#1323 | Monday, May 27th 2002
I was 29 years old, renting a guest house in Tempe, Arizona. My alarm should have gone off at 6am so that I could get to the school where I taught music at by 7:30am for Cafeteria duty. I had stayed up late the night before and dind't hear my alarm go off that morning. I remember waking up an seeing the clock say 8:30 am. "Crap!" I said to myself. My first class of the day was starting at that very moment, and I was a good 30 minutes away from even being able to get there. I called the teacher of the class that I was supposed to be teaching at 8:30 and told him I had overslept. He said, "that's ok, just call me when you get to school, and be careful on your way." Be careful on my way? I thought that was strange of him to say. Just as I was throwing on my clothes, the owner of the house yelled in a very paniced voice, "Planes have hit the World Trade Center!". I had never heard him speak in that tone before. I grabbed my school bag and ran out into the living room where the TV was. I was still half asleep and I saw images of the towers on fire. I thought they were live images, but it was already around 11:30 am in New York. I didn't really comprehend everything until I jumped in my car and drove to work.... still worried about being late. The radio stations were talking a mile a minute, spitting out details and info... something about the Vice President in hiding, the Pentagon was hit, the White House was a target, thousands of people dead, and on and on. I drive by the Phoenix airport to get to work and there was a huge trafic jam. The airport had shut down and people were honking, couldn't get in etc. I stayed at school the rest of the day. The principal told us not to go into detail with the children. Some of the kids in the morning classes wanted to talk about it, but as the day went on, it seemed like a normal day. I wanted to watch TV but couldn't. I just wanted to go over to my parents house and stay with them. I still didn't know all of the details of what had happened. Our faculty meeting was cancelled after school and we were urged to go home immediatly. That night, I called my family and friends and we just watched the news the whole night in shock. I was so scared. For the first time since I was a little girl, I was afraid to turn off the light and go to bed. The next morning when I woke up, for a moment I thought it had been a dream,a nightmare. I prayed that it had been. I didn't want to turn on the TV but I had to. Every channel showed a live picture from NYC, a beautiful sunrise with smoke filling the sky. On the way to and from work that next day, people were so nice to eachother on the road. Phoenix is known for it's road rage, but on that morning and evening, people in their cars were so nice to eachother, letting others pass, smiling, etc... Everyone I saw for a few weeks following 9/11 had a look of sadness on their faces.
Carolyn | 30 | Arizona

#1314 | Saturday, May 25th 2002
I'm so upset about what is going in the world right now. I really wish that this would just be over!

Gabriella | 14 | Arizona

#1199 | Monday, April 22nd 2002
I was getting ready for work and was passing the TV set when I thought I saw an airplane crash into a building. Of course, as we all knew later, that's exactly what I saw.

My main concern upon hearing the reports of TV newspersons was that my son was supposed to be in the air at that very time - he was departing from Florida on his way home to Arizona.

For hours I tried in vain to reach the residence from which he had departed and was unable to reach anyone to let me know if his plane had actually taken off prior to the crashes.

When I finally reached them two hours later, I was told that his flight was scheduled to depart just as the news was coming in about the second plane crash and the airport was closed down and his flight cancelled until further notice. At first I was terribly relieved, but then felt guilty because so many others would not be as lucky.

Connie Bonillas | 57 | Arizona

#1165 | Monday, April 8th 2002
I got out of the shower and turned on the TV to listen to the news. Something I do every day. Normally it's the "usual" news. I heard something about planes hitting the World Trade Center. I went over to the TV to see what happened. I saw the buildings on fire. It seemed so unreal. I kept getting ready for work and listening to the TV and stopping what I was doing several times to look at the TV screen. My three children got up for school and I told them what had happened. Everything seemed so quiet that morning. I remember feeling apprehensive about sending my children off to school. I felt an emptiness as my two older children left. I hugged them extra. I walked my seven year old to school and watched in silence as he walked to his classroom. The thing that strikes me the most is how quiet everything seemed in the world. No emotions. Everyone's faces were like stone. I drove to work. I couldn't concentrate on anything. It seemed so weird to be at work trying to conduct business while all this was happening in the world. They let us go home early. I was glad. It seemed wrong to be at work on that day. I wanted to be safe at home with my children.

Jeanette Velasquez | 40 | Arizona

#1104 | Sunday, March 24th 2002
We live in Arizona. Our clock radio usually comes on at 5:50. On the morning of 9/11, we awoke a few minutes early. The wind chimes on the patio outside our bedroom door were swinging in the breeze. Usually, the sound is soothing and melodious. On this day, though, I distinctly recall thinking that the chimes sounded ominous, as though blown by an "ill wind". As I continued to awaken, I wondered why such a strange thought had crossed my mind.

The radio then clicked on to the first horrendous news of the WTC attack. Much later, I realized that my reaction to the chimes had come at the exact moment (Eastern Time) the first plane had slammed into the Trade Center.

We had moved to AZ earlier in 2001. Until then, our whole lives had been lived in the Mid-Atlantic states. I had visited #7 WTC, (the third building to go down),several times in the course of my work. Although the industry organization I visited had had the good fortune to move from #7 several months previous to the attack, I wonder to this day if my path had ever crossed that of a future victim during one of those visits.

Oddly enough, My husband and I had not felt homesick for the Northeast until 9/11. Now, we feel the need to get back "home". I pray for the victims, their loved ones, our country, and, yes, those twisted souls who would emulate these horrific acts, daily.

L A | 59 | Arizona

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