Editor's Note: This week we remember those fallen in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Laguna Niguel Patch asked residents to share their personal stories about how they were affected by the event that changed America forever. We will share some of these stories this week, the 10th anniversary of that fateful day.
This story is from resident Jennifer Kilger, 40, in her own words.
"It began like any other Monday morning.
Sept. 11, 2001, was a beautiful cloudless day in Orange County. The start of a new school year was here and I had a new crop of fourth graders to teach.
Little did I know as I said goodbye to my husband, a Los Angeles City Firefighter, our lives would be forever scarred. I hopped in my car and turned on the radio to listen to the news. The words that came across were shocking and confusing. A plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. And then more terrifying news, another plane, the second tower. And another plane, the Pentagon. On and on he went.
Would it ever stop? I frantically called my husband telling him to turn on the news concerned that he would have to report to work. My mind began to race, questions filled my thoughts. Would there be more attacks? Could it happen here? Would he be safe? What would I say to my students?
How do I shield them from these horrifying events? On and on I went. When I finally walked into work, there was an eerie silence. Teachers gathered around a television, mouths agape. Muffled sobs penetrated the silence. Luckily, few children had heard of our nation’s tragedy when they arrived at school that morning, a small victory in an otherwise devastating day.
The days and weeks that followed are a blur now. But for those of us who remember where we were that day, the sights, sounds, and emotions of that beautiful Monday morning will forever be ingrained in our minds and in our hearts."