#2210 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I worked the night before, so I got home at around 8:30. I played with my brother's dog for a little while, and then went to bed when my mom left for work around 8:45. A quarter after 11 my mom came home, and woke me and my dad up (my dad also works nights). My dad told me to go watch TV. I was confused, why was I being woken up and told to watch TV? He just said, "go watch it, I'll be there in a second." Not knowing what to say, I went into the living room, watching CNN, seeing the NYC skyline blanketed with thick, black smoke. They were comparing "this" to the bombing in 1993. When my dad sat down I was still confused, what happened? After a few seconds of silence (which felt like hours), my dad said that a plane flew into the World Trade Center, and a second plane into the second tower, and now they're collapsing. My first reaction was that he was kidding. I turned to the TV, and saw the video of the second plane careen sideways into the WTC. My hand flew to my mouth, and I turned to my dad. He just looked at me and nodded. For the better part of that day we sat and watched the news unfold, the world seemingly unraveling into madness. I was completely in shock, especially since a lot of my family is either in the military, or works in either the World Financial Center or down in Washington D.C. Living in New York your whole life, you come to expect a LOT of things, but you never in a million YEARS think something like this is possible.
Bonnie | 21 | New York

#2207 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
After one year,
I still am having trouble
fathoming the enormity
of what happened.

I was in college -
in Broadcasting classes.
At first, when one of our
fellow students came to tell us,
we thought it was a hoax.

Then we turned on the TV.

But our TV went out,
so we went directly for the net.
and just as the feed began,
we witnessed the second plane
explode into the second tower.

I was numb.
Dumbfounded.
Paralyzed.
Shocked.
Afraid.
and Angry.

But I didn't cry.
I made sure to comfort
those around me.
Tried to be strong.

And I handled myself pretty well.

The Pentagon.

PA.

I said as soon as I heard the report
from Somerset County that the passengers must have taken
control of the plane, or it would have
reached its destination.
I was proud to be right.
My heart swelled.

My best friend and I went to church
that night for a memorial.
And it began to hit me.

After a few days,
I got tired of the media coverage
that was infiltrating our
radios and TVs.
Analyzing and reporting things
that I couldn't process.
I didn't watch or listen for days.
Weeks.

I heard the stories
about the stock market being closed.
About people not being able
to breathe in NY.
About the communication breakdowns.
About the children without parents.
About families broken apart.
About Rudy Guiliani sticking in there
and President Bush taking action.
About anthrax scares.
About Americans flying their flags.
About Congress singing together.

And now, after a year, it has finally
begun to sink in.
I finally feel the pain that I could
block out one year ago.

I have to watch the media coverage today for my Nature of America class.
But I'd watch it anyway.
I have to remember what it was that
hurt me beyond recognition.
I have to feel the pain
the terror
the despair
the pride
the agony.

And through my tears,
I do.

May peace be with everyone today and always.
Especially as we remember the day America paused.

Mandie | 21 | North Carolina

#2182 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
On September 11,2001 I was home with the t.v. on geting ready for work. Then one of the news casters voice caught my attention. So I stoped what I was doing and sat down looked at the news. What I saw I couldn't belive my eyes, it was like my heart skiped a couple of beats my mouth droped open. I didn't understand why a plan would just slam into a building killing thousands and thousands of people. At the time they not were saying an act of terrisom until another plan went into the pentogon. My eyes were full of water my heart very heavy so I began to pray. Today my heart is still heavy it doesn't seem like it has been an entire year since this happened.

Kisha Reed | 21 | Georgia

#2059 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
It was 11:00 am on Tuesday September 11, 2001. Shakespeare I had just begun and we were still unpacking our backpacks for class. The door opened, and a very disheveled secretary said in a hasty, shaky voice “The world trade center is gone. It’s just gone. Class is dismissed. The pentagon is being bombed.” Our professor looked at her and asked, “What do you mean the World Trade Center is gone?” She didn’t really say anything; she just hurried out the door. Our professor just turned to us and said “I guess we don’t have class today.” I got my things and ran started to call my roommate, Melissa, to find out where she was, but my cell phone wasn’t working. Luckily, she was outside the English building talking to her friend on a bench. I found her and said, “We have to go home right now.” She just kind of looked at me and smiled, and then she must have seen the confusion on my face. I told her what the secretary had said, and she kept asking me if I was sure. It was a mile trek back to my car where we immediately turned on the radio to try to get some idea of what the hell was happening in the world. For the next hour, all we could do was listen as I barreled home. People kept talking about airplanes and explosions and chaos in New York, and all we could do was listen to descriptions. Finally, we got home and sat. My first visual of the mayhem came at 12:30. It was then that the surrealism began in full effect. For the next 8 hours, I was glued to the television. Somehow the images made it all sink in, but it took some time to process. Somehow I felt like I was watching a bad television show rather than something that could really be happening. I remember thinking how strange it was that something occurred that would mark history forever, and I was sitting in class, for more than 2 hours, with no idea. Somehow, that sensation, a year later, hasn’t quite faded.
Michael Bailey | 21 | Georgia

#2053 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
Would've been September 10, Monash university had had a clubs day and I'd got a small clear rubber ball with a picture of the world in it from the uni's travel agency. It would've been about 5am September 11 in New York when I had figured out that by squeezing the ball I could make bits of the image of the world go transparent as the paper image lost and regained contact with the clear plastic surface.

Being Australian as I am, the attack happened for me in the small hours of September 11/12. I'd been up fairly late, had been to university that day and on the computer at home. I was just climbing the stairs to go to bed, and I was on the second or third stair. The TV was on. And someone called me back down.

For the next couple of hours the whole family watched absolutely aghast.

I went to bed and turned on the TV in my room. The rest of the night, I sat and made notes about my perspective. The planes. The towers falling down. The Pentagon. The Australian Prime Minister touring Washington being frantically rushed to the basement of the Australian Embassy. Bill Clinton in Queensland. The lockdown of US airspace. What streets in NY were blocked.

There's nothing else to say. No words convey what happened. Everyone here will try and fail. There's no words to express what we felt on 11/9 (you Americans always did write the date weird) and since.

The following day, I talked to my American internet friends, then looked up a 1973 encyclopedia to find the words to all the verses of the Star Spangled Banner. (For background, most Australians can't remember _our own_ national anthem let alone yours.)

I sang them quietly, in a room, myself.

I hope I helped.

Matt Newman | 21 | Australia

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