Where were you when you heard the news of 9/11

Laredo is many miles, many states away from New York; but, we were all affected. Que Fregados wants to know, where and what were you doing when you first heard of the tragedies occurring on September 11, 2001?

Photo credit: CNN

The news of a plane crashing first came by word-of-mouth. I was being an ogre boss at the U because we were on deadline and told everyone to get back to work. When we finally realized it was a massive attack, not just a sputtering airplane accident, we brought in the TV to watch the news. We watched the panic and horror on TV.

If you want, share your memory of 9/11 in the comment section.

About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to quefregados@gmail.com.
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15 Responses to Where were you when you heard the news of 9/11

  1. Stxparrothead says:

    It was a quiet, beautiful morning- kids were off to school (1st & 3rd grades) & I didn’t have to work. The Today show was on & I had just gotten out of the shower. They were showing a replay of one Tower exploding into flames from what they thought was a small commuter plane. All of a sudden another plane flew into the other tower- I sat on my bed in shock. What was going on? Felt sick to my stomach. Thought about getting the kids from school but knew nothing fun would be happening that day & decided they were better off away from the As with most of the US, I couldn’t turn it off. Felt the need to do something, but had no idea what could be done from so far away. I remember mostly feeling helpless. Went out later that day & thought it was eerie to see no jet tracks in the sky (lived not too far from the airport.) Later when the kids came home we saw a jet trail- turned out to be Airforce One on it’s way back to DC. I remember a few days later after returning from some errands, I saw a very low flying helicopter flying just below tree-top level & got kinda freaked out. Not sure why-didn’t exactly live in a hot spot for terrorists (central IL.) Seems just like yesterday. The kids only remember what replays every year- although my son, who was 6 at the time, announced he was going to join the army & get the bad man who did it. I’m not sure those plans remain, but if that’s what he decides to do in 2 years, I’ll be proud to support him and all those serving to defend our freedom.

  2. Andres C says:

    I woke up to the tv that morning (it served as my alarm) talking about a plane that crashed into the WTC. I like um okay. How could that happen. That’s like some running into a parked car, how can you miss it. They still hadn’t found out what type of plane it was. I was thinking like a small cesna or something. Eh, I thought, just some crazy news from the east coast. As I walked out of the bathroom brushing my teeth I WATCHED LIVE the second plane fly into the other tower …., it almost felt like the entire world stopped….I rushed to my office, in central austin at the time. Everyone had either brought a tv to work, or dust off the old ones around the office. We all sat around the TVs all day. It was very quiet and no one coul believe what had happened. I remember we had, lke every office, a conspiracy theorist who said it was the US. We were trying to go to war in the middle east. I was like why? Well I of course was worried when we did go in soon after. My cousin was in the navy and stationed in Japan. He was part of the first fleet deployed to the Persian gulf.

  3. MaryHelen says:

    My brother and I were in Austin on business. He had an interview with then Texas Secretary of State Henry Cuellar about, of all things, security computer programming. I stayed behind at our sister’s house and slept in. My first memory of the day was my sister coming in to wake me and I noticed she had been crying. This was extremely unusual for her as she had always been the cheery hostess. When she told me what she and my brother-in-law had seen on TV, I felt my blood drain from my face and my first thought was of my family being in Laredo — all I wanted to do was return home to be with them. My brother returned to our sister’s house because Mr. Cuellar had cancelled all meetings, understandably. The Capitol was on lock-down as were all government buildings. Austin was in a state of shock like I’d never seen it before. My first attempt to reach my husband in Laredo at work was futile; I finally got a hold of him on his cell phone. Everyone at his office was silent and/or quietly crying, he said. Then he asked me when was I returning home to which I replied, “Now!” That was the most unsettling trip back home ever, scrambling along the way to find radio stations to keep us in touch with the horror of that day.

  4. Que Fregados says:

    Only an hour (11pm – 12am) since this was posted and plenty of people have responded on Facebook. I might have to repost it on Facebook again. It impacted all of us in one way or another regardless of where we were:

    Reymundo Samuel Martinez Jr. = I was teaching US Govt first block… At CHS… When Mr Valdez from across the hall came with the news…

    Darlene Rodriguez = On my way to TAMIU with some home made avena that my grandmother had made me and I remember she was trying to tell me something but I brushed it off because I was running late. I was listening to radio on my way to school thats when my my heart dropped!

    Pati Mendez = was @ work, and heard it on the radio

    Cesar Gaytan Anguiano = ‎@ school I was in 8th grade benchmarking!

    Aracely Santa-Olalla Belmontes = I was at home with my 5 month old when my husband called with the news…ran to the tv and saw the towers coming down..

    Jesus Peinado = At monterrey mx jaja

    Dora Alicia Juarez = Getting ready for classes at LCC when my twin told me to look what’s on tv in the kitchen.

    Elisa Gutierrez = I was at Doctor’s Hospital. Most of the nurses on that floor were in my room and we were all watching what was happening with the twin towers. It is my 10th anniversary of life. Never will we forget!

    Veronica Orduno = To quote Alan Jackson, Teaching a class of “not so innocent” children at Cigarroa MS. Very scary and sad.

    Carolyn Leyendecker = Getting ready to go to work with the today show on when they announced it

    Margarita Sickmeier = second week of freshman year in college- sleeping through my math class at Ithaca College in New York. woke up to my floor-mates screaming 😦 most of the girls were from NY and NJ, with loved ones who worked in NYC.

    Roberto Lozano = I was at work . we had just received some televisions , we connected a home made attena and we watched the news

    Que Fregados = Roberto, you could have come upstairs to have watched it with our office. All 10 years late.

    Roberto Lozano = you did not invite me not even for coffee 😦

    Jilberto Palacios = I was a toll collector for the city intl’ bridges. It was my day off but my bro-in-law called me early that day to tell me. All bridge employees had an emergency meeting that afternoon and commercial bridges were shut down. President Bush ordered all intl’ entry shut down immediately!

    Que Fregados = Oh wow – the bridges – definitely fear inducing even though we were so far from New York. Meghan, I didn’t know you were near in Ithaca. How scary and traumatic for all those close by.

    Jeana Vidaurri = ‎3 days before my 21st birthday. I was a sophomore in college waiting for my 9 am class to start in downtown Boston when my professor came into the classroom and said, “everyone get home now and get home safe.” I thought, “hmmm…what a weird thing to say.” Downtown Boston was being completely evacuated and no one understood why. Cell phones didn’t work because of the massive amouts of calls being made. I shoved myself onto a packed subway car and heard a lady yell “another plane hit the North tower!” and then across the train in the opposite direction, a man scream, “the Pentagon has been hit!!!” I remember being so confused. I made it back to my apartment to see the first tower fall and CNN covered it live. It was so surreal.

    Judith Zaffirini = I was getting dressed to go to the Capitol and saw it on the Today show. My husband called me and said to go back to Laredo immediately.

    Paul Niemeyer = In Tucson, where at the time I was an adjunct at the University of Arizona. I was getting ready for work and had the news on; the local reporter mentioned that a plane flew into the WTC and I figured it was just a small Cessna. I continued doing the usual stuff, but the news kept growing and growing. By the time I left for work I was numb.

    Annie Buentello = I had just moved to AZ & was into my second week of teaching. My mom was visiting me from Laredo, and she woke me up around 6:45 or so & told me to turn on the TV in my bedroom to explain to her what was going on. I remember not being sure if class was going to be canceled or not. I live near Luke Air Force Base, and there were many rumors going around about bases being targeted. I went to my 8:30 class & remember everyone being so quiet.

  5. I was at work, reading Yahoo news. Nothing had been posted yet. Went to get a drink of water and I reloaded the page and it stated that a plane had crashed into one of the towers. I didn’t think it was a big deal since no details was given about the size of the plane, and the damage to the building. When the second plane hit later that morning, I knew right there and then we were being attacked. Then the Pentagon (Flight 77) , then flight 93…….then the towers falling……people running, screaming……then numbness set in for the rest of the day……

  6. Raquel.K.E. says:

    I was at home in Calgary Alberta. Had just put my newborn twins down for a nap and saw the first plane crash on TV. I thought it was a really bad preview for a movie at first. Then my husband called and asked if I was watching! It was not a preview. I remember sitting on the floor, watching in horror everything as it happened live, and the tears started pouring. I felt numb and in shock. My heart still goes out to the families from all the countries that lost loved ones that day.

  7. Ed says:

    It was a beautiful Tuesday morning and my wife had just left to drop the kids off to school whilst I was reviewing my e-mails in my home office. Turning the TV on to the Today Show, I was floored by the images of smoke rising from on of the towers and the news of a plane having crashed into the building. Now, my astonishment came from a personal occurrence more than the actual event. I was shocked at the coincidence that the previous Thursday afternoon we had rain and low clouds here in Laredo. While driving in to little league football practice with my then 12 year-old son, he inquired as to the flashing light in the clouds. I explained to him that it was actually a light on an antenna and that its purpose was to stop aircraft from running into it and other structures like buildings. He couldn’t believe that an airplane might fly into a building and I recounted the story of an airplane actually flying into the Empire State building in New York back in the 40s on a foggy day for the rest of the drive.

    So you will understand how flabbergasted I was to see the same incident and in the same city that I just shared with my son only 5 days before. I stopped what I was doing and was glued to the TV. The anchors and reporters were trying to speak to witnesses, still unsure of whether there was an explosion from within the building or if there was an actual aircraft involved. I noticed that it was a sunny day and figured that the crash might have occurred in the early morning fog. To my amazement, right there on live television I saw the other jet strike the second tower. I knew right there that we were under attack. I figured that Laredo was too small of a city to target but I also knew that it was important enough because of it status as an important land port. I immediately went into self-preservation mode and got my firearms ready. My wife did not have a cell phone then so I waited for her to return and told her what was happening. I instructed her to keep a level head and to prepare luggage in case we had to go on the move. I also told her that if there was one more incident, we would pick up my daughter from elementary and my son from the middle school and that we should just tell the kids that we were going on a impromptu business trip. That’s when news of another plane striking the Pentagon and we put our emergency plan into action. We picked up our daughter wit the ruse and then proceeded to pick my son up under the same pretense. When I meet him at the office he asks me if I heard about the plane crash. I kept calm and told him that I had and asked him what he thought of the conscience of us just having discussed a similar incident and calmly proceeded out and to our safety. We will always remember.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t it be Where were you when you heard the news “on” 9/11, not “of”? Otherwise, it sounds like you’re asking where were you when you first found out it was September 11. lol just saying, 🙂

  10. Jorge Santana says:

    I was in high-school in Nuevo Laredo and the professor of our 945am class came in with a sad face and told us that the twin towers of New York had been attacked and were gone, and the Pentagon had been attacked also, that we should remember this day because it was a historic moment for the whole world, that nothing would be the same for the entire world one way or another. He was our math professor.

    He told us they closed the international bridges, I got so worried for my father that worked in Laredo, Tx and had to cross everyday, how will he come back? so I ran, literally to call him ( I even thought the bridges where next, a target) I called a taxi and left school for home, the bridges were closed but they opened them later that day. My fathers grandchild worked at the Pentagon but she was not in the building when this happen.

  11. Sherry Guzman says:

    I left my kids in school then I went to work. We don’t have a radio or TV there so we found out thru walk in customers. At first, I didn’t believed it; I taught people were making a bad joke to me cause two weeks before I had spent my vacations there. As soon as I found out it was true, I got panic and I left work to pick up my kids at school. At home, I watched the terrible news. I needed to back to work so I took a TV. We watched the news all
    day. People were coming & going terrorized. Today, we still feel the pain and we would never forget.

  12. kbinldo says:

    I got out of my car at work, everything was normal, the radio station was playing music. I close my car door, walk inside, say “hi” to my co-workers, go into my office, turn on my computer & radio. Instead of music, the DJ was talking on the phone to someone reporting what had just happened. I brushed it off as a commuter plane making a wrong turn, until the secretary came running down the hall screaming that the other tower had been hit. We then sat in the conference room & watched as the Towers came down.

    Later that day, I had to go to the courthouse & the streets around the then-federal courthouse were blocked off & guarded by heavily-armed US Marshals. I can’t remember if security was tighter at the courthouse, but the deputies were looking closely at anyone they didn’t recognize.

  13. Que Fregados says:

    Definitely clear memories and as Tom said below – a very “wild week” for those working on the border and in any federal capacity. The tragedies affected us all. Here are more Facebook contributions:

    Stacey Rae Bustamante = i was in 8th grade.. was watching channel 1 news when 1st heard of this horrible day.. 😦

    Sam Lozano = I had just finished training a client; I was at my apartment snoozing with FOX News on. I first thought is was a preview to a movie. I realized it was reality after about a minute or two. When I saw the second plane hit, I ran to First Assembly of God Church where my son was in school and told the administration about it. I stayed in Sammy’s with him for the rest of the morning.

    Tom Wade = At my osfice on a conference call with HQ in St Louis when 2nd plane hit. I had tv on fox news in office, muted. I told call members and our company went in to an emergency mode on monitoring border crossings and air travel. We had 100’s of people on trips that required air travel and hundreds of trucks crossing bridges along us/mex border

    Tom Wade = The port of Laredo stayed open all day crossing people and trucks. Only one shutdown due to a spill of boxes on the bridge.

    Tom Wade = We had several US employees drove to border and sent them home on our company owned trucks. Then when US air travel opened up, we got flights out of Laredo

    Tom Wade = Wild week at the border

    Nelly Vazquez = I was in 1st grade (teaching) when the principal announced to turn on the tv to find out about the horrible attack 😦

    Joey Medellin = i had just ended my shift when i worked at the speedy stop on arkanses and saunders…i saw the news when i was.getting for bed..

    Naomi C Arredondo = I was student teaching an 8th grade class.

    Angie Jimenez = I was watching despierta america when this happened. I was scared I remember crying when I saw the 2nd plane hit the tower. =(

    Patricia Esqueda-Aviña = I was in class at TAMIU and our professor released us early to stay updated.

    Eunice Gillespie = I was in St. George, UT. managing my morning and getting ready for my run. I turned my computer to check if I had any urgent e-mails before I left, and I saw the plane hit one of the towers. It was a somber day for the community and this nation.

    Enrique Elizondo = i was going to work driving in West Texas

    Roberto R León = I was in mexico

    Teri Benavides Requejo = I was going to work at LNB, the feeling is hard to explain. There were so many emotions, anger, disbelief, and I was certainly petrified. I think we all were. That is one of the worst memories I’ve experienced, such a loss.

    Aldo I. Vasquez = i was a freshman in high school at the time, i walked into the library amd saw what was happing but didn’t pay much attention. Once in class, a teacher walked in yelling “the towers got hit” and turned on the tv. The day was not the same anymore, class was put on hold to watch what was unfolding on tv. It’s a day i remember perfectly and will never forget.

    Andie Ordoñez = It was my sophomore year in high school (nuevo laredo) our chemestry teacher walked in and told us that the towers had been hit and i remember all of us looking confused because that teacher used to joke a lot… but she looked really concerned… and she told us that it was real and that it was happening. Later our english teacher came by and told us about the Pentagon. We were all freaking out especially because we didn’t have TVs at the school. During recess we all crowded around the security guy because he had a tiny TV but I couldn’t really see anything. I didn’t get to see anything until I went home and I still remember it clearly… the first thing I saw on the news was a man jumping off one of the towers. I sat on the couch and started crying. Just thinking about it now makes me very sad.

    Liza Tripp = I was at work when a friend stopped by and told me a plane hit one of the twin towers. I thought he was joking . . . It had to have been a joke because I just couldn’t believe it. I went upstairs, turned on the t.v. just in time to see the second tower collapse. My boss and I just looked at each other like, “oh shit this is really bad”. I went home soon after to get ready for class only to hear class was canceled. That whole day was weired . . . It was confusing at first, then sad, and then angry. Who would do such a thing?

    Liza Tripp = Obviously, now we know, but still to this day, it’s so hard to swallow the whole idea of it . . .

  14. rick78 says:

    Was at work fighting crime and it got very quiet after both towers came down .

  15. part of my diary says:

    i waas at home and no one was around for me to say anything to. i was so scared cuz i thought it was the fist of many attacks coming are way. it was but not how i thought. i will never forgot how much i cried and felt bad for everyone in the towers.

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