#1632 | Saturday, August 31st 2002
I was in my front room, chatting on AIM to a friend who lives in LA (I am from England), my breathe was taken away when he said turn to a news channel and I did, he, understandably, signed off abruptly.
I will never forget the horror I felt and I hope I never do because as long as we remember how that felt, we certainly shall never allow such evil to happen again.
God bless us all and God bless those now with the Lord.

Jamie Kinnair | 30 | United Kingdom

#1606 | Tuesday, August 27th 2002
I was in my third week of a new job.. High School Teacher. I had already heard of the World Trade Center bombings before class started. One of the kids printed a picture of the pentagon smoking and brought it up to me. I knew then that America was definately under attack. To see the symbol of defense smoldering sent a terrible feeling through me. That day was also my 30th birthday.
Frank McLain | 30 | West Virginia

#1569 | Monday, August 19th 2002
On September 11, my husband and I left for work on time for a change. We managed to make it to the 7:52 train from River Edge to Hoboken. We must’ve arrived early to Hoboken, because when we took the PATH train from Hoboken to the World Train Center we arrived probably around 8:35. At the top of the escalators, in front of the J. Crew store, my husband and I would say goodbye to each other. This morning was only slightly different than other mornings. The day before, my husband had received word that he had passed his final architectural licensing exam and was now a registered architect. He also had a root canal scheduled for that day, so we had a long, loving goodbye. I stopped off and made a deposit at Charles Schwab and walked up to Devon & Blakely to get an iced coffee (decaf, because I was 8 months pregnant). The guy behind the counter was about to hand me my coffee when we heard this incredible crack of thunder. I think everyone in the store was confused because it was such a sunny day, it didn’t really make sense that a thunderstorm was starting. Then we looked outside and saw debris falling all around. Someone ran inside from the street and said that a plane had hit the tower. We’re all thinking that some small plane or helicopter has hit. Then the guy behind the counter said that it was a bomb and that we should get out. We all ran out of the building. I ran across the street to my office at 90 Church Street. They were not allowing anyone to go upstairs. I sat on the floor and cried. I was completely hysterical, knowing that my husband had walked out of the opposite side of the building, and I didn’t know what had happened to him. A cleaning woman who worked on my floor and knew my face sat down with me and told me to get it together for the baby’s sake. After a few minutes, we were allowed to go upstairs to our offices. I rode the elevator up with Director of our MIS department. I said to him, “Oh, thank God it was just an accident, not a terrorist attack.”

My office was on the 15th floor (top floor of the building), facing the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I saw a couple of my co-workers on my way to my office. I went inside and checked my voice mail. I had one message from Mom, one from my husband. I called my husband first and told him I was okay and was so relieved to know he was okay. We spoke very briefly because I wanted to call Mom. I called Mom and she was also relieved to know I was safe. She had been in my office and knew just how close I was. She wanted to know what it was looking like outside. I looked out my window and saw people jumping. I was so close to them I can tell you what they were wearing and just how their ties fluttered in the wind. I was screaming into the phone and I told Mom that I just had to go. When I hung up the phone with Mom, it was must’ve been 9:03 a.m., because I watched as the second plane crashed into the South Tower. The fireball exploded in my direction and the explosion shook my building and my window sounded like it was going to shatter before my eyes. At this point, my co-workers and I decided we needed to get away from the windows. Then an announcement from building security came over the PA system. The man was hysterical and told us to evacuate the building immediately. Some people started to walk toward the elevators, but I said, no, we have to use the stairs, so we all walked down the 15 floors. I was walking very slowly. I was 8 months pregnant and I was in some pain after my run out of the World Trade Center. We finally made it all the way down the stairs and they evacuated us out into the street, but no one was telling us where to go. It felt like we were being sent straight into Hell. I felt much safer inside the building. The police just moved us along. I didn’t really have a set place in mind to go, since my method of commuting was blocked. I just started walking away. There were abandoned bags and shoes in the street. People were screaming and crying and rushing away. Some were staring in awe at what had happened. I decided to walk toward the subway, which was in City Hall Park. When I got there, I saw a woman who worked for me and sent her home. She was probably on the last subway that went uptown the entire day. I decided to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to my doctor’s office because the pain in my abdomen wasn’t getting any better and I wasn’t sure that I wouldn’t have the baby that day. I walked slowly across the bridge. A woman tried to get me to take a cab, but after the lack of control I’d had since 8:46 a.m., I wanted to at least be in control of myself. So many people offered to carry my bag and many stopped to see if I was okay. I must’ve looked pretty huge. It’s so funny because just that morning on the train into the city, so many people had run me over to get a seat and now everyone was trying to help me. When I’d made it almost to the other side, I saw someone I knew and he told me about what had happened in Washington. He looked at me like I had 3 heads because I didn’t know that had happened. I’d been a little too busy to watch the news! I walked a few steps further and I heard a collective scream from the crowd. I didn’t turn around. I was sure that it was something too horrible to see. That was when the first tower collapsed. I made it to my doctor’s office and he said that everything was fine. The baby wasn’t coming. He was in shock, too. The second tower collapsed while I was in his office. Since this was my old neighborhood, I had a couple of friends I could go to see. Our friends had taken our apartment when we moved out of the city. They work with my husband, so I thought that maybe they’d all be together. I went to their apartment, but they weren’t there. I went to another friend’s apartment. They weren’t home. I walked all the way over to another friend’s apartment on the other side of Brooklyn Heights. They weren’t there. I wandered around for a couple of hours. I heard the fighter jets flying over and saw others look up in fear. We knew that it would never feel the same to hear the sound of a plane again.

I went back and tried my old apartment again. My friend was there. She had no word on her fiance or my husband. Her fiancÚ had been on jury duty that day so he wasn’t at the office. I called my parents to tell her I was okay again. My cousin answered the phone. Apparently their phone had been ringing off the hook with family wanting to know my whereabouts. When I identified myself, she gave the phone to my Mom. This was around 2 o’clock. She called my husband’s Mom, but she had not heard from him. I called back a couple of times, but no one had heard from him. We watched with horror the collapse of the towers on TV. I had no idea whether he was living or dead and looking at the destruction, I really doubted that he’d survived. I told my friend how glad I was that I'd had that long goodbye with my husband that morning. A while later, we heard from my friend’s fiancÚ. He made it home around 4. I finally got a message from my husband at 6 o’clock that he left on our answering machine. He was safe and headed home. We spoke after he got home. He left his office on Wall Street and walked toward my office to search for me, but gave up pretty quickly. He saw papers flying through the air and he’d picked them up. Some were boarding passes from the planes. He also saw some of the plane parts on Church Street. He watched the tower collapse from the top of a building in TriBeCa. He walked from downtown to 42nd Street to the Port Authority, which was closed, then over to the river to get on a ferry to New Jersey. He was hosed off and checked by a doctor, and he boarded a train for home. I came home the following day. It was quite a day, but we were thankful that we both survived and that our baby was safe. We were quite lucky, but we didn’t know it for so long. I was convinced he was dead. We stayed at home for a couple of weeks while the smoke cleared from downtown. My office building has still not reopened. Contamination levels were too high. We had a beautiful baby boy October 15. We are very fortunate and grateful.

MM | 30 | New Jersey

#1488 | Thursday, July 18th 2002
I was on a business trip in Stockholm, Sweden. I had a meeting at 1:30PM (8:30AM EST). At the conclusion of the meeting, about 3:30PM, I got in a Taxi and headed for the airport. In broken English the cab driver said, “ it is a bad day.” I said, “I am sorry to hear that.” He didn’t respond, rather listen intently to his radio (I thought he was waiting for a soccer score). Then 5 minutes into the ride he said, “I hope you aren’t flying to the US today.” I asked what is wrong with the US? He told me that a plan has crashed and a lot of people have died. I asked him what plane crashed and where did it happen. He said, “ no, no, I mean planes, many planes, have crashed. Thoroughly confused I had to assume his English was wrong. Then he said, “it means WAR with America, are you American?” Not sure how to respond in that context and after thinking I did say yes. To this day I get a cold shiver down my spin when I think of his next comment. With tears in his eyes, he said, “I very sorry for you loss… I must give sincere condolences to you and your family and the US country for this terrible day.” At this point I am still not clear on what has happen and why it affects me. However, one thing was clear a taxi cab driver in Sweden felt it was necessary to offer his condolences to me because I am an American. Without knowing any more details, my body seemed to go cold. After twenty minutes of silence we arrived at the airport. I saw the military blockade and felt sick. Inside the airport I finally realized what the driver was trying to tell me.
Nathan Foster | 30 | Wisconsin

#1470 | Sunday, July 14th 2002
I would normally be at work that day, but I had taken my wife to the ER 10pm Monday night and she didn't get admitted to the hospital until 4am Sept 11th. After she was admitted, I immediately called work and left a message saying that I would be in around 12pm so I could get some sleep. At 8:30am, her father called for her and I let him know how his daughter was doing. I told him that I was just trying to get some sleep and that I would let his daughter know he had called. I had just got up at 11am, when the phone rang and it was my wife. She was crying and trying to tell me what had just happened without sounding like she had just lost her mind. Until she heard my voice, she thought that this was the rapture and all hell had erupted and she was alone. My wife and I had stayed at the Marriott at the WTC and had eaten at Windows on the World for our first anniversary. We go to NYC every year for our anniversary. Our hearts go out to the wonderful people of New York. May God Bless each and everyone of you.
Michael Spencer | 30 | Pennsylvania

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