#849 | Sunday, March 10th 2002
I had just arrived at work, completely unaware of the tragedy unfolding until I was inside and people were in the conference room watching the news. We all sat in silence watching the first tower burning when the second was hit. My cousin works in downtown Manhattan. She arrives on the ferry from New Jersey, so I wasn't sure if she was okay or not until late that night. Fortunately she was late to work on September 11th.

My heart breaks with the rest of the world as we mourn the loss of our beloved citizens and the loss of our innocence. However, my spirit soars with the knowledge that we are strong and united as one country. We will NOT be defeated!

Peace to all.

Polly | 48 | Colorado

#831 | Friday, March 8th 2002
I was on my way to my office on the 37th floor of Tower 2. My subway train was delayed at Chambers Street (one stop away) because of a "possible smoke condition in the tunnel." The train operator was alternately told to stop, not to stop, and one time to pick up anyone at the Cortlandt St. station. There was even mention on the radio of an explosion of some kind.

The train was supposed to make the stop but when we arrived the train operator was told to keep going. I got off at Rector St. (one stop past) and was horrified to discover both buildings on fire.

Many people on the street had arrived after the planes hit and we didn't know exactly what happened.

While waiting for a phone I started taking pictures. I then realized that there would be no one in the subway station and went down there to call home.

To make a very long story short. I walked around to the north side of the site and was around Chambers Street when I felt and heard a boom behind me and saw the top of Tower 2 start to crumble. The police were yelling to run and I did just that. I managed to stay ahead of the cloud that chased me up the street.

All in all I was lucky. I was fine. Everyone from my office escaped injury as well. It was a couple of weeks before I could load the pictures in my computer and was lucky there, too. I didn't record anything gory on the chip.

I just wish that everyone could experience a little of the horror of that day and pass it on to the next generation. Then perhaps this sort of thing will never happen again.

Stu Greenberg | 48 | New York

#640 | Saturday, January 19th 2002
I am Gerrit Visser in the Netherlands and will never forget that moment when my colleague who worked on the desk across me was called by her husband only 25 minutes after the plane hit the first tower. Immediately we connected to CNN on the internet to get confirmed and see with our eyes that it was true that the Twin Towers was hit by a plane. Soon we went to the hall of our training centre only to witness those horrible moments of the scnd plane and the collapsing of the building. It was unbelievable, we could hardly believe our eyes. After work i had to pick up something at a friends house. There I watched the life broadcast of what happened in New York at that moment.

Gerrit

Gerrit Visser | 48 | Netherlands

#637 | Thursday, January 17th 2002
16th January 2002

Hello
My name is Emily Charlton and I am from New Zealand. I think that it is great to have somewhere to express how the selfish and cowardly actions of September 11th 2001 impacted on me.

Early that morning, my partner and I had gone into town to take my grand daughter to school and decided to eat in town while we were in. We walked into the Café and were greeted by the owner who jokingly asked if we had any bombs on us. We responded with “not today I’m afraid, we’re just in for breakfast”. He went on to say that he had brought his television in so he could keep up with the tragedy of the World Trade buildings in New York. We both glanced up to the TV and saw the news bulletins showing shots of the aeroplanes flying directly into the towers.

In the first instance, I thought ‘Wow, that is great camera work, what film is this?’ The owner then proceeded to explain that this was no film, it was real. Overwhelmed with emotions of horror, bewilderment, despair and non-belief I found myself wide mouthed but speechless. As we talked at one another, my mind raced with questions, my heart immediately left me as I realised the people who would be affected. I could hold my screams but not my tears as I saw the destruction of the buildings and the fear on the faces of the people in the streets.

As we sat and watched through the day I felt so helpless being so far away and not being able to help. For the days, weeks and months that have followed and I’m sure for always, this has made an imprint deep in my soul.

I have pity for those responsible and can only say that the God I know and love is not the same God whom they love. God gives the breath of life and does not think kindly to those who take life.
These lines are all I will accord to the offenders, as I will not waste my time on such a cowardly act.

I give my thoughts and prayers to those folk who have lost family and/or friends through this disaster. Being so far away, I cannot offer my physical help but can express my profound empathy for the people of New York and indeed America.

Emily Charlton

Emily Charlton | 48 | New Zealand

#568 | Sunday, December 23rd 2001
On Sept. 11, 2001, I was on my daily 90 minute bus commute to work 20 miles south of Seattle @ 8 am pacific standard time...when I arrived after 9 am @ my work office a few people were walking in hushed tones between 2 adjacent office bldgs @ our company's work site but they seemed to be quieter than was their personal norms @ work.
I thought something big or unusual is going on but having just gotten off a long commute with no one saying aloud yet what had happenned to me personally I watched & waited from my small work cubicle inside 1 of the aforementioned 2 office bldgs to find a chance to ask what IS IT that is being talked about...
At first the thought shared was that the airplanes were crashed due to accidents but soon after to allay panic among coworkers management hushed up talk until the authoritative news reports came in closer to noon pacific standard time...ohhh no...it was a terrorist attack and many innocent lives were lost etc etc...I thought of the time in 1963 as a 10 yr old school girl I'd seen my 5th grade teacher come in tears to collect students from our playground while an unusual unscheduled recess bell rang to alert ALL Students to return to classrooms IMMEDIATELY for an announcement about the assassination of then President John F. Kennedy...this day will be as it was on 11/22/63 a day that many will recall EXACTLY where, what & why they were doing specific daily activities when a act of major significance caught the attention of a large portion of the American public simultaneously and even quite a sizable portion of the global eye as well...ie Great Britain, France, etc. I now am more committed than ever that Freedom is never Free and vigilance is important if we as a free country are to retain the privileges and rights we enjoy as listed in the American Bill of Rights as well as the Constitution of the USA. With our freedoms come responsibilities as well as awarenesses of who we are in relationship to others in the world. Knowing our place as Americans in the world at large we can better appreciate what we have as well as how non-Americans view us...this knowledge must be used wisely to preserve our way of life for generations to come as well as befriend our allies and admirers in other countries! Although I was born a citizen as were my parents I love the USA and cherish the life it has made possible to me to live so far...there is no better place to live on this globe! I pray that other Americans will not take it for granted what we enjoy as citizens in the USA now.

Helenann L. Hansen | 48 | Washington

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