#630 | Monday, January 14th 2002
I was visiting my mom in Arizona when my sister woke me up to tell me that America was attacked. At first I thought I was dreaming, but the look on my sister's face quickly brought me to my senses. She told me that the WTC and the Pentagon were hit. I quickly went downstairs and watched the news with her. I called my husband, who is in the US Marine Corps, to see if he had heard. He was sleeping when I called and hadn't heard anything about it. As soon as I told him he said, "Oh, My God." He started to watch the news and he said, "This is bad", which scared me even more. I was 8 months pregnant at the time, and all I could think about was we were going to war!!! I was scared for my unborn baby and for my family. I watched the second plane crash into the WTC and I saw live the collapse of both towers. I wept for the innocent victims killed, and was filled with anger for the attackers. This is one day I will never forget. We need to pray for times such as these! GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Sheree Hurst | 20 | California

#606 | Thursday, January 3rd 2002
Sadly, on September 11th 2001 I was at my high school. I heard about the attacks from the radio. We watched in great sadness on the many channels as they replayed the disaster over and over. I sat in shock as the two greastest buildings I had ever seen fall to the ground. It hurt to know that this wasn't imagnary or made up in a movie. This was real, and it still hurts to know that people can be that cruel. I maybe only a 16 year old junior in high school but I do know the hurt of what happened. As it has affected and shaped a new generation, my generation, it will affect those generations to come. It changed America forever. We will never forget September 11th 2001.

God Bless America, We Will Win!

Danielle Soto | 16 | California

#605 | Thursday, January 3rd 2002
Sadly, on September 11th 2001 I was at my high school. I heard about the attacks from the radio. We watched in great sadness on the many channels as they replayed the disaster over and over. I sat in shock as the two greastest buildings I had ever seen fall to the ground. It hurt to know that this wasn't imagnary or made up in a movie. This was real, and it still hurts to know that people can be that cruel. I maybe only 16 but I do know the hurt of what happened. As it has affected and shaped a new generation, my generation, it will affect those generations to come. It changed America forever. We will never forget September 11th 2001.

God Bless America, We Will Win!

Danielle Soto | 16 | California

#553 | Thursday, December 20th 2001
Where were you the day the world Stopped Turning?
By Jim Alger

November 21, 2001: Christmas is a month away, a time of joy and happiness. September 11th seems so distant. I was asked a question yesterday, "When the buildings fell, how did you feel?" How quickly the pain returns.

Every day that goes by we try to escape the questions, the images, the horror witnessed by millions of people around the world on September 11th. For most of us we watched in utter disbelief as the symbol of a free society, and the icon of the greatest most dynamic city in the world, was reduced to a pile of twisted steel and miles of dust. Most of us watched on TV the rescue workers, Firemen, Police officers and civillians desperately trying to save lives. But this piece isnt about most of us. This piece is about some of us. The some of us who are proud to call ourselves New Yorkers. The some of us who hold the shield of the New York City Fire Department. The some of us who were there.

For anyone who has ever heard the police radio tapes of that day, or was in NY in the weeks following the attacks, it is to surreal. Police officers screaming "Notify the Pentigon central, we're under attack!" "We need air cover central, god damn it we need air cover now!" That marked the beginning of frantic calls on the two way radios of Emergency workers throughout the city. Calls for ambulances, calls for help. Minutes after the second plane struck the tower the calls of "we're getting hit again!" as the sound of even more jets approached. Then the callout "theire ours, their ours central" military air support had arrived and for the first time in our history our military was flying air cover over the United States. But the moments that brought the Citys Emergency Radio system to a complete stop, utter silence, was 2 sentences. "Central, the second tower fell... its gone".

We went to what has been termed "the pile" hoping against all hope that someone, anyone would come out alive. As an EMT we are trained to save lives, that's what we do. Images on TV don't prepare you for the four story high pile of rubble, the distinct smell of death, or how but for one or two decisions you made at some point in your life, that could have been you. Hundreds of ambulances stood by to help any injured that were brought out of the rubble, but not one was used. We are touted as heroes to NY and the world simply because we came to dig. Call it pride, call it survivors guilt, call it respect but none of us feel like heroes. The heroes are who we are here to get. The're flag draped bodies are pulled out almost daily. Husbands, fathers, mothers and wives whos only connection to this conflict is that they answered the call to help and in doing so, made the ultimate sacrifice. Reflection makes us wish we were heroes, that it was us, not them.

When you see the tapes of the towers collapse, can you see the firefighters who are in there trying to save 4,000 workers and tourists? They already evacuated 25,000 others but fate had cards that it didnt want to show as they raced up the stairs, time had run out.

We fly the flag in defiance. On cars, fire escapes, front porches and rooftops accross the country the symbol of our freedom flies while those very freedoms are under attack. We hide under a shroud of security, relinquishing power and our liberties to others in the name of defense. Is that what this country has ever stood for?

So where were you the day the buildings fell? How did it make you feel? Or have you already placed your flag in the closet?

James R. Alger III | 30 | California

#543 | Wednesday, December 19th 2001
Where were you the day the world Stopped Turning?
By Jim Alger

November 21, 2001: Christmas is a month away, a time of joy and happiness. September 11th seems so distant. I was asked a question yesterday, "When the buildings fell, how did you feel?" How quickly the pain returns.

Every day that goes by we try to escape the questions, the images, the horror witnessed by millions of people around the world on September 11th. For most of us we watched in utter disbelief as the symbol of a free society, and the icon of the greatest most dynamic city in the world, was reduced to a pile of twisted steel and miles of dust. Most of us watched on TV the rescue workers, Firemen, Police officers and civillians desperately trying to save lives. But this piece isnt about most of us. This piece is about some of us. The some of us who are proud to call ourselves New Yorkers. The some of us who hold the shield of the New York City Fire Department. The some of us who were there.

For anyone who has ever heard the police radio tapes of that day, or was in NY in the weeks following the attacks, it is to surreal. Police officers screaming "Notify the Pentigon central, we're under attack!" "We need air cover central, god damn it we need air cover now!" That marked the beginning of frantic calls on the two way radios of Emergency workers throughout the city. Calls for ambulances, calls for help. Minutes after the second plane struck the tower the calls of "we're getting hit again!" as the sound of even more jets approached. Then the callout "theire ours, their ours central" military air support had arrived and for the first time in our history our military was flying air cover over the United States. But the moments that brought the Citys Emergency Radio system to a complete stop, utter silence, was 2 sentences. "Central, the second tower fell... its gone".

We went to what has been termed "the pile" hoping against all hope that someone, anyone would come out alive. As an EMT we are trained to save lives, that's what we do. Images on TV don't prepare you for the four story high pile of rubble, the distinct smell of death, or how but for one or two decisions you made at some point in your life, that could have been you. Hundreds of ambulances stood by to help any injured that were brought out of the rubble, but not one was used. We are touted as heroes to NY and the world simply because we came to dig. Call it pride, call it survivors guilt, call it respect but none of us feel like heroes. The heroes are who we are here to get. The're flag draped bodies are pulled out almost daily. Husbands, fathers, mothers and wives whos only connection to this conflict is that they answered the call to help and in doing so, made the ultimate sacrifice. Reflection makes us wish we were heroes, that it was us, not them.

When you see the tapes of the towers collapse, can you see the firefighters who are in there trying to save 4,000 workers and tourists? They already evacuated 25,000 others but fate had cards that it didnt want to show as they raced up the stairs, time had run out.

We fly the flag in defiance. On cars, fire escapes, front porches and rooftops accross the country the symbol of our freedom flies while those very freedoms are under attack. We hide under a shroud of security, relinquishing power and our liberties to others in the name of defense. Is that what this country has ever stood for?

So where were you the day the buildings fell? How did it make you feel? Or have you already placed your flag in the closet?

James R. Alger III | 30 | California

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