#844 | Sunday, March 10th 2002
My wife and I both teach at the same elementary school, so on the morning of Sept. 11 we two and our two children were all getting ready for school when my sister-in-law, who lives up the street, called and told us to turn on the TV. We watched like everyone else as the tragedy unfolded in New York City, at the Pentagon and in that lonely field in Pennsylvania. I remember saying "Happy birthday to me" as I watched the carnage. Sept. 11, 2001, was my 41st birthday, and it is certainly one I will never forget. I tried to explain it all to my fourth graders at school. The odd thing is, the children really didn't seem too freaked by the whole thing. They talked about it, but to me it seemed many of them didn't grasp the enormity of the situation. I got the impression that many of the kids felt it was just like scenes from a movie or video game they had seen a thousand times. I feel like they had no real idea that thousands of people died on that surreal, spring-like September morning.
Mark H. | 41 | California

#843 | Saturday, March 9th 2002
9-11. A Date that shall truly live in our hearts and minds forever. I woke up at my normal time to get ready for another normal day as a Senior in highschool. Then I turned on the TV and my world froze. the first plane had hit the towers and moments after I turned on the TV, I saw live the second plane travel a perfect arc, centering in, targeted at the tower. I saw it in slow motion as the plane seemingly decintigrated, bursting into flames as the wingtip that cleared the building continued on, raking the side of the building with flames. I was beyond tears, in utter disbelief. Then I heard about the Pentagon, and I knew it was war. One of the first teachings of Tsun Tsu in the Art of War is to conquer and divide; crush the market, crush the control base and you crush the enemy. I just never thought in any stretch of the imagination that the enemy would be us. I'm not old enough to remember Vietnam; I didn't serve in Desert Storm, I don't have any idea what the world looked like during the World Wars, all I know is that in times of crisis, we come together. I never have truly liked America. I love America for what it stands for, for the freedom, the beauty of our laws, our justice. I'm proud of the country I was born in. I just never liked the way I saw it presently. everywhere I looked, there was greed, powermongering; even those in the government really only looked out for themselves. Why does nobody care about what America really means anymore? Then 9-11 came. My world changed. I saw flags flying everywhere for the first time, people with the WTC on their T- shirts. I saw Americans doing what our fathers wanted; shaking hands, crying on each other's shoulders. This is the world I've always wanted, I've waited for all my life. This is not the world of the president, or any true adult. This is our world. We, the future. Someday, we'll change everything, someday, we'll create a true utopia, without greed, without hate. That's our biggest problem now; hate. So much hate in so small a world. Well, the future is now. It's time to start changing. Godspeed, longlife, and, most of all and truly so- GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Michael Arruda | 17 | California

#840 | Saturday, March 9th 2002
Just got up to report for duty (Air Force). Turned the TV on and thought I was dreaming. Got ready the rest of the way and went to work. We heard a second plane hit the WTC we all looked at each other, we all had looks that I will never forget. When the plane hit the Pentagon it was a little more obvious our country was under attack. The surprise turned to rage as we heard the unfolding events. We went into threat condition Delta and it all hit home, we were at war.

To the people who read this and are involved, the US military will find you, and punish you. You will never win, the American spirit will never die. We in the military are not afraid to die for our country. Our country is larger that you will ever understand. Think about using weapons of mass destruction and you will pay the full wrath of the U.S. Military. No weapon will be out of the picture in terms of use. The American people will expect nothing short of that.

Wanna meet your god? We will help you in your journey.

R | 33 | California

#834 | Friday, March 8th 2002
i was sleeping in my bed in rancho cordova, california when my great aunt called me at 7:15 am. it was te day after my birthday and i felt like my birthday had been jinxed because the day before my b-day i had all my college books stolen from my car along with my b-day presents. my b-day was sep. 10. i was in total shock and awe that something like that could happen. i didn't really grasp the concept until a few days later, so when i did i went around sacramento going door to door trying to collect money for the relief fund. it is actually quite amazing how many people were rude after such a tragedy. i also bought a completely white sheet that i had decorated with a friend that said "united we stand" in big bold letters out of red and blue marker that we took around to the houses to be signed. i still have that sheet. i did not know personally anyone killed in the attack but my heart goes out to all the families and survivors, deceased, firefighters and contributors. we have overcome this tragedy and become more united. god bless america.
becky | 20 | California

#833 | Friday, March 8th 2002
I lived and worked in Hollywood California at the time. The first thing I noticed was there were no helocopters overhead. I never thought I would find the buzz of the media comforting.

On September 12 I worked on a television show that filmed near LAX. When a single airplane flew overhead I realised I had never been so worried in my entire life. Needless to say we never had to stop for another airplane that day.

Kim | 27 | California

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