Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?

Compiling readers' memories of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The "Empty Sky" memorial to New Jersey's victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

War was on my mind.

I had just finished posting last night about President Obama's speech on Syria and stepped outside to clear my head with a cigar, glancing at my iPhone out of habit. It was a few minutes past midnight – Sept. 11. The memory of another September day gave me shivers and a sudden urge to listen to the Alan Jackson tribute, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning That September Day)."

I found a video of the song on YouTube and tweeted: "It's 9/11. Where were you when the wor(ld) stopped turning that September Day? #Remember." The song is beautifully written, packed with evocative lyrics including a line that I posted immediately after the first tweet. It's a sad testament to all that has followed since the 9/11 attacks, a reminder of when we were less weary and worldly. "I'm just a singer of simple songs. I'm not a real political man," Jackson sings. "I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran."

The first reply came from @TimothyODonnel2 who simply and powerfully tweeted: "I was wearing this." He included a link to a picture of himself – in a military uniform.  Sitting in a dark corner of my backyard, reading and re-reading four words sent to me by an utter stranger, I quietly wept.

Later, I changed the hashtag to #wherewereyou. Several readers ask me, "Where were you?" The short answer is I was in the White House on 9/11, the last civilian evacuated. The long answer will wait for another day and place, but Mindy Fletcher knows part of it. A longtime adviser to President George W. Bush, she worked at the Department of Justice at the time. "I remember exactly what I was doing when the 2nd plane hit," she tweeted. "I was on the phone with you." Her second tweet: "I didn't know then, but a war that would deploy my husband twice and take the life of two of his cousins" had started.

Hundreds more memories poured onto Twitter. A sample is below. Read more at https://www.rebelmouse.com/wherewereyou/ or scroll through my Twitter feed, @ron_fournier.

I'd like to hear from you: Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

Matt Vasilogambros contributed to this article