#1221 | Sunday, April 28th 2002
I think that it is not important where I was that day...but where so many others were.

To the passengers on the planes, the business travelers and vacationers. Some dozing, others reading...Just an ordinary flight on an ordinary day. To the pilots, flight attendants, and air traffic controllers...Just doing their jobs.

To the workers in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon...from the VP's to the CEO's, the receptionists to the janitors, the waitstaff to the stockbrockers, the security personnel to the accounting clerks, the cooks to the sales agents, the military personnel to the highest ranking officers...Just doing their jobs.

To the firefighters, EMS, and policemen who went in to help others get out. To the ironworkers who rushed to the scene to start the search and recovery effort who wanted so badly to find any surviviors...Just doing their jobs.

To Alan, who lost two nieces and only found one. To Anthony, who lost his twin brother. To Lisa, who saw her co-workers thrown out the windows from the impact of the crash. To Andrew, who could smell the aftermath from his apartment for months. To Jill, who ran down the street with her four year old daughter in her arms with not so much as a dollar in her pocket or a uniform for work, would not be able to return to her apartment for months.

To Pete Bielfield, a firefighter that left a note for his family in his locker knowing he may not make it back. To Terry Hatton, a firefighter who hugged a friend in the World Trade Center lobby and told him to take care of himself because he may not see him again. To Bill Butler, Lee Ielpi, Pete Bondy, Marty McTigue, Dennis O'Berg, and John Vigiano of the fire department who returned to the site day after day in search of their sons and their department brothers.

I think of just how much we lost that day...I think of it every day. May we always remember the ones that were lost...May God bless the ones that survived...And may we not allow history to repeat itself.

Kathy | 30 | Florida

#1207 | Thursday, April 25th 2002
i was working at the albanycounty airport as a securitygaurd my job is to keep the people from being hit by the screwball's that drive throught there on 9-11-01was a normal day or so i thought i was talking to one of cowoker's when my boss came out and told us that two planes just hit the world trade center and the world stood still and by 9:40am the faa had shut downevery airport in the usa and boy were people were pissed and two this day the airport is at level-3carbomb alert and people are being real jerk's about it to and iam sick and tried of the whining and crying because they can't get thereway to bad if you have the me first attuide save we don't need it it has been a nightmare out there since that day i thought i was going to die on september 11 2001 and i still think going to at time's but people are rude and crude all becuase they can't sit by curb or leave there car's and all i can say about that is to bad if you leave you car in front of the airport it will be ticketed and towed like it or not growup people this a whole new world we live in now and if you don't like the new set of rule's at airport's call the faa or stay home i don't need your shit not at all love it or leave it thank you
kevin toohig | 30 | New York

#1177 | Friday, April 12th 2002
I was just getting off the mid shift. I am an air traffic controller at Los Angeles Center. A co-worker came in at 6 AM PST to take over my RADAR position and said a plane hit the WTC in New York. I thought it was a small aircraft with an inexperienced pilot who misjudged his altitude. When I got home and turned on the TV I still had no idea what was happening. I asked my wife if she wanted to watch the WTC burn down. Just then, they showed the second tower being hit by a large aircraft and I knew something was terribly wrong. My first thoughts were; How could this happen? And then, This was no accident. I was very tired from work, but still watched for almost 3 hours. After the first tower collapsed, I turned off the TV to try to get some rest. I layed in bed thinking; "God help those people in the buildings, the fireman trying to rescue them, and all the Air Traffic Controllers who are dealing with this right now. Things will never be the same in America again."
Mike | 30 | California

#1117 | Tuesday, March 26th 2002
The morning of sept 11th started like any other for me. I took my older children to school and came back with my 2 yr old, sat down to my email while the baby watched cartoons. My first email read "Those poor people in the World Trade Center! Turn on your news now!". So I walked over, with the phone in my hand and called my best friend to ask what was up? At first I thought it was an accident, then as I watched the news a man reporting the first plane had hit was standing and behind him you could see the second plane hit. My mouth fell. I told my friend I would have to call her back. My mom called telling me to put it on the news (I thought duh mom). By the time the next plane hit the Pentagon where my father usually works was hit. That was way too close to home for me and I called someone to go get my kids from school since my husband had our van. The kids came home and they had been watching everything on TV at school which left me having to explain (like I could) what was happening as they saw reports of their grandpa's work and co workers building on fire. In the end my parents lost atleast 3 friends in the attack. My heart goes out to everyone effected.
I pray I never have to explain this to any of my children again.

Val | 30 | North Carolina

#1057 | Monday, March 18th 2002
September 11, 2001 was our son's first day of preschool. We aren't big TV watchers, so the TV was off and the CD player was on. My husband was going on a hunting trip on Thursday, so I thought I'd check the weather forecast on our local newsbreak on the Today show. I heard the words "crash" and "World Trade Center" and paused to see what was happening. At that time, Matt Lauer was talking to a woman in a building near the WTC, when she said something to the effect of "Oh my God, another plane just went by!" and I saw the fireball come billowing out. I realized that I was watching, at the very least, hundreds of people dying, and my legs collapsed. My sweet, innocent son came in and said "What is that, Mama?" and I started sobbing. I was absolutely at a loss as to what to say. All I could do was hold him and watch in complete horror. Shortly thereafter (I believe), the 3rd plane hit the Pentagon, again on live TV. Our preschool said they would continue on with the 1st day, to give the kids something to concentrate on besides the obvious. I dropped my kiddo off with much trepdation in my heart, knowing a couple of hours away from this would be a good thing, but not wanting to let him out of my reach.

As I continued on with my morning's errands, I heard the report of Flight 93 going down in PA, along with other (thankfully false) reports of planes going down. I wanted to call everyone I knew, but also did not want to have to maintain a conversation with anyone. My husband was in a meeting and I couldn't reach him - there was not anyone else I thought I could speak to with the pain I was feeling. As I assembled the gear for my husband's trip, I saw first one, then the other, tower go down. I heard the horrible report that people were jumping from the building. I heard the usually glib and cool Today show hosts overwrought with emotion and stumbling around for words to describe this terrible turn of events. I still am in a state of disbelief about this entire event.

I did not follow the subsequent days of coverage very closely, as I did not want my 4 year old to be inundated with the devastation, but at one point he asked why those planes kept flying into that building. My thoughts were consumed with him, and our youngest son, who was just 7 weeks old at the time. I wondered if the world was going to continue, as I knew we would have to retaliate against whomever was behind this. I wondered if they would get to grow up, or if life as we know it would be over in the near future - I am ordinarily a total optimist, so these thoughts were completely foreign to me.

Like everyone else not directly affected by September 11th, we have gone on. I do flash back to that morning every time I see a plane angling through the sky, and I do try to watch a bit of the news coverage on events (such as the 6-month anniversary), as I think keeping this terrible atrocity fresh in my mind helps me appreciate the abundance of happiness in my life, as well as the fragility of it all.

God bless America and the families devastated by 9/11.

Vicki | 30 | Idaho

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