#2479 | Friday, September 13th 2002
I was getting off the bus on the corner of Broadway and Rector. I heard a huge
crash and looked up. I saw explosions and saw flying papers and fiberglass
flying in my direction.

Like a moth to flame I went towards the towers. I stopped at the area across
the buildings, in front of Century 21 (not a real estate company). I looked up
at the towers and I saw everything going on.

I was thinkin how nice outside it was. how clear it was. It seemed improbable
that this was an accident.

I saw people jumping. So many people jumping rather tahn burning up. I could
hear the contact of each one, it was a loud noise with a thud that could only
be described as the sound of a watermelon hitting concrete. I will never be
able to get those images and sounds.

Suddenly there was another loud explosion, and the south tower was in flames.
I could feel the heat from the explosion. I was pushed back from the sonic
blast of the noise and the explosion.

Immediately a ran away from the buildings, and went to my place of work
3 .5 blocks away. I watched the news in the Board room on these huge plasma screens.

When the first tower went down, it was like an earth quake. I felt it, before
the TV signal could be transmitted.

The emergency alarm went off in the building. We were stuck in the stairs for
about 10 minutes waiting for the building managers to unlock the emergency
escape doors.

Nobody knew what to expect. Would there be fire? Poisonous gas?

We finally got outside to what looked like the aftermath of Mount St Helens.
The particles in the air were like big snowflakes. The dust on the ground was
about 2-3" deep.

A group of us walked towards South Street SeaPort. We were on Platt Street in
what was the most surreal event. I could hear jet engines overhead. I had no
idea if they were more commercial planes, or if they were millitary. There was
a homeless man singing Christmas music.

We got on Water Street and I could see the numbness in everyones faces. Some
people were covered in dust to the point you could not tell if they were black,
white, or otherwise. Some people were bloody.

It was like we were all walking on the same path to the afterlife. All souls
walking towards the light.

As a result, I cannot go 5 minutes without thinking about that day, what
happened to the city I work in, and what happened to those people who were in
the towers, and what happened to me and the way I view humanity and interact
with it.

People think so many of us have post traumatic stress syndrome. Some of us are
still waiting for the trauma to end.

Rick | 33 | New Jersey

#2469 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
Hi. My name is Nikki and I'm from Baltimore, Maryland. I was at the tanning salon where I work that morning, anticipating another ordinary work day. I turned on MSNBC like I usually do in the mornings just to catch up on the previous day's events. Seeing the first plane crash into the first tower was horrific enough even when my customers and I thought it was a terrible accident. There were 6 or 7 of us in the shop that morning, glued to the TV. When a reporter called from the Pentagon and said he felt the ground shake like there was an explosion nearby, that was when I really started feeling what we were all thinking. My heart was racing, some of us were crying. I live near Martin State Airport which also has a Maryland National Guard Station nearby. A fighter jet, which I can only assume took off from Martin's, flew overhead. We started to fear for our children and were getting conflicting reports on school closings. It was truly the most frightening day of my life. I cried every day for at least 2 weeks after this happened. I felt like I had lost family even though I knew none of the Americans that died that day. I refuse to call any of them victims because they all fought for their lives, those on the planes and those trapped in the towers. They have all given us more than we will ever know
Nikki | 33 | Maryland

#2465 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
Hi my name is Sharon I'm from New Orleans La. on Sept 11 2001 I was awoken by the phone. My sister Brenda was calling to tell me to turn on the T.V. that a plane just crashed into the towers. With both of us being Born Again Christian's, in the months before this we could sense that something bad was going to happen with all the crime,murder etc we just felt that we are near the end times. As both of us were watching the live covrage on the morning news, we both said, "this must be the beging of the end", before we could say much more the other Tower was hit. We could not believe our eyes. sadness, disbelief,anger,we felt so many things at once. All we could do was cry together. We prayed right then and there for all the victims and their loved ones.
sharon | 33 | United States

#2434 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I was driving to one of my school districts in West Texas. The radio was talking about national "911" day and honoring emergency response personnel. A special bulletin announced that a plane had hit one of the towers. A few minutes later, they said that another plane had hit the other tower. I arrived at the school, and everyone was in shock. I was concerned about my wife and children, and what we would experience in the next several hours and days. I was worried about how the United States goverment would react to this cowardly act. I picked up my children, and my seven year old told me that some people who did not love God did a terrible thing today. I lost it. It hit me that as a parent, I was responsible for explaining to them what had happened and why. I grew as a person that day.
Patrick Dierschke | 33 | Texas

#2352 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I can remember, it was an ordinary day at work, shuffling papers, data entry, keeping the First Sergeant informed of whats going on with who, when, where and what. I happened to be standing in my First Sergeants office talking with him when another senior NCO came rushing back to the office to let the 1SG know that a plane, which happened to be the 1st plane, had struck the World Trade Center Tower. At that specific time. I really didn't think anything of it. Maybe an accident or something. A little bit later, news of the second plane struck. (I told myself, this is by no means an accident). Eventually, within that first hour, someone had brought a Television set in and hooked it up. Reception was somewhat distorted, but you could make out what was going on. I paused for a brief moment to see what was going on and why this terrible tragedy was happening. I couldn't fathom that many lives lost in an instant from such a cowardly, hateful act against "America". I eventually kept going about my work for the day. And I must say, that I wasn't overcome with total sadness and grief until the end of the day, upon my arrival home.
I didn't know anyone, personally, that was killed from the tragedies of 9/11. But after watching the news repeatedly showing what happened over and over again, I broke down. It literally felt like a part of me died. Just because of the thought/fact that so many innocent lives had been lost on that terrible day, was beyond my belief. My daughter didn't understand what was going on, but she knew that I was totally upset. I had to pull myself together for the evening to take care of her and put her to bed. But i dont think i slept at all that night. I went to bed crying, woke up in the middle of the night crying and got up the following morning crying. And to this day, which is exactly one year later, it is still emotionally tearing to me. But with much respect and blessings to the victims families, it's going to be impossible for these !@#$%&* to overtake this nation and instill fear and keep it there. Because life goes on. Yes, we as a nation will always remember and be vigilante. But we will never forget the day time in this nation stood still. God Bless America, this nation and this world. My prayers will forever go out.
God Bless.

Michele Reid | 33 | Virginia

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