Sept. 11, 2001, is one of those few days in history, like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or man's first walk on the moon, when almost everyone can tell you where they were and what they were doing when they learned that one plane, then another, had hit the World Trade Center and a third had flown into the Pentagon.
Josephine West, 40, of Columbia remembers exactly (audio) when she got a call from a friend telling her her father had been killed.
The sky just looked different (audio) that day to Nicole Epps, 31, of Newberry as she returned from Charlotte.
And things got eerily quiet (audio) at the orthodontist's office where Roxann Burther, 53, of Columbia was picking up a relative.
On the 10th anniversary of the attack that killed more than 3,000 people, The Reporter talks with those who remember that moment but also looks back to our coverage that day beginning with a powerful story based on a string of pager messages that came from Lehman Brothers employees who worked in the towers.
(Audio by Scott Waggoner)
As the Twin Towers burned, Seth Wandersman, who would normally have been at work, began exchanging pager messages with his Lehman Brothers co-workers. Wandersman was the friend of a Carolina Reporter staffer, and the stream of messages he supplied to the paper that day shows the fear and chaos that followed the attacks.
The months after Sept. 11, 2001, are a blur for Leslie Wiser Jr. Wiser, now chief of staff at the Columbia Police Department, was an FBI special agent assigned to the counterterrorism division when the attacks occurred. 'An unquenchable thirst for information'
Two twisted beams from the World Trade Center form the centerpiece of the new 9/11 First Responders' Memorial at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. It's a memorial that its designer says is Loaded With Symbolism
At Columbia Metropolitan Airport, spokeswoman Lynne Douglas, who was there the day the planes hit the N.Y towers and the Pentagon, says 9/11 changed aviation forever. But on the day of the attacks it was 'just disbelief.'
The September 11 attacks were a tragedy, but they also opened the spigot on millions of dollars in federal aid to South Carolina. Former SLED Chief Robert Stewart, who also was the state's homeland security director, says that as a result, the state is better prepared for all types of emergencies, not just terrorism.