#396 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
My lover woke me up on his way to work.
"There's been an attack on the World Trade Center," he said, "and a plane has crashed into the Pentagon."
I was sleepy, but took it all in immediately.
"If anything happens, " I said, squeezing his hand, "we meet back here."
"We meet here," he confirmed, and then we kissed, said we loved each other, and he was off to work.
Tears would come later, but our quietness that morning, our ability to take the blow and focus on the a practical plan, reminded me that after 13 years, I am still with the right man.

M.C. | 40 | California

#376 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
My best friend and roommate, Kris Orr, were getting ready to go to different movie sets to be extras, I was due at Drew Carey and he was due at a funeral scene location.

I had arisen at 5:00 to check my email and didn't have the T.V. on...when it got to be time to wake Kris up, I disconnected my modem and the phone rang right away...it was Kim, Kris' sister.

"Are you watching it?"

"Watching what," I asked.

"Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center and one went into the Pentagon."

"Oh my God," I thought, but it was a prayer too....and I turned on the T.V. Then I woke Kris up. He talked to Kim, but I don't remember what he said. I was too stuned.

We watched the images as they played, everyone saw that. Someone from Central called each of us some time later to tell us that the shoots had been cancelled, but who would have wanted to go anyways?

The building collapsed on the rescuers. People passed on the film from their videocameras. I was in the smoke and dust as a tower fell, while I ran, being carried by a woman, into an Italian restaurant and my life was saved. I was a police chaplin that was hit by a falling person carried by four of my friends. I was a black woman choked by dust, a doctor that was running to perform triage.

Sometime around noon, it got to be too much for me and I had to go in and take a nap...I was in information overload.

And I became more survivors and children of people that didn't make it and my empathy antennae were burned and dusty and I cry when I remember it and I'm crying now writing about it and it's December 8, 2001.

I have done volunteer hands on work for People with Aids when their was no medicine. I have sat in hospital and hospice with them as they passed. I thought death and I were brothers, the kind that acknowledge our bond but aren't all that glad to see each other.

I didn't know death. I may not know it now, but I know its smell and its feel.

I only saw it on t.v. I work in the industry that turns words into pictures, into entertainment...

But that day touched me as if I were there. I pray for the ones that were.

Dave Atkins | 46 | California

#366 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I was at my home, in Berkeley, California. it was a little after 6am. My girlfriend called me from Israel, where she was at that time and told me that a plane collided with one of the twin towers. That's how it began.

Ronen M. | 30 | California

#354 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I was awakened by my father after the first plane had flown into the tower - on the west coast, it was a bit too early for me to be up. Knowing that I'm glued to the news after major stories, he knew that this was something that I needed to see in real time, rather than a quick wrap-up later that day. I sat there with my parents before they left for work in horror as the second plane flew into the Trade Centers and as we woke my brother, we all sat as a family watching the buildings implode on themselves. My mother was scheduled on a flight to San Francisco later that day, which she still planned on taking, had all flights not been cancelled. My father went into work, but got little done as everyone watched the story unfold on TV. My brother and I sat at home and watched TV for hours on end.

A rude awakening September 11th as I was planning for my birthday 3 days later, and a day no one will ever forget.

Blake Kunisch | 22 | California

#348 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
Got up early (5am PST) and walked my wife out to go to work. Sat down at my computer and was reading e-mail and catching up on things. Watching the morning news at the same time, "Breaking News". A plane possibly hit the WTC. Watching and wondering what happened, I phoned my wife to turn on her TV and watch. While I was speaking to her, the Second Plane hit the WTC. We both were speechless! It was so sureal. I phoned my parents, woke them up and had them also view the attack. Since I work for the local Police Dept, I immediately left for work as I knew it was going to be a very busy day as well as a major change in the way we look at things. 3-months later, we're still on high alert. My prayers go out to all of those who were affected by this incident. God Bless America
J. R. Rodriquez | 42 | California

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