#499 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
I was at work on 9/11/01. A co-worker came in and said a plane had just hit the WTC. We went into the lunch room where the TV was on. It showed the destruction. New stations were saying the plane may have been hijacked by terrorist.

We were stunned. Dozens of people stopped working to watch as the tower was burning. Then the second plane hit, then the Pentagon was hit. Disbelief was the main emotion, which turned to compassion for those lost, then anger at those who chose to attach us in this way.

Then the first tower fell. It was unbelievable, too horrible to contemplate that such a large number of people had just died. People who got on a plane, showed up for work, went to an appointment or answered a call for help.
These people all died. Why?
Did they die because of something they did wrong? No. Did they die fighting for something they believe in? No. They died because some cowards from a third world nation came to take a pot shot at America. A cowardly knife stab in the back of the greatest nation in the world.

They thought they could bring the USA to her knees in this way, but they were wrong. The Lady Liberty still stands tall in the harbor. Our lives go on. We as American's have taken a great loss. We feel deep compassion for those families who lost their loved ones in the tragedy, and for those who could lose loved ones in the continuing fight against terrirism.

How has this changed my life? It has made me more compassionate, more caring towards my family, neighbors, even strangers. It has made me very proud to live in the United States of America. I cry when I sing "Oh, Beautiful". I salute Old Glory. I feel the power behind the words of "The Star Spangled Banner".

I am a proud American.

Kim Davis | 42 | Oklahoma

#372 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I had just returned from taking my son to school. I turned on Good Morning, America, and went to the kitchen to get my usual second cup of morning coffee. I returned to see a full screen view of the WTC tower with heavy smoke and flames rising from it. I just stood and stared while the show's hosts rattled on that "something had apparently happened at the WTC". The he said they had a report that a commercial aircraft had crashed into the first tower, but that they had no other information as yet.
I stood, horrified, as I am sure, many others did, as he talked and the second plane came rapidly into view behind the second tower, crashing into it.
Then the thought crossed my mind "Aww, this has GOT to be some sort of elaborate movie preview", because it looked just like something out of a disaster movie. Then, my mind kinda went into overload or something.
When I came to my senses days later, I realized it was no movie. It literally took days for the shock to wear off, just like after the OKC bombing did, and only then did the reality set in.
I cannot fathom what it must have been like for the hundreds, thousands of rescuers, who had to wave off this shock immediately and get into the site to try to help the victims, and to even keep on going on after the collapse.

bcs | 47 | Oklahoma

#226 | Tuesday, October 30th 2001
I thought it wasnít real when I first heard what happened. I was listening to the radio on my way to school and heard about a plane crash into some building. I was too much in my own world to register what the words meant. I had a humanities test that day and was late for my nutrition class so I decided to skip and study for the test. I sat down in one of the chairs in the alcoves of the buildings and saw the TV on. They were discussing the first plane crash and all of a sudden the announcers got a panic in their voices. Another plane had crashed into the second building. Showing footage like that is not an image I will ever be able to get out of my mind. I didnít believe it at first. There was no way I could study now. I kept watching the TV in complete disbelief. It couldnít be real...so many people dead. I didnít and still donít know anyone in New York. My best friend goes to NYU, but sheís spending the semester in Florence and I thanked God for that. I know NYU isnít close to the WTC, but I was still relieved she wasnít even in the city. Whether I knew someone or not in NYC, I cried. I I couldnít believe certain individuals would want to hurt so many innocent people. Monsters was the first word that came to mind. How could anyone human do such a thing? I still cry every once in awhile, because of the coverage still shown and thinking about all the friends and family lost. Thereís still people killing each other, except itís the USA this time. Regardless if weíre attacking terrorists itís still human lives. I know that not many people understand my way of thinking. I am completely against terrorism, but I really canít give an alternative other then what weíre doing now. I just believe thereís too much killing.

Walela | 20 | Oklahoma

#203 | Saturday, October 13th 2001
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was almost one hour into my working day. Little Samantha (first grader), who always has sparkling joyous eyes and a smile on her face came running to me, with tears running down her face. She told me that planes were bombing New York.

Samantha, at age 6, somewhat understands how those who are personally mourning feels. She never knew her grandfather but she knows that her grandfather was killed by terrorists in the Oklahoma City Bombing. She has seen her mother and strangers shed tears for the loss of not only her grandfather/victims on April 19th, but now tears for those who lost loved ones/victims on September 11th.

My emotions were spinning. There are no words to describe how I felt. It was the same numb feeling I had on April 19th when I later watched those I knew be pulled out of the Murrah Building. I bent down and held Samantha, soothed her fears. I then picked up the phone and verified my father was not at the Pentagon.

We, the people of Oklahoma, have already endured a terrorist bombing. We have felt the loss of our loved ones, family members, friends and neighbors by the hands of men who believe cold blooded murder can stop our faith, hopes and beliefs. We, as Oklahomans, refused to give into their monstrosities then, nor will we relent to terrorisim now.

Terrorist will never learn that their chosen methods to attempt controlling others is NOT WORKING. Their actions of mass murder is backfiring, destroying their own initial goal. It is strengthening us, not only individually but as a whole.

God bless you all, unless you are a terrorist.

Sandy | 39 | Oklahoma

#135 | Saturday, September 22nd 2001
Where was I? I was sitting on my bed in my dorm room at OU completely freaking out. Panicking even.

My phone rang at about 9:30 AM or so that tuesday morning, and grumbling, i rolled out of bed to answer it, and was was taken by suprise by my mom's shakey voice asking if id heard. She told me that 2 planes had crashed into the world trade center and that hundreds of people had died. All i could say was "oh my god" as i ran over to my television to turn it on. in a panic, i fumbled with the controls to turn to CNN. As i was trying to work the TV in my half-asleep bewildered state my mom tells me shed just found out they hit the pentagon too. at that there was nothing i could do but start sobbing on my bed... came pretty close to losing it. Then i suddenly thought of my boyfriend... who lives in dallas, but i had this instinct to see if he was okay. couldnt find his phone number, took forever to get ahold of him in my panic. I looked out my window at people, unknowing, laughing groggily and walking to class, and it made me angry. ran upstairs to wake sarah up just in time to see the buildings collapse.

it was certainly the worst feelings of terror and grief ive ever felt.

Jennifer | 19 | Oklahoma

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