#1694 | Friday, September 6th 2002
God Bless America!
I will never forget the second I heard and realized the impact of the diaster. I was sitting with my 24 kindergarten students during snack and I was enjoying listening to them chat with one another when my assistant rushed outside to tell me. Our principal called all the teachers to the library for a meeting and a word of prayer. For that moment, we were all one- not separated by differences in teaching methods or religion. We held hands and cried as our principal prayed. It was a very somber moment. For weeks and weeks I fell into a depression. I made my 4 year old son sleep with my husband and I because I was scared and wanted my loved ones close. I felt guilt when anything good happened to me or when I laughed. I was glued to CNN and other news broadcast. Because of my age, it was the first time I ever really thought about not having the freedom we Americans are so blessed with. It was the first time I felt threatened. It was an awful feeling and it consumed me. It was a combination of those 24 students, my family & God that kept me from going into a deeper depression. It tested my faith and made me ‘walk the talk’. I always said that God was in control, but now I had to give it to Him. I still see the images in my head sometimes at night when I close my eyes. I cannot imagine the pain that people who lost loved ones must feel. I didn’t know a soul that perished in the tragedy, but my soul aches for them. A year has flown by and I am grateful for all the blessings God has bestowed upon me- a better understanding of what being an American is, a better appreciation for those that have fought and lost their lives for our country, a closeness with my students that is unique and a beautiful baby daughter born June 14th- flag day! God is alive and working!

Amy Landfair | 29 | Mississippi

#1651 | Tuesday, September 3rd 2002
In June 1996 I was at the top of tower no. 1
In 9 of September 2001 I sat in my apartment in beer-Sheva, ISRAEL.
I was studying for a test – and I was devastated.
It will never be the same without the towers – the world will never be the same.all i wanted to say then as now is: be brave and stay free america. we love you all.


ilan shitrit | 29 | Israel

#1639 | Sunday, September 1st 2002
IT STARTED LIKE A NORMAL TUESDAY MORNING. I HAD NO IDEA THAT THIS TUESDAY WOULD FOREVER BE BURNED IN MY BRAIN AND HEART.I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT I WORE TO WORK, OR TO EAT. I DO REMEMBER THE FEAR,ANGER,HURT, AND THE STARK RAVING MAD GRIEF. WHEN I FIRST HEARD SOMETHING "MIGHT" BE WRONG I WAS LISTENING TO MORNING RADIO. MY "NORMAL"EVERYDAY ROUTINE.. THE DJ SAID A PLANE HIT THE WTC BLDG AND THAT'S ALL SHE KNEW. I ASSUMED IT WAS A SMALL PLANE.

I REMEMBER THINKING HOW SAD THERE WILL BE SOME BADLY HURT PEOPLE. 5 MINUTES LATER MY WORLD STOPPED AND STARTED MOVING IN SLOW MOTION.I TURNED THE RADIO TO AN AM STATION AND REALIZED TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 WAS NOT A NORMAL DAY. AFTER THE SECOND PLANE I KNEW IN MY GUT THIS WAS NO TRAGIC ACCIDENT.

IT'S STIL TO HARD TO FATHOM.. MY DAY PROGRESSED, TRIED TO WORK.. CRIED MY EYES OUT, CALLED MY DAUGHTERS SCHOOL, AND MY MOM. FOR LUNCH INSTEAD OF GOING TO EAT, I WENT TO CHURCH GOT ON THE KNEELER AND SOBBED"WHY". A QUESTION I STILL ASK TODAY. I AM ASHAMED TO ADMIT I DIDN'T OWN A FLAG BEFORE THAT TUESDAY MORNING. I DO NOW.

MY DAD WAS A COP AND I GREW UP AROUND THEM, AND FIREFIGHTERS. WHEN THEY LOOSE 1 GUY IT RIPS THEM APART. JUST KNOWING A BROTHER POLICEMAN, OR FIREFIGHTER WILL BRING THEM FROM 100'S OF MILES TO PAY THEIR RESPECTS.

I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE HOW THE VICTIMS FAMILIES FEEL, BUT I HOPE THEY KNOW THAT
1. WE WILL NEVER FORGET
2. WHEN THEY ATTACKED NYC, AND DC THEY ATTACKED AND HURT US ALL.

IN CLOSING, I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN. I STILL TO THIS VERYDAY CRY ABOUT IT... I HOPE AND I PRAY WE NEVER HAVE TO HAVE A DAY LIKE THAT AGAIN. THE ONLY GOOD THING THAT HAS COME OUT OF THIS IS WE ARE ALL AMERICANS.. WHEN OUR COUNTRY WAS ATTACKED WE FORGOT OUR DIFFERENCES, AND PETTY PROBLEMS AND CAME TOGETHER AS A COUNTRY.
P.S.
THE PEOPLE WHO WENT DOWN FIGHTING ON THAT PLANE IN PA, I ONLY HOPE I WOULD HAVE THE COURAGE TO KNOW I WAS GOING TO DIE AND FIGHT ANYWAY.

LET'S ROLL... UNITED WE STAND....
COURAGE,PRIDE, INTEGRITY, AND HONOR

REST IN PEACE.. HEAVEN RECEIVED ALOT OF ANGELS THAT DAY.

TRISHA JOHNSON | 29 | Texas

#1614 | Wednesday, August 28th 2002
I was at home asleep that morning with my six week old son, in our Brooklyn apartment. I had the phone unplugged so the baby wouldn't be woken by the ringing. At 10:30 I woke up and plugged the phone back in as usual. A minute later a friend called me and said she had bad news. First she asked me if my husband was at work. I said yes, he had gone in early. I had been up that morning to kiss him goodbye, we hugged and were looking forward to a romantic evening together. Then my friend told me the Towers had been bombed and everyone was dead, which is what she thought at the time. I just started screaming, "WHAT? WHAT?" becuase my husband was working on the 56th Floor of the Trade Towers. I ran up to my upstairs neighbor, pounding on the door screaming. She was watching the television and I stared at the screen but I couldn't focus on the screen and I couldn't understand what was happening. My neighbor asked me where the baby was, I had just left him in his bassinet. I had to get the baby and nurse him. I sat down and kept telling myself that my husband was fine and I had to calm down so that I could nurse my baby. Another friend called and told me that not everyone was dead and she was confident that my husband had been safely evacuated, so then I just kept telling myself that he was fine. I kept telling everyone who was with me that my husband was fine because I had to believe it to stay calm. I didn't know what to do. Then at 11:30 my husband called me from a stranger's cell phone. He was at the South Street Seaport. He had tried to call me as soon as he got out of the building but all the phones were dead. He told me he had hoped I had slept through the whole thing and that he would be able to reach me before anyone else did, to spare me the worry. He also gave me the names and contact numbers for several strangers, and asked me to call their families to let them know they were ok. I did that and then I tried to call relatives to let them know he was alive but I couldn't get through to anybody. So I went online and started sending out emails saying "Mark is Alive" and I emailed friends in other states and asked them to call our relatives for me, since the NY lines were jammed. Meanwhile I was still waiting for my husband to come home. At 1:30 the doorbell rang and it was him. Of course he didn't have his keys anymore, but he was fine. I couldn't believe it. Then I went up the street to ring a friend's doorbell even though I knew really he wouldn't be there, because he was too high up in the tower to have had time to get down. We sat around after that, we didn't know what to do. We didn't know if anything else would happen. Then at about 10:30 pm we realized a lot of smoky air was coming into our apartment, so we packed up our car and left for Westchester. It was very eerie, because no one was on the street and there were very few cars. Jay Street was closed and police and bomb squad people were standing around. There were even police guarding the bank. Luckily a cop told us how to go around the detour and we were able to get on the highway and take the BQE to the Triboro Bridge, and get to Westchester, where we felt a lot safer.
Kristina Vacha | 29 | Virginia

#1597 | Sunday, August 25th 2002
On 9/11/01, I woke up to my then boyfriend who is in the Air Force and at the time stationed at Thule, Greenland asking me if I was watching tv. I was groggy so I didn't have time to answer before he told me that New York was under attack. Awake instantly, I jumped out of bed and turned on the tv. I watched in disbelief and horror. We didn't say a word for minutes. Silence only broken when the 2nd tower collapsed and I screamed. I remember saying over and over again..please God, no. He was patched through from a phone line at another AF base, so we stayed on the phone for a long while. He was on shift and you could hear the other men and women working that shift with him screaming in disbelief, outrage and heart ache. My heart broke that day and it has never been the same since, nor will it be ever. I still cry often and a day never goes by that I don't pray for us as a nation and pray for all our brothers and sisters that we lost. While I will never forget or stop praying, I refuse to be afraid. We are Americans and we are strong and united. Nothing and no one can take that away from us. United we will always stand. God bless us all.
Romy Ulloa | 29 | California

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