss said if we all wanted to go home and be with our families. My second oldest son was 3 at the time, now he serves in the Navy loud and proud, on the USS New York no less, forged with over 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the South Twin Tower, in the bow of the ship!

NATALIE PEREZ

I remember being at home with my daughter. This sweet baby laid sleeping. And then it happened. I am sure our emotional responses were very similar.

I prayed. Sobbing. Looking at the innocence in this baby. Wondering....now what?

Years have passed. Our country, while devastated, began to restore itself. Our Country fought...And then my baby girl grew up. And now, she proudly serves in the US Navy. 

I never would have dreamed, when I sobbed over that sleeping baby, that she, 18 years later would choose to serve this country. 

Excuse me while I sobb once again, this time in extreme thankfulness. Thankful for the reminder that the devastation that can occur in ones life, can later breed hope. That we still have men and women, who are not only proud, but determined to serve and protect this nation that we call home. 

To the armed forces, EMS, police officers and the families that support them, thank you.

KELLI CRAWFORD

It was my first day to return to work at the VA Clinic in Austin after about a 10 year absence from the federal government. I was on an enclosed room working on paperwork. I began hearing screams of, “Oh no!” Fearing someone was having a medical emergency, I stepped in to the lobby and witnessed the first plane hitting the tower on the TV. As events progressed throughout the morning, there was not much to do but offer consoling hugs and prayers. By noon the clinic was placed on lockdown. Many of the patients that were still in the clinic, as well as the staff were walking around in disbelief, as most Americans were that day. It was certainly the most memorable first day of work I had ever had.

PRISCILLA JUAREZ

I was in the 9th grade. We had volleyball first period and when we switched to second period it was super quiet in the hallways and we had no idea what was going on. Got to class and then finally heard. We were shocked. We ended up watching the news all day. We were supposed to have a game that day in SA and it was canceled.

WILLIAM SHARP

I was working at a radio station in Ohio and walked into the newsroom just as the first plane hit the tower...we all stood transfixed as the morning unfolded.

ROJEAN SAMFORD

I had just arrived at work when a co-worker walked in with a devastating look on her face. She ask if we heard, then told us what the radio broadcasted on her drive to work. The entire day was a new level of emotional. I worked at the Kerrville State Hospital. The entire day was difficult as we consoled the people we served, attempting to keep as many as possible in activities and programming. Daily life can be a huge struggle for them, but this was a whole new level. In that 9 hours, the employees worked extra hard to not deal with the emotional effects ourselves. The radio, television and internet is a resource used daily by the people we serve, but this day we attempted to keep those off. The feeling of helplessness and sorrow I will never forget. We all work hard to help them with these feelings daily, but this day and the days to follow was so deep and dark.

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