#1736 | Saturday, September 7th 2002
It's funny how you can commit every detail about a specific day to your memory, isn't it?

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was a senior in college in DC, living in an off-campus apartment close to the zoo. My 3 roommates and I were in the process of getting ready for work and classes; one of us had already headed to an internship on Capitol Hill. I had just sat down with my Lucky Charms when my roommate got up without a word and turned on the TV - she had gotten an IM from a friend that something was going on in NYC.

It took us a couple of minutes to realize what we were watching wasn't a movie, and a few more minutes for it to sink in that this was no accident. Confused, we started making phone calls - home, to friends in New York, you name it. I still could kick myself for making the offhand comment to my mom that "at least it's not DC." We sat glued to the TV, half-attempting to keep getting ready and debating whether we should even bother.

Another roommate had just left to go to work - blocks from the White House - when reports started coming in that there was a fire at the Pentagon. My remaining roommate & I just stared at eachother - and grabbed phones again. "Mom," I had to say, "they hit DC..."

I knew that obviously, our puny apartment building wasn't a target - but I sat there terrified, listening to (what turned out to be false) CNN reports that a car bomb had gone off outside the State Department, and that there were fires on the National Mall. Worst of all, we began hearing that there was another plane headed for DC. They didn't know where it would hit, but kept saying it was coming. I can honestly say I never felt so insignificant in my life: no matter what I did, I had no control over what was going on. I would watch the tv, then watch the window, half-expecting to see a plane come hurtling down. Had Flight 93 made it to DC (as I believe it was intended to) I know my roommates would have been in a horrible situation: that plane would have hit either somewhere on Capitol Hill or the White House.

As they began evacuating downtown DC, and things still looked completely uncertain, we tried to track down our roommates while friends, classmates & every family member from here to Florida started calling our apartment. It was a mess - the lines were jammed, there was no signal, it was pointless. We were all fine, fortunately. My one roommate was taken from Capitol Hill to Maryland with co-workers; the other walked most of the way home from the White House after they closed Metro stops. I never made it anywhere, after I called work and was told to avoid the Metro at all costs.

By late afternoon, we were all back in the apartment and trying to figure out what to do with ourselves. We ended up on the rooftop of our building, watching the Pentagon burn - some of the blackest smoke I've ever seen. It was almost surreal, hearing sirens and seeing nothing but military helicopters flying above. The streets were dead, all of the businesses and restaurants shut down with little signs: "God Bless America."

We alternated between cleaning and eating, flipping stations to make sure we weren't missing a thing. It got to a point where I couldn't watch any more, but I was too nervous to sleep. I wonder sometimes if people realize how tense it was in DC for weeks ... we were warned about gas attacks on the Metro, car bombs, suspicious trucks, you name it. Arab governments (the UAE in particular) sent government planes to fly their students home - one guy got pulled out of my Cross Cultural Communications class in the middle of the afternoon. It was nerve-wracking for awhile.

Forget 9/11? I don't need television specials to remind me. I'll never forget.


Jen | 22 | Ohio

#1721 | Saturday, September 7th 2002
I was 21 and a senior in college a year ago. I was in my apartment the morning of Sept. 11th, 2001 getting ready for class. My roomate was doing the same. We both had music playing & no televisions on. Then, at about 8:50 central time, our phone rang. A few mintues later my roomate yelled to me to turn on my TV- her mom was calling saying that our country was under attack. I turned my TV on & just stared in horror at what I was seeing. It didn't even register what was happening, it was like a dream. My roomate came into my room & we both looked at eachother then stared at the TV again.

I grabbed my phone & tried to call my parents, but the phones were dead. There was a dial tone, but the call wouldn't go through, it was very creepy. I knew it was probably because so many people were calling everywhere to their loved ones at that point. Finally I got through, and while I was talking to my dad, the 1st tower collapsed. I said to my roomate "What do we do, do we go to class?". We decided to walk to our class. I still remember walking past the ROTC building and seeing the American flag at half staff. Seeing that flag at half staff had a whole new meaning to me...I will never forget that image.

God Bless America.

Kristy | 22 | Wisconsin

#1675 | Thursday, September 5th 2002
I was in school on 9/11/01. It was my last year of being a nursing student. After break, a fellow classmate came into class saying something had happened, that the World Trade Center's were gone. I didn't comprehend at the time what had happened, and didn't until about 3pm when I got home. In five minutes flat I saw what had happened during the day. The first tower being hit, then the second, then the pentagon, the second tower collapsing, then the first .... I sat in horror. I thought, all those people..they all just died. I could not understand. I cried. I felt a sadness that I had never felt before. For days and weeks and months, I had to know about the people who survived, the people who were lost, the towers, the pentagon. I was trying to know so much because I was trying to understand, trying to find reason. I now know that there is no understanding. There is no reason. Only the realization that we need compassion and patience all over the world. We need to look at each person we know and love them for who they are, and try to erase the anger and hurt in the world. We need to have love in the world ... even if it takes closing our eyes each day picturing the horrifying events of to remind ourselves. We cannot let these people who died, go without being remembered. We need to take the strength of the survivors, of NYC, of Washington and PA. We cannot forget.
Tammy Keddy, Registered N | 22 | Canada

#1659 | Wednesday, September 4th 2002
I am from Israel , here we know a lot abour terror.
on 9/11 I was on my way to pickup a friend of mine , on my way I heard 2 people saying : "NOW THE AMERICANS WILL SHOW THEM" , I didnt know at that time... 2 min. later I heard another girl talk with another girl ,asking her if she know about the "TRAIN CRASH IN THE US" - I didn't know at that time .
I pickedup my friend and asked him if he knows something about the "TRAIN CRASH IN THE U.S. and if the americans will show them (the ppl who made the crash) " - he said that he doesnt know.
we turned up the radio and heard :"... NOW ANOTHER PLAIN .. IN THE WTC..."
we were SHOCKED !!!

Dan Rubinsztain | 22 | Israel

#1621 | Friday, August 30th 2002
Some things just happen in our lives. They impact on us and we mourn them. But nothing will ever impact more on our lives and our hearts than that fateful, unexpected occurrence, in New York City, on the dark morning of September 11th.
The whole world stopped in its tracks and simply asked, Why? So many innocent peoples lives were taken from them that morning and I don’t think the world will ever forgive those involved in creating this horror. History had been changed at the hands of pure evil. If evil had a perfect definition, they would be it! Nothing will ever be the same.
But the world stands strong. We are all very powerful in showing how much we care. On September 11th, we may cry. But those tears tell a thousand words that we can never even try to describe verbally. They will be tears to remember the lives lost, the families of these people, and the brave people that risked their own lives by rushing to ground zero, to help others. Our hearts go out to you all.
Let us, as a nation, join the rest of the world, in helping to create more peace. Let good over power the strength of evil. Let us join and remember that morning of September 11th.

KATE ROSELER | 22 | Australia

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