We were stationed in Germany at the time, so it was afternoon for us. I was winding down our afterschool Brownie Girl Scout meeting, when one of the parents came in and pulled my co-leader and myself aside and said that a plane had hit the Trade Center, and that the Pentagon was on fire. I looked her dead in the eye and said "so what, people are stealing our planes and flying them into our buildings?" She replied that all she knew from the news at that point was that one plane hit the WTC, and the Pentagon had a fire. She never quite looked at me the same after that...LOL By the time I got home and called my mom stateside, I was watching the second plane hit the other tower. My DH was on lockdown on post, pending possible immediate deployment. He did get to come home, thankfully, but was on the rapid deploy list. We spent the rest of that first night packing, just in case. Bags were placed by the door. By 8pm that night (2pm New York time) we had soldiers patrolling the streets of our housing with machine guns. The next morning they were still there when we walked our kids to school. They had brought in concrete barricades and razor wire, as our housing was right out in the open - no walls or gates, and they were worried for our safety. (There were supposed Al Qaeda cells as close as Frankfurt - about 45 minutes away, so there were worries we could be a target.) We had a curfew - in by dusk unless on official business or under escort. It was a little like I would imagine martial law must be like. By the second or third day, the children from the nearby German school came and put flowers and candles on the steps of our school. It was very surreal being that far from everything, and yet being in the middle of it all. Overall, very hard to explain.