#179 | Monday, October 1st 2001
I was at work, listening to the radio and joking with my partner, like usual. The announcer broke into the broadcast to report a lone plane had flown into the side of the WTC. I remember thinking that was pretty terrible, and how on earth would they remove a plane from inside such a tall building. As they were speculating the reason and talking to passerby's and witnesses, the second plane forcefully and deliberately slammed into the other tower. At the moment that happened a woman was describing the incident of the first plane and all of a sudden she was hysterical, "another one just crashed into the other tower" she screamed as though the world went off its axis.

By that time I was in utter shock, astonishment was running through my mind and then the question as to whether or not this was a terrorist act came into play. I immediately made my mind up that it had to be. I sat scared and frantically pulling up websites for more recent news and pictures as my co workers formed around my desk in disbelief. Then the Pentagon was struck and I could not imagine what more these people were going to do. They were playing with no rules and anything could happen now.

I made a comment as to whether or not the WTC towers could stand a burning inferno for very long and within a few moments one was crumbling to the ground. Then went the other. I had never been more horrified in my life. I had been calling my mother giving her updates and she was already crying. I wanted so badly to cry right there at my desk. I could not imagine being able to complete my job that day I was in so much distress it had become visible on my face.

I heard that we were allowed to leave for the day to reflect, pray and be with family, so I left. As soon as the doors of the elevator shut behind me, I went hysterically into tears. I couldn't handle the amount of fear or sorrow running through my body. I never thought I would see the day when something so horrific would happen, but I have. I'm all the way in Florida and know no one in the WTC or the Pentagon and I am still profoundly effected by this, as everyone else is. I will never forget where I was or what I was doing the very moment the world came crashing down.

Victoria | 23 | Florida

#141 | Sunday, September 23rd 2001
Every day, at the end of second period, my high school gives announcements over CCTV. They play the announcements on channel 48, overriding CNN Headline News. After the school announcements were done, the TVs throughout the school went back to showing CNN, where the current headline was "2 planes crash into World Trade Center towers."

I thought it was an impossible coincidence. I actually laughed. It seemed impossible that, in the same day, two planes would crash into two towers of the WTC. I knew no commercial pilot could hit such huge buildings, so I assumed the planes were small planes, probably flown by student pilots, and that no damage had been done.

At the beginning of third period, the principal gave an announcement over the intercom giving the details of what had happened. My teacher had the television on. I saw the plane hit the second tower, and realized that the crash was no accident. The news anchors then talked about a plane crashing into the Pentagon, and a bomb outside the State Department (reported as fact at the time, even though it turned out to be false.) We watched the Twin Towers crumble.

That was my education for that day.

Gavin Baker | 15 | Florida

#89 | Wednesday, September 19th 2001
I'm sitting at my desk at work, having arrived only minutes ago. I'm alone in the room. Someone passes by the door calling, "Did you hear that?"

"No, what?"

"Two planes crashed head on..."

"Oh man," I think.

"...into the World Trade Center."

"WHAT?!"

For the next two hours we all watch tv in the conference room in solemnity and shock, before intermittently trying to go back to our desks and work.

Anthony | 25 | Florida

#61 | Monday, September 17th 2001
I was sleeping. I wish I never woke up.

I'm a student in Florida and my only class on Tuesday is at 6pm, so I couldn't resist sleeping in. Looking back, I feel like I must have been the last person on earth to hear the horrific news.

I got up at 3pm (yes - a very late sleep indeed), and checked my email to find at least a dozen messages: "Donate blood!" "All classes cancelled today" etc. I didn't read them because the subject headers didn't make any immediate sense. Then I saw one from my parents, which I read, and it mentioned "bombings" in NY and DC (I grew up in DC and half my relatives live in NYC). And I thought, "What?" The whole idea of this country being attacked just did not register. Even if I hadn't just woken up, I reacted as if it was the most nonsensical thing I'd ever been told. It just could not be true.

But it was. This unspeakable thing was true; it had happened. I spent my entire childhood fearing nuclear attack. It was only after the cold war was "offically over" that I regained some sense of ease. Now this - airplanes plunging into buildings filled with innocent people. I have never heard so many sad stories in my whole life as I have in the past week.

Like I said: I wish I never woke up.

Sheila | 30 | Florida

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