#312 | Thursday, December 6th 2001
Where was I? I was in bed when this tragedy happened, I awoke just like I do everyday and took a shower and prepared myself for class at the University of Missouri-Columbia. As I was walking out the door a friend of mine called and asked "Can you believe this?", my response was "Believe what?" So I turned on the television is shock and disbelief. The second tower was till standing then shortly after I turned on the T.V. it collapsed. I couldn't move. I was in shock. I had to go to class, so I left. As I walked through campus there was not a smile on anyones face. I saw many tears and many hugs. The whole University of Missouri campus, though so far away from NYC was in complete shock. I sat in my class and the Professor walked in and took a seat. With a lump in his throat and a tear in his eye he left it up to us, did we want to stay and learn or did we want to leave and call or friends and families. We stayed for a short time and has a discussion. The Professor put it best. . . he basically said that everything has been put in perspective. This class we were sitting in was not important at all. It was just a class, the nation has just been attacked and thousands of lives lost and he did not feel that it was right to go on with class like nothing happened. We all agreed and left. A friend of mine in the class was in tears, a close friend of hers is in the Army close to the pentagon and she could not get ahold of him. I was worried, a friend of mine, whom I just visited 1 month before this, lives in Brooklyn and works downtown by the Empire State Building. It was a day of confusion, anger, shock, and sadness. Eventually we found out that our friends were both safe, but soon found out my father found out he lost a classmate he graduated highschool with in Washington D.C. It is amazing how many people directly loss someone in this event. I will never forget turning on the television the morning of September 11th, 2001 and having to sit down because I was in shock, the two buildings I had visited not a month before were gone. I realized that the world was never going to be the same.
Zach Whithead | 20 | Missouri

#300 | Wednesday, November 28th 2001
As a college student in Viginia, but a resident of NY, I was sound asleep when the first plane hit. I'd sent my boyfriend home from a wonderful vist here the day before through JFK airport, and was awakened by a phone call from him, screaming at me to turn on the tv. He is in the NYPD, his cousin is an EMT, his uncle is an FDNY fire captain, and his father and brother are police officers just above the Bronx. Needless to say, I was thrown headlong into the morning with phone calls and scary moments.
I watched in horror as the buildings shot flames towards the sky. Friends began to IM me, and only then did I realize that it was Tuesday, and my mother was in the WTC at a conference that morning, of all mornings. I spent the morning glued to the tv watching new developments, waiting for the next piece of news. Friends began to gather in my room, coming to offer words of hope, wanting to be consoled or to be kept current on the real news. The cable news channels were doing their best, but I was able to hear first hand what was going on in NY. About 11am, I finally got through on the phone to my father at his office. My mother had just been in touch with him - she'd been in the second building to be hit when the first plane went in. She felt the impact, and went downstairs against the instructions of the security, saying "forget it, I'm out of here," and went into the subway tunnel and went uptown to get out of NYC. She was underground when the plane hit the building she had just been in, and when she was able to look again at a tv, the building no longer stood. She had to evacuate Grand Central Station, but was then able to call my dad, and was let on to the last train headed north to the suburbs before they closed everything down.
We gathered together as a community here, many people having friends and family in NYC and in DC, and many people still waiting to hear from them. Everyone was looking for clear answers and no one could provide them. I sat in my room, unable to tear myself away from the news or my cell phone. My family finally all got home and they were all able to slowly get in touch with me and let me know that they were safe. I began to hear stories from my boyfriend and his family about bodies and horrible things that weren't being shown on tv. Seven members are gone from his uncle's firehouse. I've spent the last few weeks finding out about all the people who I didn't think of that day - friends of friends, family of friends...
We've lost so many. I know that God was busy that morning with so many new guardian angels. The innocent people we lost are so tragic, and the heroes, some of whom I was close friends with, died doing what they loved, what they lived for.
I want to go to sleep and wake up with the last 2 1/2 months a dream, to return to being innocent. It's not possible, and I'm not about to forget this scary time. I will never forget, never let those around me forget. Hug everyone you know, tell them you love them... in this time, and in any time, you never know when it will be the last time.

Lissy | 20 | Virginia

#257 | Saturday, November 17th 2001
Tragedy. Forcing myself to go to class, I pulled my eyes away from the television long enough to shower and get dressed. Not feeling like anything had REALLY happened, I forgot and smiled because it was such a beautiful day. As I walked down the street, the distinctive voice of Tom Brokaw reverberated in the air as the breaking news uncontrollably poured from the windows and the tears uncontrollably streamed down my face. I was here. At the University of Virginia. A native New Yorker, stuck in the college bubble. It suddenly struck me. It was real...it's horrible what Hollywood can do to the American mind. Effects so awesome that when it really happens...it's so hard to dissociate computer graphics from what is real. I thought of all of those people...those children. Standing on the pavement, the frezied voices of newscasters spinning their tales of tragedy stinging my ears, tears burning my eyes, the saltiness of it all assaulting my tongue--catching the back of my throat--I knelt down, feeling the roughness of the pavement beneath my knees, looking up at the carefree clouds floating against their friendly blue backdrop--clouds so dissimilar to those experienced by those helpless people, those brave firefighters, policemen and rescue workers. The words were simply lodged in the back of my throat. I had to get to class. What did it really matter? My head pounding, heart aching--lips only able to mouth what they had so wanted to scream..."Why?"
April Inyard | 20 | Virginia

#255 | Friday, November 16th 2001
I was in Las Vegas for a weekend getaway. I had turned the TV on 5 minutes after the first plane hit. At first I thought it was a joke, I yelled for my best friend to come see what had happened. I was watching when the second plane hit and I knew instantly what was happening. I was glued to TV's for the rest of our vacation. I will never forget the mood of Las Vegas that weekend, hardly anyone was gambling and no one was smiling. People were crowded around TV screens in every bar. By 4 pm on September 11, every casino had a flag and the words "God Bless America" on their billboards, as I drove down the strip that night I could help but cry. God bless those who perished and God bless our healing nation.
Kristin | 20 | California

#244 | Friday, November 9th 2001
I remember rushing to a coffee shop on campus to get a quick wake me up before I went to class. As I walked over to the cash register, I noticed a bunch of people gathered around the TV in the sitting area. Everyone had their jaw dropped. This one guy kept crying out, "Oh my god! Oh my god!" he looked like he was having a nervous breakdown. I just remember watching the TV awestruck, with the huge headlines "America Under Attack" America under attack? How? Why? Is this real? No one seemed to believe it at the time. I remember walking away and back to class. Trying to not think about it for an hour while my professor (who commutes from the city) tried to take our minds off it for an hour or so.
Jennifer Tran | 20 | Connecticut

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