Sonora, Ca — It has now been seven years since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and many community leaders have taken time to reflect on what they remember about that particular Tuesday back in 2001.
?I remember just being shocked, as I´m sure that everyone was. It seemed so surreal to see the planes flying into the buildings. As I saw more of the coverage, the thoughts went to the people and the number of lives that in an instant changed.? ? Tuolumne CAO Craig Pedro
?I remember later that day heading back to the office, and there was a family gathered on the step of an apartment building holding each other and crying. You remembered that there were thousands of people in those towers that day that worked there or were emergency services personnel, and so many lives were changed permanently. Not just the people who lost their lives, but everyone who knew and cared about them.? ? Calaveras CAO Bob Lawton, who was working in New York at the time of the attacks.
?I remember being on my way to work and hearing about it on the radio. I knew that I needed to get to the office to see if this was going to be a countrywide thing. We didn´t know if we were going to have to prepare for evacuations from the Bay Area or what was going to happen. It was kind of an uncertain and scary time.? ? Calaveras County Sheriff Dennis Downum
?I was awoken by my wife who happened to be on the East Coast. She told me to turn on the TV because a plane had flown into one of the Twin Towers. Initially when I saw the first plane hit, it seemed a little odd to me, and I was thinking that something wasn´t right. When the second plane hit, I realized that the Country was under attack.? ? Sonora Fire Chief Mike Barrows
?I was transfixed watching it on television, and remember thinking that this is exactly what the terrorists want us to do. They want us to essentially be frozen by that image, and unable to carry on with the business of our Country. They wanted to bring our Country to a halt. I told my wife that I was going to go to work and do my duty as I see it, because they were not going to stop this Country, they were not going to stop us. We couldn´t give in to what they wanted us to do.? ? Tuolumne County District Attorney Donald Segerstrom
?I got a call from my father who told me to turn on the television. It was after the first plane had hit the World Trade Center, and then I watched as the second plane hit. Like everyone else, I was just struggling to understand it. I still can´t say that I understand it to this day.? ? Calaveras County District Attorney Jeff Tuttle
?Shock, disbelief and dismay. It ran up and down through the veins of my body. I was asking, was this really a terrorist attack? There was a lot of shock and a lot disbelief, but then reality set in.? ? Sonora City Administrator Greg Applegate
?I was watching and remembering back to the 1940´s when a bomber had accidentally flown into the Empire State Building, and was wondering if something like that had occurred. As the second plane hit and there were reports of Washington being hit, it became clear that this was an attack on our Country and it was time for everyone to pull together.? ? Calaveras County Superintendent of Schools John Brophy
?I was just entering the school and ran into teacher Cathy Brandy on the steps. She asked if I had seen the news clips, which I hadn´t. I went into the office and looked on the computer, and just remember feeling terrible for had happened. Then, I was concerned, wondering whether there would be any impact on California and the foothills.? ? Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva
Written by BJ Hansen