#1777 | Sunday, September 8th 2002
September 11th, for me like many, started out as an ordinary day. I got up that morning and went to school. It was toward the end of my first period class that our principal came into the room with a look on his face I will never forget. It was like I could tell what he was going to say before he said it. He montioned for our World Geography teacher to come to him in the back corner of the room. As they whispered to each other the teacher got the same look on his face as I had seen on the principals. The teacher said nothing in return but instead walked to the other corner of the room to turn on the TV. At the time only the first tower had been hit. We watched in complete silence for 20 minutes before having to change classes. In the next class the teacher did not have the TV on and did not talk about the events, either she thought it would upset us or she didnt have knowledge of it. Next was lunch. Even though the lunch room was filled with 100 some teenagers, there was complete silence. An erie silence. After that I went to my Tech/Computer class. Our teacher, a former marine, was in disbelief but was very coperative in telling us of the days events. We watched CNN and saw the people running out of the buildings and around the block. I remember checking several times that day to see if I was having a nightmare -- because what I was seeing seemed like an episode of the twlight zone. The last period that day was Algebra class. As I walked into the class our teacher had his head on his desk -- I felt like doing the same. He told us that the amount of people that died that day were several times that of Pearl Harbor. It was hard to grasp all the information being put out by the teachers and media that day. It was a day I will alsways remember very vividley, and a day none of us will ever forget. God Bless America.
Ryan | 14 | Virginia

#1750 | Sunday, September 8th 2002
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 8:15 a.m. packing my mother's childhood toys while trying to organize the rest of the family to prepare for a very long day ahead all the while trying to boost everyone's spirits as I have done so many times before since she was diagnosed. Today was my mother's first of many trips to the hospital to remove the cancer from her breast. 8:35 a.m. arrive at the hospital and help my mother to the receptionist area to check her in. My brother runs over to us 15 minutes later to say that a small plane has hit one the towers. Stupid pilot I thought why doesn't he watch where he's going. And then I tell my brother to leave us alone now, mom was already nervous enough. 10 minutes later we are all in the waiting room watching the 2nd plane hit the towers. My mother is now screaming for us to make sure her sisters are ok who all work in the Mahattan area. We all had phones with us to report to the family that mom's surgery was over and she was fine. Now we are all using up our battery power before she even goes in making failed attempts to call New York because everyone had the same idea as we did and all circuits proceded to be busy for hours. Still trying to raise the spirits in the room I mention that like us, the towers needed a new roof anyway... this of course was before 10 am and all we could do was sit and watch our hometown crash to the ground. My new home, as of 5 days previous to this day was 4 blocks from the Pentagon. And as I watch my new home get covered in smoke and flames all I now need to do is get hold of my pet sitter to make sure my animals are safe. Yes looking back this might have been minor in the scheme of things but it wasn't minor to me that day. Eventually the day came to end, my aunts were found and were fine (Except for some emotional scarring). My mom's surgery went as well as to be expected, a year later she is now a Cancer survivor and life goes on... but life will never be the same.
Mindy | 32 | Virginia

#1704 | Friday, September 6th 2002
As I was walking down the hall to class, I heard a few people yelling across the hall to others that something had happened to the World Trade Center. Not being able to understand what they were saying, I completely ignored the conversations. When I arrived in class, I forgot about the whole thing and started getting out the homework that was assigned to us the night before. My friend leaned over to me and asked, "Did you hear that a plane hit the World Trade Center?!" At first I thought that maybe a small plane like a Cessna had it on accident. I asked what type of plane had hit it and when she told me that it was a commercial airliner, a horrible feeling that I had never felt before permeated throughout my body.

As the rest of my peers began to enter the classroom I heard rumors that a car bomb had exploded outside the State Department building and that a plane had hit the West Wing of the White House as well. The class as a whole was not informed of the attacks until a few minutes later when another teacher entered the room and whispered something to my teacher. My teacher then asked the class if we had heard what happened in New York. The majority of the class was informed, but a few still did not know yet. As my teacher proceeded to teach the lesson, she realized that no one could concentrate on the lesson and asked us if we wanted to go to another classroom to watch CNN. It was when we arrived in the other classroom that we learned that the second tower had been hit, that another plane was still unaccounted for, and that the Pentagon had been hit as well. My friends and I spent our lunchtime in one of the classrooms watching CNN, unable to eat because we were so sickened by the news.

All after school activities were cancelled that afternoon so I was able to go straight home. When I arrived back home, I immediately flipped on the TV and just sat and watched CNN for the next few hours.

As the weeks ahead unfolded, a deluge of patriotism flooded my hometown. There were huge lines of potential donors waiting to give blood at the local blood banks. People gave an unprecedented amount of money to the Red Cross and the United Way.

September 11, 2001 will be a day that all Americans will remember. We will never forget the horrifying images of the Twin Towers collapsing, killing thousands of people. We will never forget the gaping hole in the Pentagon. We will never forget the heroism of the people on flight 93 who heroically averted a certain fourth attack. But most of all, we will never forget the heroic firefighters, police officers, EMTs, military personnel, and ordinary civilians that sacrificed their lives to save others.

We will defeat the terrorists who committed these atrocious attacks whether today or in 100 years! America, we will win, and most of all “God Bless America!”

Sam | 17 | Virginia

#1696 | Friday, September 6th 2002
My husband and I were eating breakfast, watching the Today show-we heard about the first plane, and like so many Americans, thought "how could any commuter plane do that?" and then with horror and silence, watched the second plane deliberately hit the Tower-disbelief? Yes--and denial-hey..I was ready to go compete in a Richmond Ladies Surburban League Tennis match and after all, this is America, so how could anything be wrong. I grbbed my racket, purse, got in the car--all so very normal--in the fifteen minutes it took me to reach the courts, I listened to the radio--denial--YES--THIS IS America--we don't have "stuff" like that here. But, it did happen, and a bunch of tennis-playing women reached out to one another, crying, I suppose, for the loss of innocence, not yet realizing the loss of lives for STILL, denial--how could anyone be murdered by terrorists HERE in our country. "OUR COUNTRY"---those words mean so much more to me than I can ever describe. With Sept. 11, 2002 just around the corner, I can feel the tears beginning to form for what was and what might still happen. My life has changed-every day I cherish my world, my husband, children, family and friends and will never again take my blessings for granted.
Pat Baker | 64 | Virginia

#1667 | Thursday, September 5th 2002
I was at work on the morning of September 11, 2001 when I heard about the attacks. I work in the Receiving Unit and a vendor came in and told me about the 1st plane. She was really upset and had been crying. She went on to say that after the first plane hit, there was a second plane and at that point she knew it was a terrorist attack. I was stunned. The word started getting around at work and staff were watching little desktop TVs and turning on radios. Everyone was milling about talking and try to comfort each other. I remember thinking that my brother has an office at the Pentagon and he and his wife frequently have meetings there. I called my mom and she tried to get in touch with my brother, but the phone lines were down. He works for the Department of the Navy. We later found out that he and his wife both had meetings scheduled that day at the Pentagon, but last minute plans kept them from attending - Thank GOD!! I talked to my fiance and he said he woke up to the TV being on and thought a movie was on - he had no idea that what he was seeing was real.

All I can really remember about the day was that I wanted to leave work, pick my children up and go home and hold them. I wanted to be near those I love the most in such a shocking time.

My heart goes out to the ones left behind.


Lynne Breedlove | 36 | Virginia

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