#1146 | Monday, April 1st 2002
Hello,

I have been searching for a forum to address the World Trade Center rescue activities during 9/11-9/18. The thing that stands out most about the this tragedy is the Gullian administration's, Bush administration's and the media's deliberate failure to acknowledge the efforts of Long Island's Fire Departments and the thousands of its members that participated in the rescue efforts. To this day the volunteer Fire Departments of Long Island have not received any recognition for the countless hours that they put into aiding in the search for survivors and the deceased. It is time that we are contacted and our experiences be allowed to reach the American public, a large segment of which doesn't even know that we exist. The annals of American History must truly reflect what went on that disasterous day and I would like to aid in bring this information forward. Just because we don't get paid to be in the Fire Service doesn't mean we should be ignored and excluded from the historical record. To allow this to happen would be an insult to the Fire Service and Volunteer Fire Fighters around the world. Justice must prevail for us all. Many of us did not get paid by our employers for participating in Ground Zero operations. I am certain the same thing happened during operations at the Pentagon.

What are your thoughts?

Nassau County Firefighter | 37 | New York

#1075 | Tuesday, March 19th 2002
It was exactly a week after my 1st visit to New York City. I usually caught the first 10-15 min. of the Today show before leaving for work, but that day I'd left a little early. I wish I hadn't as I never would've left the house. While listening to a radio talk show, it was cut in by a news story about the first tower - I was a little confused about what was going on as this station did not usually discuss such serious matter. When I got to work, we all gathered around the radios as we didn't have TVs at our disposal. I called my brother in CA and left him a message - it was still quite early there and they most likely wouldn't have the TV on. I was in shock but couldn't hold back the tears as I listened in horror about the attacks on our country, wondering what would happen next.

After 3 hours of listening to the radio, our CEO came on the loudspeaker and announced that we'd had a bomb threat and should all leave the building. I wasn't worried about the threat - I was just glad that I could leave and get to a TV. Going down the stairwells, I imagined what it was like trying to escape the towers. My 5 floors times 20. I don't think I have ever gone through so much stress nor shed so many tears in one week as I took in all the devestation.

I'd been so excited about my NYC trip that I'd brought in my film to get developed over that previous weekend. The pictures were ready on Monday but I hadn't picked them up. I didn't pick them up until Friday and I was a little afraid to look at them. I knew I had several pictures of the city skyline, taken on Sept. 3, and in particular one of myself with the towers in the background. It was bittersweet to view them, but the city was beautiful and I'll always remember it that way.

Gaela | 37 | Colorado

#995 | Wednesday, March 13th 2002
Like most people out west, I was sound asleep when the phone rang. A friend informed me that the WTC had been hit by a plane - I said you're crazy. I kept thinking this isn't funny, why would he say that? As we were talking the Pentagon was hit -- He just kept repeating "Turn on the TV, turn on the TV." I did and sat in disbelief for several minutes before I even thought to wake my husband. I was horrified. What we were seeing, there was no way to comprehend it!

I was certainly relieved that my sister, a flight attendant for American Airlines stationed in NY and living in Manhattan, had retired from the Airline that summer and moved permanently to live full time in LA. We have a couple of friends living in NJ, but they work in NJ, so we felt such gratitude that all of our loved ones should be safe.

Around noon (PST) we had a phone call from my mother-in-law informing us that my brother-in-law's fiancee had been in NY, staying at the Marriott at the WTC where she had a presentation scheduled that morning. My poor brother-in-law spent hours not knowing, unable to get ahold of her.

After the first plane hit, the Marriott personnel began evacuation of the hotel. As she was running for her life, the 2nd plane flew directly overhead and hit the 2nd tower. She kept running, nearly getting lost twice. Two different times she was stopped by passing New Yorkers and redirected away from the reckage. She was confused and disoriented by all the smoke and debris and people running. She linked arms with another woman and they ran together through Battery Park, and didn't stop until they reached water. They made it onto one of the last ferrys headed to Staten Island. There she met a nice man who let her come to his house with his wife and 2 college aged daughters. They took her in and kept her safe until she was able to leave the city the next day.

We are so thankful that we have all of our loved ones intact. I spent days crying, unable to believe that there are people out there so horrible that they would do this to innocent people. I didn't feel as angry about the Pentagon. Yes, I was angry, but you can understand the logic behind those madmen going after a military target. But why innocent people? They had to know we would go to war. Which makes it even scarier.

I'm not sure if we're safe any more, but I'm going on with my life. I will not let THEM paralize me with fear. We will all carry on and resume life, because to not do so lets THEM win and that would be yet another sin.

A week before the attack, our neighbor's daughter asked me What being an American means to me. She was doing a paper for social studies. The following is my response:

FREEDOM. Freedom is the first word that comes to mind. Freedom to do and experience things that others are not fortunate enough to even contemplate.

GRATITUDE. Everytime I read or hear about some of the attrocities that occur in other parts of the world (the Taliban in Afghantistan, Ethnic Cleansing of Albanians, the whole Israel-Palestine war), I am so grateful that I am an American.

KNOWLEDGE. I am confident that whatever we need, we can build it, we can create it, we will overcome it with knowledge and technology. We can do anything! We are Americans!

CARING. I know that there are horrible things that happen here that don't happen in other places, but I also know that those things are done by a few crazies and there are alot more caring driven people who want to help make things better, make things work.

As I sit back 6 months after the attack, I still feel so proud and grateful to be an American.

Debbie | 37 | Arizona

#959 | Monday, March 11th 2002
i was on my way to work and i was listening to howard stern tell of the events unfolding live from ny city.i pulled over n called my husband and i was crying n asking is this true?i never made it to work.i couldnt believe once i saw it on tv.i still cry every time i see anything on the wtc.......
kim | 37 | California

#901 | Monday, March 11th 2002
Dear American people: I just want to let you know what a lot of your media did not tell you. Do you know why was the USA targeted? why would someone kill himself in such a manner? There is no such thing as pure terrorism. The people who commited these attacks had a reason to hate the USA.
This reason is the unfair support of Israel by the USA against the palestenians who are living in miserable condition under occupation.
AMERICA WILL KEEP ON PAYING THE PRICE FOR ITS SUPPORT TO ISRAEL. I hope that this is clear to the american people who have been blinded by the Jewish-controlled media in their country.
God bless you all

H Ibrahim | 37 | Egypt

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