#902 | Monday, March 11th 2002
I can still remember the second I first heard. My boss just yelled from his office that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I thought it must be a small little plane with an inexperienced pilot that just had a poor error in judgement. Then I heard it was a jet, and I thought, how could a commercial pilot not see the tower in front of him and avoid it somehow. I thought there must have been something horribly wrong with the plane. But when I heard that another plane had struck the South tower, the hair on the back of my neck just stood on end. This isn’t an accident…this is deliberate, this was something someone wanted to happen, but why? I couldn’t even begin to digest what had just happened when the radio blasted the news that a plane had just crashed into the Pentagon. That’s when I realized we were under attack. But by whom and why? Why would someone target buildings full of innocent people? What warped crazed mind had planned such an act of destruction? I just remember being glued to the radio, and when they said that a plane had crashed in the hills of Pennsylvania, well that was just more than I could comprehend. I just sat there, tears streaming down my face thinking about the people trapped above the explosion in the WTC, and wondering how on earth would they ever rescue those people. The came the horrible news that Tower 2 had collapsed to the ground. All 110 stories, gone. How could anyone survive? The death toll must be staggering. Then the North tower collapsed and I just felt so helpless…how could this be….I must be dreaming. This is America! I was glued to my TV all evening, just staring in disbelief what had transpired throughout the day. Then I thought of my friend’s husband Jay, a New York firefighter, husband and father of two. Had he been working that day? Was he still alive? It wasn’t until 4 days later that I found out he had survived. He had, however been witness to the horror that was 9/11. He had been guiding people out of the building along with a fellow firefighter and close friend. The other guy was only a few yards away, when a jumper landed on him and killed him instantly. It was a scene I am sure, will be with him the rest of his life. I pray he is strong enough to deal with what he witnessed that horrible day.
The only positive thing that has come from this horrible event is I have witnessed acts of kindness like I have never seen before. This entire country has bonded together so strongly that in no way will cowardly, lunatics like Osama Bin Laden ever break, or weaken that bond. I just hope and pray that sick bastard will someday have to answer for his actions. He may be a martyr to the total wackjobs he represents, but to us he is just a coward who attacks then runs and hides. Come out of your cave, you rat, and show your face. Be a man, you coward!

Lin Verselli | 42 | Connecticut

#859 | Sunday, March 10th 2002
I live in Arizona and work later hours, so on September 11, 2001 I did not get out of bed until 9:30am. My radio alarm had gone off and the first thing I heard was the dj say was that both of the WTC towers had collapsed and the Pentagon was on fire. My first reaction was WHAT!!!! I ran to the television and turned it on just in time to see a replay of the first tower going down and then the second one. I was frozen in my tracks. Emotionally I was stunned. I got dressed and went down to work, my employer was letting anyone go home if they did not wish to stay. They also had the psychologist on hand if anyone needed to talk. I ended up going home and a friend came over and we just talked. We tried to talk about other things, but we never could get away from it. Later in the day some other friends and I met at a local coffeehouse. All around us was quiet. A lot of people were at the coffeehouse and talk was very subdued. I was to young to remember when Kennedy was killed, but I imagine that it was the same way then.
Nancie Weinberg | 42 | Arizona

#850 | Sunday, March 10th 2002
I work for a restaurant corporation located in Phoenix, Arizona. Living the west means open spaces, few if any tall buildings, and wide roads that seem to lead to any future you could imagine. Having lived in such cities as Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco, I felt that living in the southwest was a wonderful way to live.
On September 11th, I was in my apartment in Scottsdale, a suburb north and east of Phoenix. I was getting ready for work (it was just about 7:00 a.m.), and had the television set on with no sound as was typical for my morning routine. It was tuned to CNN.
I was rushing to get out the door in order to drop my dog off at the boarders. Our company was having their annual sales convention the next day in Las Vegas, and I had an early morning flight out on the 12th – too early to drop the dog that day, so I had her booked at a local pet resort for the 11th, with a drop off by 7:30 a.m.
As I crossed the living room to shut the patio door to leave I glanced at the TV set and saw two buildings – with smoke coming out of them. I sat down, riveted on the scenes being shown on the TV. At that time it was still confusion so I continued on my course of dropping the dog off, tears running down my face all the way on the commute in. I had the radio on, and while listening to the newscasters I kept thinking of all those people – innocent people – who were dying.
The rest of the day was spent at work. The conference was cancelled – and even though that seems like such an easy decision to have made – at the time it took quite a bit of conversation. Nobody knew what was really happening – and more importantly - how this day was going to change the way we do business. Co-workers roamed the halls and boardroom, watching television, discussing, listening to the radio, anything to keep in contact with the disaster that was taking place. The President of the company told us we could leave if we wanted to – but I didn’t want to go home to an empty apartment and face despair on my own. I stayed in order to be close to other human beings. The world was different in the space of a few moments.

Jeanne Brock | 42 | Arizona

#841 | Saturday, March 9th 2002
The beginning of the end. My wife, only 42 years old, had been quite ill all year. Her problems due to severe arthritis were compounding. With no one else in the family to provide around the clock care, I worked from home and cared for her every need. Holding tissue to her mouth early that morning, I turned on the TV in our bedroom. My first impression was that a Bruce Willis movie was on, but yet it looked like the national news channels were involved. What we saw was the WTC on fire. Later that day, I took my wife to the emergency room where she was admitted. While she did come home a week later, I again took her to this same hospital January 8, 2002 so that a tube could be inserted into her abdomin for stomach feeding. Three days later she passed away...she never came back home. She had asked her nurse to call me at home the evening before and asked that I return to the hospital. Exhausted, I remained home and never spoke with her again. This will be my life long regret.
ruben montano | 42 | Arizona

#706 | Thursday, January 31st 2002
I'm not working, so I was home, naked, brushing my teeth while listening to/watching the Today show. At the top of the hour they break for local news, and the local break ended with "more on this morning's plane crash at the WTC in a moment on Today." Gulp.

I came out of the bathroom into the bedroom to watch a live interview with a news exec uptown at Penn Plaza, telling what he happened to see, as he was looking out his window as the first plane hit. The camera showed the view downtown to the burning tower--what he saw as he recounted the horror--then as he was explaining what he HAD seen minutes ago, he excitedly said "there's another plane! It's too low! Oh my god!" And live, on the Today show, I watched the second plane hit.

I still get goosebumps, and a sick feeling in my heart when I think about it, or see lower Manhattan. I used to live in NY before moving to Austin. My company had an office in WTC. I've been there hundreds of times. I went to college with a guy who crashed into it with his husband/partner and their adopted son. I'm always going to be sad when I see NY.

Steve Basile | 42 | Texas

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