It was early in the morning. I'm not sure the time. My husband and I were in bed still when the phone rang. It was my parents.
"We're under attack," my mother said to me. I was still half asleep but the words sounded so heavy that I sat up, in a panic.
"We're under attack."
Those words resonated and the sounds of road construction outside our window made them feel real.
My mom told me to turn the television set on and I remember thinking, "what channel?" It didn't matter. It seemed as if every station was frozen in horror, watching the scene unfold in New York. The second that second plane hit, my husband and I just clutched each other, phone in hand, and shook.
I remember going to school that morning, even after watching the events on the screen. I was a San Jose State University journalism student then. I drove through downtown and all I can remember is how empty everything felt. And the men in black near many of the government buildings. SJSU ended up closing the campus that day as did many other local school districts.
I called a close friend of mine that day. Or maybe exchanged an email. I don't quite recall the details. She had moved to New York just months before the attack. She was shaken but OK.
My parents called me this morning to invite me out for a cup of coffee, as they do often, but as I answered I felt a bit of déjà vu.
I had coffee with my parents this morning and we were talking about this day, 11 years ago and I realized something I hadn't before. I had never asked them where they were when they found out. Where they were when they called me.
My mom began to speak and she got goose bumps. Literally. She says she just felt a panic in her chest. They were in the car and saw two military planes escorting a passenger plane overhead (there were two incoming flights from Tokyo and Taipei that morning).
"Algo estaba pasando (something was happening)," my mom said.
When they turned on the television, they saw the coverage of the attacks.
"We saw the planes, all the planes flying in all directions," she said to me.
They had watched as the plane headed to San Francisco crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
There was fear that day that there might have been another plane headed to the West Coast.
"We were just so scared," she said.
It's been 11 years since the events of that day wove themselves into the fabric of this country and our lives. What has changed? Has anything changed? Do you feel different? Share your story with us.