#299 | Wednesday, November 28th 2001
Written on September 11th:

Years ago, on what must have been my second or third trip to New York City, I sat on the top of a red double decker bus on a tour of the city. As we made our way through downtown, I craned my neck up to admire the glow of twin towers reaching to what seemed infinity against a clear and intensely blue sky. It's one of those visions that becomes permanently etched into your memory.

Today, many more memories have been engrained into my mind's eye for years to come. The sight of a commercial airliner ramming into the second tower of the World Trade Center was mortifying. All I could imagine was the people on board of each of these planes, the people inside the WTC, the Pentagon, and all of their families, and what they must have felt today.

It may sound crazy, but I've been wishing I could be there to document this day with images. Every time an event such as this takes place, I can't help but crave the chance to get it on film. I want to be there now, shooting off rolls and rolls of film one after another, documenting everything. Not as a spectacle, but as a moment in our history... for people to understand, years from now, the essence of this tragedy. I suppose that is why my calling is photography.

I was at a loss to see those marvelous structures fall, and all the people trapped inside going down with them. And I thought about that day, as I sat there in the crisp air peering upward towards those twin masses. To watch them be completely destroyed on television seems surreal, at the very least. As I watched the towers and all the people fall, my heart dropped with them.

As I stepped outside my house today, I turned to see the American flag waving in a soft breeze, glowing from the backlight of the sun. I stood there for a moment in silence, watching it dance in the wind. It's hard for me to know how to feel or what to think at the sight of the national flag right now. So instead, I took a moment to think about the citizens involved in today's disaster, all the vivid images I absorbed from the light of the tv screen. But there is no thought that you can give to those thousands and thousands of people, other than the hope that many more lives will prevail than those that have perished, and that the death toll will remain as low as possible in the aftermath of such a tremendous tragedy.

Lane | 19 | North Carolina

#278 | Friday, November 23rd 2001
I'd been laid off on September 10th, and had spent the early morning hours of the 11th bitter and angry. I was awoken around 10:30 AM by a phone call from my aunt, who breathlessly said, "Did you hear?"

"No, what?"

"A plane struck the World Trade Center."

She then went on about some computer problem she was having, but I didn't really hear her. All I could think about was getting online, checking the news sites, seeing what had happened. After I helped my aunt with her computer problem, I logged on, and tried to find information. Details were sketchy at best -- all the large sites were down. I turned on the TV to CNN, and watched the images, over and over. I couldn't look away, but at the same time, I couldn't bear to watch.

I spent most of that day talking to friends on AIM and reading what news I could. My own troubles paled in comparison to what was going on. I cried a lot that day, for the people who had died and the people who had lost someone they loved. I realized that day how lucky (and happy) I was that I was alive, with everyone I loved safe and sound. It wasn't that way for a lot of people. To this day I'm almost thankful that it happened, because it brought a nation together and made a lot of us realize how fragile life is.

Jeni Grant | 23 | North Carolina

#129 | Friday, September 21st 2001
happening
. what s

burning

on the stove of america?
..see all that
(smoke). . dense

in our eyes

(please) give us more
.. pacifier lies

the world s whore

'america under attack'
fight back.too late.
.someone else decided
my fate.

----------------
[i was walking to second core.english. a plane had hit the world trade center. then another. and i spoke: wait.youmean.this was a kamikaze type of thing? and indeed it was. my mother teaches at my high school.i ran to her room.asked her if she had talked to dad..i grew up ten minutes from the pentagon before moving to nc. a lot of my childhood friends became orphans that day. and whitney turned 17. end.]

joy richard | 17 | North Carolina

#107 | Thursday, September 20th 2001
I was on my way to class that morning when I heard on the radio what was going on. At first I didn't know what to think...if this was some kind of joke or what. But, at the beginning of class instead of going through the usual lecture we turned on the t.v. and watched both towers come down without saying a word. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop....not to mention how scary it was that this was actually happening. Like everyone is saying, it was like watching a scene out of a movie...thinking none of this was real and that nothing like this could ever happen to our nation.
Amber G | 22 | North Carolina

#76 | Tuesday, September 18th 2001
I had just woken up, it was 9am. I turned on my television to CNN as I did every morning before, but this day it was different. On the 14" screen was a picture of the World Trade Center with one of the two towers ablaze. I was shocked, but I immediately dismissed it as an aircraft accident. I turned to my restroom, picked up my razor, and began to shave and prepare for my day. I watched the screen and listened to the commentators attentatively. Suddenly, I saw it: a second plane came into view of the camera and rushed head long into the second tower. I was devastated. This was obviously not an accident. I contacted my friends, family, everyone I knew over the next 30 minutes to an hour to update them. I cried off and on during that time.

I was in New York City in November of 2000. I saw the World Trade Center. I marvelled at its splendor and gawked at how amazingly huge it was. The week before the terrorist attack, I had visited Toronto and went up the tallest building on Earth, the CN Tower. It all hit home. Without proper retalliation for this attack, our skyscrapers will forever remain a target to the hatred and blackened hearts of our aggressors. One of the greatest moments in my life, visiting the CN Tower and going up it may possibly be something that the world will be frightened to experience themselves moving forward.

Jody Williams | 22 | North Carolina

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