#2065 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was on vacation in Sedona, Arizona and on the way to the Grand Canyon with my husband and my parents from Germany who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I was showering when my husband who was watching TV said that a plane just hit the world trade center. I thought he was talking about a movie and when I saw the pictures on TV I still thought it was a movie, until it sank in - partly because the news person was so shaken and did not know what to say. They are always the ones so calm talking about war every day, but that day even they did not know what to do. I went to my parent's room and told them. They were so calm, it almost drove me crazy - but they went through WW 2 where they were bombed out every night and went through horrors they do not talk about. I also think that it really did not sink in until they went home to Germany and had people come up and hug them, glad that they are alive, because all they knew was that my parents were in America, but they did not know where.
We decided to continue our vacation and headed to the Grand Canyon. We stopped listening on the radio after a while and just chose to be glad we have this time together. One never knows what the next day will bring.

Stephanie | 34 | Minnesota

#2029 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
My name is Rachelle Wilkins, I was a delegate at the T.U.C Conference in Brighton, I will never forget the disbelieve on hearing the terrible news, or the fear when Tony Blair addressed the nation from the Conference.Everything seemed unreal it was as if I was in a Twighlight world.
I will always remember this day for the rest of my life.

Rachelle Wilkins | 34 | United Kingdom

#1979 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I was in the 2nd day of a system administration class, preparing to take an exam on the subject in a few days. We had a TV in the lobby, always tuned into Fox news channel. Word got to us about the first plane hitting the Trade Center, and we were all in front of the TV when the 2nd plane hit.

I had and still do have a very tough time dealing with all of this, as I worked in the Trade Center for a few weeks (albeit on the 26th floor of tower 2, an office that everyone made it out of). I also panicked, thinking that my parents may have been on the flight from Newark, but I found out after much effort that they weren't scheduled to fly until the next day.

Losing that day of class made the rest of the class a challenge, but we got through it, with 75% passing the Admin test. Many people called my home, knowing I was stationed there for a while, wanting to know if I was alright. With all the cell traffic in my home area around New York City, people had to work to get me or my wife and be sure I was ok.

I felt fortunate to have been 200 miles away in Boston, and not under the wreckage that claimed far too many people.

Bill | 34 | New Jersey

#1908 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
My husband and I were dropping our youngest off at the baby sitter. At the time they thought it was a small plane. By the time my oldest daughter and I got to work and turned on the TV in the breakroom, the other tower had been hit. Before I left to drop her off at kindergarten, the Pentagon had been hit. By the time I returned, the first tower had fallen.

Shock, devastation and a gut-wrenching terror. My husband--part-time Army National Guard--was soon put on active duty for security purposes. The terror and disbelief, dealing with a five-year-old who was drawing pictures of the whole thing...more horrifying than any of the rest of it. The continued fear that my husband will leave to assist--even though there's an amount of pride there as well.

THANK YOU!!! to the military and their families, to the emergency personnel and their families, who put their lives on the line every day to protect our freedom and our lives.

Chris | 34 | Montana

#1881 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I left home early that morning in order to go to the post office before work. When I parked outside the post office, the DJs were on the radio, being their irreverent selves and the morning seemed good... sun shining, breeze blowing... little clouds shifting across the sky. Things took a little longer inside than I expected, so my immediate thoughts were distracted as I buckled my three year old son into his seat and got back into the car... "I'm late!" ruled my mind for a few moments. As I started up the road, I began to hear the irreverant DJs talking about New York and I started paying attention. A plane had crashed into the Trade Center... At first I passed it off as one of their tasteless jokes that they play on unsuspecting listeners. "Why do I listen to this crap?" I thought. But it started sinking in that they were not joking, that this had happened. Naturally my thought, much like everyone else's, was that it was a terrible accident. But as I neared my son's pre-school, the second plane hit. Once the reality of the true situation sunk in, my eyes began to fill with tears... Tears that would fall for days.. weeks... even though I knew no one there. By the time I reached the school and dropped off my son, the Pentagon had been hit as well... my head spun with questions and emotions. Leaving my son at school was suddenly the last thing I wanted to do, but I went on to work. We stood huddled around a tv in the lobby, some crying, some just pale with shock and disbelief, all saying silent prayers and uttering "My God" at the incredible scenes unfolding. When the towers fell... well, the sick feeling in my stomach just grew... how could they? who were they? how could such intense hatred exist in this world? When they finally let us leave work early, I couldn't drive fast enough to pick my son up again.. and hug him... and kiss him and tell him I love him. Yes, my patriotism seemed to have been galvanized in the fires of the trade center, but the reality of "life is short and unpredictable" was branded on my soul as well.
Lori Pershing | 34 | Missouri

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