#1424 | Wednesday, June 26th 2002
I normally don't watch TV in the morning. On Sept. 11th, someone I knew was going to ring the opening bell of the NYSE. So when I got downstairs before 9:00 am, I turned on the tube to MSNBC to see the opening. I saw the North tower burning. It was being reported that a small plane had hit it. I was suprised, but like most everyone else, I thought it was a terrible accident. Then I saw the second plane hit live. I was stunned. On the first replay, I saw that it was a large commercial jet. Then I was horrified as the loss. Shocked at the depth of evil a person can do. This was the mass murder of thousands of people I saw.
Alex Wilson | 37 | Pennsylvania

#1317 | Saturday, May 25th 2002
I was on the 55th floor of tower one in the WTC. I was there for a work-related seminar. My husband and I had driven up from Massachusetts, arriving 9/10, at about 3:00 in the afternoon. We checked into the WTC Marriott, valet parked our car, and enjoyed the sights of NYC that night, and I headed off to my seminar at 8:30 a.m. in tower one the next morning, 9/11. I cannot explain the feeling when the plane hit, but I will never forget it. When we started down the stairs, I new something really bad had happened. The stairway I was in eventually led me out through tower 2, and I made it out about 2 minutes before that tower collapsed. The noise was the worst thing I have ever heard in my life. I was consumed in white smoke and ran for my life, I thought for sure I would suffocate and die. I hid in an abandoned office building until the second tower collapsed, for the second time, I thought I was dead. After a long series of events that included crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, I found my husband at the NYC Technical College. The Red Cross had taken over part of the college, and I was able to make phone calls home and find out my husband was OK. About 30 minutes later, we were in each others arms (about 3:00 in the afternoon). Thanks to the kindness of total strangers, we caught a train, and eventually a ferry, to Connecticut. By 10:00 that night, we were checked into a hotel and finally watching the days excruciating events. My company was able to obtain a driver to pick us up the next day, and I was in my home with my 2 children by 3:00 on 9/12.
The current events of the WTC are very unsettling. They have brought back all the bad memories.
I am forever greatful that God spared mine and my husbands life that day. I always think of the brave men and women of the FDNY & NYPD who helped that day. They will forever be etched in my mind.

Maura | 37 | Massachusetts

#1291 | Friday, May 17th 2002
I THINK WHOEVER THOUGHT OF MAKING THIS SITE IS A GENIUS. I HAVE 3 CHILDREN AND THINK IT IS GREAT TO HAVE A PLACE TO GO TO REVIEW WHAT HAPPENED ON THE HORRIBLE DAY.

I HAPPENED TO BE ON AN AIRPLANE ON THAT HORRIBLE TUESDAY. I HAD JUST TAKEN OFF AFTER THE SECOND (2nd) PLANE HIT THE TWIN TOWERS. WE WERE THEN TOLD WE HAD TO BE GROUNDED PER THE FAA. WE HAD NO IDEA OF WHAT WAS GOING ON UNTIL WE REACHED THE AIRPORT IN GREENSBORO, NC INSTEAD OF ORLANDO, FL WHERE WE WERE HEADING. I JUST WONDERED ABOUT MY FAMILY AS I WAS TRAVELING ON BUSINESS WITH ABOUT 7 CO-WORKERS. I JUST COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I SEEN THE TRAGEDY ON A TV A THE AIRPORT. I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT DAY AS LONG AS I LIVE. WONDERING IF I WOULD EVER SEE MY HUSBAND AND 3 CHILDREN OR THE REST OF MY FAMILY. I JUST CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT THOSE FAMILY MEMBERS WHO LOST LOVED ONES. I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO FORGET THE SEPTEMBER DAY. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!!

DIANE TROIA | 37 | Pennsylvania

#1193 | Friday, April 19th 2002
I am a Philadelphia Police Officer. I am married with a wonderful son. On September 11th, I (like most of my fellow Americans) witnessed the senseless slaughter of human life. The department was put on high alert and our tours of duty were extended. With the exception of a scant five minutes to change my uniform of the day, I did not see my wife and son until later that evening.

My squad was deployed to the hotels near the Philadelphia International Airport. In each and every hotel we checked we saw the faces of travelers, many of them American, change from distraught to a significance of hope.

People walked up to us and thanked us for being there. We were just doing our job. We were asked our feelings for fallen brothers and sisters in New York. I could only respond that it was horrible, seeing no need to raise their already heightened anxiety.

I felt the pulse of the true America was still beating. I witnessed strangers offering to pay for dinner, a room, or share a taxi.

When I returned home, I kissed my wife and hugged her. I went upstairs to kiss my son who should have been already asleep. Being the son of a Philadelphia police officer myself, I could not be angry with my six-year-old for waiting up and feigning sleep for my return. I too had done the same during the turbulence of the late sixties and early seventies.

My son, Timothy, sat up in his bed, and asked me, "Did you and your partners catch the bad guys that hurt those people with the bomb and airplanes?"

"No," I said. I choked back a sob. "We didn't. Not today."

Timothy leaned closer to me. For the first time in my son's life, he was witnessing me crying. He held my face.

"Don't cry daddy." He put on a brave face. "All those police and firefighters that died when the buildings fell on them will be replaced by their sons."

I began to cry heavier. My son just held me and said, "It's gonna be OK."

My six-year-old, perhaps oblivious to the true magnitude of the tragedy, was comforting me with his simple wisdom. I only pray my son will not take up my choice of career, and find his own path because he had shown me that night that he has the soul of the BRAVEST. He wants to be a firefighter/detective, in other words, a fire marshal.

My only regret is that I am duty bound to Philadelphia, and wish to have been there to at least bring our brothers and sisters out to let them rest in peace.

Martin Connors
Philadelphia, PA

Martin Connors | 37 | Pennsylvania

#1156 | Friday, April 5th 2002
On September 11, I was attending a class on Stress Management that my employer felt would be beneficial. The class started at 9 a.m. One of the last people to arrive announced that she had heard a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. She was stating that some people said it was a small plane and another station had stated it was a jet. The class continued until about 10:30 when our Director was called out of the session. She didn't return for a very long time so it was very hard to focus on how to manage stress. When Betty came back, it was about 11:05. She indicated that it appeared America was under attack. She was very emotional as she was talking. Because we work in a high rise building and it's located in a large city, a decision had been made to release the employee's asap. We were informed to grab our purses and shut down our computers and proceed home. I remember getting in my truck on my cell phone calling my mom to find out exactly what was going on. She was crying so much that it was hard to understand her. Then, I called my older sister since she travels frequently to make sure that she was ok. I then drove home crying and in a daze. I couldn't believe that someone could take so many innocent lives. When I came home, I went to my neighbors home and we said a prayer. When I finally sat down, I, of course was glued to the TV. I called my children's school to let them know to ride the bus home and debated on getting them from school, but I figured, if I let them stay, then I will be able to get my head together as to how I could explain September 11.

In the days following the attack, my older son just kept asking why. I tried to explain that there are people in this world who are mean, but believe that want they've done is ok. I reassured him that his home and school were safe and we just had to pray for the people who had lost loved ones and for the children who may have lost their mom or dad or both.

One thing I've learned during this unfortunate time is to enjoy every moment you have with your family and friends and not take life for granted. I believe that this has brought every human being together which is what AMERICA was founded on. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts on this day. May god be with each and everyone of us.

Lori Martin | 37 | Michigan

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