9/11 sparks emotions from all walks of life - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

9/11 sparks emotions from all walks of life


"I was in the White House actually when it happened," said Congressman Paul Ryan, (R) Janesville.

"I was in Washington, DC.  I was stationed at the National Guard Bureau," said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Commander of the Wisconsin National Guard.

For UW Senior Luke Johnson, the memory is far different.

"I just remember being in the library of my grade school," said Johnson

No matter what your place in life was on September 11th, 2001, its a moment in time that everyone can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing.

Sgt. Brandon Lutz of the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison was leaving work.

"Got off in the morning and I was on my way home and I was listening to the radio and over the radio they said a plane crashed into the towers," said Sgt. Lutz.

"Within the next few minutes, the second plane hit," said Col. Pat Volk of the 115th.

"Then, the Pentagon got hit," recalled Rep. Ryan.  "I looked out my window and you could see the smoke going up and I immediately evacuated my staff."

"We were told we should evacuate the Capitol area," said Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, (D) Madison.  "I remember the feeling of such sadness and loss."

UW Junior Anna DiPoto remembers being a confused and frightened 5th grader.

"The scariest part was seeing like my Mom crying, that type of thing where its just like, its frustrating when you can't understand it," said DiPoto.

But just a few hours later, Americans both young and old began to discover a common resolve.

"I also remember returning to the capitol steps later that night, where we gathered, Democrat and Republican alike," said Rep. Baldwin.  "We stood on the steps of the capitol, we held hands, we sang God Bless America."

Maj. Gen. Dunbar experienced a similarly emotional moment.

"I worked my way to a hill that overlooks the Pentagon where it was struck and there was a group of citizens that had formed and they were holding American flags and praying and singing.  It was really an amazing moment," said Maj. Gen. Dunbar.

Some people began to prepare for the inevitable.

"I think I was here at the unit, within about two hours," said Col. Pat Volk.  "And we were getting ready to kind of mobilize and go into action."

"None of us could think of anything we wanted to be doing more than being here supporting our country," said Sgt. Lutz.

A country that would be changed forever.

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