#985 | Tuesday, March 12th 2002
Living in Hawaii the morning of September 11 unfolded while we on the islands were sound asleep. I like many others was awoken out of bed around 4 a.m. by the ringing of the phone. My husband answered and I knew by his voice something was wrong. When he hung up he said it was my sister who had called and that the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon had been "bombed." He then rolled over and when back to sleep. It took me a minute to register what he had said and just to be clear I asked again what happened. To my horror he repeated the same story. In the dark I searched for the remote and turned on the television thinking I would find CNN or Fox News for what was happening. But, I didn't have to look that far it was on every channel. Horrible images of a plane slamming into the World Trade Center and fire billowing from the other tower. At first I thought it was a small commuter plane, but as I listened to the news I realized that was a jet airliner I saw. Within minutes of turning the television on I saw the first tower collapse before my eyes. I didn't look real, I felt like I was watching a movie. All I could say was "Oh My God," over and over. My husband hugged me for comfort but it didn't help all I could think of were the lives lost and I was a witness to it all.

It wasn't long until our phone was ringing constantly, my husband serves in the United States Navy and almost immediatly the military began working toward a defensive movement. In the days following September 11, I didn't know if my husband would come home each night. And, if he did come home I always feared with him he would bring news of deployment.

I think what amazed me most about the day was that we lived 5,000 miles away from the nearest point of devestation yet family and friends called to see if we were okay. Somehow that day people forgot about themselves and only worried that the ones they held dear in their heart were safe and okay.

September 11 is a day I won't too soon forget. None of us will.

Jane Sims | 26 | Hawaii

#937 | Monday, March 11th 2002
I came into work at 8:30 that day and heard on the radio that a plane had hit the WTC. I thought it was a little accident with a small plane, but a few minutes later someone told me to go to CNN.com and I saw the gaping hole in the building. I went to the fire escape of my office building on 31st street and watched the towers burn. As time went by, people kept coming out and telling us "The pentagon blew up" and "they got the Supreme Court". Obviously people were in shock and reacting poorly. All but myself and 2 people left the fire escape by the time the first tower went down. I stood in frozen shock. I grew up right outside NYC and have lived here for almost 4 years so those towers were a mainstay in my life, like NY's two front teeth. Seeing them fall made me cry, shake, fear for my life and just horrified. What I didn;t realize at the time was that I witness the deaths of over 2000 people. When that hit me a few days later, it absolutely broke me down inside. We may move on, we may rebuild, we may be happy again when we root for the Yankees. But we will never forget, we will never understand, and we will never ever be the way we were when we first woke up on Sept 11 2001.
Craig Werwa | 26 | New York

#912 | Monday, March 11th 2002
Well, there's another "peace loving" Muslim spewing the very same nonsense that brought forth these evil attacks. You A-rabs talk a real good game, but now I've got a challenge for you, Ibrahim of Egypt. Come to the United States and stand at Ground Zero and say those words.

Not only are you supporting the zealous, murderous pigs who attacked my country, but you are a coward to boot. You're nice and safe with your fellow terrorists over there in Muslim-land. Come to MY country - the great United States of America - and say this, you disgusting terrorist coward. I think there are a lot of New Yorkers who would really LOVE to hear what you have to say - and to give you a proper New York response of their own.

To my fellow Americans, this SWINE is what we are up against. They are not sorry about what happened to us. You needn't take anyone's word for it...you have Ibrahim here. This particular piece of scum can't wait until we get attacked again simply because we are allies with Israel! Remember that if you remember nothing else, my friends..

Stand strong, be proud and thankful every day that we are Americans. We will be victorious over those who attacked us. I constantly thank God in Heaven that I am an American. My friends, never forget September 11th.

And finally, Ibrahim, two things -

First - what have you Egyptians done for the Palestinians? Oh yes, that's right. You wouldn't take them into your country. Your government knows they are a bunch of malcontents and troublemakers so they won't take them in either.

Second, my fine Muslim friend, we'll see who's left standing when the war is over... you terrorist-supporting piece of trash!

God have mercy on the souls of our murdered countrymen. God Bless the U.S.A. and her Allies! Long live Israel! Down with the terrorists!

Rob Smith - Proud to be a | 26 | Connecticut

#890 | Monday, March 11th 2002
I was a student at the Sorbonne, in Paris, and was waiting outside the building for my friends after the last class of the day. We had all just flown over from the U.S. the week before, as the semester had just begun. I saw my friends and we started to leave when a girl came up to us and asked us if we were American. When we said yes, she told us that a plane had just flown into the WTC and that the Pentagon had been bombed. I asked, "This must be a joke, right?", but no one answered. I was serious; I really didn't think that it had actually happened.
We ran anxiously to the cafe next door, which had a big TV by the bar. I couldn't understand most of what the newscaster was saying in rapid French, but I saw the second plane slam into the south tower and tears came into my eyes. Then the south tower collapsed as I gasped in complete horror. "My God, those people. All those people just died," I repeated, crying. The camera zoomed in on people jumping to their deaths from the other tower.
The other cafe patrons just looked at we Americans detachedly. In that one moment, we felt so isolated, so helpless, and so full of sorrow. Later, my friend from Scotland made a jab about how patriotic Americans were. "What do you mean?" I asked. "Well, you said that you cried when you heard about the World Trade Center." I could not even reply. In a foreign country, we felt as if no one understood that we were not crying for our country; we were crying for the loss of innocence and human life. We were crying about the existence of such hatred in the world. Our mourning was not nationalistic.
Since September 11th, my whole view of politics has changed. My naivete was lost. I never realized the animosity that other cultures harbored towards Americans held a root in history. Seeing my confusion after the attacks, my European friends finally sat me down at dinner and told me why they and their respective countries hated America. I was confused and hurt by the anger in their voices as they spoke of American oppression. Worse, I could not even defend my country against so many others all at once. It was impossible to do so, and they didn't want to believe me. These were my friends; how could they say that they hated Americans? I could understand if they had said that they hated our foreign policy, or a certain political or economic stance, but how could one hate a country and it's citizens?
The American Embassy in Paris warned us not to look or act too American, which confused us even further. Weren't we supposed to be proud to be Americans? Did they want us to hide? We ignored the advice and went on speaking English amongst ourselves and wearing little flag pins. We wouldn't have blended in anyway.
I was pleased by the immediate support of other nations worldwide, but disappointed by individual reactions to the September 11 attacks. People need to remember that we are all one human race, and that we all suffer from such acts of hatred. Terrorism stikes everywhere, and we all have to fight it together.

Olivia | 26 | Hawaii

#880 | Sunday, March 10th 2002
I am a 26 year old Canadian. I was watching tv when the news came on about the WTC. I watched as the second plane hit. Like the rest of the world who watched I was horrified. I was 9 months pregnant at the time and I had an ultrasound to go to that day. The whole day I couldn't help think that the world for my baby had changed. He was born 5 days later. He is happy and healthy but his birthday will forever be marked by that horrible week when the world became less safe. I hope I can tell him not only was it a sad time but it was a time the world came together to give each other strength. My thoughts and prayers to all who suffered and still suffer as a result of what happened on 9/11.
Kelli Buckley | 26 | Canada

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