When Shakopee resident Kaylynn Smith first saw the news, the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, she thought her mother was watching a movie.
Smith lived in Hilo, Hawaii at the time, and in her time zone, the attack had occurred while most people were sleeping.
"What are you watching?" she remembered asking her mother. "Why are you watching this?"
Her mother told her that it was real. Smith was shocked. She also considered her friends who had just joined the military.
“My first thought was that they’re going to have to go fight now,” Smith said.
Her friends had not expected that they would have to leave the country and fight, and it was a hard reality to accept, she explained.
Schools were closed and most businesses in the small town did not open that day. Smith said that even if her classes had not been canceled, she would not have gone to school. She couldn’t think about school at such a time, she said.
In a town where people did not normally speak to strangers, Smith said that the normal barriers to communication lifted.
“Everybody that you would see would talk. Every place we stopped… they just wanted somebody to talk to,” Smith said.
Some worried about family members and others spoke about the images they had seen on the television.
As Smith looked back on that day, she concluded: “I’ll never forget thinking it was a movie.”
What are your memories of 9/11? Share them in comments.