#1371 | Tuesday, June 4th 2002
It was a beautiful sunny day here in Ottawa, Canada and I was driving to work about 9am. The local radio station interrupted with a broadcast from CNN announcing a plane crash at the WTC. The details were vague. I pictured a 2-seater plane and maybe the pilot had a heart attack or something. Still, I called my husband on my cell phone, who was home on vacation, and due to retire from the Canadian Navy the very next day after 21 years of service. I told him to turn on the TV and tell me what he saw. He said “I’m watching live pictures” a plane just hit the tower – a big plane”. I said, “that’s a re-run”. He said no a second plane had hit! I almost lost control! I hung up and called my mother and sisters.

By the time I got to work, I was in a full run as I hit the front door of the largest hi-tech company in the city. I made my way to the cafeteria and joined the growing crowd watching the devastating live footage. When the Pentagon got hit, I really thought it was the end of the world. There must have been 400 people in the cafeteria and people were barely breathing. We live in Canada’s capital, were we next? I scooted back home where my military man was pacing – sure that he would be called back to sea. (thankfully he never was). I wanted to pick up my girls from school, but my husband wouldn’t let me. He said they would be scared. We sat glued to the TV set all day – not believing what we were seeing. When my girls got home from school they told stories of parents arriving all day at school, some with the provisions piled in the car “just in case”. Such madness…it didn’t seem real. I didn’t sleep for weeks.

That Friday Ottawa participated in the national day of mourning. I joined 100,000 Canadians on Parliament Hill to pray for the families affected by the attack. It was the largest show of support world-wide. I am proud of the support we have shown for our American neighbours and pleased with the assistance we could provide all the stranded airplane passengers as they flooded our smallest cities on each coast.

In late November 2001 I participated in the “Canada Loves NY” weekend and joined tens of thousands of Canadians in Manhattan to show our love for NYC. I’d never been to NY before. We met some wonderful people and listened to their stories. We visiting Ground Zero….like something out of Close Encounters I felt I HAD to go. I will never forget the silent crowds, the quiet sobbing, and the disbelief on so many international faces. We are all in this together. United We Stand!

Debbie | 41 | Canada

#1261 | Thursday, May 9th 2002
I was at work in a primary school in Birmingham England when a friend came and told me that a plane had hit the world trade center. By the time I got to a TV the second tower had been hit and I watched both towers fall. Just standing there in a staff room not really understanding what I was seeing. My husband is a fire fighter in Birmingham and, given the time difference would have been on duty at that time. I knew the firefighters would all go in to try to save those poor souls, I know not one of them would have thought of themselves and I know that my husband would have done the same. I feel almost guilty that my man has gone on duty tonight 9th May 2002 and that, God willing he will come home to me tomorrow. When Bette Middler sang"Wind beneath my wings" at a football stadium some 10 days I knew that each and every firefighter, papamedic, police officer and all the others who went in to help were just that, hero's. I sat with my daughter and cried for the senseless waste of human life, for the endless suffering of those left behind but mostly because I wonder what world my daughters have been born into when one human being can do this to others and, for the love of god in the name of religion. The world went mad eight months ago and I am very afraid that it will never be the same again. Thank you to all the families who gave a loved on on that day I am so sorry.
Andrea Hunt | 41 | United Kingdom

#1092 | Friday, March 22nd 2002
The morning of September 11th in New York City, was beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky--sunny and crisp. A perfect day to go to the rooftop of WTC1 and to check on our brand new HDTV antenna, and our facility on the 104th floor. I planned on meeting my partner downtown at the new MOMA store after my supposedly time at World Trade (noon to 3:00pm) that day.

Approximately at 8:50am, I had been in my office at 30 Rockefeller, (the GE building) in Midtown. I had our sky camera pointing towards Downtown with the Empire State Building in its path. I got a call from mastercontrol that we were off the air. I noted that the World Trade One tower was on fire and alerted the rest of my engineer colleagues at NBC. Our wonderful transmitter engineer, Bill Steckman (considered the best in the business) called to say that things were "smokey" there and that he was turning the equipment off. Little did he know that the first plane had just plowed into a few floors below him.
The telephone line went dead and that was the last we heard from Bill. We don't believe he had a chance to escape since the emergency stairs probably turned into a chimney. We also questioned if the steel doors to the rooftop were ever opened to let the 110th floor RF engineers out to escape.

The rest of the morning was spent scrambling to put an NBC camera crew on the GE building. Security kicked in and just a handful of other engineers were allowed on the rooftop. While working on the roof, we watched the World Trade Center towers collapse, one after the other with so much disbelief. There were fighter jets in the sky flying low over Manhattan that it felt like we were at war. We looked at each other and agreed that we were sick to our stomachs to what we had witnessed.

We had a job to deliver the news and we did, for days to come...

I thought of my mother, since she witnessed the attack of Pearl Harbor on a mountain side. I called her for advice and assured her that I was safe. I spent my first break to email the rest of my family and friends--for they were all worried that I was in Room 10401...

Genora Dancel | 41 | United States

#935 | Monday, March 11th 2002
Where was I?

I was just getting up and ready to take my teenager to school, everyone was still asleep and the I turned on the news.
I think my legs buckled out from under me as I sank to the couch and stared in horror...
I woke my family and then I called my mother who travels extensively out of the country to work. She was asleep, having just returned from Japan, I was glad she was home.
I tried to call my father, who lives in Manhattan, it took till the next day to finally reach him. He is a freelance photographer and lives on Broadway... I worried that I would see him on T.V. getting in the way of the rescue units, but he assured me that at his age, he no longer would do something so dangerous.
I grew up in Manhattan, I can not imagine those buildings not being there....I hope the families of those who were killed are able to oneday let go of the pain and maybe heal and then forgive...

Lesa O'Mara | 41 | California

#923 | Monday, March 11th 2002
Where was I?

On September 10, 2001 I flew into Chicago from LAX to attend a meeting and a major trade show. On the morning of September 11, 2001, I left my hotel room at approximately 7:50 am, just as news was talking about a “fire” at the WTC. We went into our meeting and took a break around 10:00 CST; at that time I noticed several missed calls on my cell phone. As I walked out into the Lobby of the conference center, I notice a standing group of people with their eyes glued to the TV set. People were crying, my 1st thought was this was a movie trailer, when someone mentioned the attacks on WTC and the Pentagon. After watching briefly, I attempt to call my family in Southern CA to let them know I was all right, all be home as soon as I can. Unfortunately, my cell phone service wouldn’t work; next try was the payphones, which were all busy with people trying to call home. Finally a payphone was free. Fear started settling in as I realized all circuits were busy, collect calls and calling cards wouldn’t work. Being over 2000 miles away from my family, I started to panic as I heard reports of Los Angeles and Chicago being possible target areas. The attendees of the meeting decided to continue with the meeting. Finally about an hour later, I received a very distraught call on my cell phone from my youngest daughter; they’ve been trying to reach me for over 4 hours and were extremely anxious to hear my voice. I assured them, things were okay with me and I’d keep in touch. I felt like I had to be brave but my thoughts went towards my daughters, my husband, my Mom and mostly towards my daughter’s friends who are in the service. I couldn’t help but think we are at war. Later that day in Chicago, the city was voluntarily evacuated. It was an eerie feeling to walk the streets of Downtown Chicago and find restaurants closed and no taxis running. Since all flights were canceled, all rental cars booked, trains filled up. My co-workers and I were basically stuck in Chicago for the week. We continued to work and spent lots of time at the restaurants and bars. I consistently called my husband and family. Although I enjoy Chicago, I so looked forward to finally going home to my family and friends. The biggest emotion that has come out of these attacks is FEAR. How can we ever feel safe again? How can I assure my daughter’s were safe. We’ve picked up and moved on and we are trying to continue with our normal routines, but nothing will ever be the same again. Never again will I take the little things in life for granted.

JC | 41 | California

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