#795 | Thursday, February 28th 2002
I was living in Peapack, in Northern New Jersey, no more than 45 minutes outside Manhattan but on 9/11 I was with my girlfriend in her college dorm room when she turned on her computer to be greeted by the news that a plane had hit the WTC. Both of us presumed that it was no more than a small engine aircraft, a 2 seater perhaps, and whilst shocked, had no idea of what was really going on. I left straight after that, as I had planned to, to make the half hour journey home. All the way home, I had the radio on, and unaware of the magnitude of what was going on, I was slightly oblivious until it was announced that a second plane had gone in, and the Pentagon was being struck too. I will never forget driving down I-78 that day, people were either driving atabout 50, concentrating on their radio's or doing about 90 to get to wherever it was they were going in a hurry.
I got home, and sat in front of the TV with my housemates, as we all thought about calling our relatives and parents in England to let them know we were ok, however our phonelines were jammed. The feeling as the morning went on was horrible, the situation just kept getting worse every five minutes. It was actually quite surreal. One consideration was whether our coaching sessions (I am a soccer coach) that evening were going to take place when eventually I recieved a call saying that they would be cancelled because it was likely a number of the kids would've lost parents in the tragedy, which is when the whole thing really hit home.
The rest of the day was spent in something of a daze, we walked for some lunch to the local bar, which is next to Gladstone station, the last station on a line out of Penn Station. People there were just taking refuge having just jumped on a train, any train to escape Manhattan. We also wondered how many cars in the train station car park would remain unclaimed that night. All these thoughts I will never forget.
The attitude and response of the American people however was fantastic. If this kind of tragedy was to have taken place in the UK or anywhere else in the world, I am not convinced that people would have reacted as magnificently as the Americans. I look forward to moving back to Jersey in March.

- | 20 | United Kingdom

#741 | Friday, February 8th 2002
I was at work when it happened. In a small shop, in a small town, listening to the radio. It was the afternoon here, and the news came on proclaiming "the world trade centre is ablaze". The seriousness hit me when I logged on to cnn.com and saw a picture of one of the towers on fire. The usual radio broadcast ceased. DJ's were silenced and just played music. I decided to close my shop and walk down the road to where there was a tv. By this time, one of the towers had collapsed. They kept on showing the replays. Myself and the few people around me, watched in shock as the events unfolded. We disbanded and I called my girlfriend to tell her what was happening. She didn't really seem to take it all in. I changed my radio station to hear live coverage. A few minutes later, the second tower collapsed. The radio boradcasters were almost in tears at the events. America, the "world leader" was being cut down by this unseen enemy. The pentagon was hit, a plane was on its way to washington. It was a war, but there were no guns. The weapon being used was terror. I went home that day with nothing else on my mind but the collapses, and I turned the tv on right away. I watched with my girlfriend as they replayed the day's events. I felt physically sick. I was on the verge of tears. Seeing the images brought the humanity of it all to me. People hanging, falling from windows. The unimaginable fear that must have gone through their mind when the first tower went. The terror of the passengers on the planes. And in all my sadness, anger. These people, just like me, were at work. Just an ordinary day. These were not soldiers, they were you and me. I later heard of stories from ground zero about the haunting ring of mobile phones in the rubble, and I was despaired at the desperation people must have been feeling. Rarely a day has passed since the event when I haven't thought about it somehow. The sad fact is, in my eyes, the terrorists have already won. The reason, I am scared. Scared of the future, scared what it will bring. As America goes boldly on its march of retribution, what will happen along the way? World War? It despairs me to think the world has not learned its lessons from decades passed. The millenium brought hope to many people. Gone was the century of war. Now comes fear and uncertainty. And all us ordinary people can do is hope, hope and pray that our leaders know what they are doing and the consequences of their actions. I listen to John Lennon's "imagine", and it has so much meaning for me. I wish to convey this message to all those victims, survivors, familys members, and friends of anyone who has been involved in these terrible events. You are now no longer ordinary people. You are all hero's. Your grief gives us compassion, your determination gives us hope. Your suffering has/is not in vain. May god be with you, our thoughts and prayers are.
Richard Clifford | 20 | United Kingdom

#695 | Tuesday, January 29th 2002
I was just coming home from school, as I got a message from a friend on my phone, saying that something was happening. So I turned on CNN, and watched it unfold in all it's horror..
It seemed like a strange action flic, with no hero.... I live in Norway, so as I have had no "head on" contact with the events I can honestly say that even if I saw it... I will never really realize what happened unless I see it for myself....

Finn Jarle Kvalheim | 20 | Norway

#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

#661 | Friday, January 25th 2002
I was sitting in the livingroom in my dorm with some of my friends discussing a guy at our school with downs syndrom, who had caused some problems. Then suddenly, a friend of mine came running in to the living room, screaming, "turn on the radio! There's something happening in New York! World Trade Center has been crashed by a plane!" We turned on the radio and heard it, but found soon out that we needed to see it on TV. So we ran over to our school and watched the terrible events on a big screen. All the students from our school came, and we sat there all of us, worried and frightened. We were frightened of how America and George Bush would respond to this, and we were sure it would be ugly...
ingvild svensen | 20 | Norway

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