#542 | Wednesday, December 19th 2001
I was driving to work when the first plane hit.The news came over the radio moments later.It depth of it took my breath away and I had to stop my car and then I started crying.I wanted to just go home and hold my children.But I did keep going and at work, we listened to the news so we could kept current.As more events happened, a great sadness came over all of us.We realized that our country was under attack and I personally felt the same as I did long ago when President Kennedy died-very cold and stunned.I work for the Postal Service, a Carrier.Everyday still there is something to keep it fresh in my mind; a letter, newspaper, magazine, and I thankful for that.The buildings can be rebuilt but the people are gone forever, except in memories.We should NEVER forget what has happened to them.
Nancy Cox | 44 | California

#528 | Wednesday, December 19th 2001
I was about to move into my own apartment, so my mom and I were in my college town buying furniture. I was stiring in bed while my mom went downstairs to get some breakfast. Just as I was getting up my mom came running in crying saying something about turn on the tv and the news and attacks. So I turned on the TV and we just watched for what seemed like an eternity. The first tower had already fallen, and we watched the 2nd tower fall. It was all so surreal. I didn't know how to feel or to act. I was so stunned and numb and upset. My dad was away camping, but I really wanted to talk to him. I wanted to see all of my friends to know that they were ok. It was very scary. I just needed to be around friends and family. The feelings came in waves. I would be very upset for awhile, and then I'd go kind of numb again. I watched the news non-stop for days. I couldn't get enough of it.

I wanted to support our country, to buy a flag and was so proud of how our country was handeling it. Until the attacks on Arab-Americans started happening. That was so incredibly lame. They chose to live in America for a reason, why can't people see that. There are millions of Arabic people, and the chances of them being a terrorist or even knowing one are slim to none. I can't stand that kind of ignorance and prejudice. I became very angry at the situation. I no longer wanted a flag because I saw these people with flags hurting others and I don't stand for that.

Then we went to war. I am very against this as well. I understand that we need to find who did this, and I'm all for that, but bombing the hell out of a war-stricken, poverty-ridden country?? What good is this doing except to feed our violence hungry society? This isn't justice. Justice will be when we find whoever did this and hold them accountable.

I also hate all this September 11 stuff mixed in with the war because the 2 really have very little to do with each other. Yes September 11 was what started it, but the similarities pretty much end there. Bin Laden is obviously alluding us, but that doesn't really matter because the US is pursuing bombing cities where they know he isn't more than they are trying to find him. Also the mixture of the 2 is like justifying this whole situation. Like America is the poor, defenseless victim. America has so much power in the world its hard to see how anyone could think of us as the victim. Yes Americans were unjustly killed, and I am very adamently against whoever has perpetrated these attacks, but I don't see killing innocent, uninvolved people as the solution. Not to mention that America goes around putting its nose in every other countries affairs for our own advancement, and when things go haywire for them, act like its not our fault. We have a very large set of problems that we are actively ignoring and pretending we didn't create, so this whole victim thing is a little bit disturbing to me.

I am very happy to be living in America, but I think that some things need changing. Like Americans' attitude that we're untouchable, and that we're so much better than every other country. Also, I think that we need to have better foreign interests...other than doing things solely for our benefit.

I also don't think that whoever planned the September 11th attacks should be put to death. Thats too easy. I think they should be put in a tiny little cell covered in paintings of happy people and bright colors. And music should play 24 hours a day with positive messages. And a television should play videos of people who were killed in the attacks at their weddings, births, videos of when they were children, at their birthdays, etc. And most importantly, I think prominent members of their faith (whatever that may be) should teach them every day about what their religion is really about. I don't think that they should be let out on good behavior, because these people are psycho, but brilliant and could fake it, but I do think that we may as well try something else because what we're currently doing isn't working.

I don't think that killing somebody is the answer because somebody else will just take their place. There is no one person that controls terrorism. It needs to be stopped in the minds of the terrorists, not just by cutting off their leader.

Julia Corcoran | 19 | California

#524 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
During the September 11th attack, I was most likely asleep as the plane hit the first building. I found out by hearing my mom telling my sister as I was walking out of the bathroom (getting ready for school) I heard her say the word "terrorist" and "hijacking" and I asked her what happened. She told me the World Trade Center Buildings were hit by hijacked plains. I never even heard about the trade centers before (I feel a little ashamed of that now), but I ran into the living room and turned on the news. I sat on the couch in astonishment as I watched one of the buildings come tumbling down. I felt very sad, followed by anger. My dad was going crazy, but he always is anyways. He said it might of been Lybia, since something went on with us and them in the past. At this time, I had no idea who the evil Bin Laden (or shall we say Bin Hidin') until the people in my class were bringing it up - they cared about all this, opposed to the brats in my first period class, who were laughing at the people trying to excape the smokey mess - we were watching the news in 1st period. I stared them down and just glared at them. I hate them for that. Anyways... back to when I was still at home. I was talking to my mom about it and we were hoping that the people working there didn't go to work that early. On the way to school, I was thinking about any possibility that would spare a life - running late for work, staying home sick. Wouldn't they be so glad they were around the person who had the flu? Wouldn't they appreciate that nail on the ground that caused that flat tire? Or the person who dropped it? Or that they didn't take the shortcut, where the nail wasn't at? What about that slow driver? Can all these annoyances be good afterall? But not many people were late for work, since thousands died.
My patriotism and appreaciation for being an American has really changed so much. I thought living in America wasn't much of a deal. I didn't really think about how lucky we are. We could have been born at any of the many countries in this world... but lucky for us, we were born in America. I could be in Afghanistan starving - we all could, if not dead from starvation.
About the attacks on America, right now I feel angry at bin laden (yeah, I know its not capitalized, but why should a person so evil and cruel have his name in caps? He is not important to us... he doesn't stand as no heroic figure, not to us. But whats important is that he's captured) and I also feel mad at the terrorists that helped him accomplist his sicko little goals, and I'm glad they are burning in the place that welcomes them with fiery arms of death. Those arms will be opened for Bin Laden, after his torturing, slow, painful death... not comitted by himself, but comitted by the people he thinks are so weak and littleminded.
You know what I want to see happen? Let me tell you first what I don't want to see. I don't to see old news, or commercials, and I DO NOT want to see sports headlines. I want to see this heading "Bin Laden Captured". That would make my day. I want to see a video of him being captured, and I want to see the look on his face - the humiliation of being caught by those he thinks are so incapable. I want to see him going mad, in the jail cell tearing apart pillows with his teeth. I want words ingraved in the wall that say, "CAMEL NOSE". Some more that I won't even mention because it would be offensive to some, or not good for children to see.
Ok, I will calm down. Some things I did to help were: I donated a few bucks when my leadership class was collecting money for the victims of the September 11th attacks, and their family members. I went around the school during lunch, and collected money from the students. I helped at the dances; the money we made was sent to the fund. I prayed for the families to be strong after losing loved ones. I prayed that the people in hospitals would get better. I prayed that nothing like this would happen again. But it did (on memorial day), and they say terrorists weren't responsible for this. I think it's possible but I don't stress it.
Now, bin laden says that we have more to expect, but I think that is BULL because we are getting closer and closer, and who's gonna be there to instruct the terrorists? I'm sure he's going to be allowed to make phone calls! Of course... lets let the man do whatever he wants.
Now, I don't think I have any more to say about this, just that: To all the people who have lost family and friends, I want to say that the planes were landed safely in Heaven, after a brief landing in hell to drop off the hijackers. The people you love are in Heaven, having a much better time then they did here. You will see them when the time comes. They will never be taken away by anyone again. I'm sure you don't want to wait, and if you think you can't, you must. If you end your life now, you will be with the hijackers PERMANENTLY, forever. No matter what else may happen, you HAVE to wait. My prayers continue, and I hope all of yours' will too. Pray for our future, pray for the capturing of Bin Laden... the sooner, the better. And last but not least, you might want to think twice when you get a flu or a flat tire, or an annoying slow driver. It might be a sign.

Stephanie | 13 | California

#522 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
i was going outside to work in my roses and put my radio headset as usual to listen to bill handell on kfi.he was going on about the first plane crash i thought he was doing a radio drama like war of the worlds.after hearing that the first tower had fallen it occurred to me that there had been no commericals and it wasn`t until the second tower fell i realized this over the top occurance wasn`t a radio drama but true.as i sit here now i am covered in goose bumps and crying remembering that moment and even today dec 18th it still isn`t fully real.where i live i usually hear some high flying jets but working outside as is my usual every hour or so it would occur to me in a flash that i had not heard a plane and the full horror of the falling buildings flooded in.i still am looking into an abyss trying to fathom this horror and trying to believe the hatred that drove these men to do what they did.i have never hated anything bad enough to do more than avoid the catalyst.the mind recoils in horror at such black hatred totally numbed in shock.and yes my feelings toward my country has changed.being born to the manor as it were i never realized how great it is.the flag i ignored and just grumbled about taxes.now i love seeing my flag flying and if i wern`t too old i`d join in doing military duty for my country.yes,i have finally realized i love and honor my home,my country the united states of america, asa
asa walker | 55 | California

#505 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
On September 11, 2001 I was with fifteen other people rafting down the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. When we came out on the morning of September 13 and we were told of the events in New York and Washington, D.C. we were very skeptical and confused by what had been told.

We were still quite far from the bus and were taken there by jet boat. During this ride almost everyone was silent. Once we arrived at the bus we were given copies of various newspapers. After reading the accounts of the horrible and cowardly events I, for one, began to cry, as did some others in our party.

During the bus ride back to Las Vegas everyone poured over the newspapers and read with mouths agape some sobbing in disbelief myself included.

Tom Scalese | 62 | California

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