#1201 | Monday, April 22nd 2002
I was sleeping and my friend living on Vandenburg Air Force Base called and woke me up. She said they were telling the civilians to leave the base so she was coming to our town. I sat glued to the TV for the next two days. When my kids got home from school, they had been watching it all day. Saddest day ever in America.
Janey Parker | 40 | California

#1185 | Monday, April 15th 2002
Monday, April 15th, 2002

On the morning of September 11, 2001,I was fixing my Dad's breakfast (he has Alzheimer's Disease and lives with me), when I turned on the t.v. news. At first I thought I was looking at some action movie, but I knew that movies weren't shown at this time on this channel. Then it set in: I was watching the World Trade Center being attacked! I went numb all over, a sense of being in a surreal nightmare came over me. I continued to watch the rest of that day, learning about the Pentagon attack and the passenger plane heroes who died rather than let terrorists attack the White House.

For the next two weeks, I would find myself sitting bolt-upright in bed at all times of the night and early morning, with a feeling of emptiness so vast that I felt I was being swallowed alive. I felt the pain and confusion of all of those souls who had departed this life so prematurely; and I felt the tremendous pain of all of those (family, friends, employees) who were left behind to deal with the horror.

I am so tired of Americans being called derogatory names. As a people, we are mostly hard working, thrifty and industrious, while finding time to volunteer and donate money and goods, in order to make this a better world for everyone. American is the most compassionate nation in the world, and I am extremely proud to be an American.

America, like all other countries, has its heroes and cowards, its honest and dishonest, its peaceful and destructive, its active and apathetic. But I can tell you that from my perspective, we have the best government in the world, because each and every citizen is a part of our government.

During the Vietnam War era I did not fly the American Flag, because so many of the bigots, rapers of the land, and dishonest people thought they were patriots by flying our flag. But now I fly our nation's flag, because we as a nation were directly attacked and must display unity for all to see.

To me, a true patriot loves the land, its animals, its people and its natural resources. A true patriot does the most he or she can to leave this world in a better condition then when he/she found it. And a true patriot will defend the United States when under attack, but above all else try to resolve disputes through diplomacy, realizing that all wars claim innocent victims, and that achieving peace through peaceful means is the most coveted of all victories. I may not always like who's currently administering our government, but will always love my country. And so I fly the American Flag, because I love my country.

American has been attacked and hurt, but this, too, shall pass...and we shall overcome.

Crystal Goodman | 55 | California

#1183 | Sunday, April 14th 2002
I live in California, so by the time I got up in the morning, it was all over. I woke around 8:30am, but lay in bed lazily, looking outside at the beautiful day. I had been working on a massive project the day before at work and I happily announced to my boyfriend when he picked me up from work that I should complete the task by tomorrow. I got out of bed first and went into the shower.

I was in the middle of the shower when something strange happened. It sounded like the faucet and pipes in the bathroom were talking to me! They were humming loudly and I turned off the water to figure out what was happening. That is when I heard the TV in the living room, turned on as loud as I've ever heard it, so loud that it was vibrating off the faucet and pipes in the bathroom. I heard bits and pieces through the bathroom door....United flight blah blah blah this, United flight blah blah blah that.

I wiped myself, walked out of the bathroom to find my boyfriend watching CNN. I saw my first images of the towers on fire and collapsing. It was all a blur as I tried to make sense of it. I was shocked when I realized that the towers were no longer standing. My boyfriend turned to me and said, "You know this means war."

I didn't to watch TV all day, as I knew that's all I'd ever do if I stayed home, so I got ready for work. My boyfriend drove me to the shuttle stop, angry as hell and saying we should bomb whoever did it into the stone age -- using nukes if possible. I didn't feel angry, I was shocked and stunned, not even sad yet -- as it had yet to settle in my mind.

My shuttle bus had not arrived yet and I walked down the street thinking about what had just happened. I saw people walking on the lonely street, did they know what had just happened? I looked at the brand-new newspapers in the vending machines -- they seemed so behind-the-times and old news. I thought about the times I had been to New York and seen the WTC. I thought about the movie Meteor from 1981 which showed the Twin Towers exploding. I thought my own thoughts when I was there in person, wondering how the Towers could ever be safely demolished and imploded. I could not imagine how they could be brought down safely without damaging the surrounding buildings because they were so *freakingly* tall. And what I tried to visualize in my mind I saw with my eyes on CNN, and it was horrible.

I got on the shuttle to work. It was a short trip to the university. I thought about a predication I made idly in a chatroom a week before predicting a massive terrorist attack on the U.S. that would far eclipse Oklahoma City. I thought something that was gonna happen in the next 10 years, I didn't imagine it was right behind the corner. I worried about the FBI using Carnivore and reading my comments and thinking I somehow had advance knowledge.

When the shuttle got near my work, it was clear that something was wrong. There were police everywhere, a newsvan, and police tape everywhere. That summer I was working at Hoover Tower, a conservative institution and where many terrorism experts have studied. Apparently someone had phoned in a bomb threat to the Tower and the building was being evacuated. So it looked like there was no work today afterall. I found one of my co-workers standing nearby and he told me what had happened.

So I decided to go to my other office nearby and work on the project I had planned to work on today. I went into my office, closed the door, and logged onto CNN.com. And that is how I spent my day, updating every few minutes. It turned out to be no different than if I had stayed home and watched CNN on TV.

And that project? I haven't worked on it since.

Sarah | 31 | California

#1177 | Friday, April 12th 2002
I was just getting off the mid shift. I am an air traffic controller at Los Angeles Center. A co-worker came in at 6 AM PST to take over my RADAR position and said a plane hit the WTC in New York. I thought it was a small aircraft with an inexperienced pilot who misjudged his altitude. When I got home and turned on the TV I still had no idea what was happening. I asked my wife if she wanted to watch the WTC burn down. Just then, they showed the second tower being hit by a large aircraft and I knew something was terribly wrong. My first thoughts were; How could this happen? And then, This was no accident. I was very tired from work, but still watched for almost 3 hours. After the first tower collapsed, I turned off the TV to try to get some rest. I layed in bed thinking; "God help those people in the buildings, the fireman trying to rescue them, and all the Air Traffic Controllers who are dealing with this right now. Things will never be the same in America again."
Mike | 30 | California

#1176 | Friday, April 12th 2002
On Sept 11 in San Diego,I got up late and didn't have time to watch the morning news or turn on my computer.

I hurried to my car, started it and as I was paused to let the car warm up, I heard the news on the radio. First, I thought it was a very bad joke and as I drove off, I realized it was for REAL.

I should have turned right around and stayed home. I felt sick in my stomach all day long. I would have felt better being home in the safety of familiar surroundings, watching the events unfold on the TV.

that night I longed for the company of my girlfriend, just being with her made me feel better. Knowing that we were both alive, for at least this one day together comforted me. Both of us not knowing if an attack would happen in our town the next day or the next moment.

Paul T. Goodman | 49 | California

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