#378 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I was off that day, Monday is my day off. I woke up, took a shower then went out to get breakfast. When I got back home I decided to watch CNN to get the morning news. The first image I saw was a close up with the two towers in flames and my first thought was "that looks just like the World Trade Center". After a couple of minutes of listening to whoever was on CNN that morning I called my job to tell them to stay away from downtown Manhattan then I called my boss, who was on his way to work, to tell him to turn around and go home and that's when the first tower collapsed, all I could say for the next few minutes was “Oh my God, oh my God” over and over again. Then the second tower came down and my mind went numb…
Vincent | 34 | New York

#349 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I was starting my day in my home office and as usual had the news on in the background. I felt a loud rumble, like a garbage truck passing by and I recieved a phone call. It was mY brother in Florida asking what happend- he told me about the one plane and my jaw dropped as I turned to the tv and saw the big gaping black hole with the long narrow cracks that I instantly recognized as what must have been the wings.
I ran to the roof of my 4 story apt building in Parkslope where we can see the entire sky line and saw and felt the second plane hit.
I watched the whole thing and could not believe what was happening. My office turned into a head quarters for family and friends checking in, seeing if we were all ok. I waited for my wife to come home for 4 hours with the most fear i've ever felt in my life.
Cell phone calls were barely getting through, and all ong distance was cut off. I kept in contact with my brother in florida over the internet on an instant messenger. My wife showed up and my family and I wathed the flames on tv and we cried for them, and held on.

Luis L.Borges | 25 | New York

#342 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
The morning of September 11th, I was home with my little girl. Living on the 13th floor in a building just 6 blocks north of the tragic events. I had just taken Jay-Jay the Jet Plane down from the shelf, as his show was on and I was making him fly around the room for the baby. When the first plane passed my window, it sounded like a missle flying by. The sound was so intense, it shook everything in the apartment..even the coffee shook out of my cup. Our eyes widened, as even a two-year-old can understand that what just happened was not quite right. I immediately ran to my kitchen window, just as the first explosion took place. Fear ran through my blood, and I immediately knew we were under attack. Thinking, that was it, I grabbed my digital camera because I could not believe my eyes. After a few shots, I went for the Camcorder because this was a most unbelieveable thing I was seeing. About 3 minutes into me recording the event that took place, another explosion happened and the force of it hit me right in the face and pushed my camera away from view. The heat was like opening a broiling ovens door and I am 6 blocks away! I turned around and saw the baby standing there watching me, watching this, and I finally came to my senses. I started to break down a bit so I ran and put on the news to see what exactly was going on...two planes hit the WTC!! To this day, saying those 5 words sends a flood of emotions through me. The symbol of our powerful city burning was a very scary sight... I tried calling people to talk to...I called my son's school. I told them in a very calm manner that I didn't know if the school bus was going to be able to bring him home because of what was unfolding, and that I would wait it out and call them back. Obviously, I wasn't thinking straight. Once I reached my husband he told me to grab the baby and get out of the building! I ran out of the house to find hundreds and hundreds of people standing around staring up in disbelief. I had the baby in my arms, nothing else. A police woman came up to me, of all the people out there, and she told me "Go as far uptown as you can, this is not over" She was definitely one of God's messengers. As I started heading uptown, I was warning others to start moving because this wasn't over, some starting going north, others were attracted to it like fireflys to the light. I got so far as Canal Street and I couldn't walk anymore. My back was starting to hurt, and my arms were tired from holding the baby, but I wouldn't let her go. In a desperate attempt to reach my son all the way on the upper east side, I started begging people driving in their cars to please give me a ride uptown. I was actually refused a number of times before one good samaritan could see my plight and let me share his cabride with him. He said as long as I didn't mind him smoking, I could share the ride. He,too, was headed uptown to pick up his kids from a yeshiva. I believe his name was Jeff, the kindest man and I hope he receives ten times the kindness he gave me that day. As we rode, his hands trembled, and it took him several tries to light his cigarettes. As we rode we could hear the live updates taking place "...ladies and gentlemen...the twin towers are...no more" I was devastated. How in the world could this be happening? Why was this happening? I knew immediately in my heart from the very beginning that we were being attacked and who was responsible for it. I said so on my video tape, so I guess I wasn't so surprised that were actually being attacked, just surprised at the enormity of the attacks. When he reached his destination, he turned to me and gave me $20 to pay for the cab. That act of kindness in such a time is the most unforgettable moment of this all. A glimmer of good in a mass of horror. I finally reached uptown, and discharged my son from school. My son was confused about why I was taking him out of school...I told him I just wanted to have a special lunch with him at Mickey D's. Meanwhile, I could see the billows of thick, dark smoke rising from downtown. Uptown felt like a different world, safe. People were oblivious to the tragic events taking place, the massive deaths that occured just downtown. Miraculously, I received a cell phone call. My girlfriend was wondering what was happening, as she was worried about her husband who worked downtown. She said the last she heard from him was that he had to run as the towers came crumbling down. Knowing I had calling capabilities, I called my husbands cell phone. He happened to be on his mothers home phone in Brooklyn talking to his mother who happened to be just across town from where I was! I hailed a cab and picked her up and we asked the cab to get us out of Manhattan. He didn't think it was possible, but I told him to go ahead and try. He was able to get us into Queens, where we met my husband who drove us to my mother-in-laws, where we stood for a month. The very next day though, I needed to go back in to see what happened, was my home ok? I took a train into the Lower East Side and walked over. And the closer I got, the whiter the ground got, the more littered with various personal effects it got, the more grave it got. I started crying, then sobbing. Thoughts of all my neighbors, known and unknown, who were affected by this, especially those working in the building, the fear they must have felt, those clinging to the windows saying their prayers, those who thought they were going to make it out as they calmly went down the stairwell, those families at home with the babies left with nannies, the loss was too great for me to handle. I had to pass army personnel, I felt so small walking passed these towering men. But I also felt so damned proud to be American--always have been--but even more so then. When I reached my building there was no electricity, and I didn't carry a flashlight. I had to find my way thru the pitch dark of the windowless stairwells to find my apartment. At one point I forgot where I was, I lost count and I became so frightened. I started crying and then I started feeling my way around, feeling the shape of and hearing the sounds of various doorbells...until I finally reached mine. I fumbled with the keys, and when I opened the door and the flood of light hit me, I finally felt like everything was going to be okay again, in time....since the event, it is my experience that we, as New Yorkers have changed, we now reach out to each other more comfortably, share a passing smile...and I have experienced the goodness of Americans as a whole, with all of the volunteer workers that came forward. Amazing. GOD BLESS AMERICA! I AM SO VERY PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!!!!!!
Angela | 35 | New York

#336 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
On September 11, 2001, I was at college. Utica College of Syracuse University to be exact. I was at my 10AM class; having just woken up, I was surprised when someone told me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I was a little sad, but thought it was an accident. Then the teacher came in and explained a plane had hit each building and it appeared to be a terrorist attack. Not sure what to believe, my next professor explained what had happened to the entire class. I was in absolute shock. This kind of stuff doesnít happen to Americans. Well, it did. Soon after, I embarked on a one-man crusade to get people to think clearly and act responsibly in response to the attack. Most people said they wanted to go and bomb the hell out of them; I asked who? They didnít understand. It was my mission (and will always be) to make sure people know and are educated about what happened.
Denis E. Ambrose, Jr. | 18 | New York

#322 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I live 2.4 miles north, on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Twelfth Street, and I have a clear view of the twin towers. That day I walked out the front door of my apartment building, there was a crowd and barricades at Saint Vincent's Hospital. I asked a police officer what was happening. He pointed south. One tower was smoking. Then the other tower exploded. Stunned, I wheeled about and quickly returned to my apartment. I sat quietly for three and a half hours. I thought: it has come home; it has come home.
Thomas Elias Weatherly | 59 | New York

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