#99 | Wednesday, September 19th 2001
I was walking out my door to work when I saw the aftermath of the first plane impact on television. The trade center was damaged and burning, although from the angle shown on TV it didn't look as catastrophic as it turned out to be.

My mother immediately thought it was an act of terrorism, but I dismissed that theory.. I remember saying that usually it's the simplest explanation. I said it was either an accident or somebody committing suicide. I recalled a story about a Colorado Air Force pilot who stole an A-10 warthog and crashed into the side of a mountain.

As I drove to work, I tuned into News radio 88 out of New York. I was startled to hear eyewitness reports that it wasn't a small plane, but rather a jetliner.. Still I thought the eye witnesses must have been mistaken. How could they identify an aircraft after seeing it for just a split second?

Then the shocking news came across on the radio. The newscaster said 'wait a minute, was that another explosion?' And at that instant an eye witness who was being interviewed a few moments earlier broke in and said, 'NO IT'S ANOTHER AIRLINER. I JUST SAW IT FLY OVER MY APARTMENT AND IMPACT INTO THE OTHER TOWER!' The shear terror in that man's voice frightened me... I just passed the stop light just before my office. I was in total shock and disbelief. At that moment I realized our world was about to change dramatically.

My first question was how did these guys get these planes? I figured they must have leased them or something along those lines. The thought of hijacking a commercial airliner didn't even cross my mind.

All I could do throughout the day was listen to the radio and attempt to connect to the internet news media. I heard the news of the first tower collapse over the radio. I just couldn't imagine the destruction that was taking place both in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.. To be honest I was expecting to hear about more crashes and destroyed buildings.

I went through the rest of the day in disbelief.. How could they destroy the trade center? How could so many planes at so many different airports become compromised? Why didn't our government with its multibillion dollar intelligence gathering systems know about this? How could our airports be so insecure?

All I wanted to do was help, yet there was nothing I could do.

I didn't see the towers collapse until the later part of the evening when I came home from work. I was ANGRY.. Angry at the animals who planned and executed this, angry at our government for failing to stop a widespread and coordinated attack, and furious at our airlines for the farce they call security.

I then thought of the thousands of innocent people who probably lost their lives, and said a prayer for their families. I've lost friends to car accidents, but could not imagine losing a close loved one so suddenly at the hands of another group of people.

As we move forward from this terrible moment in history, I pray for those who lost their lives or their loved ones, and ask G-d to help us all get through these troubling times ahead. Hopefully we will not see more innocent bloodshed on either side.

Lon Seidman | 24 | Connecticut

#73 | Tuesday, September 18th 2001
I woke up late. As such, I started my morning routine late and did not turn on Good Morning America as usual. While I was changing my 18 month old daughter's diaper, the phone rang. I figured I'd call them back since I wasn't able to get to the phone at that moment. A few minutes later, I turned on my television just in time to see the second plane hit. All of a sudden I knew who'd been calling: My mother, to tell me the news.

I called her and we cried for a moment. I realized my dad, working in a lab in NY, probably didn't have access to news. I called him. "Is this some kind of April Fool's joke?" In his famous April Fool's joke, he'd convinced his wife that the leaning Tower of Pisa had toppled and so he figured this must be along the same lines. "No," I replied, "It's not April." He said he'd call me back and did so a few minutes later. "This is huge," I remember him saying. There hadn't been news as important since the Cuban Missile Crisis, he recalled.

I called my husband, on his way to work. "Turn on your radio. There's been an attack on the World Trade Center." My husband, a United States Marine reservist, was quick to comply. "Oh my God."

My mother called again, the Pentagon was under attack. "Hilary, Jack is going to get called to war over this." Now it was my turn: "Oh my God." We just had a new baby a month and a half ago.

The rest of the day was a blur as events continued to unfold. I screamed as the towers collapsed. An hour later, I took my older daughter to the doctor's for an appointment. The entire staff was huddled around a radio. The mood was eerie. The nurse told me about another hijacked plane that went down in PA. I thought about the children on board and hugged my daughters tight.

The next 4 days were spent watching the television news, praying and thanking God that the massacre appeared to be over and crying everytime a sad face appeared on the screen asking for help in finding a 'missing' loved one.
My heart now swells with pride each time I see Americans waving flags and singing in unity. It was a small thing to most, but I also felt a surge of pride to see four Marines remove our undamaged Marine Corps flag from the wreckage of the Pentagon. Amid the disaster, it remained untouched by flame.

Now, a week later, we pick ourselves up and return to our lives unchanged but for a new feeling of patriotic unity and a collective resolve to make those responsible pay for this.

Hilary Johnson | 26 | Connecticut

#67 | Tuesday, September 18th 2001
I live in Connecticut near the shore and often vivst New York and family living there. I was sitting in my first period class getting ready to leave when the principal came over the pa system with a message I'll never forget..."Today America is under attack. The World Trade Center and Pentagon has just been hit by planes. That is all the information we have now. We will keep you up dated as more information comes in. Thank you." They school litteraly broke down froom there, students crying and fighting for phones whos lines were over 30 people long. Some had gone to the libarary where there is cable to watch the news and the eventual collapse. I went with my friend AJ to a teachers class to see what information was avalible online. As soon as the site finished uploading we saw the terrible sight of the towers and people. When I saw those photos I got physically sick but tried not to cry. AJ however was bawling and ran. I spent the remainder of that day under the sink in the girls lav with my best friend trying to convince her that her father wasn't there.
Isabella | 15 | Connecticut

#48 | Monday, September 17th 2001
I was in my fine arts appreictaion class when i found out... as soon as i had slowly learned all the horrifying facts, it began to sink in. I didn't know anyoine.. but being so close to a sub base and so close to new york i was nervous.... what if we were next? AS the day unfolded i got ahold of a good friend of mine in the marines.. and knowing how passionate he was to fight for his country made me feel better.
I feel now our country needs to go back to nomral. Even though the stock exchange plummeted today we need to continue to living a normal life... but live it with a deeper feeling of patriotism, and love for americans and our country, whether they be arab american, african americans or whatever americans. EW are about freedom and no one will take that away from us.

Azrael D'Vega | 19 | Connecticut

#47 | Monday, September 17th 2001
When this all began to happen, I was sitting in study hall, listening to music and talking to my friends. The principle came over the loud speaker and told us the news. At first I was in disbelief, I felt like I was in a bad movie. Then I got worried, my dad frequents the DC area and he was supposed to go that week sometime. I found my sister and we figured out that my dad was supposed to go the next day, Wednesday. The rest of the day went on in disbelief. I couldn't fathom anything that had happened, until I got home and saw the images on TV. I now see how great every one is being to each other, not counting the discrimination and hate crimes. I feel pain for those that have lost someone, as well as for those whom others are hurting because of the race they are. I know we will pull through this incident, and it will make us stronger. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!
Eileen | 17 | Connecticut

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