#1612 | Wednesday, August 28th 2002
When first plane crasched l was in the way home,because of time difference it was 15 o'clock. l found out what had happened when l got home. l heard a small mention on TV and than an hour later l saw the transmition from New York. First thing that l thought was „ This is New York? No way, from which side?” Those clouds of smoke surrounding WTC made on me great impession. l couldn’t belive that this REALLY was New York. l changed the the channel, one more time, one more, and one... but on every l saw the same picture... l knew it was impossible, it must have been kinda misunderstanding, that it could come about to every country but not to US.. I used to think that Us is the country for whitch nobody would be cheecky.... And than l thought about the war, and what my grandma was talling about it

What did l feel? The fear that l had felt only once before. I was terriblly frieghtend. Ealier l thought that whatever happens – this couldn’t happen to me. All the violence, about everyday l had heard in the news suddenly started concern me. l realized that nobody is safe now, wherever he lives, as long as some crazy people makes what they feeding like to.

Than l thought about the families of WTC workers. About mothers, wives, sisters and children.... What they were doing when they heard about the crash, what occured to them, when they thought than just less than hour ago they had gave midmorning snack to their members of families, had kissed, said goodbye, maybe quarelld.... and didn’t manage to do or say something on time.... And this insecurity ... what happened to their children, sons, daughters...that maybe they were still alive and helth..... l indentifyed with those people cuz l very good know what does it mean to wait in insecurity. I know that it's not enough but it's all that I can do - I wish them all the best cuz they diserve it and promise myself to bring up my children so that they appreciate the human live.

Karolina Korzycka | 16 | Poland

#1576 | Tuesday, August 20th 2002
tuesday september 11th, started out as an ordinary day. it was my third day of school in the new school year, my junior year. first period was normal, math, same old crap. next period was morallity class, during the class, another teacher came in and said that two planes had hit to world trade center. he said that the thought the first was an accident and then they knew it was terrorism when the second plane hit. i thought it was a small plane, like a piper. during homeroom, they talked about what had happend. we didnt talk about it during spanish, because i dont know, i didnt listen to my teacher the whole period, i just thought to myself, most of my family works in that area.

the next period went by fast. then came lunch, thats when i learned about how big the planes were. i was freaked out. i went and talked to another teacher about what happend and he said one tower was collapsing. it was about 3 hours after both collapsed. in all my other classes we talked about it. when i got off my bus, i ran home, and stopped at my friends house, his dad was outside and i was talking to them about what had happend. they told me. and i saw my mom was home, so i ran to my house. i was talking to my mom, she was upset, as was i. i got a call from my dad after my mom said she had to get out of the house. he said he heard the second plane crash and all the buildings shook down there. he was in the second cloud. he took a ferry across the river to brooklyn and took the train home. i talked to other people in my family. my uncle was telling me what my aunt told him, that my aunt works in a building right across from the wtc. she saw people jumping and the planes crash. they put them into the basement in fear of that there was nuclear stuff on the planes. and she thought that she was gonna die. she said the best thing that she saw was when the marines came in and got them out.

i was hooked to the news for a long time. i still am to the this day. my life is changed forever. i dont think i can ever forgive the people who did thi. i believe anyone who believes that we should believe in peace is living in a pipe dream. the only way to end terrorism is to annialate those who were responsible for this. and for those who say innocent civilians would die, about 3000+ did on 9-11-01. we did nothing for this and i support the united states 100% in our war against terror. and saddam hussein must be taking out of office.

Matt | 16 | New York

#1565 | Sunday, August 18th 2002
It is, to this date, a difficult thing for me to describe. Being one time zone behind the Eastern Seaboard, I suppose I was in the car on my way to school at exactly 7:45 A.M. local time when the first plane hit. Looking back, I think the most chilling part was that this day couldn't have been more ordinary.

After my first class, I spent the passing time talking to friends in the hallway, the way I always did. Amidst the typical daily conversations, rumors were beginning to filter throughout the school that something had happened somewhere in the world. Something big. Confusion and misinformation quickly flooded the hallways, and I remember the first report I heard involved President Bush being killed somehow. At first, I thought it was a joke, but the tone throughout the voices of my friends told me that something wasn't quite right.

Obviously, the information regarding the safety of our president turned out to be false.

In my second class of the day, I spent a good portion of the time watching my history teacher fumble with an old, school issued television that showed nothing but static. I had no idea what was going on, until about 9:30 local time (10:30 in New York City), when an image started appearing amid all the static on the screen. The first thing I made out was the "Breaking News," bulletin. The second thing was the Statue of Liberty.

Then, I gasped in horror when I realized what I saw. New York City was gone. It just didn't exist. In it's place rested a giant curtain of whitish smoke, encasing everything for what must've been miles.

The first thought that came to my head was, "It's a nuclear explosion. Some kind of nuclear blast just leveled New York City..." I would later discover that this was the debris from the collapse of the twin towers, but at the time, on the fuzzy television, there seemed to be no other explanation.

In a dramatic fashioned that seemed like a scene from a movie, the static on the television took over, it was the last of the footage I saw until my next class. During the half hour until that happened, I just stared at the blank screen, not knowing what to think.

English class came eventually, and thank God my teacher finally had the information I sought. Her words to us students, to the best of my memory, were, "I don't feel much like talking about [our current subject] today. Hijackers have crashed two planes into the buildings of the World Trade Center. They're gone. They're no longer standing. They took another plane and crashed it into the Pentagon. They drove a truck bomb into the State Department and blew it up. It just makes me sick to my stomach. So, instead of our usual lesson today, we're going into the next room to witness these events."

The report of a truck bomb destroying the State Department did turn out to be false, but having witnessed the destruction left in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, it was the report that scared me the most at the time.

When I finally received a clear picture of the events of September 11th on the T.V. screen in the next room, the first image was of some sort of law enforcement official holding a gun and urging people to, "Run! Get down into the f---ing subway! Move!" All the while, an expanding cloud of debris enveloped the city in the background. I distinctly remember hearing someone giggle slightly, and I remember being within a half second of walking over and punching this kid in the face. It angered me to no end that someone could laugh at such a situation.

Right after that is when I first saw the first footage of the planes hitting the World Trade Center, as well as the collapse of the buildings. It all just seemed like a slap in the face: The picture of a fire in the Pentagon... The masses of people running through the streets... Listening to respected newscasters like Tom Brokaw breaking down on screen... People jumping from the 110th floor of the North Tower... It all melted together in a mass of swirling emotions that I wouldn't make sense of until later that night.

I distinctly remember, however, one feeling that churned its way out of my gut. One feeling that stood out above all others. That thought which stood in my head for so long was, "Who did this? I want someone to find out, and kill that person. That's all I want." I was, very much, angry above all other things.

I heard a news anchor issue a report that even though all flights had been grounded, there was still an unresponsive fifth plane up in the air somewhere over Ohio, and heading westward. I immediately thought Chicago, and the Sears Tower. I know people in Chicago. I started becoming worried. Fortunately, the plane landed, citing a communication problem as the reason behind its unresponsiveness. It was a breath of fresh air.

One of my teachers, later in the day, said, "I did have what I thought was a fairly important lesson plan for today. I didn't expect that twenty, thirty thousand people were going to die in New York."

To which one of my classmates responded, "Is that how many they think it is?"

"Oh, at least," he replied.

When I got home, I did nothing for the rest of the night than watch the news channels. President Bush's earlier words of, "Freedom itself was attacked today by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended," stuck in my head above all others. And his address to the nation in the evening comforted me, telling me everything I wanted to hear at that point. People can criticize Bush all they want, but September 11th was a day I was proud to call him my president.

I've often said that I witnessed over a million people die on September 11th. Sure, only 2,823 actually died at the World Trade Center, but the footage of those planes barreling into the buildings, and the towers collapsing in a heap of rubble, was shown hundreds of times that day. I saw that plane hit the second tower dozens of times from every conceivable angle, and every time, it was like watching those people die all over again. The same goes for the collapses of the towers, and the people buried on the streets, and the people opted to jump off the buildings rather than wait for them to collapse. I saw all those people die hundreds and hundreds of times. Each time, my heart sank a little bit more.

In the days following the attacks, all I did was wait for a U.S. retaliation. I would come home from school and ask my father, "Are we bombing anyone yet? Are we killing those murdering f---'s yet? I was bloodthirsty for revenge. It's not something I'm necessarily proud of, but at the time I wanted nothing more than to see Bin Laden's head on a stick. I wanted to see the United States military light up the scoreboard. When that happened on October 7th, I was overcome with relief. Now, the ball was in our court.

To this date, I watch the footage of the plane hitting the World Trade Center every chance I get. Why? It took me a long time to figure that out for myself, but now I think I understand. I want to remember. I want to remember what the best of America is all about, and I want to be reminded of the bravery of our finest on that dark day in history. I want to make sure I don't forget the sacrifices that have been made for the freedoms I enjoy today.

I've promised myself that I'll never forget why America struggles so ceaselessly for freedom. The horrifying footage recorded on September 11th should be witnessed by all school children for generations to come, lest we forget why we fight for the freedom we have.

God bless every one of you. Never forget why we fight. Never.

Anonymous | 16 | Wisconsin

#1563 | Sunday, August 18th 2002
It's been almost one year since the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, injuring thousands of lives and changing America forever, but I still remember it like yesterday.

I was in school, specifically on my way down to the auditorium for a Junior class meeting. The meeting was held @ 9, when the first plane had already crashed. As I sat down in my seat, awaiting whatever boring news our class meeting was about to hold, my friend told me that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. I didn't think much of it at first, just some aviation accident, but nothing too big. Our meeting continued and the principal didn't mention anything about the attacks. As the meeting ended i headed back to my Programming class. As I walked in the class I saw 15 faces mesmorized by the shocking images being displayed on TV. I sat in my seat and watched for the next hour of class, the images of the planes crashing into the WTC and the Pentagon. It was seemed so unrealistic, like a scene from Independence Day. For the rest of the day in my classes the images of people jumping out of the WTC, and the buildings falling were engraved into my brain forever.

Patrick James McFadden | 16 | Vermont

#1550 | Thursday, August 15th 2002
I was at school. We watched it on TV. I felt little or nothing as I watched, and cannot muster much feeling about it now. Everyday, millions of people whom I don't know die, many by violence. I don't believe that any life is more valuable than the next, so why should two buildings full of people I don't know dying affect me any more than the deaths of anyone else? If I was going to be affected by everyone's death, then I would be mighty affected all the time. American lives are not worth more than the lives of any others. How many people have we killed since September 11? A whole bunch, and not all of them could have been terrorists. This site's attempt to romanticize what were the results of a drab socio-economic reality is as depressing as are the displays of "patriotism" since the attack. Go Team, Whoop them Muslims.
Jace | 16 | South Carolina

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