#492 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
DIANA DUNHAM | 42 | New York

#491 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
I live less than a mile away from the World Trade Center in Greenwich Village New York City but I was informed by a friend calling from D.C. so I watched the confused news anchor people look at the first burning WTC tower, then saw the second plane hit on the news on TV then ran up to my roof five floors up and could clearly see the burning towers. I was crying in disbelief but I thought that they would be able to put out those fires. On Sixth Avenue and Bleecker Street we were all standing looking up at the towers we look at every single day, now smoking. Two girls who are my neighbors decided to leave town right away, they asked me to come with them but I still had a doctor's appointment. Only one subway was open out of the usual seven or so. On the subway I met two women who had been in the second building that got hit, but they had decided to run home shortly after the plane hit the first building, which was why they were alive. In the doctor's office they had musack on, I guess so patients would not get hysterical, but another patient told me that the Washington Monument had been blown up and the Pentagon too. I was crying because my parents and friends all live near there and DC used to be my home before NY. It turned out that the Pentagon was hit which is right by my friend's house who called me to tell me about the World Trade Center, but nothing had happened to the Washington Monument. When I came out of the doctor's office they searched me and made me show ID and on the street everyone was crying and trying to use their cell phones but none would work and there were lines at payphones on every street. I realized with absolute horror that the buildings had both collapsed and they were just not there any more where I had looked up and seen them every day and I did not know how to process that information. No subways, buses or trains were running at all so every one was just walking and crying, walking and crying, but every one was really nice to eachother. and there were policemen on every corner telling people how they would have to walk home over the Brooklyn Bridge or wherever they had to go. There were no cabs, which never happens in New York. I had to walk very far to get home, like everyone else, totally stunned and dazed. On the way I stopped for health food and used a bank card and it would not work because the phone lines were all messed up. My home telephone would not call out and people said they had to try 150 times before they got through and my phone rang finally. Almost everyone I know called me over the next two weeks, all with great difficulty, to see if I was alive. All my neighborhood was closed at least all week, it is usually full of people at all hours. I could smell burning flesh mixed with cement and chemicals the next weeks when the wind changed and blew the smell into the city (instead of away from the city like it had luckily on the first day). It was the smell of war, I will never forget it as long as I live. I would go outside for five or ten minutes and come back inside and the smell of war covered me so that I had to shower. We had candlelight vigils and prayed for the people who might still be alive in the wreckage and the firemen and policemen trying to pull them out. I held hands and sang and prayed with total strangers in parks and in the street. Posters of over six thousand missing people were all over the city, faces of real people who never got out, everywhere, like wallpaper. A girl I work with lost her fiancee in the buildings. Flags popped up everywhere, people became so very nice to one another. I do not know if I will ever be able to fly in an airplane again. I want to be able to, but I don't know how long it will take before I will. I can only watch the news for a little while at a time now when they talk about the war, it is just a little bit too real. I went down to "Ground Zero" and saw the absolute devastation and cried like a baby. So many people's entire lives are ruined or forever altered besides all the people who died and all who lost precious loved ones. It feels like nothing will ever be the same. My boyfriend and I ate out at a lot of restaurants downtown because they had lost so much business when they had to close and nobody was out much. They were turning blood donors away because so many people had given blood, so eating at the restaurants is one thing we thought to help. I still can not really comprehend the total impact of this destruction, even though it is three months later as i write this, it still seems like yesterday, and every day I hear more bad news resulting from the terrorist attacks. But we are very strong, to be able to survive this and go forward and grow stronger as a result.
sky cappelletti | 30 | New York

#467 | Wednesday, December 12th 2001
I will NEVER forget where I was on September 11th 2001! I was at work - I'm the church secretary - and I had the radio on when the dj came on and in a very weird voice said something about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Having worked near the Trade Center, I thought to my self how? No planes are supposed to be near the towers so I went and turned on the television to see what was going on. As I stood there watching the news people speculate about the plane, the 2nd plane plowed into the other tower! I was hysterical!!! I called my husband at work and told him and just then the girls in his office told him to come and see the television. We both were stunned because one plane crashing could have been an accident but no way was two! And on that day my boss, the pastor here, was supposed to fly to Virginia and I had no idea where he was - in the air, on the ground, heading to some other airport for security reasons...then when the towers collapsed, I was absolutely speechless! I knew everybody could not have gotten out in that short of time and I never figured the towers would go down! We had 3 friends who got out (physically they are ok but this will haunt them for a very long time and all they did was show up for work that day!) and my old place of employment (they had moved to tower #1 about 3 years ago - after I worked there but I still kept in touch with some of them)but we found out the next day that one of my husband's friends from high school was missing and he didn't even work there...he was there for a management meeting! And about a week later, we found out another friend was missing - they both worked for the same place. I went on-line to find out more names and there my husband found out another classmate was missing! For two weeks we walked around numb and every once in awhile that feeling returns...and even where we live (a rural area) when a plane flys low, I'm nervous. I will NEVER forget Tuesday, September 11th 2001...and I now know how my parents felt when they first heard about Pearl Harbor! My prayers go out to all the victims and their families and friends...and to everyone else in the world! What we need is love, sweet love! And peace...young kids can get along...wouldn't it be nice if adults learned from their examples instead of the other way around!
Annie D | 41 | New York

#458 | Tuesday, December 11th 2001
"A few minutes later,towers collapsed" 9/10/01 Gavin Heck

I was at home 3-4 blocks from the Empire State Building having just walked the dog, I got online and my girlfriend who works 3 blocks from the WTC asked me on IM if I had heard anything about a bomb or missle hitting the WTC as when she was exiting the wall street stop flaming paper was falling from the sky.

I turned on CNN and saw that a plane had hit. I told her and she went downstairs at 100 Broadway to smoke. She saw the second plane hit, and rushed upstairs. We talked online a bit and she left to go to the bathroom. The towers fell and all communication went away. I wasn't sure if she was alive, and I had to go to work, avoiding the UN avoiding Time Square. I had a meeting that hadn't been cancelled. I sat in the meeting and wondered if I would ever see her again, ever wake before her and kiss her awake. People were talking about projects and plans as if everything was the same. Finally I got email from her boss that she was o.k. that they were walking to safety.

I wrote this the day before:

“DREAMLAND WAS NOTHING”* Gavin Heck 9/10/01

The joint owners of Dreamland
Bought and brought to your head
Then decided not to rebuild
Painted it red
They were politicians

Pollute - icians
Bellowing the dreamland fire
There would be nothing to replace it
While you were sleeping, huff, huff dream
Dreamland began to burn

It became a blazing torch
Freud stopped by, high
A few minutes later, towers collapsed
Falling down, falling down
Your lion climbed up the incline

Following the cat's bloody footprints
Find humans, strange creatures
Make-like-nature in small spaces
Huff, huff enough
Bangs… and ashes are ashes

I wrote this the day of 9/11.


State of emergency, all smoked out
Evacuation of Manhattan is recommended
1. No one throws stones
An apartment window was open
Concrete, stainless immutable

The birds of peace flew in
Hiding from the day
Ducking the birds of prey
Are the subways working?
The floor was (and remains) shark infested

Jumping from pillow to pillow
2. Be thankful you weren’t killed
Can you imagine sharks attacking
Sleepy commuters
Victims with burns and head injuries

3. Get a cleaning lady (person)
Did she make it out?
Even if all others give up
4. If every single person grabs a stone
5. I must feel alone, stone-less, mutable, dis-armed

Feeling, flaming paper coming from the sky
For us, we are all in this together
Going to go snag some food and water
Dove behind my bed (not the bird the action)
I dreamt my house was on fire

Hope she is far away right now
Saw the flames coming out
The top of the building start to fall
6. Seek, create, imagine stone-less Utopia
Took a cab, crying on the bus made me
feel strange

I woke up bright eyed and ready to go to work at 8:30
Both towers later collapsed.
It is not the way for me
Like watching a sea wave breaking on the shore
7. Water the subliminal hope (daily upon rising)

Just some more folks who hate America
Stay where you are
Keep your head down
Kiss the ground having made it home safe
Home, the home of souls (safe)

Fight the subliminal hype (or don’t be so surprised when those seeds you planted grow
into weeds that break through your concrete)
Landing, I seek the pure land
Last night the boss asked me to please come in on time
We could go to a Goth club and listen to our darkness

Dance like robots
Like a tornado
Like the game I played as a kid
Must evacuate
8. Must keep believing

My friend thinks its ww3 is starting
Or perhaps just hopelessness
9. Lets embrace hopelessness (then breathe and release it)
Paper covers rock
200 years old but have made so many enemies

She was ok but her building is only 3 blocks away
Since I was old enough to know that my father died for this country
Wished that someone would come and erase it
It will be a nice day other than the terrorism
10. The attachment is absolute (breathe and release it)

The beginning of the end
Life as we know it is over
The building exploded in my face
A big balloon of smoke
News people just advised to leave Manhattan

Then came down for a cigarette and saw the second hit
I fell back asleep...
They are closing everything
The Brooklyn bridge is open, thousands of people are walking it
Walt Whitman would be happy

Thing about terrorism is that really
We are all walking on pillows on the floor (floor equals water, spaces equal sharks)
We are the sharks and the water and the fear
We don’t live in the state where understanding covers action (paper covers rock)
Compassion can also thrive on the rockiest soil (You ok?)


This morning (12/11) while walking the dog I looked up and saw a plane and started crying.
I am moving to brooklyn soon.




J Gavin Heck | 37 | New York

#438 | Monday, December 10th 2001
I got to work at around 8 that morning. It was just another workday. At around five to 9 I called up my boss to ask him a question about work. He then told me that the world trade center was just hit by a plane. It was just too unbelievable. A few minutes later we heard about the second plane. The rest of the morning was crazy. We were glued to the tv and news websites all morning. It was so crazy! There were all these rumors flying about bombs going off in other places. Thank God most proved to be false. I don't work too far from the empire state building, and it was scary wondering if that would be the next target.

At around 11 I went to try and give blood and was told that there would be a 5-6 hour wait. I went to find a friend of mine who cam in a little later than me. She saw the buildings burning from her train and by the time she got into NY the buildings had crumbled. When she walked to work the city was just in chaos! people were just wandering aimlessly in the streets crying. We all just felt like crying.

We were told we could leave at any time. I decided to wait a little until I was sure that the trains were running. I just stayed in my opffice glued to the news and transportation web sites.

Finally I decided to leave at around 4. Outside it was like a war zone! cops, army, coastguard were everywhere. I suddenly had a strong need to volunteer. I wandered from place to place seeing if any help was needed. I walked over three miles and filled out a few applications. Finally after the longest day in my life, I headed home

R. Stern | 22 | New York

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