#2501 | Friday, September 13th 2002
To Ms. Grace,
Your comments are disturbing, but understandable as you are young and have much to learn.
Remembering the victims of this horrific attack is most fitting and appropriate. We should never forget the thousands of innocents who perished in such a ghastly and obscene way. We are not "giving in" as you so put it by watching the memorials on television and honoring the people who died on that day. The terrorists perceive Americans as self centered, souless infidels. What they are seeing is that we are united, compassionate, and feel deeply for our neighbors. Those neighbors who gave their lives for complete strangers in those burning buildings. The passengers of Flight 93 who brought down a plane instead of having it hit the Capital and kill hundreds or perhaps thousands more people. I am sure you will see this more clearly when you mature.

Where was I on that awful day? I had just dropped my son off at school as he had missed his bus. I came home and flipped on the television set to watch the news with a cup of caffeine before my work day started. At first I saw the gaping, flaming hole in one of the WTC towers. Minutes later another plane plowed into the other tower. It then sunk in that we were indeed under an attack of terrorists. I went to get my husband and both of us stared in shock at what was unfolding on live television in front of us. When the Pentagon was hit, we both became very fearful. I wondered what to do. Should I
call the school where my son was? Should I drive down there and bring him home?

I decided that the school would chain call if they decided to dismiss early. I stayed by the phone, with the television on. I called my mother to tell her to turn on her TV. I told her I loved her. I called my brothers and told them the same thing.

We witnessed the news reports of flight 93. We saw the towers crash down. We saw the devastation, the fear and the pain. My husband and I cried together that day. We got out the US flag that has been in storage for years. Funny how we never seemed to find the time to put it up before. I made a box full of red, white and blue bows and hung them on telephone poles, street signs and mailboxes on a 2 mile stretch down our street. We prayed a lot that day.

The bus dropped off our boy at the regular time that day and we hugged him like he's never been hugged before. We asked him if he was told what had happened and he said yes, the classes were told. He was only 6 at the time. Sad that a 6 yr old has to deal with knowing true evil in the world.

The next day we gathered boxes of food and dropped them off at the Fireman's trailer to be delivered to Manhattan the next day. It was the least we could do. Our son drew a picture thanking FDNY and placed it in the box.

For weeks we kept the news on when our child was not around the house. Sleep came in patches. We felt shell shocked and could only imagine what the victims and the families were going through.

After a year the pain of this is still with us. We wonder if it will ever completely go away. Somehow I doubt it.

C. Bergen | 41 | Connecticut

#2473 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I was asleep at home in Louisiana when my phone rang at about 7:50 A.M. It was a good friend of mine to tell me he that a plane had hit the World Trade center. He said he thought it was a movie when he first turned on the T.V. As he said this I looked up, (I had left the T.V. on) and saw the horror that was taking place in New York. All I could think of was all those people, and the rescue workers that were trying to help them. We almost thought it was an accident till the second plane hit. I dropped the phone and screamed when I saw what had happened. My roommate came running, as I started to cry. I couldn't believe that this could actually be happening to our country. It seemed surreal. Then we heard about the Pentagon. I called my mother who lives in Connecticut to tell her I loved her, and make sure my dad wasn't in the city that day. Thank God he wasn't, but so many others were. A year later I still can't find the words to express how much pain I felt from watching people so heartless, try to destroy a country. Murder innocent people by the thousands. This year, on 9/11, I like many others said a prayer. That our country has been strong enough to raise up and surpass this unimaginable tragedy. That we are strong, and that we will survive.God, bless the USA, the people who lost their lives, thier families, the rescue workers, and all of us!
Anna | 22 | Connecticut

#2384 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
i was asleep in bed with my boyfriend. the alarm went off around 10:30 am and before he turned it off i groggily heard that the pentagon had been attacked. i assumed that i had misheard or that it was a joke and we both fell back asleep. at 11:30 i finally woke up and walked back to my own dorm room. it was an absolutely beautiful day outside. as i approached my door i ran into my roommate, who had locked herself out. i smiled, and said hello. instead of returning my greeting, she responded that the trade centers had been attacked. we ran back to our room and sat glued to the t.v. set. after the intial shock subsided i called my family and my boyfriend, whose brother worked across the street in another building in the world trade complex. in a stroke of amazing luck, his brother had been assigned to fly to chicago that morning and had safely landed there. for the rest of the day i remained, like the rest of the nation, horrified and in awe.
erica | 20 | Connecticut

#2351 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I am a paramedic supervisor in Southeast Connecticut. I was in my office on the morning of the 11th, and I can remember it like it was yesterday. One of my fellow employees came into the office to tell me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I immediately went to our lounge to see for myself, and quickly the crowd of people watching grew. I was the only one in the room to see the second plane...until the tower exploded. I knew it was intentional and we were all compelled to act. A group of the managers including myself immediately started making plans to help in any way we could. We got in contact with FEMA, and were given permission to respond. We sent three ambulances, nine people total including myself. The first thing that struck me once entering the city was something was missing...the skyline had changed. It was so noticeable for anyone familiar with the skyline of NY. Once at the staging area we prepared for patients...few came. We transported one firefighter who was overcome with emotion. One event while at Ground Zero that stands out is how the crowd reacted to our ambulances as we drove back to the staging area along the West Side Highway...see, the name of our ambulance service is American Ambulance. The crowd started to shout, look it is American, and chanting USA, USA...they were waving flags, thanking us, and cheering for us. It brought tears to our eyes. Everyone was a New Yorker, no, an American on September 11. It was a very somber experience. All nine of us were filled with varying emotions. From anger, to sadness, to compassion. We are all effected to this day, and none of us go a day without thinking about it. To this day, I can still smell ground zero...the dust, the smoke...We shall never forget...remember the fallen.
Damian M. Rickard | 24 | Connecticut

#2331 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was at uconn sleeping when the first plane hit. My roommate awoke me and directed my attention to the televion. Wow I thought look the special effects of that movie. Then as the second plane collided with the second tower I said " oh fuck" its not a movie. And so me and the television were inseperable for the remainder of the day.
Basili Tyropolis | 21 | Connecticut

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