#433 | Monday, December 10th 2001
I was leaving my office to go home. It was my oldest son's first day of pre-school, so my wife and I were going with him. As I stepped out of my office, the guy across the hall told me that a plane had hit one of the towers, and that they weren't sure if it was an accident or terrorists. He had a photo from CNN.com loaded and I saw it and then left.

When I got in my car I tuned to WBZ in Boston and heard that there was another plane that hit the Pentagon. My first thought was, "Oh my God, the country's under attack!" My mind started to wander too far and I thought about Washington being attacked and then LA and how any center of power would be a target.

When I got to my house, my wife and my mother (who had come to watch our other 2 sons) were there with very distressed looks on their faces. We didn't say anything because we didn't want to alarm the kids in any way, but our faces spoke volumes.

I ran upstairs to try to get some info from CNN on the television in the bedroom, and I saw the video of the tower collapsing. I've never been to NYC and have never seen the towers in person, but it sent chills down my spine to see that huge building fall to the ground.

The car ride to pre-school was very quiet, and luckily we had Raffi playing, so we didn't talk about it. It was a very unfortunate event to associate with my first son's first day of pre-school. The image of that tower going down is forever etched in my mind.

Joe Traverso | 33 | Massachusetts

#410 | Sunday, December 9th 2001
At the time I was living in Nashville, TN. That morning was very strange. At 6am I watched on the TV that the Fed was goi to announce a recession. I was about to cancel a job interview, but decided to go anyway, needing a job at the time and the position was easy enough. I was on my way to a job interview on a law firm when the planes hit. I couldn't believe it as I heard the broadcasts. Everything just changed. Tension was felt on the street. When I arrived at the law firm, the junior partner was in tears. My interview went well despite the news playing on the background. I was on and started that Friday. My ex called me from the UK to see how I was doing. Our relationship was pretty much over, but it was nice of her to call and to care. I tried to email my friends and relatives in the NYC area. They were OK. One of them Liza, emailed me her version of events a few days later. I stayed on my apartment all day, listening to the newscasts, surfing the web and making sure my friends and family were alright. I dealt with disbelief, numbness, but not anger. I knew what was going to come. The only thing I can say about this whole thing is that we say to the world we do this in the name of freedom and what we do is put out legislation that curtails that. My heart is always with the victims and we should've dealt with the Taliban long ago. Also keep in mind that again, we end up fighting an enemy we created in the first place. The world has changed indeed. Remember that freedom is also the freedom to have a different viewpoint than the official version. Take care.
J. E. Roman | 33 | Puerto Rico

#386 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
I had been at work since 7:00 and was in my office trying to catch up on some work. I had told my wife earlier that day that I would meet her at the gym around 11:00 unless something important happened. Around 8:45, one of my coworkers paged me and said I needed to get down to her office, something was going on at the Trade Center in NY. We watched her small B&W tv completely stunned and then in total disbelief as the second tower was attacked. The feelings escalated further with each new report: the Pentagon, the downed plane in PA, and worries of other flights out there. Needless to say, I called my wife and didn't meet up with her as everyone at my office spent the remainder of the day at work glued to the tv and wondering what would happen next.

Having spent 3 years overseas in the military and having seen the way other countries protect themselves against such terrorist attacks, I was stunned that it could happen in our country but not too surprised. We have paid a terrible price for our overconfidence and inflated egos which took our safety for granted in this country. Now it's time for us to correct those mistakes and find the people responsible for such pain and tragedy. My heart cries for the victims of that terrible day.

I wish our men and women of the military the best of luck in doing their job in a quick and safe manner. Go get 'em guys!!

Bob | 33 | North Carolina

#306 | Saturday, December 1st 2001
I was home at the time from work due to a foot injury.When my friend called me at 9:02 am and told me to turn the tv on.What came on the screen took me almost 5 minutes to comprehend.I could not believe this was happening.All the years i have and been delivering to the center and around Manhattan.I felt guilty to say i was lucky when we now know how many have perished.When you see it on tv and then happen to pass the gravesite words cannot explain the pain ...
Paul Rebello | 33 | New York

#284 | Sunday, November 25th 2001
I live in Manhattan and went to visit my boyfriend who lives in Long Island, a suburb of NYC. I was going to leave the night before, but it got late, so I stayed. I am a late sleeper and woke up at 12:30 in the afternoon to find my boyfriend downstairs crying. “What’s the matter with you?” was my question. As he came over to me with tears streaming down his cheeks he put his arms around me and said, “They blew up the Twin Towers.” As he was hugging me the TV was in the background and I watched footage that they were repeating over and over again of Tower I being hit by a plane and then Tower II; then the horrible image of the buildings collapsing. I initially went into shock, maybe for a few seconds, but it seemed like an eternity to me, and then I started screaming my best friend’s name who worked there “JOYCE ….. JOYCE ….. JOYCE …. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I was furious that my boyfriend did not wake me up, but he said that this was probably the last good sleep that I would get in a long time, and he was right. The skyline that I look at every day is forever changed, and so is my life.
Joyce Ann “Cookie” Carpeneto never made it out of the building (Tower I; 83rd Floor), nor did any of her co-workers. I thought if anyone would get out, it would be her, but alas, life is fleeting and we are merely flesh and blood and no matter how strong our constitution, a terrorist attack like this one managed to kill thousands.
I miss her so much it hurts. I had just talked to her two days before the attack and we were supposed to see each other the next weekend. This was to be our last telephone conversation and she asked me if I would send in a resume to her company so we could work together once again, as we had years before (as well as being roommates). I told her I would think about it and that I loved her so much for thinking of me for the job.
It is so hard to put into mere words how someone so special can come into your life and then be taken so swiftly and savagely in the name of a so-called “Holy War”. Joyce was the most gentle soul that I had ever known. I will never be able to thank her enough for being my friend and for teaching me that life is so precious; I truly feel blessed. I was once loved by one of the most special people in all of New York; in all of the world. I will keep her in my heart until the day that I perish and hope that we end up in the same place of peace, God willing.

DianaHalle | 33 | New York

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