September 11th, 2001 is our generations singular date in history that everyone can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they received shockingly terrible news.
The previous generation can always point to November 22, 1963. That was the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in cold blood in the streets of Dallas, Texas. For their parents, it is easily December 7th, 1941 -- a "date which will live in infamy" -- the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese vaulting the United States into World War II.

I asked my friends and family on my personal Facebook page to recant where they were when they first heard the tragic news that was unfolding.

Get our free mobile app

Remember, on this 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US, smartphones weren't really commonplace and social media was just burgeoning so we all didn't collectively get the details at a moment's notice.

For me, I was on the air when me and my co-host read a bulletin over the Associated Press news wire the said something like, "A plane has struck the north tower of the World Trade Center" or something along those lines. We both assumed, not having seen any video or pictures yet, that a small commuter plane clipped a wing and crashed. A tragedy, to be sure, but nothing of the scope that we  were about to discover.

A few minutes later, the news reporter from our sister station came down the hall and said, "You guys gotta come see this!". The only television in the building, back then (we all have them now -- probably because of this!), was in the newsroom. We walked down the hallway only to see the massive hole and billowing smoke pouring out of the tower.

We went back on the air and, in one of the few times I can ever remember, told everyone listening to turn on the TV. For the next two hours, we tried to related what official information we were getting while still continuing to play music. Every so often, someone would call the studio, clearly just getting up and going for the day, and say, "Do you guys see what's going on?!?!" Of course we knew as we were on-air when the news first broke at 5:46 A.M. our time.

How did you first hear the news on 9/11?

Below are the responses I got from my friends and family. Some of them were actually listening to us on the radio and found out that way. Others, like many, already had the TV on as they were preparing for their days. The responses that hit me the most were the ones from folks that were active duty in the armed services. We were all confused and scared and didn't know what to do or what would happen next.

Where were you?

NEVER FORGET: Images from 9/11 and the days after

See 20 Ways America Has Changed Since 9/11

For those of us who lived through 9/11, the day’s events will forever be emblazoned on our consciousnesses, a terrible tragedy we can’t, and won’t, forget. Now, two decades on, Stacker reflects back on the events of 9/11 and many of the ways the world has changed since then. Using information from news reports, government sources, and research centers, this is a list of 20 aspects of American life that were forever altered by the events of that day. From language to air travel to our handling of immigration and foreign policy, read on to see just how much life in the United States was affected by 9/11.