#421 | Sunday, December 9th 2001
I, for some reason, was at work early that day in Wellesley, Massachusetts. One of my old co-workers and I are both avid Howard Stern Show listeners and normally would talk about the show when we both got in. That morning he arrived and told me how an airplane had hit the WTC. I figured it was some kind of sick joke (Howard can get out of hand sometimes) then realized that he would not of made jokes about something like that. I then questioned my co-worker....Was it a little plane? How long ago did it happen? How could a little plane hit such a big object?

Later, I heard from another co-worker that another plane had hit the WTC. "I know" I said, I heard. "No" they said, it's a second one.

I then tried to get onto cnn.com. It was jammed and was not able to handle the requests. I then turned on Howard on my "walkman" radio. They were talking about 2 airplanes!! There was no way this was an accident. After about 20 mins of not being able to get enough info through the internet or the radio, I went to see about getting some info from the TV.

Unfortunately the TV was only for watching videos (not that it ever was), no cable hook-up. Being a native New York, now living in MA, I needed to see what was happening. I actually took the coax cable that ran from the tv to the VCR, cut the end of, stripped away the layers of plastic and eventually hooked it to a metal hanger from someones dry-cleaning! Finally we could see the pictures.

People on TV were screaming about the first tower falling and kept showing pictures of people jumping out of the building. I was absolutely horrified, but unable to turn away. I spent the next 3 hours of work fixed on the TV. After noon, our boss let us out. Good thing since most of us were not getting any work done anyway. I believe I spent the next 8 hours watching nothing but CNN till I couldn't stay awake anymore.

I have since found out of 5 people who I have a direct relationship with that worked in the towers who all were ok...either they woke up late or missed their train or switched jobs a few months ago.

Definately one of the most horrifying days of my life. I hope we will never have to go through this again.

Todd M. Rubel | 26 | Massachusetts

#409 | Sunday, December 9th 2001
I was at work doing some general research for a project I was working on, when the MSNBC News icon in my toolbar began to flash. I clicked to open it, and all it said was "Breaking News - Plane collides with World Trade Center." I proceeded to tell my coworkers, and then I started to get updates, we were desperate for information, as we have an office in New York City, though thankfully not in the Towers. One of the attorneys had a small black and white portable tv in his office and we all congregated there to watch it unfold, including the Pentagon collision. The one moment I remember most clearly was when one of the law clerks informed us that the first tower had collapsed and no one believed her. Our office was in a panic because they didn't want to send us home. We work just down the street from the State Capitol as well as one of the tallest buildings in Upstate New York, and who knew what would happen next. Finally about 2:30PM EST they decided it was in the best interest of the employees to let people go home.
Sarah Gold | 26 | New York

#364 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
On one of the most terrible incidents to happen in my lifetime, I was away from home for training. I was in a small town called Mahwah, NJ. As this was much closer to New York then my home in Pittsburgh, PA, I became a little nervous and spent much effort trying to contact my parents and my fiance as quickly as possible. I don't think the scope of things really became clear until later that evening I saw a fighter jet flying over my hotel. I had recently gotten out of the Navy and it brought a tear of pride to see our military in action. You see, I worked on the EA-6B for eight years which were all during peace time. In some ways I'm glad to be out of the Navy, but in so many others, I wish I was still in. My prayers go out to all those that were affected by this, which in other words mean everyone.
Joe Patz | 26 | Pennsylvania

#237 | Sunday, November 4th 2001
On the morning of Sept. 11th, I was in my office in lower midtown Manhattan, settling in for a day at the office. Just as I was about to start getting ready to start the day, I heard a co-worker of mine run into an adjacent office and cry out, "a plane just hit the WTC!" I immediately tried to get on the Internet to find out more about what had happened. At that time, no one really knew what was going on and CNN offered no better news than my co-worker. I then rushed to the bank of windows that directly faces the WTC buildings. Being on the 11th floor of one of the last "tall buildings" as you head south in lower midtown, I had passed by these windows many, many times before, always noting what a magnificent & unobstructed view we had of the WTC buildings. What I saw as I ran to those windows was too much believe. The top of the first Tower was engulfed in flames and smoke! Even from 1 1/2 miles north of the buildings, I could clearly see that a large portion of the building was completely destroyed. I immediately broke down into tears, not knowing at that point that this event was actually a terrorist attack. I then ran back to my office to make some phone calls to my family and friends, knowing some of them did not even really know where in NYC I worked... I didn't want anyone to be worried about me. As I was getting on the phone, I heard someone yell out, "another plane hit the second Tower!" I could not believe my ears! I tried to get back on to the Internet, but all of the news sites were clogged with traffic. I ran back to the bay of windows facing the WTC Towers and saw the most horrific scene I have ever seen in my life -- both of the Towers engulfed in fire and smoke. I could not even comprehend the destruction. As the morning wore on, I did much the same as I just described -- I ran from my office to the bay of windows to the phone and back again. The two+ hours or so from the time the first plane hit to the time the last Tower actually fell seemed like an eternity. In such a short time, I had witnessed, firsthand, the most destructive and horrific scenes I hope I never have to see again. I also watched, with tears streaming down my face, both buildings collapse and then the streams of soot-covered survivors walk past our building, heading uptown, heading away from the unimaginable. I will never forget Sept. 11th -- it was a day filled with terror, immeasurable sadness and first-hand images I know I will never be able to clear from my memory. In the end, the one thing I hope I never forget are all of the innocent lives lost and all of the brave & heroic people who fought to save them. God Bless America.
Leila Bryner | 26 | New York

#210 | Sunday, October 21st 2001
I was watching CNNfn to get quotes for the NASDAQ futures when they cut to the first tower already on fire. A few minutes later I saw the second plane crash live into the second tower. I couldn't believe it. It was like something out of a nightmare. The fireball was enormous. Something changed inside me it that moment. I knew that the world would never be the same. I got the hell out of my highrise and drove to my parents house a few miles away. In the meantime the towers had collapsed. The whole day I was glued to the TV and saw replays of the tower's collapse over and over again. The Pentagon attack came as a shock as well. The sight of people running from dust clouds 20 stories tall was like something out of godzilla or another disaster movie. I think back on that day as the day we lost our innocence and invulnerability.
Alex | 26 | Illinois

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