#1509 | Tuesday, July 30th 2002
On September 11th, 2001, I was on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. I'd arrived late that day. (8:45) Usually I would meet for the weekly Tuesday morning meeting with my Father and 6 other brokers from our firm, Harvey Young Yurman Inc., at Windows on the World restaurant. We were a small $2 brokerage firm. The night before I had cracked my tooth & couldn't make the morning meeting. The 7 men never made it out.
I just missed seeing the first plane, I heard & felt the 2nd. And when the two buildings came down, I thought it was the end of the world.
I ended up walking from the NYSE to the Manhattan Bridge. And as I went over, US fighter planes flew over and everyone hit the ground thinking it was another attack. When the police shouted it was the "the good guys" everyone quietly & slowly got back to their feet & pressed on.

Antoinette Harvey McCarth | 28 | New York

#1503 | Saturday, July 27th 2002
I had a freelance sound engineering gig, offering sound support to a group of Columbia film students and various performing artists on September 11th. We were scheduled to shoot at PSNBC, a performing arts space, art studio, and coffee shop located in SOHO. At around 8:40 AM on Sept 11th, I was waiting for the E train on the A-C-E downtown platform. The E train is a line specifically created to shuttle people from uptown to a stop directly under the WTC. My stop, I knew, would be a couple stops before there, at Spring St, about 20 blocks from the Towers. My train arrived around 8:48AM. I boarded and sat down, still partially asleep. The train ride proceeded without incident, despite the fact that one tower had already been impacted on a subway line directly above the same tracks I was riding.

I arrived at Spring St at around 8:58AM and exited the subway station. When I got to the street surface, I noticed a group of people staring south. I was looking to see what they were staring at, then noticed as I got closer to them that they were staring at the Towers, one of which was sporting a huge flaming gaping hole in it. I asked the witnesses what happened, and they responded that "a small plane slammed into the towers and set them on fire." I was thinking that the small plane they were referring to must have been a private tour company that offers biplane tours of the Manhattan skyline. When I made this erroneous connection, I became angry, as I'd seen both helicopters and small planes fly perilously close to many skyscrapers in Manhattan many times. I offered up my gesture of annoyance and kept walking to the studio, thinking to myself that this was just another day in Manhattan. After all, living in Manhattan you would see similar sights daily. No matter how horrible a tower of the WTC being on fire might be, it's not enough to stop short a workday.

I arrived to the studio and went inside. None of the production crew or talent had arrived. I went back outside to gawk some more, like dozens of people were doing. There's a Sunoco station across the street from the studio, thru the park. I walked over to stand with the rest of the crowd. Then it happened.

Around 9:03AM, we all watched in horror as we saw another set of flames emerge, this time from the second tower. From our perspective of being north and facing south, the second plane which was flying north and slammed into the second tower, sending a fireball ripping thru the tower and emerging out of the north side, directed toward us. Witnesses began to scream and everyone was in a state of shock. I reached for my cell phone to call my girlfriend at our apartment, but my cell phone was dead with an untold number of voicemails stuck in it.

I headed back into PSNBC to look for my coworkers. Still no one had arrived, and I began to worry about their safety, as they were converging on the studio from all over the 5 borough area. I sat down and listened to NBC news (as PSNBC was affiliated with them), as report after report rolled in about all that was happening. New Yorkers began filtering into the cafe, ordering drinks and just sitting down in a state of shock. One of the actors arrived in a clear state of shock and sat with me. As we listened to the news, a businesswoman came in and sat down, visibly shaking. She pulled out her cell phone and tried to make a call, but her hands were shaking so much she dropped her phone. She unwrapped into a ball of tears; I assumed she knew someone in the towers or in the vicinity of Wall St. We went back outside for a bit to look some more, as if to reaffirm in our conscious that this was indeed happening. My cell phone was still dead. There was a long line of people standing at a payphone. We did this a number of times between the time of impact and collapse.

While we were inside, NBC radio announced that one of the towers was collapsing. Incredulous, we dashed out into the street to watch, but by the time we got out there, all we saw was an enormous mushroom cloud of smoke and destruction. My coworked just collapsed into tears, just thinking about how many people had just died. I felt as if thousands of souls had just smashed themselves thru my body. I watched in horror, waiting for the smoke to clear, just so I could see how much was remaining. It seemed like forever for the smoke to clear, and as it got clearer and clearer, I became increasingly shocked to see that there was NOTHING visible left. No support beams, no infrastructure, nothing. I decided I was going to wait in line at that payphone and put myself in contact with a number of people probably waiting to hear from me, starting with my girlfriend.

It took me another 20 mintues before I could get my hands on some change and get my turn at the phone. I called her , she was immediately relieved to hear my voice. I told her that I was ok and that I was going to wait for the director to arrive before I left, because I couldn't just disappear without letting people know. She told me that my mom and sister had already called our apartment looking for me. I told her that I was leaving as soon as possible, and to let everyone know I was ok. I hung up the phone and went back to the studio. We listened to more and more news, waiting for others to arrive.

Around half past 10, the director arrived. We all just sort of stood around; I watched them smoke cigarettes (as I had just quit 2 weeks prior, lucky me!) and fret for a bit before they decided officially that we were cancelling the shoot. Dave, the director and cameraman, did some filming before we left.

No public transportation was functioning at this point, not that I wanted to be crammed into a bus or subway car in this state of chaos. It appeared as though I was walking home, at least 3 miles. As I walked home, I saw more of the same chaos...people covered in soot, people crying, cars cops and medical vehicles travelling the wrong way down one-way streets. I found myself walking past St. Vincent's Trauma Center, the closest trauma center to the WTC, and discovered more chaos. I had to stop and get some water, to call my gf and let her know I was walking home. More lines at payphones, more people just littering the street in disbelief.

The rest of the walk home was truly bizarre. Commonly disregarding New Yorkers were greeting each other and saying hello, actually looking into each others eyes as if to search for humanity any chance they could. I walked alongside a Latino riding his bike and told him to be wary of his tap water getting tainted with biological agents. There's no telling what's coming next, I thought. After all, if the WTC could have planes slamming into it and collapse, nothing would surprise me.

It took me well over an hour to get home. After walking several miles and up 5 flights of stairs, I embraced m girlfriend tightly and sat down in front of the TV so that I could finally see what everyone else in America saw. The impact, the collapse...I had dozens of e-mails already waiting for me, people all over wondering if I was alright. I had many phone calls to make. I had to proceed in changing my entire perspective on everything...

Welcome to the brave new world.

Mark A. DeCheser | 28 | New York

#1483 | Wednesday, July 17th 2002
9-11-01 Me and my husband was on a flight (AirTran) FLT 278 out of Atlanta, GA to Boston, MA. Our flight took off at 8:30am and was to land at 11:05am. We were over Baltimore, MD (in the air) when the Pilot came on and informed us that "we were turning around and going back to Atlanta" I looked at my husband and asked if was joking? He assured me that he was. Then the Pilot came on again and said "We are making an immediate landing" "All air space has been closed due to a disaster in New York City something to do with airplanes and that we would see it on the news tonight"... That's all he said. I was scared and started shaking thinking that airplanes were being shot out of the air. Finally we landed in New Port News, VA. Once we landed a passenger pulled out his palm pilot and started reading out load that "both Twin Towers had been hit, and the Pentagon had also just been hit". The plane was quite this entire time. Once we got off the plane inside the airport, they insisted that we check out and no one was allowed to roam or use the bathrooms. Once we had a chance to see the TV monitors in the airport, we were all shocked. All I could think about was all the people on the air planes and in the buildings. Copies of both plane tickets and Hertz rental available on request. LosingSleep2@cox.net

Michelle Rooney | 28 | Georgia

#1454 | Tuesday, July 9th 2002
What started as a beautiful morning evolved into the very same day that would change the rest of our lives forever. That morning my girlfriend of 4 years and I got up to a bright and sunny new day, with rejoice I got up myself to take her to work, but couldnt help but ponder the beauty of just being. I dropped off my love to work and began to glance on my outlook in hopes of unraveling my next adventure towards spiritual abundance. Later on that day I had planned to withdraw my overpriced ****** stock and cash in on an engagement ring. As I head on to the parkway to continue on home, I turn the radio dial, only to hear that a freak accident occurred. A prop. jet evidently may have landed into the WTC tower 2( north tower). After dismissing the like as just that a freak accident I continued on. But, had an erry feeling that foul play was at hand, we had actually been attacked. I got off the parkway immediately and called my girlfriend, family, et all in hoped of calm. Then, got news that the South tower was struck. The illusions of grandier were no more. We had been under attack for sure. That's when I broke down to ponder the why's who's and how's. That day was the beginning of the rest of our lives, a vision and experience that will torment and bind the remainder of our lives forever more. Life will be the same no more. The new world began on that very day, September 11th 2001.
yabyum | 28 | New York

#1452 | Tuesday, July 9th 2002
To be real honset...I had the day off work, so I was sound asleep. My wife came - well more like burst - in, she had "the look" on her face - the kind you never really want to see.

I sat up and looked at her, "what is it?" - She didn't answer , kinda' a real errie silence, I knew it was bad.

I rushed downstairs just in time to see a "recap" on the news - It was one of those deeply errie, real deep feelings.

The kind WE DON'T want again!

Ben C. Hoffman | 28 | Nevada

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