#1892 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I was at work on that beautiful September morning. I got a phone call from a co-worker who lived in Jersey City and was driving to our office in Fort Lee, NJ. She was hysterical, screaming that a plane had it one of the World Trade Center buildings. As we got off the phone, I couldn’t help but think to myself….what kind of idiot could lose control of a plane and hit a building. Of course, thinking that it was a tiny, probably private plane, and that everything was fine! Until I got back to my desk, just to find out that another had hit!! I was terrified!! I’ve heard the word terrorist before….but I’ve never had to use it or say it before 9/11…this was something that happens elsewhere, not here…not in the U.S.A.

There was one office on my floor that you could see the Towers from. I made me sick to see it. I could only look briefly. Just as the first tower fell, our office manager came around and immediately sent everyone home. I came to find out the very next day…that on 9/11, apparently there was some kind of threat on the George Washington Bridge….located right next to my building!!

The office was closed for the remainder of the week. There was no way to get to my building…the National Guards had every street closed!! When the office finally did reopen, the National Guardsman where at the GW Bridge 24/7. I have to admit…at first it really scared me!! But after a while, I really did appreciate the fact that they were there. I felt safe. I would watch them from my office window, as they pulled over trucks and vans to search. It just made me feel more at ease to know they were there…protecting us!!

Not only do I work right across the river from NYC, I also live there. One thing I will never, ever forget is the horrible smell that was in the air for days after the attack. I could smell it in the house, and it was 100 times worse when I stepped outside. That smell will always be with me!!

The emotions that I felt then that still remain will never go away. The anger, the hurt, trying to understand why anyone could hate us that much. The feeling of wanting to get revenge. Also the thought of all the helpless people in those buildings that had no options, no choices….those horrible thought will always be there!!

My heart goes out to all the people who have lost a mother, father, sister, brother, other family member, and/or close friend. September 11th will be on our minds and in our hearts forever!

T | 25 | New Jersey

#1889 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I was working that morning at our office in Camden, New Jersey. Their was no television just a tv/vcr. Could not get any stations. People were coming in the office that morning saying that WTC was bombed, airplane hit the WTC. Me and my co worker next to me. Could not believe it.

Since we had access to the internet on our computers I deceided to see what was going on and to my horror I saw the WTC on fire. I changed the station on my radio and heard the horror of what happen, what seem like hours I heard a plane hit the Pentagon, and almost and hour or so later another hijack plane landed in the fields in PA.

Fear and worry hit me when I heard all of this. I have family that live in Manhattan, Brookln, and Bronx. Several of my co-workers had friends and family working or living there. We were tring to get a hold of them, cell phones, pagers etc. were not working. Philadelphia and other cities were at stand still. The way we do things were changing right in front our eyes. Those who had younger childeren left early to pick them up, those that could, I was trying to reach my husband on his cell, but no reply.

I finally reached him and he was fine he also heard what happen on the radio.
I called my baby-sitter to see how everything was going. I stayed there till 4:30. I called my mother to see if she was able to reach any family over there in NY. Not yet she said.

I left work that day in horror, but searching for hope. I went home and received a call from a friend from church. We were told that they were open up the church that night. Several showed up that night. We shared, sang, and prayed. We comfort one another. That night my parents came to the church and was told that they got through to my aunt who lives in Manhattan and was a witness to what had occur earlier that day. That day hearts were mended and now my aunt believe in God and goes to church, reads her Bible and pray everything. The tragedy brought my family back together again.

We almost lost two family members during that tragedy, but God was with us that day.

I will never forget that day. I will always remember that day.

Valarie Cromwell | 36 | New Jersey

#1859 | Monday, September 9th 2002
At 9:00 I left my office in North Brunswick, NJ to drive to the main campus of Princeton House, the behavioral health division of the Medical Center at Princeton. I was supposed to attend a regular operations meeting and meet with my two immediate superiors. I arrived in Princeton at 9:30, having listened to the radio en route. The big screen tv in the main area of the facility was on showing both towers in flames. I went downstairs to my boss' office, he was trying to get to the CNN website but couldn't. We went back upstairs and stood with patients and staff watching the horror unfold on tv. When the first tower fell, I commented - somewaht casually - to no one in particular that I had a cousin who worked out of an engine company out of lower Manhatten and I wondered if he was on duty. Within a day or two I learned that Paul Beyer and three of his "brothers" from Engine Company 6 died in the collapse. He was just finishing a shift and was among the first to arrive at the scene. I went back to the outpatient site that I run and met with the staff and patients as a group then sent everyone home. We buried Paul in Staten Island..his home..on 5/31/02.
Marty Demarais | 47 | New Jersey

#1815 | Monday, September 9th 2002
I was sleeping. I remember hearing my dad slam the door as he came back from work. I just thought he had forgotten his lunch or keys or something like that. Little did I know he heard the news on the radio and turned around to see the live telecasts on TV. I was drifting in and out of sleep but I remember hearing my Mom, Dad, and grandma talking animatedly. I was hearing words like “Newark Airport” and “Los Angeles” and “crash” and “Twin Towers”. It wasn’t until my phone rang at around 8:50 that I found out what was happening. My boyfriend was on the line and he kept on asking me if I knew what had happened and he kept on saying “oh my God”. I put on the TV and began clicking around through the channels. I couldn’t believe a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers. I got out of bed and joined the millions and millions of people around the world watching the events unfold that morning on TV.
Danielle | 23 | New Jersey

#1814 | Monday, September 9th 2002
I was at work as usual. I received word from my wife, who happened to be home sick that day, that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I assumed it was a small, private plane that had gone out of control. I told several co-workers about it and they assumed the same thing. Some time later, my wife called me in a state of panic because she was watching on TV and told me that no, it was a jet, and the tower was burning. Soon after, we received word that a second plane had hit the other tower and we all knew that this was a terrorist attack.

Someone from my office ran home to get a TV and a bunch of us sat around in stunned silence while watching the images on the screen.

My personal reaction was one of absolute anger and desire for retribution. I cannot help it, that's the kind of person I am. That same day, I bought a car flag and promised to fly it from then on.

Every time I drive past the familiar New York skyline and see that the towers are no longer there, I feel a tremendous sense of sadness and then one of anger. I hope that the government and citizens of the United States never stop hunting for those who were involved.

Todd Staruch
Uniion, NJ

Todd Staruch | 34 | New Jersey

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