#1423 | Wednesday, June 26th 2002
since the question of "where were you on september 11, 2001?" has been posed over and over, i decided i'm gonna need to answer it someday. i might as well do it while it is still just yesterday. i can still remember where i was when princess diana died, and john jr, and walter mathau. i remember being at my grandma hall's house (she hadn't even started dating my future step grandpa, irv, yet) staked out in front of the living room television set when they were bombed in like 1995. i still remember the feeling i had sitting in ms. robb's current event's class when i heard that mickey mantle had passed away. someday i need to write those things down. but right now i'm going to write about yesterday.

i was wearing my pink, yellow, and purple button down camp shirt over top of a white tank top, and blue jeans. i was also wearing my white sneakers that give me blisters. if i can remember the clothes i was wearing on a day, it makes it easier for me to remember the day. so shut up and stop laughing. i still remember what i wore the first day of fifth grade. so there.

so i worked the before school care at montessori from 7:30 to 8:30 this morning.

came back and went to my CDV 115 (child growth & development) class in the performing arts centre on the verge of tears. i really wanted to be at home for miss vicky's funeral. i was having a tough time coming to the reality that that was not going to be an option (i did end up going). so i got into class and sat down at my usual seat, right up front.

mary griffin (the prof/my advisor) came into class and asked me how i was doing today. she always asks me that. i think because its still early in the semester and i'm the only person she really knows. since all her other advisees in this class are still freshman and sophmores. so she asks me how i was, and just burst into tears. so she gave me a hug and generally fussed over me for a second or two. then we walked out into the hallway and she asked me what was wrong.

so i told her that the mom of one of my best friend's had died. which was kinda of true, but not really. miss vicky was like a second mom to kristy, but i didn't need to go into details right then. i was having enough trouble talking as it was.

then she walked me around the corner to her office. she gave me some kleenex, calmed me down for a minute, and told me that i didn't have to stay for class if i didn't feel like it. this was at 8:47 A.M., two minutes after the first plane hit. i happened to see the hallway clock on the way out. but being the good student that i am (or appear to be) i said that i wanted to stay. then she left me in there "until [i] was ready to re-join the class."

so i calmed down and wiped my face off. and walked back into the room. we watched the "hello baby" video, the required video for like all intro child development classes (the one where they show you babies being born and everyone gets really grossed out and swears they'll never have children) at 9:04 A.M. (yes, i watch the clock religiously).

then we break into groups to discuss the papers that we wrote over the weekend. and this girls comes flying into the classroom. and comes up to griffin. then she sits down with my group. luckily, as i find out. she was late because she was listening to the news on her radio. so i got to be one of the first kids in the class to know.

she told us that apparently a plane had flown right into the world trade centre in new york. and then like a few (turns out it was about fifteen) minutes later another one did the same thing into the other tower right next to it. i was just kind of like oh, okay.

it didn't even like sink in at all what a big deal this was. i didn't think anything of it. no one else, but the people in my group, knew anything about it. so no one was worried or talking about it.

mary let us out of class a little early. on my way out she told me not to come to class on thursday, "the last thing [i] need is a test." and i need to be at home with my friends and family. tru dat.

so i took advantage of the early dismissal, and hussled back to my dorm room to drop off the bulky course pack i was carrying around (read: 3-ring binder that didn't fit into my purse i was using as a book bag). when i walked in my new roommate, la'shawna, had the television turned on. she was like, "crazy isn't it." i wasn't thinking, but then it clicked and i was like, "oh, the two world trade centres." "and the pentagon" she added. i was like, "they got the pentagon too. damn." yup dumbass, they did.

so then in flung the folder on my desk and rushed to my rst 220 (introduction to the hebrew scriptures) class. by the time i got there everyone knew about it. this kid ryan seemed to know the most, or maybe he was just talking the most. either way he said that people were saying it was a terrorist attack and they didn't know from who. and this girl courtney said something about "a no fly zone" but i didn't know what she was talking about, so i didn't really listen to her. ryan said something about there being planes that the FAA had lost track of, but i didn't know why that would matter. so oh well, then we had class. i didn't cry at all in there. i had to bite my bottom lip a few times, but no actual tears.

in my noon class (gen 301 - the adult learner) we were supposed to have a speaker (sr. sharon from the dominican sisters on campus) come talk to us about something. but by that time of the morning the whole country was in shock and no one could concentrate on anything. we heard that another plane had attacked camp david. but as it turned out that was just a rumour, it really crashed somewhere in pennsilvania. melissa (the prof) had called a friend she had that works in the capital, and she could hear sirens blaring and people yelling over the phone. the girl that was sitting in front of me cried the whole time we were sitting there. melissa said sometihng about today being september 11th, as in 9-11. get it 911 (like the number to call in an emergency for those of you that don't know). then sr. sharon came in and told us that it was SUPPOSED to be like world peace day or something. yeah, that went real well. so the university already had prayer services planned, and a moment of peace at twelve o'clock. so we did that. then she tried to talk to us about some stuff, which i don't remember, and i doubt that anyone else does either.

the blonde kid sitting at the end of my row (who i thought was cute...like on the first day of class) said something about osoma bin laden. but i don't remember exactly what. like maybe he was the mastermind guy behind all this. so the nun talked some more. then she gave up and we walked over to the t.v. lounge in ledwidge hall. we watched that for a while.

then i had to leave for work. i went to my room and saw that it was only like one o'clock, so i turned on the television. i wanted to see how MTV was handling all this. but they (as well as VH1) were running live feed from CBS. so i watched that until it was time for work.

when i went into work, i was told not to mention any of the day's events to the children. one of the kids, isaac, was wearing a shirt that said "washington d.c." on it and had a little picture of some of the monuments and such, including the pentagon. so we did our normal montessori after school stuff. when pam and peggy (my before and after school supervisors) came in, i told each one of them that i had a funeral to go to, so i wouldn't be back until friday morning. fine fine, sorry for your loss, etc...

i went back to my room and watched some more news. by this time everything had already happened. all the planes had crashed, the towers had fallen. two other towers (building five and seven) were about to collapse. i think it was about six o'clock that building five collapsed. just as i was walking over to my six o'clock class in the science building. but before i got to my room i remembered that we were supposed to be in the library today.

so i like flung over the sacred heart hall (where the library is) as fast as i could. then i got lost, then i found it. turns out since i already had two sources for my research paper, i was home free until seven o'clock. so i quickly walked back to my dorm room and called home.

no one at home, no one at church. so i called mom's cell phone on a whim (she never leaves it on). she answered. so i told her that i was coming home and that i had permission from all my teachers to do so. okay, someone will be there to get me in about two hours. yahoo.

somewhere in there i talked to dad too, i just don't remember when. i think it was in between class and work. i told him and he told me about what was happening back in wyandotte. apparently mom's school was in lockdown mode. whatever that meant. and mary griffin had called him to tell him what had happened in class today (remember from the beginning of this reeaaaaaalllly long entry...i cried about miss vicky) and that she thought it best i come home. so blah blah blah. dad needs my phone number. i don't have it. here's the number for the security office. okay.

then my english class got out early because no one could think clearly. so i watched some more of the news. as did the rest of the school.

any where you went was the sound of televisions reporting the events as they unfolded. dan rather (the CBS man) played a couple of tapes they had received from private citizens who happened to catch the events on video. lots of swearing, and an apology from mr. rather, ensued. apparently, as he repeatedly stated, the tapes had never been watched before they went on the air. there were fuck words all over the place. as you can well imagine people were in shock. i'm certain i would have had a similar reaction, had it been me. i can't even believe they would time it so all of america would be watching as the second plane hit. that just pisses me off.

so dad came to get me. campus security wouldn't let him come to my room (even though he was wearing the "clergy collar"). there were security people at every opening to the campus. dad said he was stopped three times before he could even park the car. the entire country is freaking out. on the way home we saw crazy lines, ten and fifteen cars deep, waiting in line at gas stations. apparently there was a rumour of a gas shortage. dad kept saying, as did the radio man, "you people are creating your own gas shortage. this is just what the terrorists want, mass hysteria." tru dat. so we got home eventually.

mom had locked the door because she freaks out easily, and she was home alone. then some more talking and boring stuff happened. then we went to taco bell and got one of their yummy quasadillas (definitely try 'em).

then mary and tracey came over. mary is leaving for new orleans on the thirteenth. so darn on that. they stayed and talked for a while. then i went to bed.

that was what i was doing on september 11, 2001...in detail. not that you really care. not that i care. but someday i just might.

Krystn McKenney | 23 | Michigan

#1377 | Thursday, June 6th 2002
I was standing in the shower, late for work. I turned on 89X (Detroit's alternative radio station). Green Day was on. In the middle of the song, "Dean" cut in to say "a plane just hit the World Trade Center, more after the song." I wasn't sure I heard it right. I thought I was imagining things. After all, I just woke up. I shut off the radio, forgetting that I had even heard the news. When I got to work, everyone was huddled around the TV getting nothing done. As I walked in, everyone was talking about the second plane. I stood in front of the TV still not believing was I was seeing and hearing. Not more than ten minutes after I got to work, the buildings started to collapse. A half hour later, everyone in my Deaborn, Michigan high-rise corporate building was evacuated because of our close proximity to the airport and the number of low-flying commercial jets nearby.
Kevin | 25 | Michigan

#1336 | Tuesday, May 28th 2002
I was just about to drop my two-year-old son at daycare when I heard on the radio news that there had been reports of a plane hitting the WTC. It seemed remote to me, and I assumed it was a small plane. The radio anchors had video footage they were narrating, and I heard one of them gasp when she saw the second plane hit. I dropped my son off, mentioning to my day care provider that there was something confusing going on in NY, and got back in my car to head to work. As the news kept unfolding I felt sicker and sicker, and it got harder to drive. I finally got to my office and my coworkers looked shell-shocked. Our computer support staff helped us to find news sites that weren't jammed, and a few of us had radios on, too, tuned to different stations.

My husband called an hour later to say he was coming home from his consulting job. I asked why (I wasn't sure he'd heard the news), and he replied "Because the world is ending." I started to cry then, and I sobbed to him that I was so glad our son was too little to have to explain this to him.

I spent the day passing news (some of it exaggerated--there were so many rumours) back and forth to colleagues, reading some panicked and some reassuring emails and messages from message board friends in NY and DC, and calling home to find out what was on TV. My oddest thought all day was that I remembered that the local civil defense sirens were due to be tested that afternoon and I hoped they wouldn't go through with it, because I figured everyone would panic. As it happened, they didn't test them.

It was a surreal, awful day. It was hard to wrap my kind around what was happening. All I knew was that life would never be the same.

Karen | 34 | Michigan

#1330 | Monday, May 27th 2002
September 11th, 2001... I was in my biology class, talking to my best friend about my sister's wedding shower the following weekend (sep.15th)and another teacher told my teacher to turn on the t.v. When he did, everyone in the room went silent. And my heart sank to the bottom of the floor. I have always wanted to live in New York City, it is my dream place. And it always will be. That day changed my life in so many ways... at first I wanted to scream and cry in sorrow and pain, then I wanted to put my fist threw the wall, and then I began to get worried for my older sister and my uncle... My uncle worked in Washington D.C., and was on his way to work... about a block away from the Pentagon. And my sister lives in Chicago, so i was worried that maybe it would also be hit... thank god it was not. September 11th made me realize how little time we all have on earth, and how petty,stupid arguments and complaints are just not worth it. We should spend our time loving one another, not hating. I do not hate the Taliban, I hate what they stand for, but I do not hate them. If you have hate like that in your heart, then you can never truley be happy and at peace. And despite everything, I am still going to New York City, and I am still going to live in that rat-infested apartment that I have always dreamed of, because noone can take away our dreams.
Nicole | 16 | Michigan

#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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