#2131 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
My husband and I were on our honeymoon in Italy, we had just spent the day driving the Amalfi Coast. We returned to our quaint hotel in Positano that evening and the owner came to me and pulled me in front of the TV and at the same time telling me that my father had called and to call him as soon as possible. I couldn't understsand what was happening because everything was in Italian.

I ran upstairs to my husband and we spent an hour trying to get family and friends on the phone, but we were not succeeding at all. Finally we got back in front of a television (still in Italian) but were able to see what was happening back home.

We were devastated and couldn't reach anyone we knew. Luckily we did finally reach a few people and found out that everyone we knew was safe.

All we wanted to do at that point was come home to be with our family and friends, but we couldn't fly home until the 15th. We tried to enjoy the rest of the honeymoon the best we could. One thing I would like to say is as strange as it was for us to be in another country while all of that was going on back home, everyone we came in contact with in Italy was so friendly and sympathetic. It at least helped a little to be around such compassionate people.

We talked to people in the airport for hours while we were waiting to board our flight, people that we never would have talked to for that long, but Americans were searching out Americans just to feel a little closer to home.

I hope that the patriotism that the USA is feeling remains as strong as it is today and my thoughts and prayers go out to all those who lost someone they love, I can't imagine what you're feeling and only hope that with time you can move on and live off the good memories that you have with that loved one.

God Bless America

JM | 27 | New Jersey

#2090 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I go to Stevens Tech in Hoboken, NJ, though I'm not from around here. The college is small but set on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River, and has a awesome view of lower Manhattan--we're a little under two miles away from the World Financial Center. On a crystal clear day you can see NYC in near-perfect detail. My dorm is one of two on campus that has windows facing east, towards the city. At exactly 9:07 AM I was woken up by my roommate's brother pounding on the door. I answered because that's one of the few things that wakes my roommate up and we'd both been up late the night before. He said, and I quote, "You gotta come see this, the World Trade Center's on fire!" I stared at him for several seconds without understanding, but my roommate was out of bed and halfway down the hall before I even knew she was awake. (Our room is on the west side of the dorm...his was top floor, east side.) I took just enough time to throw on some more decent clothing than pajamas and followed. I spent most of the day either on Castle Point watching the WTC smoke (it was a clear enough day for us to see the flames from where we were), then fall, then smoke some more. I'm not sure when I started taking pictures, but I have a few of both towers and a lot of the second tower collapsing so it must have been early on. When I wasn't on the Point, I was at my computer, sending e-mails to my parents to let them know I was okay. (I wasn't actually, I was in deep shock, but they didn't have to know that...) I would have called, but the phone system overloaded and went down early on, and the cell phone tower was--you guessed it--the WTC. Sometime around 7 PM, my friend Monica got ahold of me. (She had been visiting campus from Oregon for a week--wound up staying two because she couldn't catch her train that was supposed to leave on the 12th.) Anyway, she said that volunteers were needed at the PATH station, because they were going to start sending the WTC ferries there because Jersey City was full. I didn't know what I could do, but I felt I just had to do something. It felt like half the city of Hoboken turned out to help that night. The workers there separated us according to what languages we could speak (in case we needed interperters), those who knew CPR or first aid (I've had disaster training but my card was out of date), and those who didn't belong in the other groups. Half a dozen of us volunteered to go back up to Stevens and collect clean linens that might be needed. It was kind of funny...out of the six people, five were students, and all of them were from different dorms. Made things a lot easier. We got so much stuff from students (who like us, wanted to do anything they could to help, even if it was to give us a clean towel) that we had to get the campus police to drive us back because we couldn't carry it. After that, everyone was sent home because we didn't get as many people as we expected/hoped. I stayed up late, because I was afraid of what my dreams would be like. Eventually, though, I did fall asleep because of the stress of the day and the lack of sleep from the night before. This was the last thing I thought that night, which I wrote down as my hope for the futere: "And when this day which forever changes our lives is over, we sleep only from exhaustion. When that blessed reprieve is over, may we wake to find a world not so much changed as we fear it might be."
~Carrie Andresen, 9/11/02

Carrie Andresen | 20 | New Jersey

#2087 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002

My Name is Rebecca. On September 11, 2001, I was at Washington School doing some work for my teacher. Then at 9:00 in the morning we went to the library. When the Twin Towers got hit we didn’t know. We knew something happened when everyone was going home from school with their moms and dads. At that time we were sad and wanted to know what happened and why everyone was going home from school with a parent.

When we left school we found out what happened and why everyone was going home with someone. At first I didn’t really get why everyone was crying and why it was all over the news. My sister told me that it means a lot to New York and everyone in the United Stated and around the world. Then I got a little sad about it all.

I think what they did is something most people will never forget. Some people that lost there loved ones will never ever forgive the people that did this horrible thing. I think what they did was mean and rude. I think most people want pay back on these people that were part of this.

Rebecca | 10 | New Jersey

#2086 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
Note the following comments:
The first time I heard about 9/11 I was in school. I found out about 9/11 because my fifth grade teacher brought us to a room and told us. When I found out I thought they were kidding around. After awhile they let us see the news. On the news I saw the North tower being hit by the hijacked airplane then the South tower was hit. Then after an hour went by the two buildings collapsed. This is what I found out about 9/11.
by Jeanette of Bergenfield, N.J.

Jeannet | 10 | New Jersey

#2083 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
We were already among the shellshocked. On September 11, my twelve-year-old son, terminally ill with cancer, was in Robert Wood Johnson's pediatric oncology unit, waiting for me to spend the day and night with him .................................. My husband had spent the previous night at Jake's bedside; I'd gone home to be with my daughter. As soon as she was off to school and I'd had a shower, I got into my car and began the journey I'd taken so many times: Up the Parkway, onto Route 18, my thoughts only of Jacob, hoping he'd had a good night, hoping he was feeling okay.......................... I had the radio on and heard the initial news report, minutes after the plane hit. Then a little later, one of the radio newsman said, "Wait, are they rerunningthe tape again? From another angle..?" The second plane had struck, and newscasters were momentarily confused. But after a few seconds they knew. We knew. That's when I grabbed my cell phone and called my husband. "Put on the news," I told him, "Two planes just hit the Twin Towers." I remember, I was in Marlboro, because a sign there says no cell phones while driving..........................

I got to the hospital, parked, and went up to my son's unit, just in time to see the first collapse. Jacob was sleepy, grumpy about the news being on, and while we fussed with his medications and other needs, from the corner of my eye I watched what looked to be a war movie set in Manhattan.
In the hallway, one of the other parents was pacing, looking shocked. He showed me the security pass dangling on his shirt. It was a pass for the 110th Floor of the WTC. If not for the serious condition of that man's daughter, he and his crew were supposed to have been working on a transmitter at the top of the towers. But his daughter, Julie, was terribly sick. So he wasn't in NYC.
A few weeks later, Julie passed away. A few months later, we lost Jacob. I think often about all the people who were suffering private losses even before our nation suffered this horrible event. I hope they are getting the help they need, even as survivors of terrorism get the help that THEY need. Love to everyone, may we all know happier days,...Susan

Susan G. Phillips | 42 | New Jersey

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