#1960 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I still cry everytime I watch the 2nd plane crash into the tower, every time I hear a heartfelt story from one of the victim's family members, every time I think about the WTCs falling in front of the entire nation's eyes, every time I see the torn Pentagon.
I remember September 11th very well. I was in my last year of middle school. I just got dismissed from my social studies class when one of my closest friends told me that one of the Trade Centers was hit by an airplane. She had always joked around with me before, why should I really believe her now? I looked at her as if she was kidding and laughed loudly at first but then softer when her eyes filled with tears. I stopped laughing when I knew that she wasn't joking.
I ran to my next class with several of my friends and turned the T.V. on. I switched to the news and there it was, the burning tower. Then, out of nowhere, a second airplane appeared and hit the other tower. I gasped. I couldn't breathe or cry at first. My heart didn't feel like it would even beat. Soon after news of the 2nd airplane crashing, the 1st tower began collapsing. Then tears started to fall from my widened eyes. I couldn't take anymore, and to make matters worse I watched unbearably as the 2nd tower fell. I grabbed a friend and we wept together. The sites of hundreds, even thousands of people running from the building took the air out of my lungs. Now, one of the sides of the Pentagon was crashed into. How much could America go through in one day? Buildings weren't just being hit, our hearts were being hit, too.
I never realized how much we Americans took for granted until that sorrowful moment. Now, a year later Americans have joined together and celebrated our freedom and I would just like to thank God for letting us all be here on Sept. 11, 2002. I hope that the Lord will guide us through everyday of our lives, especially now, and especially the wonderful and courageous men overseas. God Bless America and America's people!

Brittany | 14 | Kentucky

#1886 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I was teaching at Walton-Verona High School in Northern Kentucky. My student aide came in at the beginning of my planning period and told me the World Trade Centers had been attacked. My eyes were glued to the TV for the remainder of that period. It was interesting to listen to the concerns of the students in our building (GRADES 7-12). One little 7th grade boy was worried that they may attack Disney World. Some of the "cool" freshmen could not understand how this disaster might have an effect on them. The seniors-----they were worried, nervous and scared. I believe they were thinking about having to go to war. I live near the Greater Cincinnati Airport and it was so strange not to see or hear any planes. The church across the street from my house was a shelter to some passengers who could not leave the area when the airport was closed. I will always remember where I was on this day just like I vividly remember where I was when JFK was shot--my 5th grade classroom.
Rhonda F.Reeves | 49 | Kentucky

#1679 | Friday, September 6th 2002
O 9-11-01 I was in the waiting room of a hospital waiting for word about my sons progress when I noticed the events of 9-11 unfolding before my eyes on the television screen. My wife and I were shocked when we saw the footage of the first plane striking the tower. When we saw the second one hit we knew it wasn't an accident. We were totally shocked to think that someone could do something like this. It was hard to pull away from the television to do anything because I just couldn't believe it was happening. My prayer then and now go out to all the families of the victims of 9-11. God Bless them all and God Bless american as we lead the fight against terrorism.
Daniel T. Draper | 47 | Kentucky

#1439 | Friday, July 5th 2002
I flew into Newark on the 8th of Sept. and stayed at my friend's (Heidi) that night. Her husband fixed a delicious Italian meal for us and had it ready when we arrived. We went to NYC by train on Sun. and took the subway to a station near our hotel. We stayed very near Times Square and Broadway. (first plane, train, subway trips for me! ) I called another friend who lives in Manhattan, Maureen, and we set up a place to meet for dinner. We had a delicious dinner and then went to Greenwich Village for dessert and to Maureen's apartment for a few minutes.
Monday, the three of us went to the WTC, had lunch, and went to the observation floor. We were going to the roof but it started raining so they closed access to it. Heidi found out that we could have the manager sign our tickets so we could return another time and go out on the roof. We also went to Chinatown and Little Italy that day and left Maureen with the thought that we would call her Tuesday after her work day and set up plans for dinner. Meanwhile, Heidi and I went to the play, "Rent", and decided we would go to the WTC for lunch at Windows on the World and go on the roof before dinner with Maureen on Tuesday.
We were exhausted, slept late on Tuesday, and were awakened by Heidi's cell phone. But by the time she answered it, there was no one there. She tried returning the call to her husband but could not call out. We tried the hotel room phone and could not call out. She went to the bathroom and I flipped on the TV. I see a skyscraper billowing smoke and across the bottom of screen is a list of various buildings in US that have been evacuated. I said, "Heidi, come here, we're being bombed or something, and what is that building?" She said, "That's the World Trade Center tower." And I said, "No, it's not, if it is, where's the other one?" Then they showed reruns of the attack on the other tower and showed it collapsing. We watched in horror as the other tower collapsed. It was so unbelievable. It was like watching a movie. We thought about leaving the city right at that moment but then it was announced that the city was closed and no one could leave nor come in. I'm not sure how tall our hotel was but we were on the 11th floor. We considered leaving the hotel but I wanted to watch TV. After a little while, we felt safer, knowing no planes were flying except for military planes (and they were flying so close, they were almost deafening at times). We finally got a call to Heidi's husband who called my mother. And she, in turn, called my husband. My mother and husband and son all knew about the attack around 9 am, and did not get word from me until around 1pm. We attended the mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral with Cardinal Egan that evening. (I've never been to a mass before) It was very touching. Several were there with pictures of missing people. Lots of tears were shed. The NY TV stations were there and we saw parts of the Mass on the news that night and the next day.
So, we did finally leave the hotel late Tuesday afternoon. Compared to Sunday and Monday, the city was very quiet, sad, different. Wednesday was the same, yet the streets seemed even more desserted. Those who could leave, did, and the streets were so vacant. Many stores and restaurants were closed.
The rest of my stay in NYC is somewhat a blur. I remember things I did, but not necessarily what day. I did go to Washington Sq Park, Central Park, Grand Central Station, Empire State (but not inside), etc. We attended the candlelight vigil at Wash. Sq. Park. We didn't have communications with Maureen, so we went to see her again. She was fine, thank God. Because of the difficulty in getting out of the City, we stayed an extra night. We even considered staying another one, but Thursday (13th) there were 4 bomb scares that were too close to us for comfort. It's scary seeing people running down the street after what happened the 11 th. Heidi's son had come home from school in SC to see for himself the goings on and he drove into the city to get us.
On Tuesday, the 18th, I decided I wanted to go back to the city. Heidi was surprised but I wanted to see it once more before I went home. We had planned on going by Staten Island ferry on Sunday or Monday but didn't. On Wednesday we did. That's as close as I got to the Statue of Liberty, but the captain of the boat steered as close as he could to it for me while staying within his guidelines. (The Statue was still closed to tourists.) I drove the boat and Heidi did also. The skyline is definitely different. When we left, it was dark and you could still see the smoke from the WTC and it was strange that most of the city was lit up but the section near where the WTC was eerily in the dark. The bridges were lit up just like the pictures.
Heidi's husband drives heavy equipment for NYC and volunteered for work at ground zero. He took pictures of the area where he was working. Total destruction. Her family has NYPD background so she heard lots of stories that we did not see in the papers. I have a collection of papers and mags from NYC. Papers here in KY covered it but not anything like the NYC papers, of course.
I was supposed to leave for Louisville, KY on Saturday night (15th) but I was not ready to fly. My family desperately wanted me home, but I wanted to get there safely. I explored other ways to get home: Amtrak, Greyhound, a friend of a friend of a friend (a stranger to me) was driving as far as Charleston WV (five hours from home), Heidi driving halfway and husband halfway, rent a car, and even having Gene, another friend, chauffeur me. All of those methods involved a minimum of 15 hours riding. I could not justify spending two days going home vs. less than two hours in the air and two hours drive time! So, I did fly again. I flew to L'ville on Thursday night and got home about 130 am. The flight was uneventful except for turbulence for the first 30 minutes (Newark had rain and lightning). There were 16 people on the plane including the crew. The flight was very casual; one attendant came and sat with various passengers and chatted about various things, including the week's events. One pilot did the same thing while we waited for the plane's audio system to be repaired.
I've always heard New Yorkers are arrogant and obnoxious. Even before the tragedy, I did not find that at all. People were very nice and polite. I felt very much at home. After the attack, the people pulled together and worked together so well. The city is clean, beautiful, well managed. I had a wonderful experience. I wish the bad stuff had not happened but I'm glad to have been there to have that perspective. I returned to NY City in October of 2001, about a month after the attacks. The skyline was markedly different and noticeable upon my arrival into Newark. The people of the city seemed to have a renewed spirit...a determination...to continue their lives. I visited the observation deck of the Empire State Building where I could still see smoke and an empty spot where the WTC had been. I also visited the United Nations Building on this trip. I'm sure both the Empire State Bldg. and the UN had new, different security checkpoints, etc. I felt very safe. NYC is still a beautiful, fascinating and wonderful place.

B Milby | 44 | Kentucky

#1114 | Tuesday, March 26th 2002
I was in my psychology class at college when a fellow student entered the room and told us that a plane had crashed in the top of the World Trade Center in NYC. Initially, I thought it was a horrible accident. However, by the time I had reached my car and turned on the radio for the drive back to my apartment, the towers had already fallen and the Pentagon was in flames. I was appalled and aghast by the images on television that day. My thoughts and prayers are with all families and friends of those who were lost as well as those who have survived and are on the road to recovery. May God bless and keep you for all of your days.
Ali | 21 | Kentucky

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