#502 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
I had just woken up.When I turned on the radio they were talking about what had happened.I was in total schock.I couldnt believe that there were people that stupid in this world of ours.The more that I listened the more it tore me about inside,just to know that there had been that many people innocent people killed for no reason at all was enough to make me cry.i was so defastated that I wanted to go out and kill somebody myself.But I hknew that that wouldnt solve the problem.So all I could do was just pray and cry.But at least one good thing has come out of this and that is that every one has come totether and we are now a stronger and more powerful america.
cindy hicks | 47 | Texas

#501 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
I should have been at work but my supervisor hadn't called to say I was needed. I was getting a late lunch when I heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I sat down to eat lunch with the tv on. At the first commercial break there was a news flash, and normal life ended for that day. The second plane had hit the WTC. I cried, and then switched on the radio and logged on to the Internet to find out more news. Later I emailed all my American friends and family.
This Christmas I will be thinking especially of the families missing a member because of what happened.

Marguerite | 47 | United Kingdom

#485 | Sunday, December 16th 2001
I am the mom of 2 teenagers and an almost 7 year old in first grade. Normally, after watching the little one get onto the schoolbus, I go online to read my mail and check in at Arlo Guthrie's (www.arlo.net) website. It's rare that I watch TV, especially in the morning.

College was still on summer break on September 11 and I was antsy. Not feeling satisfied at the computer, I put the TV on, hoping to tune in to some new home decor show on Discovery.

My TV automatically turns on NBC (channel 3) and I heard the word "debris". Thinking it referred to a hurricane in the Carribean, I changed the channel. Then, for some reason unknown to me, I quickly switched back to NBC. That's when I heard about the first plane crash. I guess my mind was trying to protect me, because I immediately thought of "accident". But when the 2nd plane hit, I thought to myself, "we're at war." My next impulse was to shake my head, "don't be so dramatic" I told myself.

Glued to the TV, I finally remembered that I had to call a tow-truck for one of my cars, but I really didn't want to have to leave the house. It needed the battery charged and I knew I'd have to drive it for a few miles without the radio being on. So... there I sat.

Finally, I got the car started, drove it and raced back home. So what if the battery dies? Somehow, having a running car no longer mattered much.

I called the High School to see if my 2 older kids were ok, did they want/need to come home? They could, I told the school secretary. She assured me that most of the teachers had dispensed with their lesson plans and that they had the TVs on in almost every classroom. At least my teens would be seeing this first-hand. They had extra counselors on duty.

Next I called the Elementary school. I was told that they had decided not to show the images on TV to the younger kids, but that they would be told of the events before boarding the busses to come home later that day.

The rest of the day, I was on the telephone with my husband, every few minutes to let him know the latest happenings. By the time the first tower fell, I was beside myself and wanted someone to come home. Thank goodness, all state offices closed early (he works for the state) and he came home shortly after the 2nd tower fell.

Fall term at my college began a week later and we had a memorial service. Every day, when I am outside on campus, I feel drawn to looking up at the American flag. We have held several special events at school now having to do with the events on September 11 and each time I feel a little bit closer to how I felt before this happened. I am feeling almost "normal" again... less anxiety than I had in the first month after the attacks.

Having an 18-year-old son doesn't do much to help relieve the anxiety, but now that's it's almost Christmas and enough time has passed, I see so much progress being made in Afghanistan that I'm not as worried about my son as I was before.

For all the evil that has been done, I really feel blessed to live in a country where adversity brings people together. We showed our true colors on that day. I am more tolerant than I had been in the past, especially with all the foreign students at my college. I have more patience with them as I work to help them learn computer applications and struggle with term papers.

My youngest's birthday was last week. He decided instead of having a licensed cartoon character birthday theme to have an American Flag party! He drew pictures and we made a "pin the stars on the flag" game, bought a patriotic songs for kids CD and even a large American Flag birthday cake! We had red, white and blue table settings and decorated with red, white and blue crepe paper streamers.

Seeing the changes in so many attitudes around here makes me believe that there is much hope for the future of America.

Terrie Winson | 47 | Pennsylvania

#372 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I had just returned from taking my son to school. I turned on Good Morning, America, and went to the kitchen to get my usual second cup of morning coffee. I returned to see a full screen view of the WTC tower with heavy smoke and flames rising from it. I just stood and stared while the show's hosts rattled on that "something had apparently happened at the WTC". The he said they had a report that a commercial aircraft had crashed into the first tower, but that they had no other information as yet.
I stood, horrified, as I am sure, many others did, as he talked and the second plane came rapidly into view behind the second tower, crashing into it.
Then the thought crossed my mind "Aww, this has GOT to be some sort of elaborate movie preview", because it looked just like something out of a disaster movie. Then, my mind kinda went into overload or something.
When I came to my senses days later, I realized it was no movie. It literally took days for the shock to wear off, just like after the OKC bombing did, and only then did the reality set in.
I cannot fathom what it must have been like for the hundreds, thousands of rescuers, who had to wave off this shock immediately and get into the site to try to help the victims, and to even keep on going on after the collapse.

bcs | 47 | Oklahoma

#358 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I walked into the media center at our middle school and saw a replay of a plane hitting the WTC. I knew immediately that hundreds of innocent people had just died. A feeling of great sadness came over me. It has not gone away.
Joe Strickland | 47 | Georgia

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