20 Years After 9/11, Looking Back at How Northeast Ohioans Reacted to the Terrorist Attacks
"Today we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country."
On Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed the nation after the terrorist attacks that claimed almost 3,000 lives. Two planes hijacked by members of al-Qaeda struck the World Trade Center, one hit the Pentagon and one crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers attempted to regain control of the aircraft.
Concern spread throughout the country that more attacks would target other major cities. Cleveland evacuated downtown buildings in response. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport was evacuated and closed. Ohioans lined up at gas stations out of fear of possible fuel restrictions. Communities came together to grieve.
"Our world is going to change."
Despite the fresh tragedy, some Northeast Ohioans attempted to return to their regular lives. For others, the attacks changed everything with a renewed sense of patriotism and need to help. American flags sold out across the country.
Ohioans struggled with the loss of lives. They also tried to come to terms with the loss of the perceived safety they felt from living in the United States. Others recognized that this kind of violence wasn't new in the world, just to America.
"I didn't want to scare them."
On Sept. 12, people in Northeast Ohio were also trying to decide how to explain the terrorist attacks to their children.
Some parents worried breeching the topic in the wrong way would scare their children. Some struggled to even find the words.