Interviews with three Americans colleagues at UATV who reflect on 9/11
The most emblematic imagery of that day was when two passenger aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, causing the Twin Towers to collapse in a chaos of dust and sirens. Almost 3,000 people died.
Even 18 years later, many Americans remember that day clear. We asked three of our American colleagues to try to describe what they felt when they heard about the attacks and how it changed their daily life as well as their vision of the world.
Do you remember where you were on 9/11?
“I was working at my first full-time job in an investment banking house in Germany, and on German TV they broadcasted live people jumping from the Twin Towers. Well, at first we thought it was a joke and then when the footage kept coming in, we realized how serious it was, and at that point where the first tower then collapsed I realized I was standing in a bank lobby with about 300 people who were absolutely silent.” – Kari Odermann
“I was living in Chicago at the time, and I was actually in my fitness club getting ready for work. There were televisions on and we were seeing the North Tower on fire with nobody knowing what was going on and as I was getting ready for work, the second plane hit, so I saw it live on the television, and it was traumatic. Plus I lived in NYC for seven years so I stood on the roof of the South Tower, I’d been on the observation deck so, you know, think of them being gone, you know, it was just unreal.” – Roger Binion
“So at that time I was about 6 years old so I was very young I was still at elementary school. The time where it really hit me was my classmate next to me said ‘Oh the twin towers in New York collapsed,’ and it was very confusing at that time. I remember coming home a bit later and my mom was really upset, very emotional… But for me, I don’t think I quite understood at that age what it meant. I just could tell something terrible had occurred.” – Zack Dmyterko
What did this tragic event change in Americans’ daily life?
“My first time back to America after 9/11, I noticed the changes quite a bit, the security at the airports, going through customs, the change of the whole atmosphere was very apparent.” – Kari Odermann
“It was a trauma! And there were just a lot of fear. People didn’t want to travel anymore, there was a sense of isolation and a sense of fear…” – Roger Binion
“Immediately after, I do remember realizing there was a big scare, there was a big fear in everybody. Even we did ridiculous things like we were afraid of a bio-attack, a biochemical attack so my mom had taped up our room with duck tape and said, ‘if anything ever happens we go to this room, it’s our safe room, and we just seal the room shut.” – Zack Dmyterko
What’s the best response to terrorism?
“I think cultural diplomacy is still probably one of the most important things.” – Kari Odermann
“Terrorism, it’s an ideology which unfortunately will never go away. The only way to defeat terrorism is through education.” – Roger Binion
“I think the biggest thing is to resist the fear that terrorism brings about. The goal is ultimately to scare people into changing their day-to-day lives, into living in terror so that they force their government to do something about it… It’s hard, it’s hard to overcome those basic instincts to really address an issue like terrorism.” – Zack Dmyterko