#155 | Tuesday, September 25th 2001
I was at the Adam's Mark hotel in Dallas, TX, for a training class. If I wasn't there, I would have been at Ground Zero, at the World Financial Center in NYC.

My most vivid memory is running up to my hotel room to try to use the phone there, because my cell phone couldn't get through to loved ones. I got into the room, and the housekeeper was in there. I turned on the TV, and was watching, and as I was dialing the second tower came down, live. I dropped the phone and slumped on the bed.

All the while, the housekeeper was just doing her business. I realized she spoke no English. I know some Spanish, so I brought her to the television, and we watched in awe and silence at what was going on in my city.

Matt Garland | 25 | Texas

#151 | Monday, September 24th 2001
I grew up in DC, but I'm currently living in Dallas, TX. On September 11, 2001, I was making a sandwich when my roommate called me into her bedroom, where she had just turned on the news. The Pentagon was burning. The World Trade Center looked like a bad special effect. The two of us stood there, with our hands clapped over our mouths, unable to even fathom what was going on. We could only utter quiet statements of, "oh my God". I couldn't even tear myself away from the TV to go call my friends and family who had worked in both buildings. I'm still waiting to hear from some of them... Our third roommate, Kat, stumbled in a few minutes later, curious as to what was going on. The three of us were glued to the small television in Beth's bedroom, even though the larger TV was only one room away. We couldn't break ourselves away from the barrage of media. Kat turned to me and asked if I had gotten ahold of my parents. I ran out of the room and picked up the phone. No good. I tried another number. No good. All the phone lines were choked with people trying to contact their loved ones. I called my girlfriend, Trixie, in North Carolina, and we swapped pieces of news that we'd heard as she watched MSNBC and I flipped between CNN and ABC's affiliate in Dallas--news Channel 8. I called home again, and then I heard my mom's voice. I wasn't worried about my parents. Neither of them work in the Pentagon or anywhere near it, but it was so good to hear the voice from someone at home. It was so good to -know- that they were safe. Some of my friends' mothers and father were not so lucky. Some of my friends were not so lucky.

Jessica Faulkner | 21 | Texas

#123 | Friday, September 21st 2001
I was biking around Austin with a group of friends from work. When we pulled into the parking lot, a fellow biker who was not riding that morning told us that two planes had hit the World Trade Center and that he had just heard on the radio that the Pentagon had been attacked as well -- at that point I think the rumor was that it had been bombed. Of course we hardly knew what to think: we hadn't seen any pictures or heard any actual news coverage at that point. We just wanted to get back onto our bikes and return to our normal, peaceful, pre-8:45am (Austin time) life.

As we showered and dressed, we talked a lot about how inevitable something like this was -- although I later began to feel that the terrorists must have been amazed at their success, because although we agreed that some sort of attack was bound to happen sometime, I don't think any of us thought it would be so destructive.

I went to the cafeteria for breakfast as I usually do after a morning ride. The televisions were all on CNN. I watched the towers burn for a long time until I realized that they might collapse, which is when I stopped watching and tried to work. I did not want to see them fall, at least not live, and I was in my cube when my boss (from Brooklyn) came and told me that they were gone.

Of course, I followed the news throughout the day on the 'net (mostly via the BBC, which was the only reliable news source that wasn't swamped), radio, and sometimes TV.

I spent all of Tuesday and Wednesday choked up. I cried twice thinking about one particular story about rescue workers tearing down scaffolding to make stretchers. Fortunately, the second time, my girlfriend was there to cry on.

So far, everyone I know is accounted for.

Scot | 26 | Texas

#122 | Friday, September 21st 2001
7:45am (Central): I was asleep on my apartment balcony in the middle of a big city.
I had pitched my small tent on my balcony the night before, a beautiful Texas night with lows in the 60s. It was my way of saying, "Even though I live in a city, I won't abide by urban conventions!"
I awoke at 8:12 to the distant sound of my phone inside. Unable to reach it in time (and not really caring to), I let it go unanswered. At 8:35am, another phone call. Once again, I did not answer.
But I did get up a minute later and look at the Call ID box. It was my sister. I lazily called her back, wondering what could be so important this early in the morning. As the phone rang, I noticed that the 8:12am call had been my father. "Isn't he in Chicago on a trip right now? Why would he be calling this early?"

"Hey, it's me."
"Have you turned on the television?! Do you know what's happening?"
"Uh, no... what's going on?"
"Oh my God, it's crazy. Planes have flown into the World Trade Center!"
"They're showing planes running into the World Trade Center. It's completely crazy. It's all live."
"Okay, I'll go turn it on. Did you talk to dad? He had called me."
"Yeah, he's okay. Go turn on the TV. Oh my gosh, they're saying there was just an explosion at the Capitol."

Detached disbelief. That's what it was. As the TV tube warmed up, I saw an instant replay of a passenger jet slamming into a 110 story building.
I debated about whether to go to work or not (what if missiles were overhead? I work in a 5 story building... would it be a target?) Eventually, I chose to go to work.
Iíll never forget what happened as I pulled into the parking lot. The radio station I was listening to was carrying the live ABC video feed. Assuming that his audience would be seeing the video as well, he simply said, "And now, the World Trade Center is collapsing. Thereís really nothing that can be said. We can just watch." Then, complete dead air silence for 90 seconds. "This... is the worst thing I have ever seen. The World Trade Center has, effectively, just been destroyed." It was then that I let loose and cried for 5 minutes, sitting in my parked car.

It has now been 10 days, and I have not slept in my tent since. A small part of me is afraid to Ė somehow, that part of me feels irrationally vulnerable and exposed out there. But mostly, my partial motive for sleeping out there -- "My life is so 'terrible' because Iím imprisoned in this city apartment working my 9 to 5 job" Ė now seems unbelievably petty. My God, at least Iím alive. Facing an uncertain future, admittedly. But alive.

Bradley D. Garner | 24 | Texas

#113 | Thursday, September 20th 2001
my girlfriend woke me up with a friendly phone call on 9 11. she told me to look at the news. i checked USAtoday.com and it all just seemed so unreal. and it was hard to get through my head something like that could happen.
Dan | 17 | Texas

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