#715 | Friday, February 1st 2002
I was up at 5.30 am (Pacific Time) getting ready for school and saw the whole thing unfold on TV. I saw the second plane hit right before I left. Arrived at school to find worried talk and crying. We watched TV and cried all day long.
M. Cristen | 18 | California

#710 | Friday, February 1st 2002
I had a nine oclock class that Thursday. I sat through an hour and a half of class, completely clueless as to anything that had happened that morning. It was as I walked over to my 10:30 that I first heard news of something being wrong. My sociology class was cancelled, due to "some fire or something" at the WTC. I didn't give it a second thought. I was just happy I didn't have to go to class. So I went early to my job interview, and as I was sitting in the office, my boss was listening to Howard Stern while asking me to fill out some paperwork. It was then that I heard about planes crashing into the WTC. I don't even remember getting my job, but I remember walking back to my room in a cloud, and as I walked through my hall, it was only then that I began to understand the gravity of the situation. No one was at class, everyone's door was open and tuned to CNN...and everyone was crying. At this point I still didn't comprehend that it was a terrorist attack...and as I watched 5 minutes of CNN, I began to realize what had happened.

My friend lost her father in the attack, a volunteer firefighter in two local fire departments and also an employee in Tower 2. He got out safely, but went back in to try to help people. He was never seen again. I attended his wake in the end of October, when they found bits and pieces of the man who I knew as a jovial widow, a single father of two teenage girls. My friend now lives with a distant relative in upstate New York.

Having this happen the first month of being away from home at college has shaped my existence. I still rely on the people who I grew up with, from that day on. We all have been stirred by the tragedy...no one will ever be the same.

Marissa Larubbio | 18 | New York

#708 | Friday, February 1st 2002
I was at my school (5 towns college) getting my photo I.D. picture taken, as I walked into the office, they had a small clock radio broadcasting news, which was all about a plane crashing into one of the twin towers, I was stunned, so was everyone else, but we went about taking the picture, not thinking it was a terrorist attack yet considering nothing else had happened. I took the picture, and immediatly left school. I was on my home on the LIE (Long Island Expressway) when the 2nd plane hit the other tower, thats when it hit me it was a terrorist attack, had I been a half hour later leaving school, if it weren't for my first class being cancelled, I would have been basically stranded there, because they eventually closed the LIE for Emergency vehicles only, I got home and went inside, my mother was in her bed, practically hiding under the covers watching in horror. I went to a few friends houses afterwards, picked them up, we all went to Jones Beach, and watched the smoke rise from there, we all said our prayers.
Ryan Brady | 18 | New York

#682 | Sunday, January 27th 2002
I was in my 1st period English class. My teacher was at a wedding in Texas so we had a substitute that day. He had gotten a call on his cell phone from his wife. After a minute or two he rested his forehead on his hand saying "Oh my God." All of us in the classroom stopped talking.

He ended his phone conversation and announced to us that the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. It seemed odd to me that a plane would run into a building of that size and magnitude. My friends and I started to debate about how this could have happened. Something must have gone terribly wrong.

A few moments later, our teacher had gotten another phone call. This time was worst then the last. He announced to us that a second plane and ran into 1 of the World Trade Center buildings. Now, I knew something really wasn't right. All of us grew silent.

The lunch bell had rang and a few of my friends and I ran down to the media center to see if they had the TV's on. Of course they were. We watched it all unfold before our eyes. Pictures pouring through the screen of 2 planes crashing into the buildings. Watching the smoke billow out of them. Then, without warning, the buildings started to collapse. Some teachers watching started to cry. Others gasped.

I then realized that my brother was supposed to be coming home that day by airplane from Boston. My heart jumped into my throat. I jumped up and ran to find a phone. I called my mother. She assured me that my brother was okay, that he had called about 10 minutes ago.

I prayed that day. I prayed for all of those lost, and those who lost. For those who were helping. I then knew that America would rise from those ashes. We will stand as one nation and fight the evil that had damaged our great land. America will prevail.

Adam Watts | 18 | North Carolina

#644 | Monday, January 21st 2002
I was in my first class of the morning, sleeping quietly at my desk in the back of my classroom. When the principal announced what had happened over the intercom, promising more details later, I knew that I would always remember where I was at that moment.
Katie Lohrenz | 18 | Kansas

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