September 11: Tell Your Story

Add your story

Contribute to the historical record of September 11


View the featured stories
Browse all stories



The September 11 Digital Archive

Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Smithsonian “September 11:
Bearing Witness to History”

     Story of September 11
<< Return to previous page

Contributed by: Lynn Pagano
Contributor's location on 9/11: augusta, georgia
Contributed on: 13 October 2004

How did you witness history on September 11th?

I teach high school government and sociology. I'm from Monmouth County, NJ but I now live and teach in Georgia. On Sept. 11, 2001, our second period class had just begun. Another teacher called me out and told me that a plane had just flown into the WTC. I thought he was just messing with me. I put the tv on and a few minutes later I, along with my 26 senior students, witnessed the second plane crash into the second tower. Shortly after, a report came in from Washington, DC regarding smoke coming from the Pentagon and we soon knew that a third plane had been used to hit a structure. It was at that moment I had to sit, thinking of my own family and friends when one of my senior students asked, "Ms. Pagano, are we at war?" Of all of the things a high school teacher sees and hears each day, that had to be the toughest moment of my career. How do you answer that question to a classroom full of young adults, scared and in disbelief when you can't even comprehend it yourself? I'll never forget that moment, I'll never forget that question. God bless all the families that lost loved ones on that day. God bless my students as we will always be connected by that fateful day.

Has your life changed because of September 11, 2001?

Every day is a gift. September 11 reminds me that every day, every moment is a gift.

What do you think should be remembered about September 11th?

In spite of the evil intent by Al Queda and any other terrorist group, people pulled together to help each other. In fact, the world came to help in so many ways and that is what we should remember.

Did you fly an American flag after the events of September 11th?

Yes, I flew the American flag for a long time after Sept. 11th. I grieved for the families and I was proud of my country. Yes, my feelings about the flag have changed. I stopped flying it shortly before George W. Bush invaded Iraq. The flag represents my country and I did not (nor do I) support the invasion of a country that was NOT responsible for the tragedy of September 11th.

Cite as: Lynn Pagano, Smithsonian Story #6854, The September 11 Digital Archive, 13 October 2004, <>.
Archival Information: 237 words, 1197 characters

<< Return to previous page