#2259 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was in the shower the morning of the attacks. My husband came in to tell me that someone had bombed the Pentagon and the Trade Centers. At that time, we did not know that planes had hit both locations. I remember hurrying to finish, so that I could find out what was happening. By the time I got to my living room to watch the event unfold, I had found that airplanes had crashed into the buildings. My children and I watched as one by one the towers that towered over the New York horizon fell to the ground. I will never forget the horror and devastation I felt. Not only those feelings were present, but a massive feeling of helplessness overcame me. I was watching as people were losing their lives and there was nothing I could do to help. I continued to watch as I helped at my children’s school that day with school pictures. I tried over the next few days to help my children, ages 7 & 8 at the time, to understand why someone would do this.

Today a year later, watching the memorials on television and also attending a local memorial at the university where I work, I remembered that feeling of helplessness. Although this time, I noticed as the construction workers on our campus realized there was a service and stopped working, removed their hard hats and stood in remembrance of those we lost, that this nation is united in everything we do. We have to be united to be Americans. So, as my children are again today getting their school pictures taken, I remember how much I love our country and how sorry I am for the families of those who were lost in this terrible tragedy. I will anxiously await the arrival of the school pictures because I can not wait to see all the children in their red, white, and blue, the colors they wore to support their country on the anniversary of this terrible event. All I can say with my thoughts and prayers is GOD BLESS AMERICA and UNITED WE STAND.

Kimberly | 32 | Oregon

#1871 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
For all of my days, I will never forget 911. I got a call at work that something was going on in NYC. I turned on a radio shortly after the first tower was struck. Like everyone, I hoped it was an accident, but soon realized it wasn't. I don't think I spoke for the rest of the day. I didn't know whether to cry or yell. As the anniversary nears, I think those same feeling will come back. I can't help but think of the children who lost parents that day. How can we explain to them what has happened to us?? As i watched the events unfold on TV, I felt a sense of guilt that I wasn't there to help. I hope that such events never happen again, but if they do, I WILL JOIN IN THE FIGHT!!! God Bless America
Travis | 30 | Oregon

#1829 | Monday, September 9th 2002
I was in Oregon, holding my baby girls just before waking them for the day, the grey light of morning was just coming in when my husband, who had just turned on the morning news, said Oh my God honey a plane just hit one of the trade center towers. Not knowing what the day would bring the first thing I did was hold my two children and think, Oh those poor children of those families. How lucky I am to be alive holding my children right now.
Kathleen | 32 | Oregon

#1664 | Wednesday, September 4th 2002
As September 11th approaches I find myself reliving that day. Just images flash through my mind then...I remember how devastated I felt. Even now it is hard to write this down. I didn't know any of those thousands killed, injured or left to grieve. They were my countrymen, God's children and I was grieving along with the rest of America. To say I was shocked is almost to small a word to cover the multitude of feelings running through my body and mind.

Like most of my countrymen I was going through my regular routine, I don't usually turn on the TV until much later in the day, however my brother-in-law called and said to turn on the TV we were being attacked. I laughed at him and said that was a rude way to start the day, then he said it wasn't a joke. I turned on the TV and couldn't believe what was happening. As I watched a second plane flew by (I thought) then heard that it had hit the other tower...I just kept praying and crying. How could someone do this? What kind of person is capable of this?

Then my husband, a veteran of another war, gently took my hand and said a prayer for all of us. He knew it wasn't the end only the beginning, how right he was.

As we watched the rest of the day I left the ironing, washing and cooking go by the wayside, this was more important. I called the Red Cross that night and set up an appt to give blood the following day. A small thing to do, but it was something. Like most Americans that day I needed to feel like I could help.

We went to Church and prayed with our friends and family, that those lost that day and their families would be consoled by our heavenly Father. We called family and friends to tell them how much we loved them and then held on to each other as we realized how much our world had changed.

This September 11th I am tying a purple ribbon around my trees in remembrance and our Flag is still flying (1 year now), we will be saying prayers and of course we will remember.
God Bless the USA

Suzie Marcy | 48 | Oregon

#1650 | Tuesday, September 3rd 2002
September 11th, 2001, 9-11, A day firmly etched in my mind.

It was my morning to wake up and take care of the needs of our then 15-month-old daughter. As usual, we started out the morning with Teletubbies as she drank on a tippy cup. After Teletubbies I turned the TV over to the news. I saw one of the twin towers in flames. Reports of a plane striking the tower and causing the fire. Knowing some of the history of New York I remembered that back in the ‘30’s a B-17 had flown into the Empire State Building, but that was a foggy day and before radar. It was only one aircraft then, A quick prayer for the passengers and the people in the building. Being a son of a firefighter, a quick prayer to those who would be soon looking to rescue and care for the wounded. My wife was awake now, so I informed her what I had heard up to that point and went to get ready for work.

So much can change in 15 minutes. I emerged from the bathroom and was told the second tower had also been hit. First thought, news reports were wrong. Then I looked @ the TV and both towers were visibly burning. One airplane hitting a tower, a tragic mistake, two airplanes, we’ve been attacked. The thoughts of who would do such a thing didn’t take long in my mind to come up with. Zealots, those who believed that they would reach heaven, nirvana or what ever you want to call it. People willing to overcome the basic human trait of self-preservation. I continued to get ready for work, the news reports got worse, The Pentagon is hit, reports of a plane in Pennsylvania heading to Washington. It was a nightmare unfolding before my eyes. I continued through the motions of getting ready for work. In a daze really, but it was slowly turning to something else. More reports, all the aircraft used were Boeing 767’s. For five years in the early ‘90’s I had worked for Boeing. The first year and a half on the 767 program as a manufacturing engineer. This was starting to get personal for me.

The TV cameras zoom in. People are jumping from the towers. Flash back to the Fire nearly 100 years before in New York, where over 100 women and girls lost their lives, some jumping out of windows to escape the flames. That was 5-6 stories, this was 80 and more. In both cases terminal velocity would be reached, but the thought of a fall that far sends shivers through me.

I drove to work. The usual stop at Seven-Eleven for the morning caffeine rush. I get to work and find out some hadn’t heard about it yet. Radios turn on and I jerry rig an antenna on the TV – VCR combo it the conference room. The picture is fuzzy but you can see the repeated images of the aircraft hitting the towers. One of the Gals upstairs has a brother who works in the north tower. She had called him after the first plane hit and he said he was on his way out of the building. She didn’t here from him again until the following day. Safe – in a hospital, but safe.

Then another blow, the first tower collapses, disbelief at first, then the engineer in me kicks in, burning jet fuel, high temperature, metal becomes almost elastic. Metal that has lost its tensile strength is not good for holding up the building. The pancaking effect is the most disturbing, as 110 stories become 4 stories of ruble. How many people are still in there? Thousands? Reports that up to 50,000 people are in those buildings on any given day. How many could have managed to get out in such a short period of time.

There is not much work getting done today. The collection department works in this building and they only return calls, this is not a day to bug people about their debts. The TV is on, so are some radios. The Internet is there, but most people are using the TV or radio for the news. My Netscape, My Yahoo, MSN or what ever, all they can do is post the headlines, the story details are changing to fast.

The reports come in of an aircraft down in a field in Pennsylvania. Sorrow and relief all at once, sorrow a plane went down, relief that no others in Washington or New York died with it. Another news flash, at least one of the hijacked airliners was build while I worked at Boeing. Anger wells up. The bastards definitely used something I helped build to kill fellow Americans. Further reports, the passengers on flight 93 rose up and attacked the terrorists. Sacrificing themselves to prevent further tragedy on the ground. Refusing to be a party to the terrorists plan. Some later say that this was our first victory in the war on terrorism.

The rest of the day was a blur; everyone seemed to be going through the motions of work. Stopping @ the store everyone had a glazed look in their eyes. Disbelief in what had happened that day. But you could see the anger starting to form. As Admiral Yamamoto was reported to say after the attack on Pearl Harbor nearly 60 years before “ I fear all we have done is awakened a sleeping dragon and filled it with a terrible resolve”. The dragon is awake and looking for those responsible. They will be found, time is on our side.

I listened to the radio through lunch and the afternoon. It was enough to hear it. I didn’t need to see it over and over again at that time. I put up the flag at home during lunch. I saw others doing the same. Lee Greenwood's song “God Bless the USA” came on the radio and almost brought tears to my eyes.

I had a Habitat for Humanity affiliate board meeting that night. We all took time from the meeting to pray for those missing and those doing the rescue work. Later that night I sat watching the news coverage, in awe as to the simplicity of the attack and the magnitude of the destruction.

My wife was talking to a friend of hers the next day and she had to turn off her TV when her daughter asked why all the planes were crashing. Each replay, in her mind, was another plane hitting another building. I wonder how many other children thought the same thing.

In January our town lost one of our own in Afghanistan. A 21-year-old Marine perished in a plane crash. Flags in our community were again @ half-mast, were they have been all too often this past year. The high school auditorium were he had graduated 2 ½ years before now held a service to honor his service to this country.

I visited New York City for the very first time on business in March of 2002. I took part of a day and went to Ground Zero as it is called now. From street level all that was visible were construction vans. A huge Old Glory hung from a building to the south. Buildings all around still showed signs of damage from the collapse. The most moving of all was the fence surrounding St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was adorned with wishes from around the country and the world. Also moving were the pictures of fellow Americans lost in this attack.






Glenn Elfbrandt | 37 | Oregon

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