We can remember it like it was just yesterday: where we were when we realized America was being attacked.
As the attacks mounted, people flooded onto Washington D.C streets. The only way to safety for many was to walk.
“It's just any way you can get out basically,” said Sharon Pavlovsky on September 11, 2001. “Our managers were just saying go home. Be safe.”
10 years later she recalls that day.
“I turned around at one point as I was crossing one of the bridges -- maybe Woodley Park and I looked back at this sea of people and I felt like a refugee,” Pavlovsky said.
Lynne Lewis was on a New York City bound us airways shuttle. Before take-off she was ordered to get off the plane and evacuate National Airport. What she saw next from the top level of the airport garage is still vivid.
“I heard it first, then I saw it,” Lewis said. “Then the smoke, the smoke, the plumes of smoke coming up from the Pentagon which made no sense.”
Memories of that day include the sheer panic felt as people tried to reach loved ones.
Sally McCarthy's office was in the shadow of the white house. four-months pregnant and anxious, she walked out of the city
“My instinct was-- I'm in Washington D.C.-- I just need to get out of the building,” she said. “I needed to get to a place where I felt safe.”
She realized only when she got to her high-rise apartment in Maryland the significance of what was happening in her hometown. It was clear day and she could see a huge plume of smoke and helicopters hovering above.
While 9-11 is a defining moment in U.S. history, it also serves as a personal benchmark for so many of us. Where we were, how we felt and how it changed us are all part of the shared experience of that historic day.