#1 | Saturday, September 15th, 2001
It was the end of my mods 3-4 class (AP English 12) when our vice principal came running in with a note for the teacher. She read it aloud explaining that two planes had each hit both of the towers. At first I didn't believe it, it couldn't be true. I was just so in shock. We weren't allowed to watch the TV's in school, so there were some pretty wild rumors going around (for example- the west wing of the White House was on fire, and that eight planes were hijacked). i was extremely upset that we weren't allowed to know what was really going on. We had a total of two updates during the school day on what was going on- had we been able to watch the news, these horrible rumors would not have spread. Moving on- Volleyball practice was canceled after school (along with all other extra-curricular activities) and I went home to watch the news. I just stared in disbelief as I kept seeing the image of the once so tall and proud towers come crumbling down, killing thousands. I think the worst image that stuck in my head was when a man jumped from about the 80th floor. I just saw him cartwheeling through the air, and then he disappeared behind a building. That is probably one of the most haunting images I have ever seen, and ever will see. I'm still just in disbelief, but the one good thing that is a product of this tragedy is our strong feeling of nationality. I was driving down the main street of our town on Friday night, and there were hundreds of people, many from my own high school, standing out with lit candles and American flags. We honked at them, cheered with them- it was just a great feeling. I wish this sense of nationality didn't have to come at the price of thousands of people.
Lisa | 17 | New Jersey

#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

#3 | Saturday, September 15th, 2001
I'm a freshman at BGSU, and as a freshman, I've been doing my good share of staying up until four in the morning, and sleeping through most of the day. I was awaken around one o'clock by a knock on my door- it was my friend Steve, who came to tell me that the Tool concert we were supposed to go to that weekend was sold out. Then he asked me what I'd thought of the stuff that had been going on today. I remeber thinking, what stuff? Things like fights on campus or someone had spent the night whith so-and-so or the girl's bathroom had flooded, you know, the usual gossip and college happenings, came to mind. When I told him that I didn't know what he was talking about, he began listing the different plane crashes, and, by the way he was talking, it took me a second to realize the connection. I think at that point, I said something along the lines of,
Sheena | 18 | Ohio

#4 | Saturday, September 15th, 2001
I was at work when a bulletin came over my computer from MSNBC that a plane had crashed into the WTC. I thought it was probably a small plane and I thought it was just awful. A little later another bulletin came on about the second plane and then the Pentagon. By then everyone was running around trying to find out just what was happening. I thought "Oh my god, someone is trying to wipe us out"! It was an awful, frightening feeling and and I felt total disbelief that this was happening in our country. When what had happened finally sank in I felt sick and I couldn't figure out what I should do - feeling that I should be doing something. My heart ached for all of us but especially for the victims and their families and friends.
Carol | 51 | Virginia

#5 | Saturday, September 15th, 2001
I remember looking at the clock on my computer and seeing 11:59pm. The phone rang, and mum and I both said at the same time that it had to be my sister, she's the only one with the guts to call so late. Then my mum picked up the phone, said hi etc. and then she swore and ran into the loungeroom and I was just thinking, "oh shit what's happened?" she told dad to switch to channel 7 and the first image I saw was of the two towers standing, and the first one with smoke absolutely pouring out of it. Then my mum repeated off the phone, "America's been attacked by terrorists!" It was crazy. The nervous voices of the reporters and the shaky camera shots of the disaster in manhattan just emphasised to me how something like this happening was so, so wrong and out of place. All I could do was watch as the events unfolded on my tv for hours and hours to come.
nikole | 16 | Australia

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