#1151 | Wednesday, April 3rd 2002
My partner and I were on holiday in Italy and had just arrived in Florence that morning, I think there is about six hours time difference between Italy and NY. We were looking to buy some English books as we had read all ours on the train. We finally found a bookshop called Edisons in the afternoon and they had two huge televisions screens which were showing live feeds but only with Italian subtitles - the only words we could recognise were Casa Bianca (White House), Pentagon and terrorist but the pictures were telling the story. We watched the second plane hit the tower live. The TV audio was only available through headphones upstairs, and there was so many people queued for the English translation. Some people were relaying what they were hearing in English back to those people waiting.

There were so many Americans in that store, and they were watching, some crying, some speechless. At one stage I remember an American beside me watching and saying that normally you couldn't see the building that was on TV because the towers were in the way. Then another American arrived who translated the subtitles into English for the group of about 20-30 people that had gathered.

Finding any news out in the next few days was really hard, all the English newspapers would sell out and the internet cafes were packed with people logging on to CNN for updates. We did still get to NY exactly two weeks after the attacks and went to Ground Zero to pay our respects.

Jenny | 31 | New Zealand

#962 | Monday, March 11th 2002
I was in a hotel in Billings Montana, sleeping when I received a telephone call from my mother to turn on the T.V.
I turned on the T.V. and watched in horror the events that were unfolding that day. I could not believe what I was seeing. I was awe struck. My heart was very heavy and thought "who could have done this". I was deeply sadden to see the twin towers on fire and then eventually crumble. I felt as though the US was under attack and I needed to get home in Utah to be with my family. I felt a sense of urgency to call my wife and tell her that I loved her and I hope she was ok as well as my family. I was up in Montana for a funeral of my grandfather who had pasted away two days earlier. I also what he would have thought about this whole ordeal. I am not sure what he would have thought but I know he would not have imagined this was happening on our soil. As the events unfolded, I felt scared, uncertain and above all, I thought the world would be in WW III. Some other thoughts that ran threw my head were thoughts of my newly born son that was only 6 months old. I hope he will never have to see war in his lifetime. I also felt the saddening of the people in the towers. Then we heard there were firefighters, policeman and others in the towers it just made me sick to know that were in there and might not come out alive. If I remember correctly, I beleive I said a prayer for my family and those in the towers. May God bless those who have given their lives in the line of duty as well as each and every one of those victims in the towers and planes.

Lance | 31 | Utah

#955 | Monday, March 11th 2002
I was at home sleeping in. Being on the west coast, it was just before 7am when a friend of mine called from Denver and said, "They have attacked the Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon." As he began to tell me this, I was still somewhat incoherent, but as soon as he mentioned the Pentagon, I sat bolt upright and said, "Holy s***! Were at war!"

I ran into the TV room and watched as just as the President came on with his first announcement. I did not move from the TV for the rest of the day. I watched as both towers collapsed and when the reports of the 4th plane crashing in PA. I could not believe that all of this was happening. I never thought anything like this could occur in our country.

That night I went outside and the sky was clear, there wasn't anything but the stars and a single aircraft in the sky. It was an F-16 flying cover over the Los Angeles area. It was then that it sank in that it wasn't a movie, all of the days events really happened.

We will move on, but we will never forget.

God Bless America

Chris Peak | 31 | California

#911 | Monday, March 11th 2002
My husband and I were touring the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg, Austria. We figure at the moment the first plane struck we were looking at a giant marble column in the assembly room of the fortress about which the tour guide told us the chuck missing from the column was struck by a cannonball that came flying through the window during a battle a couple hundred years ago.

We were told by two giggling teenage girls that seemed to delight in being able to tell another group of Americans that their country is being attacked. We assumed the girls were right that something had happened but didn't think they had the correct information becuase that kind of thing just doesn't happen in the United States. Needless to say, we rushed back to our hotel to see what the news said...and sure enough most of what the girls said was true. We arrived back at the hotel just in time to see the first building collapse and proceded to watch the television coverage for the next 4 hours straight in bewilderment.

Even though there was nothing we could have done if we were home in Colorado, there was a huge sense of helplessness of being out of the country. It just didn't feel right. I must say that the staff of the Hotel Bristol in Salzburg are amazing human beings. They were so kind and sympathetic; we were touched deeply by their kindness. We ate dinner in the hotel restaurant that night and one desk clerk came up to us, grabbed our hands and said "we will get through this together. Austria may be a small country but you should know that we are your friends and this wasn't just an attack on your country but on all of us." We all cried together.

Leanne | 31 | Colorado

#886 | Sunday, March 10th 2002
I woke up at approximately 7:15 am Pacific Time on the morning of September 11th, before my alarm went off, in my apartment in San Francisco. I went out of my room to go to the bathroom, and I heard the sound of the radio in the living room down the hall. It seemed odd to me that my roommate would be listening to the radio in the living room early in the morning. When my roommate heard me in the hallway, she called out: "Turn on your television!" At that time there was a TV only in my room and not in the living room. She and I went into my room (I was still in my boxer shorts) and I turned on the TV. Immediately I saw the image of one of the two World Trade Center buildings on fire (I found out soon from the commentary the first one had already collapsed). About ten minutes later, the second tower collapsed live on television. I believe we were listening to Peter Jennings.

I could not believe what I was watching, and sat there stunned. I called my boyfriend and my mother. The commentary said that the Pentagon had also been hit and that there was a car bomb at the State Department (which turned out not to be true). My roommate and I watched TV for over an hour. Her co-workers called and told her they weren't going to work, and she shouldn't either.

Eventually I drove to my job at Stanford University, listening to the radio the whole way and driving on a boulevard rather than the freeway for some of the way because I felt too emotional to drive in freeway traffic. When I got to work, I was told the library might be shutting down and that I didn't have to stay at work. The bookstore had already closed. I went to my father and stepmother's house, and the three of us watched the news for the rest of the day and into the night. I spent the night at their house because I couldn't face driving home that night.

A few days later, I found out that a distant acquaintance of mine (who I hadn't seen in five years) had died in the tragedy, on the 101st floor of the first tower hit.

Brett McKeon | 31 | California

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