Many recall ‘flashbulb memories’ of 9/11 terrorist attacks

Some say these memories can serve as a search light as America moves forward

Remembering 9/11 throughout the ArkLaTex

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — As America observed the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we examined the memories of that dark day.

Just about anybody old enough to remember 2001 likely will never forget 9/11.

Just ask someone “Where were you on 9/11?”

We posed that question to Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins.

“I was a junior at Captain Shreve High School sitting in Biology II class when a teacher rushed in and told my teacher what happened. And I watched the towers fall on our TV in the classroom.”

Then there’s Shreveport Fire Chief Scott Wolverton.

“We rode a TV into the academy classroom and everybody was watching the horrific events that were occurring and just, just in disbelief with what was happening.”

Psychologists call them “flashbulb memories.”

It’s usually during a dramatic or traumatic experience that the brain records a snapshot of the moment.

Retired explosives specialist Joe Mann recalled the challenges of arriving at the Pentagon as an ATF explosives specialist just hours after the attacks.

"You're sorry for everything that happened and this is ugly and this is bad. But you gotta go take care of business and you have to go do your job."

Mann said he hopes people think about one word overall to help us unite and get past the hyper-partisan divide we are going through as a nation.

That word is sacrifice.

“Everything that everybody sacrificed for. The first responders, the people who lost their lives.”

Some say these flashbulb memories can serve as a search light as America moves forward in what’s sure to be some murky waters ahead.

Perkins described this time as big turning point.

“We do not want to forget 9/11. We do not want to forget those that fought for us. And we don’t want to forget what we fight for.”

The 9/11 attacks are just one example of so-called flashbulb events.

Others include:

  • Pearl Harbor: Dec. 7, 1941 in Honolulu;
  • The assassination of President John F. Kennedy: Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas; and, the
  • Shuttle Challenger explosion: Jan. 28, 1986, over the Atlantic Ocean near the Florida coast.

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