#345 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I was in bed in Rodeo, California. My friend called me and asked me if I had heard the news. I was still sleepy and asked him what the hell he was talking about. When he told me planes had hit the WTC and Pentagon, I immediately got up and turned on the television. After that I called some close friends to talk about what had happend, while staying glued to the television.
Blake Mengotto | 30 | California

#343 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I was at work in beverly hills,ca. My partner was jim webster and we are ironworkers. the first information was simply that an airplane had hit a skyscraper in new york. this was about six a.m. our time. then we learned of the second plane and we were numb. it was unbelieveable that people are capable of doing things like this. this is not the end of this type of behavior un fortunately. we are going to suffer people killing people for as long as misguided stupid extremist ideas rule peoples thoughts. this is true of every religion and every human group. I just wish there was someway to make people see how wasteful it is to be full of hate.
Wendell Garnto | 45 | California

#294 | Monday, November 26th 2001
We were on vacation in California. We happened to turn on the radio to get a weather report in the morning - hadn't bothered to listen to the news for more than a week. The tower had been hit and as we listened the second tower was hit. Then the road curved down into a valley and we couldn't receive radio any more.

We discussed the disaster and expected consequences, and agreed to go on with the mountain adventure. We parents dropped our 20 year old off for a week of solo backpacking, then drove back out, to where we could hear the news (towers collapsing), and on all day, so we would be in position to do our backpacking and meet the 20 year old.

I was glad to be up the trail, watching the stars come out, and sleeping in the open air.

We passed a week in isolation, realizing that there were no jets flying overhead for several days. As we hiked out to the car, we met clean people coming up the trail and realized that travel and life was getting back to normal. The reunion with the succesful solo hiker was sweet.

I'm just as glad to have missed the inexorable news reports of the first few days. In the two months since, I have completed training as a First Aid instructor and contributed generously to political office campaigns of a couple of people I know and trust.

Anne | 48 | California

#255 | Friday, November 16th 2001
I was in Las Vegas for a weekend getaway. I had turned the TV on 5 minutes after the first plane hit. At first I thought it was a joke, I yelled for my best friend to come see what had happened. I was watching when the second plane hit and I knew instantly what was happening. I was glued to TV's for the rest of our vacation. I will never forget the mood of Las Vegas that weekend, hardly anyone was gambling and no one was smiling. People were crowded around TV screens in every bar. By 4 pm on September 11, every casino had a flag and the words "God Bless America" on their billboards, as I drove down the strip that night I could help but cry. God bless those who perished and God bless our healing nation.
Kristin | 20 | California

#250 | Tuesday, November 13th 2001
It's kind of weird. Actually, it is extremely odd. The night before, September 10, I can remember going about my business as an 18 year old: talking on the phone with my friends, playing a computer game, and eating dinner with my small, tight-knit family. As I said goodnight to my grandmother, I went about my evening in a very "normal" way. I talked with my mom about college, and about my baseball career. We said goodnight, and that was that. I'm not going to say that we humans don't dream, but I did not reach that state of sleep in which I was capable of dreaming.
The next thing I can remember, is my mother waking me up with tears in her eyes, and my first reaction was that something had happened to my grandmother. When she told me "Chris you have to come and see this, get up, a plane flew into the World Trade Towers." I remember I couldn't really say anything, as my mouth was locked tight in disbelief. Minutes within removing the morning glaze from my eyes, I felt as if I fell back asleep - surely I was dreaming. Another plane, hit the other tower.
"ANOTHER PLANE, HIT THE OTHER TOWER?!"
About this time, my jaw hit the floor. 18 years old, and I heard the words "terrrorism." I am not supposed to hear this, not now, not ever. I grew up in a time with a booming economy; a time in which violent crime within communities was running rampant, yes, but not planes slamming into buildings! I remember thinking to myself "Could this be? This country in which everyone believed in individual success would now become a country of 'we'?" I guess it would.
From September 11, 2001 and on, this world in which I will turn into an adult will be one of caution and rememberance; one of anxiety and disbelief; and one which will question integrety of your fellow American. The once free country which I was raised in will become one in which I have to make free again, by believing and trusting in my fellow Americans, and by restoring faith and security within myself - probably the hardest task my young mind, body, and soul has ever faced in a country which promises "Freedom and justice for all." Wish all of us luck, keep us in your prayers, and God Bless America and each and every one of you.
Always Remember 9-11-01

Chris Plewik | 18 | California

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