#1583 | Wednesday, August 21st 2002
On 9-11-01 I was in Colorado Springs and had a full day scheduled. A friend came over and was crying, telling me what just happened, I watched a little bit of the TV but had to trudge on with my day. Off I went....as the day progressed the first thing that caught my attention was the quietness in the city. Since there are several military bases in Colo. Spgs and an airport, there is alot of air traffic. I began to notice the skies were erriely quiet. THat caught my attention and I began to listen to the radio. I knew this was bad. Never did I realize that within the next couple of weeks I would be a volunteer at Ground Zero for over 7 weeks. My life was forever changed after being there....I will never, ever forget.
Jill | 42 | Colorado

#1537 | Tuesday, August 13th 2002
I was preparing to start work - had arrived at the office and had not yet entered the building when I spotted a couple of my co-worker friends outside talking. They asked if I had heard what happened. I hadn't yet.

They explained that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and my initial thought was that it must have been a small aircraft off course that just had a freak accident - it wasn't unheard of.

I tried to understand why everyone was so disturbed but I didn't press questions. It seemed so minor.

I listened to the radio between stops in my work van (My job keeps me on the road a good part of it)but realized the potential severity on the way to my first account. It all seemed surreal anyway. What exactly was going on?

My mom then paged me to alert of the goings on (she watched it all unfold on t.v. at home)and I still could not fully comprehend the situation. Details still were sketchy and it seemed staged.

She countered my "small plane" vision with "loaded jetliner" thoughts and that two had attacked the trade center, one hit the pentagon and one went down in a field. I was horrified! My stomach just sank.

The reality didn't fully set in, though, until I went home that night and watched the news footage in shock and feared the impending retaliation. We were going to war.

I'm attempting dramatic personal change in my life since 9/11. The biggest feat is eliminating grudges from my daily routine and practicing more acts of forgiveness toward those I am at odds with. Life is too short.

Derek Jefferies | 27 | Colorado

#1427 | Sunday, June 30th 2002
My wife was feeding our newborn son when news broke on the radio. She came in and woke me with a frantic voice saying "a plane ran into the WTC I think." Still dazed, I turned on the TV and was glued to it for hours. I saw the second plane hit live. I thought for a moment it was just replaying the first plane. For the first time in my life I was scared. After witnessing the birth of my son just days before hand, I did not know how to protect him.... My life was changed twice in a matter of days. My heart has been broken for my fallen brethren. I feel a great loss. I don't even know the great men who died doing the job that we love. I can't help but weep for them. I see the stories about the families who lost their loved ones. I now have a greater appreciation for life. The "I love you's" are more meaningful when kissing my family goodbye for the night. I work for the Greater Brighton Fire Protection District. I may be 1800 miles away, but I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the wives who lost their husbands. I would like to close with the poem;

"WHAT IS A FIREMAN?"

He’s the guy next door – a man’s man with the memory of a little boy.

He has never gotten over the excitement of engines and sirens and danger.

He’s a guy like you and me with warts and worries and unfulfilled dreams.

Yet he stands taller than most of us.

He’s a fireman.

He puts it all on the line when the bell rings.

A fireman is at once the most fortunate and the least fortunate of men.

He’s a man who saves lives because he has seen too much death.

He’s a gentle man because he has seen the awesome power of violence out of control.

He’s responsive to a child’s laughter

because his arms have held too many small bodies that will never laugh again.

He’s a man who appreciates the simple pleasures of life -

hot coffee held in numb, unbending fingers –

a warm bed for bone and muscle compelled beyond feeling –

the camaraderie of brave men -

the divine peace and selfless service of a job well done in the name of all men.

He doesn’t wear buttons or wave flags or shout obscenities.

When he marches, it is to honor a fallen comrade.

He doesn’t preach the brotherhood of man.

He lives it.

Author Unknown

B.A.O. | 27 | Colorado

#1259 | Tuesday, May 7th 2002
I remember getting on a bus for work and hearing that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I wanted to get to work quickly (there is a first)to find out more and to see if my sister was ok. She lives in Brooklyn and her subway route goes right underneath. Fortunatley, my sister was ok. The second thought was somewhat selfish. I wondered how this would affect our wedding. I was getting married in 10 days. Would guests cancell? What would the mood be? What about the honeymoon? How would this change those plans? If there was any good that could be found for me is that it Sept 11th put things in perspective for the wedding. If the flowers aren't perfect, big deal. If the music was not just right,so what. We were close to cancelling it, but many people came up to me and said, "don't you dare cancell because I want to celebrate something and your wedding is at the right time and reason."

Now it is nearly 8 months later and I am looking back. What have we learned? What have I learned? I personally am trying to enjoy life. I am trying to sweat the petty stuff and pet the sweaty stuff. I support the positive things (art museums, building preservation organizations) I not participate in the crap of society. But I think as a nation, we have returned the state of mind of Sept 10th. The best example was in early December, not three months after Sept 11th. The University of Colorado football team was not asked to the Rose Bowl. Nebraska was invited instead, eventhough CU had beaten NU a few weeks earlier. A CU student uttered the words "this is the worst day in my life." The nerve. I wanted to find him and tell him that my sister saw the second plane hit and both towers fall, but you are right. That day is nothing compared to your football team. For Christ's sake. How shallow are you?

Sorry for the rant, but I wanted to say that and get it off my chest.

Thank you for reading and feel free to email with any thoughts of your own.

JG

jg | 35 | Colorado

#1208 | Thursday, April 25th 2002
On September 11, 2001 I was on my way to school. The time was about 7:30 am Rocky Mountain time. At that moment, my teacher Mr. Tonk told me about the attack. When I first heard about it I was stunned. I thought that it had been an accident. But then the other plan crashed into the towers.
When I saw this, I was undescriptable. I did not know what to think. All I remember doing, was turning to my friend Josh, and saying, "We will soon be at war. A war not only among nations, but a war that will be right in our back yards".
When I said that, I was scared. I didn't know where else they would attack, or if they would. I didn't even understand why they did it. Was it out of hate? Steven Seidel

Steven Seidel | 16 | Colorado

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