ST. LOUIS – Ask most people where they were on Sept. 11, 2001, when the twin towers were attacked and they will tell you exactly what they were doing.
“We felt like we were invincible, and then all of a sudden they brought it to our doorstep, that was the crazy part,” John Barnes said.
It’s no doubt 9/11 changed America forever.
“As soon as that second plane hit you knew it wasn’t an accident, and the world changed for us that day,” John Barnes said.
He said before 9/11 there weren’t as many security measures in place, something people under the age of 20 wouldn’t remember.
The heightened security measures could be felt nationwide, including at local St. Louis area attractions.
“Anybody could go to the gates before 9/11 and now clearly you have to have a boarding pass, no liquids, so it’s a significantly different experience,” Mila Fesler said.
She and her husband were in the Air Force, stationed in Alaska when the attacks happened.
While at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport with her two kids Friday, she had told them what an airport looked like before 9/11, which is an America they will never see.
But they aren’t alone.
“It is pretty crazy how much 9/11 has affected security measures,” Haley Longhibler said.
She doesn’t remember the day the twin towers fell, but she does remember how security measures changed over the years as she attended St. Louis Cardinals games with her family.
According to our partners at the Post Dispatch, St. Louis Cardinals immediately banned backpacks, coolers and the organization doubled its police presence at games.
“Sometimes you can’t even bring in a bag of chips because they’re afraid you’re going to bring in something that could be dangerous, and I understand it was all about for safety, but man it was nice you could just go inside and enjoy the ballpark,” John Barnes said, reminiscing on the time he knew before 9/11.
The Cardinals weren’t alone. A spokesperson for Six Flags St. Louis said the amusement park immediately started using metal detectors and completing bag checks post 9/11.
A spokesperson for the Fox Theatre said the venue “did increase security in the lobby and limit employee and vendor access points with security at those points.”
She said after other venue attacks, the Fox theatre started using security wands and conducted bag searches became standard in the industry, which was implemented about seven years ago.
While some said they miss pre-9/11 America, for others, a post 9/11 America is all they know.
“We weren’t around for the pre 9/11 stuff, so I mean thats stuff we grew up with,” Cole Craddock said.
“Now, here we are 20 years later and it’s never going to go back,” Barnes said.