#1055 | Monday, March 18th, 2002
I was at home alone when I heard the news. I dropped my children off at school about 8am central, and came home with the intention to head straight to bed (I work nights and sleep days). Just before settling into bed, I checked my answering machine. There was one message, from my husband. He said the WTC had been hit and said I might want to check the news.

I went back downstairs and turned on the TV. The second tower had just been hit. I could not believe my eyes as I watched the smoke billowing from the towers. I will never forget one CNN newscaster watching in silence as the first tower fell, and then finally saying "Dear God, there are no words..."

I think someone must finally have whispered into his earpiece, telling him to say something, anything. But I will never forget the tone of his voice as he said "there are no words." As indeed there weren't any words sufficient to describe this horror.

I continued watching the news, horrified and yet mesmerized, for several hours. I remember hearing that the Pentagon had been hit, a rumor that the Mall in DC was on fire, another rumor that the Capitol was targeted, the report that a plane was down in Pennsylvania, hearing about the frantic evacuation of the White House. I remember feeling stunned and wondering if I should pick my children up from school, get them away from a public place.

I called a relative in CA and woke him up, described what had happened to him, told him to turn on his TV. He said, "well, our world has changed forever."

Finally I tried to sleep for a couple of hours. Tossed and turned with bad dreams, then got up to get ready for work that night. Every TV in the hospital was on the news, in the lobby, in the patient rooms, even in ICU. But the people were strangely hushed about it. Everyone just watching in stunned silence. Occasionally an expression of disbelief and horror. But not much conversation. It was just too much to take in.

Becky | 40 | Texas

#1056 | Monday, March 18th, 2002
On the day of dispair; I was dressing for my job as a Security Officer for The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada.. watching Headline News, I saw the 1st Tower smoking and immediately called to my wife in the other room, that the World Trade Center was on fire.. because of the confussion of the reports, I had no idea at the time that a plane had caused this distruction; my wife and I were just memorized by the smoking tower.. approximately 10 minutes after we had begun watching the report, the 2nd plane hit and both of us started to cry; and I relized, that we had just witnessed the deaths of possibly thousands of people. during my drive to the casino, I intently listned to the radio reports of ground zero and was trying to imagine what all those people were going through.. my entire security shift witnessed the 1st tower falling during our mornning briefing, and we were immendiatly put on high alert by our Security Director.. my job at that time was the casino podium officer, which is basically the public's only contact with the security department..I was extremly nervous all day, but I had to keep my wits about me dealing with all the casino guests. I had given my "notice" two weeks prior, and my last day was Wednesday, 12 September 2001. my heart and prayers go out to ALL the friends and families of the victims of 9/11, and can only hope that world peace is not just a dream; GOD BLESS AMERICA and all those in the world who also wish for a non violent exsistence...
G.A. KISS | 38 | Nevada

#1057 | Monday, March 18th, 2002
September 11, 2001 was our son's first day of preschool. We aren't big TV watchers, so the TV was off and the CD player was on. My husband was going on a hunting trip on Thursday, so I thought I'd check the weather forecast on our local newsbreak on the Today show. I heard the words "crash" and "World Trade Center" and paused to see what was happening. At that time, Matt Lauer was talking to a woman in a building near the WTC, when she said something to the effect of "Oh my God, another plane just went by!" and I saw the fireball come billowing out. I realized that I was watching, at the very least, hundreds of people dying, and my legs collapsed. My sweet, innocent son came in and said "What is that, Mama?" and I started sobbing. I was absolutely at a loss as to what to say. All I could do was hold him and watch in complete horror. Shortly thereafter (I believe), the 3rd plane hit the Pentagon, again on live TV. Our preschool said they would continue on with the 1st day, to give the kids something to concentrate on besides the obvious. I dropped my kiddo off with much trepdation in my heart, knowing a couple of hours away from this would be a good thing, but not wanting to let him out of my reach.

As I continued on with my morning's errands, I heard the report of Flight 93 going down in PA, along with other (thankfully false) reports of planes going down. I wanted to call everyone I knew, but also did not want to have to maintain a conversation with anyone. My husband was in a meeting and I couldn't reach him - there was not anyone else I thought I could speak to with the pain I was feeling. As I assembled the gear for my husband's trip, I saw first one, then the other, tower go down. I heard the horrible report that people were jumping from the building. I heard the usually glib and cool Today show hosts overwrought with emotion and stumbling around for words to describe this terrible turn of events. I still am in a state of disbelief about this entire event.

I did not follow the subsequent days of coverage very closely, as I did not want my 4 year old to be inundated with the devastation, but at one point he asked why those planes kept flying into that building. My thoughts were consumed with him, and our youngest son, who was just 7 weeks old at the time. I wondered if the world was going to continue, as I knew we would have to retaliate against whomever was behind this. I wondered if they would get to grow up, or if life as we know it would be over in the near future - I am ordinarily a total optimist, so these thoughts were completely foreign to me.

Like everyone else not directly affected by September 11th, we have gone on. I do flash back to that morning every time I see a plane angling through the sky, and I do try to watch a bit of the news coverage on events (such as the 6-month anniversary), as I think keeping this terrible atrocity fresh in my mind helps me appreciate the abundance of happiness in my life, as well as the fragility of it all.

God bless America and the families devastated by 9/11.
Vicki | 30 | Idaho

#1058 | Monday, March 18th, 2002
Tuesday, 9/11/01 8:50am, my wife and I were preparing for a visit to her doctor for a prenatal ultrasound.The telephone rang, it was a friend from upstate NY is calling to tell us a plane just crashed into the WTC. As we watched on the news we witnessed the second plane slam into the other tower. We knew this wasn't an accident but just like everyone else who was watching we had trouble believing it was real.
When the Pentagon was hit we knew someone had fatally misjudged us, this was war and we knew that surely this country wouldn't sit still for an attack like this.
Like so many thousands that tuesday we watched and listened and lost someone. For us it was our unborn child, the ultrasound was still.
NT | 38 | North Carolina

#1059 | Monday, March 18th, 2002
Iím retired, and donít get up until about 10:00AM (California time). I was on my computer around 10:30, when I saw an obscure notice that the Mayor of San Francisco had locked down the City. Thinking it might have been an earthquake, I went to the web page for the San Francisco Chronicle. When I saw the headline that the Twin Towers in New York had both collapsed, I thought that some hacker must have gotten into the web site. Then I turned on my TV. I spent most of the next week glued to the TV and reading the e-mails that were forwarded from around the world.

I remember being so inspired by the acts of courage and compassion by the people in New York. One e-mail told about a black gangsta kid helping an elderly white man. The response from the rest of the world was so moving. I heard that a pet grooming business near Ground Zero was not only keeping the pets safe that were already there, it was accepting other pets and at no charge.

At first, it looked like this might be the event that put an end to the violence between Israel and Palestine and other places around the world, but sadly that has not happened. If anything itís gotten worse.

I hope that the US will do more than just wage war on the terrorists. Until the terrible poverty that so much of the world lives in is eased, there will continue to be resentment towards the US which terrorists can and will exploit.

Robin | 57 | California

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