#1684 | Friday, September 6th 2002
I was walking into the cafeteria of my college that morning. I saw two of the ladies who worked there were walking out, talking rapidly--snapping, really--at each other. I look around and see the several people who had managed to get up staring at the television. I asked another worker there what was going on. She said, "A plane crashed into the Trade Towers." "WHAT?" I said. I shot my glance to the TV...and that was it.

I tried calling home (I go to college in Vermont, but I'm from rural Massachusetts), but the phone was busy. I went outside and asked someone what the hell was going on. She didn't have a clue.

I went up to my lounge and found everyone there staring at the television as more stuff happened...it was all so confusing...finally, I got home to my parents. They had been calling my sister (who lives near Boston, MA) and my uncle (who lives just a couple blocks from where the Towers were). They were all okay.

Fucking Bin Laden...excuse me.

Barry Lee Dejasu | 20 | Massachusetts

#1619 | Thursday, August 29th 2002
I was at work in Boston and just finished sending some research via e-mail to our London office when I saw on my Bloomberg screen a red news flash of an apparent airplane crash into the WTC. I remember being in shock for a few seconds and then I saw a colleague run by my office towards the Trading area where there is a television. I ran to the Trading area where everyone was quickly congregating and the television cameras were already focused on the WTC from a rooftop in midtown Manhattan. Black smoke pouring out with a beautiful blue sky as a backdrip. At this point the television commentators were guessing that a small plane had crashed into the North Tower. I kept thinking that the hole looked awfully big for a small plane. I ran back to my office to call my sister. I called a friend in New York where I heard people screaming in the background "Oh my god - people are jumping from the tower". I told her she should be getting out of her office and out of the area. I went back to the television and all of a sudden we witnessed the second plane crash. Joe S. a trader, said "Oh my god I think that was a 767 jetliner". Kate G. another broker confirmed that Lehman Brother brokers were telling her dozens of people were jumping from the Towers. Things moved very quickly at this point; hijacked planes, missing planes, and finally the Pentagon being hit. My office is in the Financial District of Boston directly across Logan Airport. All during this, fellow colleagues, were just grabbing their stuff and leaving. When the Pentagon was hit, Sean R. gave the word for everyone to immediately leave. By this point most of the people in my office already had left. We're on the top floor of the elevator bank that serves my floor. On it's way down it stopped on every floor and on every floor the elevator bank was jammed with slightly panicky people saying things like "Oh no that elevator is filled too" or "I'm taking the stairs - I'm not waiting anymore". When I got to the street, it was very surreal. It was like being in one of those 1950's "B" movies where people are running in the streets away from monsters. People were running to and fro. I had never seen anything like it. When I got to North Station to take the train home, the crowds were already spilling out the door because the concourse was jammed. I was very lucky to get on my train. It was here on the train that I head the unbelievable news that the Towers had collasped. People were crying and clearly in shock.

What I most remember of that terrible day was how beautiful it was. A gorgeous blue sky day with a hint of Fall in the air. I will always remember the horrors. My thoughts and prayers go to all those who lost a loved one that day.

John Murphy | 41 | Massachusetts

#1547 | Thursday, August 15th 2002
Later that day on September 11th I found out the buildings were being attacked while I watched the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. I was on vacation with my boyfriend. The sun slowly rose as tourists from all over the world stood around us watching in silent awe. During this beautiful display I thought as a lifelong Bostonian how the West had it's own kind of 'American history': the land. The gorgeous ancient rocks, mountains, and water and looming skies which I marvelled at each morning and night. There was a deep sense of my mortality under the black skies of night in Arizona where one could see billions of stars and barely any rocks a few feet ahead of you, the land is so dark at night. There were no clustered New England trees to hide under. Just the giant timeless sky. I felt so small. And so on what was a peaceful moment for us in the West watching that sunrise back home hell had broken loose for the country, and in many ways the world at large.

I found out about the actual WTC & Pentagon attacks and casulties upon hiking back up the Grand canyon to the hotel. (You climb down into the Canyon to begin the hike and you hike backup to end it). I had a feeling of connection to nature and a slight euphoric feeling from the hiking. That soon came to an end as the woman in the little bookshop by the edge of the Canyon informed me of what had happened. She began to cry and said "I have to tell you something but I don't know how to begin. This feels like a movie. You may not believe it at first but it is the truth. It's on the news. MY family back in NYC have confirmed this. We are under attack."


"America is under attack. The WTC buildings are gone. Blown up. Destroyed. The Penagon is hit pretty badly. People are missing and dead."

I was in shock. One sentence kept repeating itself in my head. This is unreal. This is unreal. I had to get to the hotel room and look at the news!

I left and walked halfway to my room. I could hear the mumblings of shock, dismay and the numb discussion of the events from everyone around me. You could tell the Americans apart from the Europeans and others because we looked the most wounded - or the most angry. Eventually most people, regardless of country of origin milled around in the coming days with mutual horror and indignation.

I never cry in public. But I could not get to the room in time. I broke down in a flash of anger, then despair and my body was wracked with sobs. I felt complete sorrow and had the thought 'how can my generation (twenty somethings) deal with something like this? Vietnam is so far removed, the Gulf War and Kosovo something that seemed almost like a world a part from us. Not some huge war like I or II or Korea. Who did this? And when will the next attack come? And back home in Boston and NYC - are my loved ones okay? What is happening???'

I had the funny feeling of being prepared to 'join up' in a war effort if I had to (like something out of the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked) and I am an artist and pretty liberal type person. I was shellshocked for many days. And it was hell being so far from Back East. Ofcourse the rest of my vacation was half spent watching the repeat news reels of Sept 11th. Hungry for any bit of information. Dismayed at the wreckage, the victims, the fact that some of the planes left out of Boston Logan airport, the place I had flown to Arizona from (on a California flight, like the Sept 11th planes) and how chilling it was that I could have been on that plane had I not had to change the dates of my tickets).

The sight of those huge structures going down and the people jumping and falling to their deaths was so frightening. I knew there was death and hate and war since the dawn of civilization but to be attacked on our own ground in the 21st century I think was a brutal shock to a great deal of us. Especially the younger generation, brought up with mind numbing commercialism, consumerism and an overwhelming relience upon technology and with a false sense of comfort.

In any event we still feel the loss and the cut in this country and abroad (I was very touched by so many tributes from so many countries) but it fades with time. We won't forget, no. But we have no choice but to live now.

Rebecca-Starr Price | 26 | Massachusetts

#1540 | Wednesday, August 14th 2002

I was at Parris Island, SC training to become a United States Marine. My platoon was busy buying things in the PX when our Senior DI called us all to attention and told us to gather around him. He then told us what had happened and immediatley every single one of us turned pale white. From that point on for all of us on the island, me especially, the training gained a new level of importance. I realized that it was all real and that is why I was there. I'll never forget that day and the days that came after it, the look on my Senior DI's face when he told us and the look of the rest of my platoon. It still brings a tear to my eye to this day every time I think about it

Jorge Herrera | 20 | Massachusetts

#1438 | Thursday, July 4th 2002
This horrible day will live in my soul forever. I'll never forget that fateful tuesday morning, when I slept in a little, turned on the TV and was shocked to see every channel showing the WTC with a hole in it, smoke coming out. I hoped it was an accident that a plane hit it, but I wasn't so sure. I am an American, and damn proud to be one. We are the land of the free, and the greatest country on earth. Exactly 60 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, we were fallen victim to an attack different from Pearl in every way except for the element of surprise. Being from Boston, I know people who had friends or family on those planes. One guy I know lost his brother-in-law to one of those hijacked planes out of Boston. A good friend of mine's wife lost about four friends on one of those planes. My father works in the city of Boston, and I worried nonstop, "will dad get out of the city before they bomb it?" I worried about my girlfriend's well-being, even though she wasn't anywhere near a major city or an airplane - I had no Idea where they could hit next, so who knows if my girlfriend is okay. I worried about all my family. What was running through those victims's minds when they were on those planes? There were little babies on those planes, imagine how scared they were! Thank God for our allies and our strenth as a nation. But I would like to say one thing - my patriotism never changed that day, I have always been a proudd American. And one special thing happened to me after the attacks - I befriended an Arab student living here in America who worked with me, and learned a lot about his culture, and that not all Arabs are our enemies, and that many arabs actually are as disgusted by 9/11 as I am. It is important to know that terrorists are an evil minority in the arab world. God bless America. September 11th is ugly not just because of death and distruction, but because it was the product of irrational hate towad a nation where everyone is free and equal. New Yorkers were not the only victims of September 11th, don't forget that many people from here in Boston lost their lives on those planes, as did those from Washington.

Mark | 21 | Massachusetts

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