#54 | Monday, September 17th 2001
On a normal morning, I would be frantically preparing myself for a hectic day. Preparing for meeetings, finishing drawings (I am an Architect)and sipping my morning brew, but the morning of the 11th, I walked into the office to find our receptionist asking where she could find a news source on the web. I asked why and she said that a plane had struck one of the WTC towers. My first reaction was, "What a strange thing, someone at AA is going to get hit hard for this...the BOOM! The radio reported that the second plane hit the towers, my second thought was that the air traffic controllers were unknowingly leading planes into tall buildings. Then it began to sink in. This innevitable gloom that there was foul play involved.

I am normally a workhorse. Going about my day in an orderly fasion, but after hearing the news I was emotionally shut down. I could not think, much less work. The rest of the afternoon was spent reading reports on the web, and a mad dash to the closest TV at lunch to watch CNN. I was literally mortified. Downtowns all over America were being closed, and panic was beginning to set in. My girlfriend was sent home from her office in downtown Dallas, and all I could think about were my friends in New York, so I began sending e-mails. Luckily all have come back successfully, but I am now left with a sense of anger and fear. A strange and potentially reactionary mix.

Now I am unsure of Americas future. We will strike back, but at what cost? That is the question looming over many of us in Dallas.

I am still mortified, and still have lingering fear.

Thoughts go out to everyone suffering today, the world over.

James Ryan McLean | 28 | Texas

#29 | Sunday, September 16th 2001
On Tuesdays I do not have class until 11 am. At about 9 am I hear the girl across the hall begin to freak out about something. I heard the word airplane and I thought she was watching some reality show about sky divers. She was telling everyone to watch the t.v. I tried to go back to sleep, but she was too loud. So I decided that I would get up and take my shower. As I open the door she starts trying to tell me about the airplane. She was wearing a shirt with the New York skyline on it, and she pointed to the towers and said that they were gone. Then she pointed to the screen and I saw it all. I was so much in shock that I went to the shower. All through my shower I just prayed. Then I got back to my room and the magnitude of the situation hit me. I fell on the floor and wept.
Rachel | 18 | Texas

#28 | Sunday, September 16th 2001
I was walking out of the Bean, the cafeteria at ACU, and happened to glance at a smoking building on television. I watched the report for a minute - it was just before 8:00, right after it had happened. I walked to my Bible class. The professor was taking prayer requests, and I said that we should pray about "The plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. They don't know if it was terrorists or what, but they're worried." Everyone looked at me like I was insane, but we prayed about it anyway.
The class ended at 9:20, and I walked through the lobby of the campus center to see if there was anything else about it on TV. I watched in horror as they replayed the first building collapsing. I said a few words to a friend, Travis, and he said "Want to skip class and watch this at my apartment?" (The Campus Center was very crowded, and you could hardly hear the audio). I said yes, and we went. For the next hour and a half I just watched. I watched the second tower fall live. It was incredible.
Chapel that day was prayer. Everyone simply sat in the colliseum and prayed about everything that had happened.
And we still pray. The sermon this morning was about where God was. Don't listen to the fools who'll tell you he caused this to happen as a result of the "immorality of America." America is immoral, but our God is perfect. God was with the firefighters as they raced _up_ the stairs to save people. God was with those who called family to tell them that they knew they were going to die, and that they loved them, from hijacked airplanes. And God is with the mourners now.

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3


Dave McVey
Abilene Christian University
Abilene, Texas

David McVey | 18 | Texas

#2 | Saturday, September 15th 2001
I remember getting ready to walk out the door to go to class when my roommate walked quickly through the door and turned on CNN. An image of some building popped onto the screen and flames coming out of its sides. I thought at first it must have been another attack by the IRA in London or a suicide bomber who walked into a building in Tel Aviv. But the locaton began to register as the WTC towers became more defined and the reporters voices came in far more shocked and frightened than when they normally reported about terrorist actions in distant countries. The feeling of amazement overwhelmed me at first, this is the worst thing ever kept on repeating in my mind as any past acts of horror seemed to fade away in the impact of this attack on our nation's symbols and population.
Then I came back into the now, thinking I have to go to class. But then I remember, how can I go to class, this changes my whole world, how can things still be the same. I didn't think my day should be like any other one. Everything was out of focus and as I wandered to class I was still trying to bring my world back together.
In class my professor's face was stoic and he stood in a stone-like pose in front of the students. In his distinct Brooklyn accent he warned us all that acts of terror such as this if not stopped and their perpetrators punished, then the United States would decay like the Roman Empire until there was nothing left.
Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day, allowing us all to dwell on the situation at hand and seek comfort through our friends at school and our family back home. Anger, fear, shock, sadness, and frustration all swirled around me and it took reconnecting with my family and friends to make the world stop spinning.
The magnitude of all the wonderful lives uselessly taken from us by the planes that were targeted at the American psyche will continue to hit hard every time I see, hear, or think of those two magnificent towers crumbling into dust and the stories of all the great people who died on Sept. 11. I hope no one else on the planet ever has another day like the one almost every American had on that Tuesday.


Justin Arthrell | 20 | Texas

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