#2142 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was at home asleep and the phone rang. It was my dad, "Get up and turn on the tv and call me back." I turned on the tv and sat on the edge of my bed in complete disbelief. This cant be true. This cant be happening. I called my dad back and as we where talking the other plane it. It was real and I started to cry. All I could think was, I need my mother. She more than 1,000 miles away and I longed for the closeness and the comfort of her voice. I made the call and the first thing she said was "I'm so glad you called." We spoke for a few minutes and she told me that she didn't no exactly what was going to happen but if all hell broke loose she was coming to get me. For the next couple of hours I watched tv and cried and I thought of everyone that I loved that was so far away. I remember getting on my knees and praying but I don't remember what I prayed or even if I said words or just let my heart and tears speak for me. I cried for myself and the people that died, I cried for their family and their friends, but mostly I cried for the uncertainty that this event had provoked.

Today marks the one year anniversary and my feelings haven't changed much. I'm still very emotional and my thoughts are with my loved ones so far away, but my sadness and grief are not for my self because I have proven strong through all of this. My sadness and grief are not longer for this country because it has proven strong throughout this last year. My sadness and grief are for the ones that lost. They lost loved ones and the lost the remarkable towers.

I think everyone should show their pain openly and they should mourn but don't forget that we made it through this. We've continued and we will never forget this huge event in our lives. I hope everyone is as proud to live in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Find comfort in yourselves and in your strength and then comfort those that know not the way.

Bless everyone!!!!

Roxanne Shimer | 19 | Texas

#1981 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was a high school sophomore. I wore size 16 jeans. I hated living in Texas and having to ride the bus, and looked toward my sixteenth birthday with equal parts excitement and dread. I had a best friend. My relationship with my mom was strained to say the least. I was somewhat happy. I sort of sensed that I might make it to my sixteenth birthday without being kissed, but was in denial about it. I liked two boys: Gabriel and Josh. I didn't know that Josh was gay. I'd been to New York City once when I was eight years old, had stood on Liberty Island, and had seen the World Trade Center towers overlooking the harbor. The 2001 VMAs had just aired the week before, and I was awaiting the new *NSYNC video for "Gone".

The morning of September 11th, I got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, and went to the bus stop. On the bus, I turned on my CD player and was listening to Madonna's "Human Nature". When I got to school I sat on one of the benches downstairs waiting for the bell to ring. A guy I had never seen before walked by and waved at me. I found it odd, but felt good that someone noticed me. I wrote in my journal. I thought about Gabriel.

The bell rang and I went to biology. I didn't pay attention in the class at all. When the bell rang again at 9:05, I walked upstairs and to the hall where my dance class was.

I got to the dance room and went to change into my dance clothes: black t-shirt and black sweatpants. I was walking back to the classroom from the locker room when a girl named Anita came in, saying something like, "Someone blew up the White House, y'all!" I didn't know what she was talking about. She was ranting about some planes and things, and I was baffled... and a little leery.

I went into the dance room, and noticed that Josh wasn't there, and a few of the other senior girls--Stephanie and Bumni--weren't there. They were in Mrs. Barnett's office, watching TV. I didn't think too much of it until much later. Mrs. Barnett told us to practice for our dance skills test--we'd learned a combination and would perform it in front of the class.

I was nervous as I practiced. I thought about what Anita had said about the White House being bombed and the planes. For some reason, I kept thinking about the movie Independence Day when those alien ships blew up New York, LA, and DC.

Around 9:40, Mrs. Barnett walked out of her office, and told us to all get changed into our regular clothes--quickly. I immediately tensed up and knew something was very wrong. Mrs. Barnett was one of those teachers who ALWAYS made you work until the last minute and we weren't to get changed for ANYTHING. This was big. All of us got changed quickly and we ran back into the room.

As soon as we all got situated, Mrs. Barnett told us: around seven that morning in New York, a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. At first, everyone thought it was an accident--albeit a strange one, but an accident nonetheless. Then about an hour later, another plane hit the other tower. Sometime later in Washington DC, a plane hit the side of the Pentagon. She told us that all airports were holding flights, but there was still a plane that was missing from the radar. She told us that no one knew what was going on, why all the planes were crashing, but that they wanted to evacuate major cities or something like that. We all had questions. Anita's mom worked at the airport and she wanted to call her. And I thought of my dad, who works in a tall office building, and worried about him.

Mrs. Barnett told us that we were living through history. She told us that she remembered when the Challenger blew up. She told us that this was something we'd always remember--something so monumental. All I could do was worry. Would whoever did this find another way to go across the country, wrecking havoc on major cities? Would Dad be okay? I wanted to go home.

I was in a daze as we finally left dance and I went to geometry. My mind was in a jumble--I wondered what it was like for a high school kid in 1941 to have to go to school on December 8--the Monday after Pearl Harbor got bombed. I thought more about Independence Day, even though there were no aliens and it seemed TOTALLY illogical for me to think about extraterrestrials. And I thought about my online friends who lived in and New York and DC--and everyone I knew in North Carolina, my home state. Were they okay?

A TV was on in a room across the hall from my new geometry class. I couldn't focus on the lesson Ms. Barnes had given us. I pulled out my journal and began to write furiously everything I'd learned in the last hour. At 10:49 I wrote, "I'm in geomerty now, TRYING to focus. Across the hall, a TV's on, and everyone is watching. And I feel as if I have been plunked down into a movie that is a mixture of Independence Day and Deep Impact, or in one of those fan fics where World War III is starting and one of the guys [*NSYNC] get drafted. (I can NOT belive I just made an allusion to *NSYNC fan fiction.)"

Later on that period I continued. "I don't know what the hell is going on, but I am SCARED. This is the kind of thing that starts wars... My stomach is all knotted up and I am jittery beyond belief."

I went to lunch and managed to eat my usual two slices of pepperoni pizza. I talked to my friend Natalie about what was going on, and we were both equally freaked out.

After lunch, I went to webmastering. I was dying to find out new developments, so as soon as I could, I logged online and went to cnn.com. I was shaking the entire time as I read every detail they had chronicled on the site, and as Gabriel showed people the video of the planes hitting the Twin Towers. I was still in disbelief. Who would do such a thing?

When I got home, I walked into my parent's bedroom to find my mom there. The TV was on one of the news channels, and she turned and said to me, "It's a sad day in America." I thought about my relatives in New York for the first time and got scared. I went to the den and turned on the PC, needing to check in with my East Coast friends. I turned on the TV to catch up on the news I had missed while I was at school.

I talked to people. I IMed people and visited messageboards. I tried to say something here in my LiveJournal, but I couldn't. The worst moment of the day for me was when my brother, then thirteen, came home at 4:15, walked in my mom's room and said to her, very seriously, "Mommy, why didn't you come and pick us up?"

Later, about five o' clock, my mom went to Kentucky Fried Chicken to buy us dinner--popcorn chicken. I decided to stay home in case my dad called. That was the biggest mistake I'd made all day. With no planes flying overhead and next to no one being out, the neighborhood was eerily quiet. I was scared but SO relieved when my dad came home.

Mom had to work that night. I hated saying goodbye to her. I was so scared. The TV had been on the news all day. I got to eat in the den, a rarity in my house. When I went to bed at 10 o' clock, I realized I hadn't done any homework or ironed my clothes for school the next day. I left the TV on because I was too scared to have just the radio on.

On Wednesday, Septemeber 11, 2002, I will be a junior in high school. I will wear size 18 jeans. I will still hate being in Texas and having to ride the bus. I will look toward my seventeenth birthday with total fear. I will be, for the first time in three years, best friendless. I know I will face my seventeeth birthday as a love virgin. I will have a better relationship with my mother, who I have grown to love and appreciate in so many ways now. I know that Josh was gay and has graduated, and that Gabriel was a cradle-robber. I will never forget that one time I saw the Twin Towers from Liberty Island and I still feel my heart twinge when I see the image of them. I know that the 2002 VMAs sucked, and I will wait for Justin Timberlake's solo album to come out.

I will go to school and take part of whatever commemorative program we will have. I will take pictures of this day, and hopefully they will be in the school yearbook. I will wear my USA t-shirt, and I will pray nothing will happen, that the terrorists will leave us be on this day. I will take pictures of American flags for my communications graphics project, and I will hang my family's flag out.

I will feel empty. I will feel empty for everything I and my country lost in the past year. And maybe God or whoever is bigger than I am in this universe will give me the strength to find hope that can fill me.

I will be proud to be American. Yes, this country has had its ugly side. But I will be glad I can be free to do as I please, and I will be glad I live in a country where I can share what I was doing a year ago with so many people.

Candice | 16 | Texas

#1980 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
On September 11th I was at school we didn't find out about the Twin Towers until the first one had actually fallen. Immiediately our teachers turned our TVs to CNN and we sat there watching in horror... silent, motionless, scared to breath. I have loved ones who were deeply affected by the tragedies, but I will never forget how our nation came together with much love and respect for one another. To all of the people who lost loved ones and to all of the survivors I feel your pain and I send you my love. Lets work to never let them forget the day they messed with the US of A!
Kim | 16 | Texas

#1970 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I was at work. I was in the USAF, working as a computer analyst. I remember thinking that the first plane hitting was a terrible accident as we stood around watching CNN. Then we saw the second plane hit. I guess that's when we knew that it was something more. It was really scary. The phones were ringing off the hook from our families trying to see if we had heard about it. My aunt in Illinois was the first to reach me and we were both in shock. Our NCOIC immeadiately started making arrrangements to have 24 hour shifts -just in case, he told us- and then sent some of us home. I remember walking to my dorm room thinking that I needed to get some sleep for the long night that I was going to be pulling, yet I knew there was no way that I was going to sleep. I stayed up for almost 48 hours glued to any news cast that was on. I remember watching and listening, thinking that there was no way that this was really happening. It just didn't seem that someone could have really bombed us. The U.S. has always seemed so invincible and for something of this magnitude to have happened was unreal. It was an event that touched all of us, and for all the horror and sorrow that it brought, I think that it has made a lot of people realize what this country means to them.
Renee | 24 | Texas

#1943 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I was in my home in Texas waiting for my day care children to arrive, when my brother called and told me I'd better turn on the television. I was in utter disbelief, and stood and cried the whole day. As my day care children came in that morning, the parents stood and watched. I will never forget the horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, that lingered for many weeks. I will never forget and I will always keep my thoughts and love of the victims in my heart.
Stacy | 33 | Texas

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