On 9/11 anniversary, Twitter users remember #whereiwas

Charles Dharapak/AP
Taps is played as President Obama and the First Lady stand with White House staff members after a moment of silence marking the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on Friday.

The messages are powerful and poignant: 140-character remembrances of where people were when they learned of the terror attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

As President Obama and his wife observed a moment of silence at the White House, many took to the microblogging site to share messages of hope, solidarity, and respect, leading 9/11-related terms to claim nearly all of Twitter's top trending topics. Hashtags also sprung up, one of the most popular of which was "#whereiwas."

Students remember being at school:

Heard rumors, then got to Physics class where the teacher had set up a t.v. I sketched the towers as the clips aired #whereiwas (@rotatingworld)
Senior year of high school. Getting ready for a homecoming week pepfest. Instead we all watched the tv in silence & fear (@anitalynns)
Mr. Stoutz's 10th grade Algebra II class, fourth seat in the last row by the window. (@xanderbecket)
Walked into Art Class and saw it on TV. I asked what movie we were watching..."Real life" someone replied. (@seebabcock)

And businesspeople talk about going in to work:

At my first job. Got to work and all desks were empty. Everyone was huddled into one office watching the towers on TV. (@emilyyolks)
From my office I could see the plume of smoke from the Pentagon I had just passed . and fighter jets. I panicked. My boss worked. (@meitweet)
Saw it all from my office windows in midtown. walked downtown as far as i could. i remember it was very quiet down there. (@petersng)
Getting ready for work, heard it on the radio. Went in to the office, not thinking that it was 6 blocks from the White House. (@kathwertheim)

Share your memories in the comments, and on Twitter, where we're @CSMHorizonsBlog.

[Editor's note: The original version of this article said Twitter could handle 160 characters per message. We bet they could, but they choose to stick to 140.] 


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