#1117 | Tuesday, March 26th 2002
The morning of sept 11th started like any other for me. I took my older children to school and came back with my 2 yr old, sat down to my email while the baby watched cartoons. My first email read "Those poor people in the World Trade Center! Turn on your news now!". So I walked over, with the phone in my hand and called my best friend to ask what was up? At first I thought it was an accident, then as I watched the news a man reporting the first plane had hit was standing and behind him you could see the second plane hit. My mouth fell. I told my friend I would have to call her back. My mom called telling me to put it on the news (I thought duh mom). By the time the next plane hit the Pentagon where my father usually works was hit. That was way too close to home for me and I called someone to go get my kids from school since my husband had our van. The kids came home and they had been watching everything on TV at school which left me having to explain (like I could) what was happening as they saw reports of their grandpa's work and co workers building on fire. In the end my parents lost atleast 3 friends in the attack. My heart goes out to everyone effected.
I pray I never have to explain this to any of my children again.

Val | 30 | North Carolina

#1058 | Monday, March 18th 2002
Tuesday, 9/11/01 8:50am, my wife and I were preparing for a visit to her doctor for a prenatal ultrasound.The telephone rang, it was a friend from upstate NY is calling to tell us a plane just crashed into the WTC. As we watched on the news we witnessed the second plane slam into the other tower. We knew this wasn't an accident but just like everyone else who was watching we had trouble believing it was real.
When the Pentagon was hit we knew someone had fatally misjudged us, this was war and we knew that surely this country wouldn't sit still for an attack like this.
Like so many thousands that tuesday we watched and listened and lost someone. For us it was our unborn child, the ultrasound was still.

NT | 38 | North Carolina

#965 | Tuesday, March 12th 2002
I was at work when the horrific events of September 11th transpired. A fellow IT counterpart messaged me
from Milwaukee and said the second building had been hit. I had no idea what he was speaking of since we
are a "silent" facility with no radios allowed. I messaged him back and asked him what he was speaking of. When he told me, I was speechless. I immediately got my radio out and turned it on. I cannot convey with words the feelings that ran through me. The sadness and horror cannot even epitomize my thoughts. I went home at lunch to get my little portable TV. The rest of the day I had fellow employees in and out of my office.

I cried that day. I cried for the people who were senselessly killed and hurt. I cried for the families
on their loss. I also cried because I knew now what direction our country would turn towards and I cried for fear of what the future would hold.

I actually won 100$ that day. I had bet a friend months before that something like this would happen in the first year Bush was in office and that we would be at war.

No one takes from the horrific events of the WTC and the pain that is there. But where does it end.
Does man continue to use war and destruction as a means to solve all problems? Do we continue to use
tragic events to further political, military and economic agendas.

I stand firm in my belief that there are many hidden agendas and if anyone has watched the recent events
and the Presidents press releases, the plan is slowly unfolding as to what the real design is. It was never
for Bin Laden. It just provided an opportunity to put the plan in motion and to get the backing of the American people. The next marks are slowly being leaked to the public...maybe to let us know...maybe to see what our opinion would be.

I stand firm on that yes the people responsible for the WTC bombing need to be held accountable. I stand
firm that collateral damage or sacrifice as we like to term it now, is sad but necessary is wrong. If
anyone looks back through the last 20 years, the military and economic sanctions have done nothing to bend policy or oust heads of government. In reality they have killed, maimed and harmed millions of innocent people.

By our own definitions of terrorism [FBI, DOD], we are terrorists in our own right. We are no better than those that we condemn. We just justify it better.

The FBI has defined terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

The Department of Defense also defines terrorism as, “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives.” Where does this place the U.S. in the scope of a terrorist?

Are we not by our actions in Afghanistan and elsewhere, such as Iraq, using violence and military/economic action to force and coerce civilian populations and governments for political and ideological objectives? Are we not decimating a population in the name of democracy, free will and war on terror?

President Bush has stated, “America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.” I bow my head in silence whenever I hear this. For while our country may justify all of our past, present and future actions in the name of peace, as Albert Einstein so aptly wrote, you cannot simultaneously prepare for and prevent war.

I know our country is great. I know our country affords me the opportunity to voice my opinions without fear
of reprisals. I know our country allows me the day to day luxuries that are privilege and not found in some
countries. I know our country allows me to go to universities, hold a job and walk down the road without having to move for a man or lower my eyes. I do not dispute those facts. The freedoms and opportunities that our country allots us are intrinsic to the basis of what our society stands for.

But while I love our country and think America is great, I will not totally and blindly believe everything
that our government says nor will I absolve them of any culpability in the ill feelings that some nations
harbor against us.

President Bush states that we must rid the world of the evildoers, root out all evil. I often wonder if he realizes the context of that remark. For if one looks for the evildoers in all affronts for terrorism, one must also look to those within the US and the US government. For decades the United States has befriended, funded, trained, armed, worked along side of and supplied those they now deem worthy of this life’s expulsion.

While we are still reeling from the horrific tragedies of Sept. 11th, we should not let it blind us into unilateral decisions that affect a world population.

I do not have the answers as to how to govern a country or a world. But I know in my heart that if we all do not come to other means aside from death, there will soon be no world on which to look upon. The world will be void of that which we deem capable of intelligent thought.

Since man begot man, the thirst to conquer, control and to covet have led him on a quest to destroy all that is.

If all governments, including ours, truly wish for a peaceful world, actions other than the bombing and destruction caused by machines of war will have to be used.

susan lane | 39 | North Carolina

#697 | Tuesday, January 29th 2002
I was still asleep when the phone rang,
my brother said to hurry up and turn on the TV. What I saw changed my life forever.
I'm down here in North Carolina now,but I'm from NYC. Everyone except my immediate family is still there. I have a family member who's a NYC Firefighter, he was seriously injured. Another family member worked in the WTC, but the subway was running late that morning, she saw the first plane hit.
When I saw what was going on, I felt numb, was it an accident? How could that happen!? Then the second plane hit.... I cried. I NEVER cry, but that morning and for a long time after I cried. "My God, what did they do?" that was all I could say over, and over. I felt disbelief, my heart was broken,I was afraid, and then I was angry. I tried calling my family in the city, I couldn't get through. I called my sister at work in NJ. They had the perfect view of the WTC from their office. The receptionist answered, she was crying. Nothing seemed normal.Everything seemed sureal.
I cried, my heart was broken, "Look what they done to my home, my city, my family...all those people! Why God, how could they do it?" and I cried...
My husband is in the military he knew at that moment he had a job to do and would be leaving VERY soon...he was right, and then I felt resolve.
Here we are four months later, I still mourn for all that we lost. I mourn for the innocent, I mourn for the heroes, I mourn for all those families that are forever changed.
I still cry whenever I see news footage or read stories about that day, but now mostly, I'm just mad as hell.
God Bless America!

Diane Knight | 34 | North Carolina

#682 | Sunday, January 27th 2002
I was in my 1st period English class. My teacher was at a wedding in Texas so we had a substitute that day. He had gotten a call on his cell phone from his wife. After a minute or two he rested his forehead on his hand saying "Oh my God." All of us in the classroom stopped talking.

He ended his phone conversation and announced to us that the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. It seemed odd to me that a plane would run into a building of that size and magnitude. My friends and I started to debate about how this could have happened. Something must have gone terribly wrong.

A few moments later, our teacher had gotten another phone call. This time was worst then the last. He announced to us that a second plane and ran into 1 of the World Trade Center buildings. Now, I knew something really wasn't right. All of us grew silent.

The lunch bell had rang and a few of my friends and I ran down to the media center to see if they had the TV's on. Of course they were. We watched it all unfold before our eyes. Pictures pouring through the screen of 2 planes crashing into the buildings. Watching the smoke billow out of them. Then, without warning, the buildings started to collapse. Some teachers watching started to cry. Others gasped.

I then realized that my brother was supposed to be coming home that day by airplane from Boston. My heart jumped into my throat. I jumped up and ran to find a phone. I called my mother. She assured me that my brother was okay, that he had called about 10 minutes ago.

I prayed that day. I prayed for all of those lost, and those who lost. For those who were helping. I then knew that America would rise from those ashes. We will stand as one nation and fight the evil that had damaged our great land. America will prevail.

Adam Watts | 18 | North Carolina

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