9/11: Where Were You?

With the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11 looming, San Marino Police Chief John Schaefer recounts where he was on that day and how he felt then and now.

Ten years after the World Trade Center attacks we are asking the community, "Where were you on 9/11?"

Division Chief Rick Mayhew recalled getting ready for his father's funeral that morning and what he felt when he first saw the footage of planes crashing into the Twin Towers.

San Marino Patch Editor Jessica Hamlin remembers being a freshman in college and being overcome by the situation's surreality. 

Now shares where he was on that historic day, how he felt then and how he feels 10 years later:

I was a captain at the Seal Beach Police Department at the time. I remember when JFK was assassinated. [9/11] was like JFK.

I was in the lunchroom in the Seal Beach Police Department and I’m looking at the TVs. They were filming the Twin Towers; the first plane had crashed but as I’m watching it the second plane crashes in and I am just thinking, ‘This is not real. What is this? Is this a movie?’ It was just outside my realm of what could be real. I just could not believe it.

And they were talking about how many people were in the building and how many people could die and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, there are enough in there to die to be literally a whole city.’ The population of the whole city of San Marino could be housed in those buildings. Thank God so many people got out, but more policemen and firemen were killed in the line of duty on that day than on any day in American history.

I remember when you could walk on an airplane without taking your shoes or your belt off. And I just can’t imagine the wars that have gone on since then whether it was Iraq or Afghanistan. It has just changed our lives so much and I never knew when I was just standing there watching it on TV. If you said to me in 10 years this is what it is going to mean—how many human lives and soldiers have been lost and how many people's lives have been impacted—I never ever ever would have imagined what a horrific event that was.


Where were you on 9/11? Do you have a story or photos to share? Email your story to jessica.hamlin@patch.com or comment in the comments section of this article.


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