#1372 | Tuesday, June 4th 2002
On the morning of September 11th I took my children to school around the corner from my home. Then when I came home I turned my television on and sat to watch the Today show. Then breaking news came on, a plane crashed into one of the towers. Local news was saying at first that it was a small aircraft. I called my husband at work and told him to turn the news on right away just then another explosion. Clearly I saw A large airliner slammed into the other tower. Then we knew America was being attacked. I live on the other side of the Hudson River and can see the City clearly from my back yard. I ran out and saw the towers on fire. I was afraid there would be more attacks then ran to the school to get my kids. Just as I got to the school there were many people by the school staring at the other side of the river in shock and disbelief. As we all stood there watching the horror it all of a sudden seemed as if the whole city was in smoke. We didn't know what happened. We thought there was a third attack. Everyone was screaming. The city was completely covered in smoke. I ran home with my kids and turned the television on and saw that one of the towers collapsed and the city was covered from smoke. I went back to my backyard and saw the second tower collapse with my own eyes. My knees then gave in and I fell to the ground. I was completely in shock. I had so many feelings at that time. I was full of anger and I was very sad at the same time. That night I had no sleep. I was glued to the news just as most of the world was. I got calls from worried family members all over the country. They knew we frequently went to the city and have gone to the Twin Towers many times. Ironically we were there only 3 days before the attacks. I thank God everyday that we were not there on that day and I pray for all that were. We must never forgot what happened that day. We must never forget all the children that don't have Mommys or Daddys anymore. We must never forget!
Isabella | 24 | New York

#1368 | Tuesday, June 4th 2002
The morning of September 11, 2001 I was at work in White Plains near the Westchester County airport. I had gotten into work at about 8:30 and about 20-25 minutes after getting there received a phone call from my husband who was on his way to New Rochelle for a real estate closing. He told me that he had been listening to Howard Stern and that there was mention of a plane hitting the World Trade Center. He had switched channels and was listening to 1010 WINS in order to get more information. At the time we both thought the plane was mostly likely a small one whose pilot had had a heart attack at the controls. My co-workers and I tried to get news online, but ended up going into my boss's office to watch TV. The only station we could pick up was a Spanish one so we watched the events unfold on TV while listening to CNN on the radio.

Being about 8 months pregnant at the time I was extremely nervous once we realized that the tragic events in NYC and Washington DC were most likely the result of terrorist attacks. Being near the airport further worried me as they were beginning to shut things down in my area and were bringing in alot of police with automatic rifles and other heavy equipment. I did not linger at the office much after the first tower fell, but went to my in-law's house nearby. Together, my mother-in-law and I watched the second tower fall.

I remember thinking about all the people that we knew (relatives and friends) that worked in lower Manhatten. My husband's uncle was on top of a building on Canal Street doing some electrical work and we kept trying to find out if anyone had heard from him. Slowly, one by one, phone calls trickled in to tell us that all our immediate relations were ok. Only later that day did I speak to some of my co-workers and find out that my boss's son had been on Flight 93. I remember being completely overwhelmed by the news.

9/11 is most certainly a day that I will never forget. My sister and brother-in-law both contributed to the recovery effort at Ground Zero because she is an EMT and he is a fireman. They relayed stories and horrors too gruesome to believe. This past January I visited Ground Zero with my family. Much of the site had already been cleared but it was a very moving experience. I pray that this is the worst that I will have to see in my lifetime. Not a day goes by that I do not think of that day in September and mourn for the lives that were lost and the innocence that this nation can never recover.

Heather | 30 | New York

#1363 | Sunday, June 2nd 2002
On September 11th I was sitting in Music class when my teacher told me about what had happened. I couldn't believe it. I was outraged
Leo Waight | 14 | New York

#1333 | Tuesday, May 28th 2002
I was running late for work that morning and was waiting on the Long Island Rail Road platform in Valley Stream. Shortly before 9:00 a friend from Daytona Beach called my cell phone. She asked me if I was aware that something had struck the WTC. As we spoke and speculated she screamed into the phone that the other building had now been hit. A fellow passenger on his cell phone turned to me and said it was being called a terrorist attack. A young woman nearby fell to her knees crying into her phone that someone dear worked at the WTC and there was no answer at his desk.

The train pulled in and foolishly we all boarded. Thinking back I suspect none of us could believe we were heading toward a city under attack.

Other passengers were listening to news reports on walkmen, people were franctically trying to call loved ones. By now the cells were jammed. I tried to reach my childrens schools and my former wife. As we came closer to NYC we could see the burning towers from Long Island City, Queens. Remarkably our train was permitted to continue on to Penn Station.

By the time we arrived, Penn Station was being closed down. All rail and subway lines were being closed. The streets were jammed with people on cell phones, staring south down 7th Avenue. I walked north toward my office, looking back often at the smoke rising and spreading above lower Manhattan. When I reached Times Square thousands were watching the news on the jumbo tv screen. I continued east toward Park Avenue and heard screaming from behind me. Those still watching in Times Square were reacting to the collapse of the south tower.

At work we monitored the days events as they unfolded. We shared information on routes home. Many started out to walk over the 59th Street bridge into Queens. I finally reached my former wife who assured me the kids schools were locked down and they were safe. My brother and his wife work within blocks of the Trade Center. I reached their cell mid afternoon. They were in their car well north of the city, intending to cross the Tappanzee Bridge and then south into New Jersey. I heard the LIRR was running sporadically. I left the office around 4:30. It was horrifying to see the streets of my great city abandoned, still and oh so quiet. A train to Valley Stream was boarding as I arrived and left shortly thereafter. Remarkably I was home fairly quickly. I spoke with my children, my mother, a friend in Minneapolis called.

Typing this today, almost 9 months later, I feel chest tightening sadness.

Joe | 45 | New York

#1332 | Tuesday, May 28th 2002
I was in my office on 5th avenue when a co-worker, who was running late, called us to say that a 747 had hit the World Trade Center. At first, we thought she must have been mistaken. It was probably a small commuter plane that hit, and as all information goes from one person to another, a bit of distortion and exaggeration finds its way into the actual account. It wasn’t until ten minutes later that I decided to check the CNN website for news and information. I guess the ten-minute delay is something built into the emotional system that all New Yorker’s have when something happens. I couldn’t believe the image on my screen. Although not as disturbing as the live footage on TV, the websites only carried the image of the gaping hole the first plane left in the tower hit. My God, I thought, those poor people on the floors of impact! The websites must have been jammed with users because that image was the only image available for a considerable amount of time. I thought to myself, that building is amazing. It is still standing even after the plane hit. I thought the worst was over.

Thereafter, our only source of news was the radio. We did not have a TV in our office so the entire ordeal played out over radio waves. I could not believe my ears. When I heard that the towers had collapsed I was dumbfounded. A deep pit formed in my stomach as I held down the urge to be sick. It was something that all of us, as Americans, have finally come to realize that we are not immune to the horror that occurs on a daily basis in the Middle East. We had, once again, been drawn into war.

It was amazingly calm outside of our building as New Yorkers were finding a way out of the city. New York City was being shut down. What, New York was being shut down? My wife was about to give birth to our now 8 month-old daughter and was horribly worried that I would not be home for her when she went into labor. She went into labor on the 15th, and on the 16th I had a beautiful baby girl. The entire time I was in the hospital, I was haunted by the reality of the world in which I was bringing a child into. I spent some time home after my daughter was born, but I had been terrified to go back to NYC. I wanted to be with my new family. My family became the world to me, and each day I had to think that I was risking my life for something unnecessary. There was never anything unnecessary about rebuilding my courage. I think all New Yorkers went through something that showed the world that we have the will and desire to overcome and survive as an entire city.

Richard | 31 | New York

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