#1656 | Wednesday, September 4th 2002
On September 11, 2001, I was at work in my office when a co-worker came in and told me about the first attack on the World Trade center. I tuned my radio to a local AM news station and started listening for any news updates about the attacks. I also called my wife and son to tell them. In our conference room was a TV/VCR set that had no antenna. About 6 of us gathered around the snowy picture tube barely able to make out the images of the catastrophe. Only the voice of the reporter could be heard describing the unfolding events. A co-worker made a trip to the nearest Radio Shack store and was lucky enough to grab the last set of rabbit ears. Once they were hooked up, we could clearly see what was on the screen. By this time, there were at least 8 of us there watching in horror. Moments later, we watched in shock as the first tower collapsed. Later when the second tower collapsed you could have heard a pin drop. I think we were all in a state of shock. For the remainder of the workday, we would wander over to the conference room to catch updates. I donít think many of us got much work done the rest of the day.

Rick Johnson | 47 | Virginia

#1653 | Wednesday, September 4th 2002
I was on active duty in the military, stationed at Fort Lee, VA. I worked as a communications specialist at the post Emergency Operations Center. About the time I arrived to work after morning physical fitness training, a civilian lady I worked with came running into my office saying that the WTC had been hit by a plane. She scrambled to find the remote to the TV so she could go to CNN and I was busy trying to decipher what the hell was going on. At first I thought it was probably a small passeger plane ran wrong, but as we were watching live footage, another airliner hit the other twin tower. Without hesitation the first thought that came to my mind was "terrorist". The hours and months to follow will always leave a horrid scar in my heart and mind. I was instructed to sound the post air raid sirens (which is an eerie sound alone) and the post went to Threatcon Delta, which is absolutely no access. It was hard to sleep at night, especially being on a military installation and our work hours were long and exhaustive. But, no-one cared how long or how hard we worked anymore. Everyone pulled together for a common cause and that was to protect our base and the surrounding communities. God bless all the emerg. response crews that lost members, and god bless all the innocent souls trapped inside. I will never forget it.
Richy Shepherd | 26 | Virginia

#1614 | Wednesday, August 28th 2002
I was at home asleep that morning with my six week old son, in our Brooklyn apartment. I had the phone unplugged so the baby wouldn't be woken by the ringing. At 10:30 I woke up and plugged the phone back in as usual. A minute later a friend called me and said she had bad news. First she asked me if my husband was at work. I said yes, he had gone in early. I had been up that morning to kiss him goodbye, we hugged and were looking forward to a romantic evening together. Then my friend told me the Towers had been bombed and everyone was dead, which is what she thought at the time. I just started screaming, "WHAT? WHAT?" becuase my husband was working on the 56th Floor of the Trade Towers. I ran up to my upstairs neighbor, pounding on the door screaming. She was watching the television and I stared at the screen but I couldn't focus on the screen and I couldn't understand what was happening. My neighbor asked me where the baby was, I had just left him in his bassinet. I had to get the baby and nurse him. I sat down and kept telling myself that my husband was fine and I had to calm down so that I could nurse my baby. Another friend called and told me that not everyone was dead and she was confident that my husband had been safely evacuated, so then I just kept telling myself that he was fine. I kept telling everyone who was with me that my husband was fine because I had to believe it to stay calm. I didn't know what to do. Then at 11:30 my husband called me from a stranger's cell phone. He was at the South Street Seaport. He had tried to call me as soon as he got out of the building but all the phones were dead. He told me he had hoped I had slept through the whole thing and that he would be able to reach me before anyone else did, to spare me the worry. He also gave me the names and contact numbers for several strangers, and asked me to call their families to let them know they were ok. I did that and then I tried to call relatives to let them know he was alive but I couldn't get through to anybody. So I went online and started sending out emails saying "Mark is Alive" and I emailed friends in other states and asked them to call our relatives for me, since the NY lines were jammed. Meanwhile I was still waiting for my husband to come home. At 1:30 the doorbell rang and it was him. Of course he didn't have his keys anymore, but he was fine. I couldn't believe it. Then I went up the street to ring a friend's doorbell even though I knew really he wouldn't be there, because he was too high up in the tower to have had time to get down. We sat around after that, we didn't know what to do. We didn't know if anything else would happen. Then at about 10:30 pm we realized a lot of smoky air was coming into our apartment, so we packed up our car and left for Westchester. It was very eerie, because no one was on the street and there were very few cars. Jay Street was closed and police and bomb squad people were standing around. There were even police guarding the bank. Luckily a cop told us how to go around the detour and we were able to get on the highway and take the BQE to the Triboro Bridge, and get to Westchester, where we felt a lot safer.
Kristina Vacha | 29 | Virginia

#1504 | Monday, July 29th 2002
I awoke around 1 or 2 in the afternoon on September 11th. I had called in sick to work around 8:30 that morning and did not know of anything about to happen. When I was awake briefly that morning, I had thought to myself that this was to be an odd day. I did not know why I got that feeling but I did and I did not feel right. I thought it was from being sick, so I went back to bed. When I woke up that afternoon I listened to the answering machine and heard my brother frantically telling me to wake up and call him and to turn on the news. Well, not thinking too much of it I opened a webpage on my computer and saw the latest headlines. Something about the World Trade Center collapsing. I could not believe it so I turned around in my chair and turned on the TV to CNN and as soon as I turned it on, I saw that frightening video of the second plane crashing into the second tower. It made me shiver, and made me think of who would do such an evil thing. I quickly called my brother and talked to him about it, and then I realized that my friend was in New York at the time in college right in Manhattan. I did not get in touch with him for days when he finally got to come home. Fortunately he was not in the immediate area of the crashes and was safe. He told me he was able to watch the towers fall from his apartment building's roof. Still, those images of fire, and people falling to their death scare me and make me realize how messed up and chaotic this world is. I used to think that this country was safe, but after those incidents and incidents such as the Daniel Pearl case, make me reassess that thought. We are not Americans anymore, we are global citizens. When people wake up, which I hope happens before we are all dead, and realize that we do not need this violence anymore, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the military presence of our troops in Afgahnistan, the rivalry of India and Pakistan, and the oppression in places like China, Bosnia, and Korea, then the world will be safe again for ALL people. Peace, and love to all....
Robert M. | 20 | Virginia

#1472 | Monday, July 15th 2002
Where was I the day the world stood still?
Well I was at home, playing around online and talking to a friend online. We got concerned over a friend of ours in Maryland and were trying to call him throughout the morning, but for some reason the phone lines were rather busy there. We both got rather flustered by this.
In between phone calls with my friend, the phone rings, I thinking it's her pick it up and say *yeah*, it was my father. His words to me were a shock, "the World Trade Towers have been struck by a plane", my mother was not home, she was getting her car serviced. I immediately turned on CNN, and watched in horror, LIVE as the second plane turned and went straight for the the second tower. I was off the phone with my dad at this point and on the phone with my friend Andrea. I called her and told her to turn on the news. We both sat there in shock watching the news. Both of us were on our cell phones trying to reach everyone we knew in NY, and in DC/Maryland area. The phones were all busy, EVERYWHERE!!!! I sat there watching as the news broke about the Pentagon & Pennsylvania. I didn't leave that spot for hours. I cried for the most of the day.
After awhile I had to go to work, and while at work we watched it on the televisions that were throughout the store. We were practically a meeting hall for people to watch the news. It was very sad to watch. All the while I had forgotten that my uncle lived near there at the time. After a few hours we recieved an email from him saying he was fine, and that he watched it all happen.

I few months later I was driving through DC and I swear that traffic STOPPED on the road I was on (interstate) when we all saw a small plane going rather low, and straight for one of the buildings that you can see from that road. It was scary.

My old job was right next to an airport, so daily you would hear planes coming in and out. But for days after that it was silent. But once the planes started up again, whenever one sounded too close, you could see the fear in people's eyes.

I remember also seeing the hatred in people's eyes. We have many Arab customers who would come in, and that day was not the day to be arab and shopping there. I felt so bad for some. There was one woman, I can remember her clearly, she was arab, we were talking about the attacks and about the possible death toll before it was announced, and she came and joined our conversation, the fear & hurt were genuine in her eyes, she was disgusted with what happened!! But there was this one family who came in, and the looks in people's eyes were just terrible! I have to admit at first I did it too, but then I was like why am I doing this? They aren't out there celebrating the attacks, they are hurt by them too. And after that I persoanlly didn't look at them any differently other then seeing that they were Americans!!!!

Shaine | 27 | Virginia

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