#972 | Tuesday, March 12th 2002
I live in the mountain time zone and woke up about 6:30, which was 8:30 in the east. I took a shower and distinctly remember how well I felt. I just had a deep feeling of well being that morning. As I showered, I remembered an odd dream I had during the night. In the dream, someone was trying to call me from an airplane...

I was in the kitchen making breakfast when my husband turned on NPR on the porch. He said something about a plane crash and went toward the television. I hate TV and snapped that we would be fine with the radio and please don't turn on that "idiot box" so early in the morning. But on went the TV and soon I was glued to that awful billowing smoke from the first tower. Then, we saw the second plane hit.

Later, I realized that while I was watching events unfold, my brain was not comprehending what it saw. My mind kept going to the place where everything is alright. "Well, there's a lot of damage, but they'll fix it." When the first tower fell, even though I was watching it, I DID NOT SEE IT FALL. It wasn't until later in the afternoon that I realized both buildings were gone, despite having watched them both come down numerous times.

We covered all the bases during the day--calling those we knew who might have been affected and it turned out no one we knew personally was directly involved on any of the flights or in any of the buildings/neighborhoods. But everyone certainly felt the impact.

I am grateful that we had the leisure to stay together all day and we mostly stayed at home with our cats. We went for a walk in the afternoon and stared at the plane-free sky. We were numb and scared.

In a way, I'm sorry that the focus went so quickly to our war overseas. I think a lot of people right here in the US are still trying to comprehend that awful day and the war almost seems distracting. We need a healing that overseas victories will not provide.

Phoebe Kestrel | 35 | Colorado

#971 | Tuesday, March 12th 2002
I was getting ready to take my kids to school, when they both started complaining loudly about a news bulletin that interrupted their viewing of "Magic Schoolbus." After picking my jaw up off the ground at what I saw, I piled the kids in the jeep and turned on NPR news. Admittedly I was far less forgiving than I could have been when my son resumed his complaining and screamed at me to turn off the news. After dropping the kids off at school, I arrived at work, and joined a large group of people watching one WTC tower collapse on CNN, live. My boss called a meeting to make sure everyone in our group was present and accounted for, and to give us all emergency/security instructions. None of us could get any real work done that day; we all just wondered outloud if we were in WWIII now.
Andy Keen | 38 | Colorado

#966 | Tuesday, March 12th 2002
September 11 started like any other day for me. I work at an Elementary School and we all were getting ready for the day to begin and taking precautions just in case. I went outside to do my normal duty as the cross walk person and I got hit by a car who did not stop at the stop sign I was holding. I went down in pain on the ground I did not get his liscense plate number, I only got his car make and model. I just recently had surgery on my knee for that injury. For the past 6 months everytime I would take a step I felt so much pain I never thought I would be the same. I am in recovery and going through therapy right now and I feel so much better. I do realize the events of that day were hard for so many and I could never feel their pain of losing someone they loved or cared so much about, but I do have a strong feeling for this day that I am going through that so many of my friends and family are having a hard time understanding. I will always have a place in my heart for this day for myself and for so many others who have lost. God Bless.
Debbie Purcell | 33 | Colorado

#960 | Monday, March 11th 2002
When I woke up that Tuesday morning a report I heard on my clock radio stated a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. At first it sounded as if it was an accident, much like what happened when a bomber crashed into the Empire State Building by accident during World War II. I showered, dressed, and went to work. I only have a four minute commute to the high school where I teach Social Studies at, so I did not get more information from the radio.
I was still thinking accident when another teacher came into my office and said the other tower had been hit, My only response was an expletive. Our department decided to put a television in the study area for students to watch the news. I put a sign under the TV letting students know there was counseling in the main office. I watched as young people held hands, hugged, and cried. We all know it was not an accident, but an evil act perpetrated on innocent people. The bell rang and I had to go to class.
After the first part of class I asked my study hall if they would like to go to the study area to watch the news. They said yes. Before we left we shared the news and rumors we had all heard.
When we got to the study area a crowd had gathered. My first thought as I watched the horrifying images on TV was, where's the other tower? As if he read my mind a student said it had collapsed. I was in shock. Then on TV the second tower fell. That's when I cried. I didn't know if people had gotten out. I was thinking that it could be America's bloodiest day. that it could be worse than the 23,000 lost at Antietam during the Civil War.
After hearing that the Pentagon was hit and another plane crashed in Pennsylvania, but may have been targeting our President, I was worried for my country. Some group was trying to decapitate my government. We were at war. I looked at all the young faces around me and I could see their fear mixed with anger and frustration. We were unable to act, we could only watch. I left the room to call a friend of mine. As we talked we discussed how we were at the Monday Night Football game between the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos at the New Mile High Stadium the night before. It sounds selfish now, but it was an eerie feeling knowing we were at a nationally televised event with 76,000 other targets. It was chilling to us. The day's events sure made sports far less significant. We finished our conversation and I hung up the phone. I called my Mom and Dad and told them both I loved them, I couldn't think of anything else to do.
The rest of the day I absorbed the news, and tried to teach, but my and the student's hearts were not in it. Students asked me if they would be drafted. A few kids had parents or other relatives in New York or in Washington, DC. One girl's brother was already overseas with the United States Marine Corps. I only wish I had the answers and words that would ease their fear and pain.
On my off hour I listened to Tony Blair's speech and was heartened that our country had such a great friend and ally that is Great Britain. I made sure to print out copies of Blair's and President Bush's speeches to use later.
When I got home my Australian cousin, Ross, called me from Sydney. We talked about the day's events and other things and he made a joke that the only time he ever calls is when disaster strikes. One of the last times he called was just after Columbine. He assured me the Australian people were with us and we left it at that.
That night I stood outside and watched the stars. It was strange not hearing planes, not seeing contrails in the twilight, or flashing beacons up in the sky. By this time shock and fear were gone, I was angry. That anger has now turned to resolve. We will win.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families as well as the brave men and women defending us overseas.

God Bless America

Christian Shute | 32 | Colorado

#922 | Monday, March 11th 2002
I remember on 9/11/02, I was getting ready to go to work, and as usual, running a bit late. A friend was picking me up since my car was getting fixed. It was just after 7:30 am Mountain time, and I was finishing my hair when I heard Katie Couric on the Today show break into the normal morning news. When they reported that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, I thought for sure that it was a complete accident. Maybe something went wrong with a plane from La Guardia or Kennedy, and the pilot couldn’t help it. So I sat down to see the footage of the first building on fire, and that’s when the second one hit. I still remember the collective gasp you could hear on the Today set. At that point it was obvious that this was no accident.

About that time, my friend arrived to pick me up. She came in the house, and we just sat in front of the T.V. Forget work, this was WAY more important. My friend is from Long Island, and we just watched the T.V., horrified. We eventually got in the car and made it to work, where it was eerily quiet. At least half of the 500 employees at our office are NY transplants, and a great majority of them were gathered around the one T.V. in the building that would get outside channels. People were calling NY, trying to find their loved ones; many people were crying because they couldn’t get a hold of them. Any calls that we tried to make to our Long Island office were met with a busy signal. The only means of communication with them was via e-mail. The company issued several updates as the morning went on about the tragedy. What a horrible, horrible day.

Around 10:00 am, my boyfriend came to pick me up to take me home. No work was happening, and we all kept thinking, “Where are they going to strike next?” We didn’t feel safe anywhere, and mostly just wanted to be with our loved ones. We spent the rest of the day watching the horror on television.

During this time, I continually thought about my friend’s husband, who is a fireman in Queens. I didn’t know for sure if they would go over the bridge to help or not. Turns out he was there, and when the buildings started collapsing, they just ran for their lives. It’s probably the only thing that saved him.

Since then, I’ve been amazed by the amount of patriotism that I’ve seen. Coming from a family who’ve fought in WWII and Vietnam, we had always held our country in such high esteem. But the outpouring of pride in our country continually blows me away. Driving to work each morning and seeing flags everywhere, and signs that said “God Bless America”, filled my heart with pride. It’s good to know that even in these days of slackers, tabloids, scandals and isolation that our country can come together as one.

As I write this on the 6-month anniversary of 9/11, I have one other thing to say. To those who decide to use this site as a political forum, I feel sorry for you. Sorry that you can’t live in a country where unity and freedom are cherished, and where adversity is always met head on.

Shannon D. | 28 | Colorado

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