#1853 | Monday, September 9th 2002
The events that took place on September 11the, 2001 changed America, and its citizens, forever. I remember watching the plane hit and thinking nothing of it and that it was just an accident. But when the second plane hit, the principal came onto the announcements and told us what was the matter. I remember my friend's father had left for New York City that day from Logan Airport. I remember her telling me how afraid she and her family were that he was on the plane that was hijacked, but fortunately he called that evening. When my family came home that day we went to a special service at my church held for the victims of the attack. I heard the news on the radio and the songs they played that were dedicated to the victims. Ever since then I've been afraid when my mother goes to work at Massachusetts General Hospital because we don't know if, where or when the terrorists will strike again. Our country is reminded of this day every day, whether it be on the news or the radio, or a friend or television program. It is an incident that needs remembering. These events did bring American closer together. However, it is unfortunate that it took such an incident to do so.
Julia | 15 | Massachusetts

#1830 | Monday, September 9th 2002
I was late for work that morning rushing through traffic and as I was walking in the door the first plane hit. As the news came of a second plane, and the pentagon my first thought was my family & friends and trying to account for everyone. And my next thought was how could this be happening here? I spent the rest of the day and next, at work, online, searching for a college friend that lived in NY and worked for Cantor Fitzgerald
It was amazing how many people were in the same situation, being a few hundred miles away in Boston, I connected with people from all over NY and elsewhere looking for loved ones, reaching out to anyone for new information.
A year later it almost doesn't seem real. Again, how could that have happened here? Where I've grown up and felt so safe. The simple fact is that it did happen,and the only thing forus to do is be the people that have made this country so great. No matter what happens to us here, whether it be by our own hands or that of hateful terrorists, we will always be the ones left standing, moving on and providing the rest of the world with vision & hope for freedom. It is the acts of love that occurred on that day(9/11/01)through rescue workers and everyday civilians, that have made us stronger. And me realize, it may have happened here, but the evil & hate that hit us that day will never hurt us again.

Stacy | 25 | Massachusetts

#1818 | Monday, September 9th 2002
I was working, just like any other day, when a colleague/friend told me. I thought he was joking, until he gave me a URL. I went to it and couldn't believe what I was seeing.

At that moment I felt time stop, and then I felt everything change. I didn't know in what way, but I knew everything would be different. Then time resumed, and reality set in. Then a mild form of shock. I didn't want to believe, but what choice did I have.

I called some friends in the New York area to see if they were alright. My friends were, but they all personally knew at least one person who was killed. Days later I learned that someone from my hometown, who was related to a friend of mine here, was also killed.

After my company closed for the day, I went straight home and attempted to eat something. I managed to eat a little. After watching an hour of the news I decided I wasn't going to allow those cowards to win. So I drove up to Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA. I ended up taking two black and white photos, neither of them very good.

On the way, though, I encountered an experience that has remained with me in amazing detail since.

I was at a stop sign and I had the choice of turning left or right. In front of me was a small monument and beyond that a sidewalk and then the ocean. There were two women, with their children, out enjoying the eighty degree weather. Two of the children were in strollers and the other three, two boys and a girl, about 3 or 4 were running around happily.

One of the boys had removed all of his clothes and was running around free as a bird when he decided that he needed to relieve himself. So, unbeknownst to his mother, he chose the monument at which I was facing and proceeded to do his thing. It was quite the contrast to the events of the day, and made me smile at the innocence, the lack of fear and the lack of understanding on what that day meant, and still means.

As I watched this, I again felt time stop, but the feeling I had that time wasn't one of dread or disbelief, but of hope. I couldn't help but laugh this sight, and neither could his mother and her friend.

Just then his mother noticed me and immediately blushed and ran over to her son, obviously thoroughly embarrassed that her son was defiling public property in front of stranger.

Her friend also noticed me and went into hysterics herself. So in an effort to assure them that I wasn't offended, I just smiled and nodded. There didn't seem to anything to say. I felt a profound sense of hope and encouragement that we as a nation, as a people, would not only make it through the tragedy, but that we would only become stronger.

And that sight, of the little boy peeing on a rock in public, still remains the most influential experience in my life. It serves to encourage me to live life one moment at a time, to live and let live, and to just be happy for what I have. That experience has enabled me to grieve when necessary, to laugh when laughter overcomes me, and to walk a middle path in the times in between.

greenbough | 32 | Massachusetts

#1767 | Sunday, September 8th 2002
I was in my senior English class at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School in Whitman, Mass, when a student who had been at the nurses office came in and told us to turn on the TV, we did, just in time to figure out what had happened. Immediately after, we saw the towers fall...

I later found out (almost a whole year later) that my best friend, an Australian, was supposed to be on the flight heading to LA... thank goodness she did not get on that plane.

Another ironic thing that I was told almost a year later is that my really good friend, who happens to be from England was at the top of the WTC on Sept. 10 and has pictures and her ticket of admission, they were the last admitted to the top of the trade center towers... she also has pictures of the towers on that day from the top of the Empire State building.

Ironic, yes, but I am more than thankful about these close calls.

This will never be forgotten...

Danielle Mooney | 18 | Massachusetts

#1691 | Friday, September 6th 2002
I was at a seminar at a local movie theater that morning. When we were on break at about 10:00 or so, I went out to the lobby to use the bathroom. When I came back out into the lobby, everyone was standing around the television out there. I went over to see what was going on, but the t.v. was full of static, so much so that it was difficult to make out the picture. However, I could make out the first Trade Center building with the smoke coming out of it. Rumors were flying about what happened, and it wasn't until we got back into the theater that the organizers announced to us what had happened. What a hard day it was to go back to work...I think I cried for half of it.
The commute home I will never forget. It normally takes about an hour, but they were just waving us through the tolls. The highways were almost empty, because much of the city of Boston had been evacuated hours before.
God bless all of those who were injured that day, who lost loved ones, and who worked so tirelessly and selflessly to help others. My thoughts are still with them, constantly, a year later.

Matthew Schena | 31 | Massachusetts

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