#2006 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
Even though it was a beautiful Autumn day in Ohio, I was sleeping in on Sept 11, 2001. My husband had gone to work, I had talked to my daughter in New York City just the night before....all was right with the world. Until the phone rang...then my panic began. My sister told me to turn on the TV. When I did, I was horrified. I tried to call our daughter but couldn't get through. I knew she was near the WTC that time of morning, catching the subway to work in upper Manhattan. I prayed she wasn't there. I tried to call my husband at his work-site, but couldn't get through. I jumped in the car and drove to town to talk to him. I needed to be with someone! I couldn't stay there in the farmhouse...all alone and with the horror the TV was showing me. And not knowing about our youngest daughter. Where was she? Was she alright? Was there going to be another attack?
My husband and all his co-workers were idle, listening to car radios. They all seemed so calm! I couldn't believe how calm they were. We continued trying to call our daughter and finally got her on the phone. She was ok! Oh how my heart leaped with gratitude. She was stuck in Manhattan and couldn't get home unless she walked. A lot of the employees discussed spending the night in the offices. But she decided she wanted to get home so she chose to leave after a while. She said the streets were filled with police, that sirens were going off constantly, and it smelled awful.It took her hours to get home and then she went up on the roof and filmed the chaotic scene in lower Manhattan. I kept calling her, needing to hear her voice and know she was alright. For days afterward, I kept myself glued to CNN, thinking I might miss something that I needed to warn her about. Eventually I realized that this was keeping my sense of danger and fear heightened and I had to turn the TV off.
I remember the day that Kennedy was shot. I was a freshman in high school, sitting in study hall. The teacher was at her desk in the front of the room and someone came in and whispered in her ear. She immediately began to cry and ran from the room. The messenger then announced to all of us that the President of the United States had been shot and he was dead. I remember that he was the first President I had actually paid any attention to. He was Catholic...so was I. People said things about him and the Pope which made me want to defend him all the more, even though I knew next to nothing about politics. Now he was dead. As the days unfolded, I watched the funeral on TV with my mother, who loved the Kennedys. It seemed as if life would never be the same in America.
That's the same feeling I had after Sept 11. Would anything ever feel the same again? Would we ever feel like we could laugh again? I wanted to think things would be ok, because I had lived through the assassination of Kennedy, the Vietnam War which tore our country apart for a time, and we had been able to heal after those. But this seemed different. We had been attacked in one of our major cities! There was a terrible loss of life...almost entirely made up of civilians who were just traveling or going to work. This wasn't a battlefront in Vietnam. Or even Pearl Harbor. This was New York City! And it was where my daughter lived! So my doubts and fears would ebb and flow. I was up and down in mood...always on a heightened sense of alert for any trouble coming. I called my daughter constantly...telling her I loved her and asking if she was ok.
Now it's a year later and it's the night of Sept 10. Will anything happen tomorrow on the anniversary? There is a High Alert for tomorrow. I've called my daughter again with a plea for safety. I've asked her to leave for work early...to not be on the subway during rush hour. It's my way of feeling like we're doing SOMETHING to protect her. Has it really been a year? The fear and anxiety seemed to be almost gone and suddenly, tonight, it's back. Now I wonder if it ever really went away.

Carol Contreras | 54 | Ohio

#1787 | Sunday, September 8th 2002
I was asleep. A friend came to borrow my car and I groggily told him ok, and then went back to sleep. When my clock radio came on, the first thing I heard was "schools will remain open". I didn't know what happened and I bolted out of bed and turned on the tv only to hear the tail end of a sentence saying "...where the World Trade Center used to be..." Nothing computed. I thought, "what do you mean, USED to be?" I thought this was impossible. All these thoughts passed through my mind in several seconds, not minutes, as I was waking up. I immediately realized that we were in the midst of something BIG, and I felt awash with pure horror. My sister lives behind me, and I rushed to her house in my PJs. She was already up, watching the TV. She filled me in on what had happened, and I just gawked in horror and disbelief. They were replaying the video clips, and the first thing I saw was people jumping from the towers to avoid the fires, and then the buildings falling and people running from the clouds. I knew immediately that we were at war, and that I was witnessing the changing course of history before my eyes. I just sat before the TV with my sister, unable to comprehend the loss of life, or the psychological makeup of someone who would do such a thing. The tragedy profoundly affected me emotionally, and led me to question all I had known before. On the approaching anniversary, I still do not have any answers...
Barbara Taylor | 54 | Florida

#1433 | Tuesday, July 2nd 2002
when terror struck america i was st work,like most americans.the first thought was of my sister at school in new york city.icalled her on my cell phone.she assured me she was fine and miles from the site.unfortunite a lot of her classmates were not.i like most americans cryed for the dead and injured. their family and friends.we just could not believe it could happed here.we were not ready for it to happen to us.this brought most of us togeather and united a nation that took freedom for granted.unlike most nations we have a voice in our nation .we elect the power in office. we have a say in the future of our great nation.they made us cry, but they didn't win. were still the greatest nation in the world.
kathleen m. hamon | 54 | Pennsylvania

#1138 | Sunday, March 31st 2002
It was an election day in my town & I was working as a Poll Judge. We 5 Poll Judges first heard the news by word of mouth in fragments from voters. We were away from the media all day until the Polls closed. By night time, we had an idea what to expect but the video reruns were shocking just the same. Our son who lived & worked in NYC at the time, phoned home that morning & miraculously connected to let us know he had seen both towers fall but he was OK. Cee Kay
Cee Kay | 54 | Montana

#1027 | Thursday, March 14th 2002
Thursday, March 14, 2002
I received a phone call from my daughter at 3:45am Hawaii Time. She is a flight attendant with American Airlines. She was very upset and told me to quick turn on the television, that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center Buildings. Needless to say, as the events started to unfold I was thrown into a state of shock!!. My daughter kept calling and we would talk and cry and try to comfort each other. I will never ever forget the pain and sadness we both felt as we watched first hand the tragic events of Sept. 11. I was thankful my daughter was home at the time and not flying somewhere in the US. I was thankful my son was safe outside of the US. I mourned the lost lives and the families who had to watch as their loved ones perished in such an insane attack.
Everyone’s lives have changed forever, and life will never be the same as before Sept. 11.
It has brought this nation closer and seemingly more patriotic. It has opened our eyes to how thankful we all should be to live in this “Land of the Free” We truly live in the most glorious nation on earth. Hopefully, we will never again witness such an attack on our great nation.
God Bless America and God Bless the people who have lost their lives in vain and those who have lost their lives fighting for our freedom, and all of the families!!
CYNTHIA PRATT HOLTZ/54/HAWAII




Cynthia Holtz | 54 | Hawaii

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