#1170 | Tuesday, April 9th 2002
The night before I had stayed out late, even though I had an 8 o’clock class. My friend Jamielah and I would walk to our 8 o’clock classes together, so when she called me at 7:45, I thought she was merely going to ask if we were meeting to walk to class.
Her first question was the expected, “are you going to class?” I grumbled a “no” –I was still asleep and really did not feel like tackling Geology for an hour and fifteen minutes when I could be sleeping instead. As I was about to hang up- (college students are not expected to have phone conversations at 8a.m.) she said, “oh by the way, are you watching the news?” “What? No, why would I be watching the news?” I asked. After all, she was the one that was waking me up. Why on the earth would I be watching when I was sleeping?
“Well because the World Trade Center has been hit by two airplanes, it is all over the news,” She said, with an urgent tone, and with that- changing my life forever.
“WHAT?!?!?” I yelled, not caring that my friend’s hearing might be affected in the process.
“Yeah, turn on the news. It’s all over.”
We hung up, and I ran out into the living room. As I turned on TV. my worst fears turned into a reality. I saw two smoldering buildings, and heard reports other airplanes might be involved. One had just hit the pentagon. My sister works for the Agricultural department in D.C., and the past April had had my first niece, Amariah. My thoughts immediately turned to them. I had only met my niece for the first time in June, and like many of my friends said, when I saw her, I knew that I would give up my life for her in a second. I thought of how innocent she was---and how if they were harmed—I couldn’t think.
I immediately called my sister and my brother in-laws house in Virginia. No answer. My brother in laws voice on the answering machine only made me start to cry. I do not remember exactly what I left that day on their answering machine. Only that I was trying to sound as little worried as possible. I think I said something like, “Hi, this is Nancy, I am just checking to see if you are okay.” Smile, hang up the phone. My smile fell as I started to cry.
I called my friend Dave, who was asleep as well. Dave is in the ROTC on campus, and when I told him, he immediately became alert and ready. A solider, is always ready. He immediately invited me over to his apartment. I threw on some sweats and grabbed my portable cd player with a radio on it. The 5-minute walk over to his apartment was long, and as I listened as more and more news reports came on, I could not help the tears falling down my face.
I remember when I was walking, looking at all the cars passing by. Everyone was just finding out. Everyone’s lives were being changed, and somewhere, far from where I was, people were dying. By the time I got to Dave’s, they estimated 10,000 would be dead. I went into shock.
We didn’t say much, just kind of watched the news in silence. I remember him holding my hand, which is all we could really do. I didn’t know if my sister was all right. For all I knew, she could be dead, and my family had not called me. I couldn’t feel, I just felt static. In shock. I could not believe this was happening. I am a Political Science major, so I was already aware of the political structure. I already knew who Bin Ladin was- at 9 a.m. pacific the news was already starting to point to him. I knew he had organzed terrorist attacks before against some embassies, and an aircraft carrier. I knew all of this, yet it just made me feel even more worried. Would Americans be held responsible for what our politicians had done?
Two hours later, classes were canceled. Gray Davis, the governor had ordered all agencies shut down. Stores, malls, everything was shut down. By 1 p.m., no one was on the street, and the FAA had long ago grounded all airplanes. Dave and I decided to take a drive- with the radio off into the mountains. We drove silently, and I tried to forget what was happening, but it didn’t happen. We ended up turning on the radio, and repeating ourselves about how we felt.
I was in training for my first marathon at the time, and I had to do a 4-mile run that day. I had to- I could not not do it. Dave went along with me, and I remember looking up into the sky to see nothing. I remember telling Dave, “You know, if we saw an airplane in the sky right now, we would have to run.” He agreed and we again, were in silence as we ran. No one was out, and the police were on full force. I remember running near my college campus and the police following us, I do not think out of concern that we were a threat, but to make sure we were okay. They never asked what we were doing, but were merely a presence over the area.
Then, planes started guarding us. We have an airbase near by, and they were doing patrols. That was a scary sound- to hear these big fighter jets overhead, and then to realize that they were literally protecting us, it is scary.
My sister ended up being okay; they were all taken to shelters. Amariah, my beloved niece, was safe. And my family, we all were safe, and in close contact. The next day, as classes resumed, we all talked about it. Things started to become different. People were communicating in a way I had never seen before. Different ethnic groups were coming together, there were people praying, and hugging. I saw a lot of hugs around campus the next few days. I think we all needed to feel close to each other. We all needed to be touched, to be held. I was no exception. I think I hugged all of my friends every time I saw them, and told them I loved them.
A few weeks later, at a 30k race (18.1 miles) before the race officially started, a woman sang the national anthem. My mother described it to me later (I was too busy being nervous about the race) and told me it was the most amazing thing. When she first started singing, racers were talking, getting ready. Then she said it slowly became silent, and the singers voice rang out to all of us- to all of our hearts. For a second, I looked around- at my mom watching me start, and at all of us runners. I remember thinking that I was so glad I was an American, that I had a right to run 18.1 miles, and that I was free.
I ran those 18.1 miles with all of my heart; I ran it for all of the Afgani women that can’t run. I ran it in celebration of simply having the freedom to do so.
At the marathon, two in a half months later, the same thing happened. We all thanked each other, and ourselves for running, for being able to run.
And now, seven months after it has happened, I still get chocked up writing this. There are days that are hard still, that I cry. And there are other days, when I do not think about September 11th at all.
A few days after the attack I remember crying on the phone with my mom. A few days later, I received an unexpected card in the mail from her, which read,
“I hope you will find comfort in knowing how much you are loved.”
And I do, each and every day. John Lennon was right, love really is the answer.
September 11th will always be what it was- but I will be able to tell my children and grandchildren that out of such terror and sadness, came hope, and love. Americans really can join together, and we do.
United we Stand, today, and forever.

Nancy Mello | 20 | California

#1169 | Tuesday, April 9th 2002
I was showering for school when my mom banged on the door for me to see what had happen on television. I got on the internet, and the word was out that it was a terrorist attack by Osama Bin Laden.
Carlos | 20 | California

#1144 | Monday, April 1st 2002
I was at home sleeping in my bed when I was awoken by a phone call from my girl friend. She told me there was a terriable accident. I got up, turned on the T.V. and watched the horriable events unfold.

R.M.A. | 20 | California

#1143 | Monday, April 1st 2002
September 11: just another ordinary day for a 12 year old girl. Just like every other Tuesday morning, I got up at 6:48, got dressed, did my make-up, and went into the bathroom to do my hair. I was getting really frustrated because I couldn't get it to go up. I was right in the middle of tying it up when my mom came in and said, “Come see this. This is something you are going to remember for the rest of your life.” So I ran into my TV room with my hair half up and was shocked that something like this could ever happen. The first thing I saw was “BREAKING NEWS,” then I saw the picture of the World Trade Center towers on fire. At first I thought that someone had accidentally caused a fire, but then I learned that a plane had crashed into it. Then I thought that there was nothing to worry about because it was just an accident. Then I saw on live TV another plane crash into the other tower. It was then that I realized that this was no accident. When the first tower collapsed, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Then I had to go to school witch I really didn’t want to because I wanted to stay home and watch the news all day. There is no cable at our school, otherwise we would watch it there. Instead, all of our teachers were talking about it all day. We even had to right an essay about how we feel about it. That was the only essay I enjoyed writing. There was even an announcement on the loud speaker and they played the National Anthem. Everyone was talking about it and when I gout home, I learned that both of the World Trade Center towers had collapsed and that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and another is Pennsylvania. This was no coincidence. The news lady said that these actions were caused by terrists and I didn't find out till later that there was a specific group of terrists; there leader: Osoma bin Louden. My grandma and her boyfriend were over and we all just sat in amazement in front of the TV. It is so sad how so many innocent people died. I felt so bad, I wanted to do something about it, so my best friend and I decided to make little flag pins and sell them for a dollar each. 100% of their donations went to the World Trade Center Release Found. There were a lot of very generous people who put in a lot more that a dollar. Some people put in 20, 30, some even 40 dollars into the pot. People are now kind of forgetting about all this and I think we should be ready if something else happens.
Marcy Groves | 12 | California

#1141 | Monday, April 1st 2002
i was at work, i work at a an NHL sports arena and i was doing the overnight shift. i heard it on the radio and immediatly turned on the tv. i immediatly saw tower 1 burning and tower 2 was untouched, then i saw the 2nd plane fly into the 2 tower, live, not a replay. i will never forget the words i said, "sweet jesus please have mercy on those people" i didnt know what to think, what to feel, i couldnt understand why it was happening. i couldnt even fathom a hatred so great that would constitute such a brutal attack. the numbers came in for how much people the world trade center held at it's max, and as people came in for work that morning at the arena, we all filed into the employee lounge and quietly listened, and watched together. from the highest paid executive to the lowest paid concession stand worker, we were all the same that day, we all had one thing in common because when we heard the twin towers could hold 10,000 people on any given day, that number struck a cord. you see, our arena is in the direct flight path of san jose international airport, and our seating capacity of around 19,000 is met an average of every 3 days each week. my thoughts and feelings are with the people of new york and washington, as are the thoughts and prayers of the 20,000 people who walk through our doors on any given day. we are all truly thankful for every hockey game, every concert, every football game, that we are able to hold here and leave safely from. the constant reminder of 9/11 is shown by two red white and blue ribbons painted on the ice, when our national anthem is sung before hockey games to which the capacity crowd never fails to show their patriotism by joining in, singing while gazing upon the american flag that hangs from the rafters, or or with something so simple as the sight of a professional hockey player who doesnt know english too well but faces the american flag and bows while the anthem is sung. i have never been more proud to be an american, i am proud of all the people in my country who did not bend to the wishes of godless people who's only goal is to take away from us what their sole desire is to have for themsleves. our families strength, our safety, our brother hood, our selflesness, our courage, and our UNFAILING desire to defend our freedom for ourselves and for future generations. even if the price is the ultimate one. i remember a quote from something i learned when i was in the army, its from the american soldiers creed, " i am prepared to give my life to keep our nation free" we will all stand tall and proud through the years to come, this is the greatest nation on earth and our untiy that we show every day to the world is a testament to that greatness. america, america, god shed his grace on thee. in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Connie Sorci | 22 | California

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