#690 | Monday, January 28th 2002
I was in school. 2nd period. Our principal interrupted class over the PA speaking in a distressed voice. We were told that two jetliners were hijacked and crashed into the Twin Towers. Almost instantaneously, I was stunned; I went into denial trying to tell myself that this was all some sort of wicked prank. Later that hour, as the televisions were now turned on, CNN informed us that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon. At that moment, I lost my ability to stay focused. I went home and glued my eyes on CNN for the longest time imaginable, and I thought to myself over and over again: America would never be the same.
Xuan Yong | 16 | Texas

#686 | Monday, January 28th 2002
I was bringing my boss some papers and Good Morning America was on as always. He said, "Chris, look at this, one of the Twin towers is smoking." I remember staring at it thinking what the hell... and the second plane hits. We spend the rest of the morning watching the program. He looks straight in my eyes and says, "you're witnessing history."
I leave for Marine Boot camp March 27th.

Chris Copperwheat | 20 | Texas

#685 | Monday, January 28th 2002
I am a police officer in a suburb of Dallas, Tx. I was attending a week long course at a regional police academy to become certified as an instructor so I could teach other police officers in the field of firearms. I had started that course on Monday, September 10th. Each day I would go to the station and check out a police vehicle so I could save miles on my personal vehicle, since the drive to the academy was around 30 miles each way. On the way to the academy, I would listen to talk shows to pass time during the drive there. On the morning of Tuesday, 9-11, we were running short on squad cars, so I was left to check out a donated Jeep to the department that was used for special outdoor events. This Jeep didn't have a working radio. As I arrived to the academy, around 7:55am CST, another student told me that a small plane had just hit the world trade center. I immediately thought that it was a small Cessna plane that was being flown by a student pilot that had accidently hit the tower. When I asked her if she knew what type of plane it was, she said that she thought she heard that the plane was a 767. I told her, "What?!? That's a freakin' big plane! That's not small at all!! That's a huge one, they use those for international flights sometimes!". By then, several people at the academy got word of the actual destruction and plane involved. A T.V. was brought out and we started to watch, not believing what we were seeing. Even at that point, we thought that it was a freak accident.

We realized that it wasn't an accident at all when the other planes started hitting. I remember seeing the other plane zero in and hit the second tower and I couldn't believe my eyes. When we saw the first tower go down I remember feeling extremely sad thinking about all of the people still in that tower and on the ground around it. They tried to continue with classes, allowing us to watch the T.V. during breaks. But I couldn't concentrate at all. I walked out of the class to watch the T.V. along with several others. None of us knew what was next. Being in Dallas, another major city-metroplex, we didn't know if we were next or not. Most of the students in my class were put on standby by their departments, especially those belonging to special units. Some were even called out of class back to their cities/departments.

I watched the T.V. all evening and night when I got home. At times, I became very angry. At other times, I would just cry.

To this day, there are times when I start to think of 9-11 and all of the innocent lives that were lost, and I just cry. I think of all of the blessings in my life and all of the wonderful opportunities that I have gotten in my life and I think to myself: "Everything that I have would not be possible had I not been born an American." I thank God for America, and even more so for being an American.

God Bless America.

Tom | 26 | Texas

#680 | Sunday, January 27th 2002
I was getting my 15-month-old son ready for my moms when I turned on the television and heard something about the Trade Center Tower was hit by a plane. So when the screen finally came in I saw the whole level on fire and going up in flames. While I was getting ready for work I missed the second one being hit, when I came back into my room they were both up in flames. I kept seeing the same replay of the airplane hitting the tower again, and again, and again, it was like a broken reel. Why they kept showing this over and over again was wrong in my eyes but people I guess needed to see the true damage that took place. For the whole day I had different emotions going through me. Such as revenge for the people who did this, and also sorrow for the families that had lost loved ones. My main goal for the day was to come home to see my wife and son safe and sound and thanking God that we are okay. No other day would be like this one was…
Rick Rodriguez | 27 | Texas

#650 | Wednesday, January 23rd 2002
I was frantically weaving in and out of traffic trying to make it to the commuter lots. I hadn't left the house early enough to get to my test with any time to spare. I sprang out of my car and ran to the campus shuttle stops. I noticed people were abnormally somber and reserved, but I didn't really care why. Packed on the bus with 80 other people, i was sitting. I was sitting with three other studentsí butts in my face, daydreaming about my test and the rest of the day. I overheard a guy a couple of guys talking about one of the WTC towers being struck by lightning or something. I couldn't quite make out what they were saying. My friend Jen managed to trudge her way through people over to my general area. She asked me if I knew what had happened. My heart dropped, my emotions fell. What? She began to tell me, but in mid-sentence the bus driver flipped on the radio. I remember feeling sick and an urge to crumble as I listened to the dj's talk about what they were seeing on television. This particular radio station isn't the best in town, usually playing your latest selections of pop and hip-hop. Not your choice journalists with integrity. However, the way they explained everything was so raw and real that it took us all there without being able to see anything. I couldn't quite make out the picture in my head until I got to class and saw it on screen. I arrived seconds before the second tower collapsed. I've always been one to watch the news incessantly when something happens. I remember the day of Columbine and sitting in front of the TV for six hours straight. This however, was different. It made you feel so small and vulnerable. Iím proud of our service personnel currently in Afghanistan and elsewhere. We can't let this happen again. Never.
regan wright | 20 | Texas

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