#573 | Monday, December 24th 2001
I don't have a TV, the only thing i noticed that evening was that it was suddenly very quiet in our students house.
The next day the math teacher said something important had happened, like the Vietnam war and the fall of the Wall. Finally i dared to ask, and later that day i viewed pictures on CNN.
I couldn't concentrate on the lessons anymore that day. I almost started to cry in the middle of the classroom while viewing these pictures. During the following evenings i noticed the city was very quiet, maybe because a lot of islamic people live in the neighbourhood.

Eric Brands | 27 | Netherlands

#567 | Sunday, December 23rd 2001
working at a construction site, sometimes you don't hear the daily news until the end of the day. That day, my wife, who works in television, called me and told me that a plane had crashed into the first tower. She was watching live television and giving me the details when the second plane crashed (on live television). I immediately knew we were being attacked. The question in my mind though was it terrorism or the beginning of World War III. I still don't know the answer to that question, but I hope it was a senseless act of terrorism and the guilty will pay. For the rest of the day we worked along side of the radio that was blaring out of a work vehicle, and it was one of the longest days ever. We all just wanted to get home to our loved ones. That day will always be etched in my mind, not as the day America was attacked, but when America had a major wake-up call that we are not untouchable and that freedom will not be easy.
Aaron | 27 | Kentucky

#514 | Tuesday, December 18th 2001
I am a high school Biology teacher. On September 11, 2001 we were having "picture day" at school. As I entered the auditorium one of my teacher friends told me that her husband just called to tell her that a plane had crashed into the WTC. I was horrified. At the time I thought it was just a horrible accident. It was my planning period so when I returned to my room I turned on the radio and found out several horrible truths. The first was that the other tower had been hit and it was a terrorist attack NOT an accident. I stayed glued to the radio. Several minutes later I heard of about the Pentagon. Another teacher friend of mind came in a little later and told me that he was listening to a different radio station and heard that there was a plane crash in Penn.

For the remainder of the day, as students came in, we discussed the events of the day. Some were hearing of it for the first time most were very moved.

The rest of the week was filled with patriotic events: moments of silence in the morning, we said The Pledge for the first time since I had taught at this school, we had a patriotic rally in "the square" at lunch, our art students made signs to hang on the football field and in "the square"

It was truly a moving experience to see so many young people showing such a patriotic side.

Shelly | 27 | Louisiana

#475 | Thursday, December 13th 2001
I was sitting at work, listening to the radio, when the first newsbits came. At first, the newsman said that a small plane hit one of the WTC buildings. They went to a commercial, and when they came back, we were informed that while the cameras were on the first attack, a second plane hit. I remember thinking at first that something went wrong with navigational systems and air traffic controllers, like some horrible virus. Then they broke in to say that a plane hit the Pentagon. I live in Baltimore, so that immediately hit too close for my comfort. Then there were reports of planes going down just north of us, in Pennsylvania. I started to be afraid. I didn't really know what to think. My office was going crazy. I tried to be the cooler head. I calmed people down and tried to talk sense to them. Eventually, my company told us that we could go home. I picked up my mother from work and drove her home, and then went home to my wife. I sat and watched CNN until I couldn't stand seeing the second plane crash another moment. I felt like I was going to vomit. I held my feelings together for a few days. I remember watching wrestling on TV that thursday. They started out by saying that we would not give in. We would not just roll over and play dead. They spoke the words that we have to live by. Then a singer performed our national anthem. And there I was...sitting in my living room with my dog, and I just started to cry. I cried for about an hour that night.

Several days later, I heard an airplane fly over our neighborhood, in the middle of the night. I jumped up out of a deep sleep, and ran to the window. I don't know what I would have done if it had been coming down, but I had to see. I had to be able to reassure my family that everything was ok. Now, 2 months later, I have the same nightmare every night. I am at the ocean or on a cruise ship, or something like that. I can look out my window and see the water. I see a plane blow up and fall into the water. Even though I wake up in a cold sweat, I know that it is only a dream.

I am relieved to say that I did not personally know anyone who was killed in these attacks. Nor do I know anyone who was related to one of the victims. It doesn't change the fact that this was horrible.

These people were living their lives. We should do no less. This simple act will not only honor their memory, but it will ensure that their unwitting sacrifice will not be in vain.

God Bless America!

Charles Ackerman | 27 | Maryland

#470 | Wednesday, December 12th 2001
Where to start? It's almost like it never happened, whenever I think of it. I had just hopped off of the PATH train which runs from Newark, NJ to the station underneath the World Trade Center. It was about 8:40am on 9/11. I normally don't go into the city on a weekday, but I was taking a training class for work for the whole week and decided on commuting instead of staying in the city. I walked out from the underground mall, thinking that I should stop by one of the stores on my way back and buy some clothes for myself. So much for that thought. I stepped out onto Church St after getting out of the complex and felt good. It was a warm, fall day, and everyone seemed to be in a good mood.. or maybe it was just me. I had only walked a couple of blocks south of the towers when I noticed everyone around me looking up. I was thinking it was unusual, since these were all commuters, and didn't necessarily look up all at once. I turned and looked up behind me to find the north tower in flames, smoke billowing out, and financial papers littering the streets around me like a ticker tape parade. I stared in disbelief, hearing everyone on cell phones around me reporting of terrorists in planes. It was then I realized, I had forgotten my cell phone, and nobody that I loved knew exactly where I was at the time. I bolted for my training class and reported what had happened, when a few minutes later on the 11th floor, we heard, and felt the second plane go by our building, on its way into the south tower. We spent the next 10-20 minutes calling our loved ones to report that we were safe. Not knowing exactly where safe was, and trying not to panic, we tried to resume class even though nobody could concentrate. Our class contemplated the buildings collapsing because of the fire, while staring at the Internet news sites from our classroom. The thought was too much to bear. Then we heard and felt the most horrific thing I could ever feel in my life. Our building shook while the lights flickered and the computers rebooted as the first tower came crashing down. I could only think of the people caught up in all that mess at that very moment. It was then, we decided to evacuate. Me and a few other classmates met in the first floor lobby, where they would not let us out because of the stifling smell and thick air from the debris. It looked like it was snowing, and was dark. I watched as countless people took flight, trying to escape the choking air just outside our doors. Some were smart enough to come in, while others tried to bear it and run further south. I huddled in a huge marble doorway asking myself if I was to die there. After we heard confirming reports from witnesses that the building had collapsed, we heard about the Pentagon, then the second building collapsed, and darkness fell outside again. Some of the workers in our building tried to convince us that it was safe to go back up to our floors, but not me. No way. When the air cleaned up somewhat, a few of us bolted to out instructer's hotel room around the corner where we would clean up, and get in touch with our loved ones again. I just wanted to be home. I talked with some who said the best thing to do was sit tight, but not me. I promised myself and everyone I loved I would be home that night. So myself and two others migrated as thousands did, away from the area. We walked 2 straight hours to Times Square. Eventually, we caught a ride with my classmates' team leader who happened to have a car. We took the GW bridge out of the city, and they were even kind enough to drop me off at my front doorstep in central Jersey. On the way, I glanced behind me to watch the third building collapse. All the way home, we could see the line of smoke the towers had created from burning all day. It lined the Jersey coast, and I could even see it at home. I left my car at the train station that night, but to walk through my front door and hug my boyfriend at 7:30pm that night was well worth it. For awhile, I jumped at everything and was very paranoid. I hit bottom a few weeks later, and it's only been uphill for me since then. I still think about the people and their families. But most of all, I think about this country and how we are going to win this war to come out on top of all the tragedy. I love you all from NYC to the USA to the world. We all deserve to live free and happy.
Victoria | 27 | New Jersey

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