#1071 | Tuesday, March 19th 2002
I was working on a project in Trinidad. We were in a conference room when mobile phones and pagers began to ring. A secretary came in the room and mentioned that a plane just crashed into the WTC. We thought that it was just a horrible accident until we learned of the second, third and fourth planes. An eerie sense of calm permeated the office and, indeed, the streets of Port of Spain. In the following days, sorrow gave way to anger which gave way to resolve. The Trinidadians were very supportive (including their large Muslim population) and were thankful that a group of their own "usually late Trinis" were once again late for work at the WTC and were spared.

Whereas before 09-11 I might have been complacent and taken the American way of life somewhat for granted, I am now determined to support my country and my government in any way possible to ensure that the threat of terrorism on our shores and towards our interests are exposed and eradicated.

One of the first images that entered my mind when I finally figured out we were being attacked was Benjamin Franklin's rattlesnake flag; DON'T TREAD ON ME!

God bless you and God bless America!

John C. | 35 | Texas

#1055 | Monday, March 18th 2002
I was at home alone when I heard the news. I dropped my children off at school about 8am central, and came home with the intention to head straight to bed (I work nights and sleep days). Just before settling into bed, I checked my answering machine. There was one message, from my husband. He said the WTC had been hit and said I might want to check the news.

I went back downstairs and turned on the TV. The second tower had just been hit. I could not believe my eyes as I watched the smoke billowing from the towers. I will never forget one CNN newscaster watching in silence as the first tower fell, and then finally saying "Dear God, there are no words..."

I think someone must finally have whispered into his earpiece, telling him to say something, anything. But I will never forget the tone of his voice as he said "there are no words." As indeed there weren't any words sufficient to describe this horror.

I continued watching the news, horrified and yet mesmerized, for several hours. I remember hearing that the Pentagon had been hit, a rumor that the Mall in DC was on fire, another rumor that the Capitol was targeted, the report that a plane was down in Pennsylvania, hearing about the frantic evacuation of the White House. I remember feeling stunned and wondering if I should pick my children up from school, get them away from a public place.

I called a relative in CA and woke him up, described what had happened to him, told him to turn on his TV. He said, "well, our world has changed forever."

Finally I tried to sleep for a couple of hours. Tossed and turned with bad dreams, then got up to get ready for work that night. Every TV in the hospital was on the news, in the lobby, in the patient rooms, even in ICU. But the people were strangely hushed about it. Everyone just watching in stunned silence. Occasionally an expression of disbelief and horror. But not much conversation. It was just too much to take in.

Becky | 40 | Texas

#1006 | Wednesday, March 13th 2002
I remember being in my boyfriend's car when I first heard the news about the WTC. We were on our way to school, and I didn't have a clue what the dj was talking about. Once I stepped into the classroom I realized what really happened. My U.S. History teacher explained how this was going to be one of those "Where were you when Kennedy got shot" moments, and I can just remember sitting in that big lecture hall while scenes of the crashings flashed over the the two screens in front of me. We were allowed to leave and call our parents and loved ones to see how they were doing. The first person I called was my mom, and she kept telling me to just pray for the families of the victims. Every time I think about that day I get a big lump in my throat, but I am proud that our country has pulled together and united since then.
Yolanda | 19 | Texas

#982 | Tuesday, March 12th 2002
My plans for September 11th were to wake up at about 9am (8am EST) and get ready to go and eat lunch with my best friend because it was her birthday...she was going to be 17. Instead I woke up when the phone rang and my other friend was freaking out on the other end yelling at me to turn on my tv because we had been attacked. I thought it was some sick joke and told him to slow down and tell me again. He told me to just put on my tv and I did. As soon as I turned on the tv the second plane hit the second tower of the WTC. I honestly thought it was some preview for a new movie. Then they kept replaying it over and over again. I was in shock and me nor my friend on the phone could speak, we just watched in silence and heard each other gasp on the phone. He told me that he had to get back to work and hung up with me. I sat down and watched in horrow the events unfold on tv when I saw that the Pentagon and another plane was attacked. I thought about my family and friends wondering if it was over. We live so close to the refineries in Houston that if anything went wrong there we would all die instantly. I called my other best friend that was supposed to eat lunch with me and my best friend and told him to just stay home. During those first few morning hours I could only think the worst. I thought about all the people and my heart went out to them. I can only imagine how they feel. After about a couple of hours I called my friend and told her happy birthday. She couldn't say anything...I was surprised I could.
Deborah | 18 | Texas

#932 | Monday, March 11th 2002
We were donating time to the United Way - Sept. 11 was the day for the scraping crew - We scraped the old paint off of a very poor lady's house and made repairs so that the paint crew could come by a few days later and complete the work. We heard about the towers being hit on the way to the site.

The old woman's daughter came by and spent a few hours with her during the day. As she left the house, she turned to me and said, "You're doing a very good thing on a very bad day."

Ultimately, those who destroy cannot defeat those who build.

Richard Hare | 46 | Texas

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