#499 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
I was at work on 9/11/01. A co-worker came in and said a plane had just hit the WTC. We went into the lunch room where the TV was on. It showed the destruction. New stations were saying the plane may have been hijacked by terrorist.

We were stunned. Dozens of people stopped working to watch as the tower was burning. Then the second plane hit, then the Pentagon was hit. Disbelief was the main emotion, which turned to compassion for those lost, then anger at those who chose to attach us in this way.

Then the first tower fell. It was unbelievable, too horrible to contemplate that such a large number of people had just died. People who got on a plane, showed up for work, went to an appointment or answered a call for help.
These people all died. Why?
Did they die because of something they did wrong? No. Did they die fighting for something they believe in? No. They died because some cowards from a third world nation came to take a pot shot at America. A cowardly knife stab in the back of the greatest nation in the world.

They thought they could bring the USA to her knees in this way, but they were wrong. The Lady Liberty still stands tall in the harbor. Our lives go on. We as American's have taken a great loss. We feel deep compassion for those families who lost their loved ones in the tragedy, and for those who could lose loved ones in the continuing fight against terrirism.

How has this changed my life? It has made me more compassionate, more caring towards my family, neighbors, even strangers. It has made me very proud to live in the United States of America. I cry when I sing "Oh, Beautiful". I salute Old Glory. I feel the power behind the words of "The Star Spangled Banner".

I am a proud American.

Kim Davis | 42 | Oklahoma

#496 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
I was in bed asleep the morning of 9/11/01...I was awaken by my mother, who was watching the tragedy unfold on CNN. She came to my room and told me...I immediately got out of bed, and watched with her. We kept the TV on all day...it was a day I'll never forget...the rescue workers, the policemen, the rescue dogs...even though I live in MD., it was as if I was there...seeing the smoke, the ash, the destruction of the buildings...I'll never forget that day.
D.M. Burck | 42 | Maryland

#492 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
I WAS ON THE PHONE TALKING TO MY SISTER WHILE AT WORK.. I HAD THE TV ON AND TOLD MY SISTER THE TWIN TOWERS WERE ON FIRE... SHE THEN SAID NO THEY ARE BEING HIT BY A PLANE... IT WAS THEN THAT I SAW THE SECOND PLANE IT THE TOWERS. MY SON WAS GOING TO SCHOOL IN THE BRONX AT THAT TIME AND PANIC SET IN FOR HIS SAFETY... THEN THE PLANE HIT THE PENTAGON AND I STARTED TO CRY AND THOUGHT THIS WAS ARMEGEDDON AND THE END OF THE WORLD... I PRAY FOR ALL THOSE LIVES LOST, FOR OUR SAFETY AND FOR OUR LOSS OF FREEDOM THAT TERRIBLE TRAGIC DAY
DIANA DUNHAM | 42 | New York

#483 | Saturday, December 15th 2001
I am an American, native New Yorker, living in Denmark, married to a Dane. We have two toddlers, ages 3-1/2 and 16 mos.

On Sept. 11 we were on vacation on the Greek Island of Kos. Our original plan had been to visit Tunisia. We were interested in seeing Carthage and other archeological and ancient sites. However, we decided not to go after a friend who had just returned from Egypt told us that more than once she had been asked by Egyptians her opinion on the Israel/Palestian situation. She is American. She never felt threatened, but was uncomfortable with the questions. I too was uncomfortable by her experience. I know Egyptians and would not have imagined perfect strangers to ask her anything of that nature.

Thereby my husband and I decided to not visit Tunisia. We were concerned that we might be attacked on the streets because I was an American, and because anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world is at an all time high.

So, off we went to the Greek island of Kos. On Sept. 11 we were returning to our hotel when we stopped at a local bakery. The baker had a television in a room adjacent to his counter. He asked me if I were American.

He told me that a small plane had just crashed into the WTC. We watched his television. He translated the Greek words into English. But no words were really needed. The pictures of the tower burning were enough. I could not imagine that a plane had accidentally flown into the Tower. I knew that planes were not allowed into the air space around the towers. I worried that a terrorist had struck the tower.

During the 5 minute walk from the bakery back to our hotel the other plane had hit the second tower. I really started to panic for now it was certain that there had been an attack. When the pentagon was hit I became sick to my stomach and full of panic.

There seemed no doubt that a war against America had begun. That my homeland was being ripped apart. That I needed to be home too. That I was too far away to help. Although I have not lived in New York for many years, it is still home and being there seemed to be the most important thing at the time.

For the next couple of days we were glued to the television at the hotel. We managed to reach friends in New York that might have been in the towers. Everyone was fine.

My husband and I were ever so grateful that we had decided not to go to Tunisia. We contemplated how horrible it would have been for us to have been somewhere where people were expressing their happiness at what had happened.

It was really good to get home to Denmark.

Karen | 42 | Denmark

#477 | Thursday, December 13th 2001
My name is Rich Wiet and I live in Elgin, Ill. I work in Addison Ill. for UPS as a PC technician. We had just started our day like we always do, listening to the radio. We first heard that a small plane had crashed into the WTC and we didn't think much of it. Of course, events unfolded rather quickly after that. Since we were technician, we had all kinds of access to the Internet. Work kind of stopped that day, and my friend Ken and myself pretty much surfed the web looking for info while we kept the News Radio station on. I remember commenting on how slow Internet connections were getting. This could only mean a huge increase in traffic. My boss knew what we were doing but he just closed his office door. I imagine he was doing what we were doing. We noticed a lot of false information coming out of our various sources. News travels fast, but not always accurately. After work I went home and watched CNN until I couldn't stay up any longer. I felt very depressed for days, for a lot of reasons I won't get into here. I was outraged, and saddened. I hope we can get the world we were in back or win this damn thing against Terrorism and get on with life. On our side we let Terrorists get away with far too much for far too long. On their side, I understand that your way of life may not be the best, and there is nothing wrong with wanting more, but, historically, Terrorism has never really worked. It just produces a lot of dead human beings.
Rich Wiet | 42 | Illinois

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