#123 | Friday, September 21st 2001
I was biking around Austin with a group of friends from work. When we pulled into the parking lot, a fellow biker who was not riding that morning told us that two planes had hit the World Trade Center and that he had just heard on the radio that the Pentagon had been attacked as well -- at that point I think the rumor was that it had been bombed. Of course we hardly knew what to think: we hadn't seen any pictures or heard any actual news coverage at that point. We just wanted to get back onto our bikes and return to our normal, peaceful, pre-8:45am (Austin time) life.

As we showered and dressed, we talked a lot about how inevitable something like this was -- although I later began to feel that the terrorists must have been amazed at their success, because although we agreed that some sort of attack was bound to happen sometime, I don't think any of us thought it would be so destructive.

I went to the cafeteria for breakfast as I usually do after a morning ride. The televisions were all on CNN. I watched the towers burn for a long time until I realized that they might collapse, which is when I stopped watching and tried to work. I did not want to see them fall, at least not live, and I was in my cube when my boss (from Brooklyn) came and told me that they were gone.

Of course, I followed the news throughout the day on the 'net (mostly via the BBC, which was the only reliable news source that wasn't swamped), radio, and sometimes TV.

I spent all of Tuesday and Wednesday choked up. I cried twice thinking about one particular story about rescue workers tearing down scaffolding to make stretchers. Fortunately, the second time, my girlfriend was there to cry on.

So far, everyone I know is accounted for.

Scot | 26 | Texas

#118 | Friday, September 21st 2001
i was asleep, in seattle, having very odd, surreal, almost nightmarish dreams.
my mother called me at 6:45 am PST, from 8:45 central time in Texas.
she was upset, and my mother is generally a very cool and collected individual.
she told me i had better go turn on the tv that the pentagon and the WTC had been bombed.
i did not register this immediately since i was slowly coming out of dream stage, but i wondered into my living room, flicked on the tv, only to see the immediate replay of the 2nd plane hitting.

i was floored.

minutes later the first building to collapse did so live right there on tv.

nyc skyline that i know and love changed FOREVER.

i immediately called work, told my friend at work to turn on the news.
watched and cried and tried to make coffee, tried to get ready for work.
called work again, told to stay home. i cried. then cried some more as i was transfixed by the images on my tv.

eventually i stopped, got around to calling every person i know and love on the east coast.

then my friend came over to get me out of the house and we went and had a few drinks at a local bar where the mood was very somber and quiet, even the jukebox was not playing.

i hope the "people in charge" take heed to be extraordinarily careful in their actions. it will not fix the pain and sadness of all of the families that lost to make more families with losses on the other side of the globe.

lisa | 26 | Washington

#104 | Thursday, September 20th 2001
I was in my warm bed sleeping after another long night of working at Wendy's. I had not heard anything about it until 4:30 that evening. I was in total shock and horror. My two roommates(who are married and are my best friends in the world)were visiting New York. I left work early to try and call them to make sure they were still alive. When I got home at around 9 or so, they had left a message saying that they were ok and were already back here in Richmond. They had arrived at 6:30p.m. For a little while, I was like the rest of the nation, wandering if those I cared for were still alive. My heart goes out to all those who did not make it and to those who lost loved ones. Even now, when I hear an airplane going over, I look up and my heart stops.No one will ever be the same again. Not me, not you reading this or anyone else.
David McGirt | 26 | Virginia

#73 | Tuesday, September 18th 2001
I woke up late. As such, I started my morning routine late and did not turn on Good Morning America as usual. While I was changing my 18 month old daughter's diaper, the phone rang. I figured I'd call them back since I wasn't able to get to the phone at that moment. A few minutes later, I turned on my television just in time to see the second plane hit. All of a sudden I knew who'd been calling: My mother, to tell me the news.

I called her and we cried for a moment. I realized my dad, working in a lab in NY, probably didn't have access to news. I called him. "Is this some kind of April Fool's joke?" In his famous April Fool's joke, he'd convinced his wife that the leaning Tower of Pisa had toppled and so he figured this must be along the same lines. "No," I replied, "It's not April." He said he'd call me back and did so a few minutes later. "This is huge," I remember him saying. There hadn't been news as important since the Cuban Missile Crisis, he recalled.

I called my husband, on his way to work. "Turn on your radio. There's been an attack on the World Trade Center." My husband, a United States Marine reservist, was quick to comply. "Oh my God."

My mother called again, the Pentagon was under attack. "Hilary, Jack is going to get called to war over this." Now it was my turn: "Oh my God." We just had a new baby a month and a half ago.

The rest of the day was a blur as events continued to unfold. I screamed as the towers collapsed. An hour later, I took my older daughter to the doctor's for an appointment. The entire staff was huddled around a radio. The mood was eerie. The nurse told me about another hijacked plane that went down in PA. I thought about the children on board and hugged my daughters tight.

The next 4 days were spent watching the television news, praying and thanking God that the massacre appeared to be over and crying everytime a sad face appeared on the screen asking for help in finding a 'missing' loved one.
My heart now swells with pride each time I see Americans waving flags and singing in unity. It was a small thing to most, but I also felt a surge of pride to see four Marines remove our undamaged Marine Corps flag from the wreckage of the Pentagon. Amid the disaster, it remained untouched by flame.

Now, a week later, we pick ourselves up and return to our lives unchanged but for a new feeling of patriotic unity and a collective resolve to make those responsible pay for this.

Hilary Johnson | 26 | Connecticut

#65 | Tuesday, September 18th 2001
I was on my way back from London, UK after visiting a client, running late for picking up my daughter from the childminder.
The middle eastern looking cab driver was hysterical, I had no idea what had happened, it must have only just been announced on the radio. I told him he should go home.
I get to my childminder's house, her husband has called her, she is watching the news. The towers had just fallen. I spent the rest of the day finding out that my family in the USA were ok and then passing the news onto relatives as it was hard to get through by phone. Britain has been very much affected by this tragedy.

Rachel | 26 | United Kingdom

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