#338 | Saturday, December 8th 2001
It was a couple of weeks before college was about to start (Oct. 1) and I was sleeping in my room at my home when I recieved a phone call from my girlfriend telling me to turn on CNN, that a plane crashed into a building. I woke up, rubbed my eyes, and turned on the television facing my bed using the remote nearby. I knew the channel by heart since I am a very informative person. I turned to the station and I saw one of the World Trade towers on fire. As I watched closer and listened to gain information, I saw another plane crash into the opposite building as I talked to my girlfriend on the phone. We ended the phone conversation and watched for the remainder of the day as I gathered items for college. At the moment, I had no idea how something could have happened, figuring at first it was an accident, but after seeing the second plane crash, I knew it wasn't an accident, that it was intended. Right off, CNN had many skeptics and informants tossing around theories as to who did it and why. Happening only days after my birthday, it is a day that will put a new cloak on our highly regarded level of 'safety.'
Eric Wendt | 19 | Georgia

#299 | Wednesday, November 28th 2001
Written on September 11th:

Years ago, on what must have been my second or third trip to New York City, I sat on the top of a red double decker bus on a tour of the city. As we made our way through downtown, I craned my neck up to admire the glow of twin towers reaching to what seemed infinity against a clear and intensely blue sky. It's one of those visions that becomes permanently etched into your memory.

Today, many more memories have been engrained into my mind's eye for years to come. The sight of a commercial airliner ramming into the second tower of the World Trade Center was mortifying. All I could imagine was the people on board of each of these planes, the people inside the WTC, the Pentagon, and all of their families, and what they must have felt today.

It may sound crazy, but I've been wishing I could be there to document this day with images. Every time an event such as this takes place, I can't help but crave the chance to get it on film. I want to be there now, shooting off rolls and rolls of film one after another, documenting everything. Not as a spectacle, but as a moment in our history... for people to understand, years from now, the essence of this tragedy. I suppose that is why my calling is photography.

I was at a loss to see those marvelous structures fall, and all the people trapped inside going down with them. And I thought about that day, as I sat there in the crisp air peering upward towards those twin masses. To watch them be completely destroyed on television seems surreal, at the very least. As I watched the towers and all the people fall, my heart dropped with them.

As I stepped outside my house today, I turned to see the American flag waving in a soft breeze, glowing from the backlight of the sun. I stood there for a moment in silence, watching it dance in the wind. It's hard for me to know how to feel or what to think at the sight of the national flag right now. So instead, I took a moment to think about the citizens involved in today's disaster, all the vivid images I absorbed from the light of the tv screen. But there is no thought that you can give to those thousands and thousands of people, other than the hope that many more lives will prevail than those that have perished, and that the death toll will remain as low as possible in the aftermath of such a tremendous tragedy.

Lane | 19 | North Carolina

#277 | Friday, November 23rd 2001
I work in a webdesign company.
It's good, I like it. One of my workmates is an... attempted practical joker? Strange sense of humour anyway. He's cool though.
I'll call him Alan, for reasons of privacy.

I walk in the door of our office, Alan looks up and says something about terrorists and 3 planes going into the Pentagon, and World Trade Center in New York...

'Riiiight...' I'm thinking. Only Alan could come up with a joke as weird as that...
I walk on over to my seat, while he continues to insist it's true - but so far, that's pretty much inline with what he does when it *is* a joke.

At this point, I'm still thinking about the Pentagon, not the Trade Centers...
In my head, the Pentagon is this weird American Military 'thing', which is referenced on so many weird shows and conspiracy theories it doesn't seem like a real place. It's "The place from the X-Files where they took Mulder's Evidence..."

The World Trade Centers have fallen down he insists. I can't remember what they look like, but I'm thinking... Skyscrapers. Way bigger than a little plane. How could a plane make a building fall over?

But other from work are concurring... huh?
I go online, if I trust anything, it's the net.

It's true.

I couldn't grasp it.
I burst out laughing.

That Alan was telling the *Truth*?

That the Truth was something weirder than *Alan* could make up??

That Little Planes *did* make a building fall down???

That the Pentagon *isn't* just a place off the X-Files????

My shock (I think that's what it was)had worn off, but the surreality was just kicking in.
I went into CNN.com (I think...)
There was a poll, 'Should we go to War?'
Most of the respondants had said yes.
I couldn't understand (I still don't)How could you go to War when you didn't know who had done it?!?

How many people had been hurt? Had died?
I started to *feel* the impact of that many lives lost... and I felt lost.
Where ever I turned on the internet, there was sadness, but more than that - Anger. Hate.

It seemed to be everywhere I turned. The people posting seemed to be the ones who hated. Who wanted the country from wherever the hijackers had come from, nuclear bombed til there wasn't even rubble.
There were postings and accounts from people who were in New York, at the Trade Center even. Real people. It was Really happening.

Even so, I couldn't take it. I couldn't take the net...
It was connecting me alright, I was getting a direct line to the hate of my fellow man.

For the first time I realised why people say 'ignorance is bliss'.
For the first time, I wanted to be ignorant.
And I really wanted the virtual world not to be so real...

Pearl | 19 | New Zealand

#275 | Thursday, November 22nd 2001
I slept through my math class, as always, and rolled out of bed for my 10 am programming class. I stop by my computer to check my email and say hi to whoever is around on AIM. Lane (designed of this site) sent me a frantic message about America under attack. Planes flying into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. I had to rush to class and I just sat and waited, wondering what was going on. Pe Nobody had much of a clue, other than some sort of terrorist attack had taken place. There was a hijacking of some planes out of Boston, the city I am in. Buildings in the city were being evacuated and people were being told to stay away from large structures. The Prudential is only a mile away. We hear the faint scream of fighter planes and we can see helicopters by the Prudential. That's the only air traffic; Nothing is coming out of Logan.

I ran back to my dorm room and walked into one of my suitemate's room and told him to turn on the TV. We sat in silence for a few minutes before I broke the quiet. "Oh shit." Then silence.

Dillon | 19 | Massachusetts

#240 | Wednesday, November 7th 2001
I remember waking up, and my roomate immediately said to me, "Pete, terrorists ran into the World Trade Center!". I immediately sat up and put on ABC news. As soon as I saw the clouds of smoke billowing out of the side of the first tower a sadness hung in my heart. I continued to watch as the second plane struck the other tower. I had classes soon, but I wasn't going to go, and neither was anyone else. I just sat with friends in my room all day and watched the news religiously. Certain parts of scripture flashed through my mind, as well as predictions from Nostradamus. I usually wouldn't believe all of his sayings but some things just seemed to match up too well. Especially since there was an earthquake not less than a few weeks after the tragedy. All I can remember is worrying whether my brother who commutes daily to NYC was ok. I was terrified for him. Later in the day I felt nothing but an uprush of pride in how America was responding. For all of the insults, badgering and degradement people try to place on the US, we came together when it counted and proved our country is the best there is, with the best people there are.
Peter Palumbo | 19 | New York

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