FLORENCE, S.C. — Leroy James was at home when the report came on television that the World Trade Center had been attacked. Like many Americans, he was shocked.
“It was completely unbelievable,” James said. “At the time, I really didn’t understand what was going on. I caught on later on.”
James said the terrorist attack slightly put fear into his heart about airplanes and the possibility of another attack, but he said that fear is no different than today’s fear of the probability of him being shot in a church, store, or parking lot.
“I didn’t feel safe then and I don’t feel safe now,” James said. “It’s hard to even go to the store nowadays without something happening.”
James said 9/11 was a terrible thing and he hates that some many people had to lose their lives and hopes the families of those who were slain are still moving along.
Sharon Weatherford said she vividly remembers where she was. Weatherford said she was at the doctor’s office preparing to leave for Lynchburg, Virginia, to visit her daughter.
“I was devastated,” Weatherford said. “My doctor’s son was in New York. He wasn’t in the Trade Center, but he was in a building right next to it. I was his first and only patient. He saw me, heard about the news and left for New York.”
Weatherford said the doctor’s office was in a frenzy from hearing about the news.
“We made it to Lynchburg, Virginia, to be with my daughter,” Weatherford said. “Her husband was leaving Virginia to go to Florida for business and we were going to be with her. He had a flight to Florida, but all flights were canceled and he rented a car and drove.”
Willie Mae Woodberry said she was in Boston, Massachusetts, at work. Woodberry said she was shocked that something like that could happen.
“I didn’t have family in New York, but I had family in Washington.” Woodberry said. “I had a niece who worked at the Pentagon and they were running and trying to get away from that area.”
Woodberry said she didn’t have any uneasiness about getting on flights in the future, but she said the incident did make her vigilant about her surroundings and made her question people instead of taking them at face value.
“What you see is not what you get from people,” Weatherford said. “More than anything, that is what the attack taught me and I hope nothing like that happens again because it was a terrifying experience.”
Martha Jackson Taylor said she was at home watching television when she got word of the attack.
“The only thing I could say was wow,” Taylor said. “I asked myself what the world was coming to.”
Taylor said she had family in New York at the time of the attack and she was deeply concerned about their safety.
“I didn’t call because I knew that they had a lot of families actually in New York that were worried about them and calling them,” Taylor said. “I knew that the other family members would get to them. I just prayed for their safety.”
Taylor said from time to time she may have a thought about a terrorist attack when she is in a crowded area, but it is rare.
“I am just careful of my surroundings,” Taylor said. “I pay attention to all the exits and as long as I can get in and out I am fine.”
Mary Johnson said she was on the way to an AME annual conference in Conway when she heard about the crashing of the World Trade Center.
“I did not know what to do,” Johnson said. “It also made me nervous about future terrorist attacks because you never know. Who would’ve thought something like that would happen?”
Johnson said the scariest thing about the terrorist attack is that you never know and it is least expected.
Read the full article here