#1085 | Wednesday, March 20th, 2002
I live on the west coast and I received a phone call from my mother as I was getting ready for work. She said I needed to turn on the television right away, so I did. What greeted me was such a horrible site. Both of the World Trade towers were on fire. I was stunned and remember myself saying "Oh my God" over and over. We stayed on the phone with each other even though neither of us spoke. After a few more moments, I hung up and called my boss, a principal at a local high school. I thought he might want to deal with what was happening with our students. After speaking with him, I woke my 17-year old daughter and had her come watch with me. She was frightened and very saddened that anyone could purposely cause the devastation we were witnessing. I watched as though glued to the TV until after the second tower fell. By then, the news was getting worse and worse. I couldn't believe my ears or eyes when I heard that the Pentagon had been hit. And what about those brave souls aboard the jetliner over Pennsylvania? At that point, I had to finish getting ready for work and my daughter got moving to get ready for school. Once I arrived at work, my oldest daughter (away at college) called. The college had been closed and she was very frightened. We spoke for a while and then said good-bye. She continued to call throughout the day. We kept a TV on in the school office so people could keep up with what's happening. We also called the entire student body (240 kids) together to talk about it and reassure them that they would be all right. I continue to watch and read whatever I can regarding September 11, 2001. I didn't lose anyone dear to me, I'm not faced with it everyday and I don't even know anyone who lives in New York, but I feel a strange kind of kinship with the rest of the people in the country. If anything, this devastating attack has hardened my resolve that America is the greatest country on Earth and that her people have the most generous hearts.
I have always been patriotic, flown my flag and supported our peacekeeping efforts. That hasn't changed. My dad was in the Navy for 20 years and my brother served for two years. My uncles and grandfather were Navy men too and my nephew is currently serving in the Marines.
I have found that I donate to more causes than before 9/11/01. I have donated money, coordinated a blood drive at our school and just feel a bigger responsibility to the human race as a whole. After all, hundreds, no thousands, of people gave their lives trying to prevent others from dying, trying to save others simply because it was their job (or because that was their nature) and/or just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Giving material things doesn't feel like it's enough, but I know that doing my job and living my life is necessary for the recovery of our nation.
My biggest fear is that people will forget the way they felt upon witnessing what happened in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. I would like to see what happened put in front of people often so they always remember, so they appreciate what we've been blessed with in America and so our children can tell their children what this country is all about.
At times I feel great anger and at other times I feel overwhelming sadness. My hopes and prayers go out to all the families that lost loved ones and to the friends and lovers who are now trying to deal with the huge void in their lives that losing a loved one creates. I wish I could give them strength, but can only hope that they find comfort in the fact that so many are thinking of them and praying for them.
May we never have to experience such devastation again. God bless us one and all.
Pam Tuthill | 48 | California

#1086 | Wednesday, March 20th, 2002
I was one of the many crying back home wishing for a loved one to make it home safely. My cousin, a member of Tennessee Task Force One, left for the Pentagon on Sept. 11, just after they heard news of the attack. I prayed everyday that God would bring him back safely to me. He loves the job that he does, but something like this would make anyone second-guess themselves. It has been really hard for him to cope with the things that he saw that week in Washington; however, with his faith and the support of his family and friends, he has almost gotten through this.
When I heard news of the attacks, I felt like my heart had been ripped right out of my chest. It made me stop and think about the most important things in my life and what I would do f I didn't have them with me.
May God Bless all the families who lost loved ones on this tragic day. May they all find comfort but keep the memories alive forever. We will never forget any of you!!!
Shannon | 20 | Mississippi

#1087 | Wednesday, March 20th, 2002
I had returned a rental car downtown by 8 a.m., and decided to walk home. I was walking south on State Street enjoying the warm morning sun and just enjoying the nice morning. At 26th St., I came upon the World War II Memorial that was recently erected. I had glanced at my watch and it was about 8:45 a.m. I walked around the memoria, touching and feeling the marble and the etchings of names and figures. I could feel turmoil inside me and I felt angry that so many people had died. I was also reminded of the other wars, and I told myself I hated war and all the destruction and hurt that comes with it. I said a short prayer that nothing so traumatic would happen ever again. Little did I know what had happened not so far away that changed our lives forever. When I got home, I turned on the television and couldn't believe what I saw. I retraced my morning and where I was at 8:46 a.m. I had been at the monument feeling what I could about the ravages of war, praying it would not happen again and a new war was just beginning. The rest of the day I spent at work, driving around and absorbing the shock and disbelief.
Peggy Shearman | 48 | Pennsylvania

#1088 | Wednesday, March 20th, 2002
I was ill that morning. I had gotten my kids off to school and the went back to bed. I had called in sick. My husband called me from work asking if I had put on the TV. I had not. He said to put it on right away; there was something huge. After we hung up I watched the news as I had not since the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy in 1986. I am not a news watcher. I am not a TV watcher at all. But over the next few weeks, I was riveted. I was concerned for the victims and the survivors. I was praying for them all. I still am and I am so grateful to the heros who have given their lives for our country and our people. I am particularly touched by the heroism of the crew and passengers of flight 93 which went down in Pennsylvania. I pray for the lost and for their families and other loved ones.
I am from Wisconsin and we here were physically far removed from the violence. But it has effected our lives like anyone else's. Terrorism is poison. It gets in the air and it contaminates everything. But we are Americans and we will triumph. God Bless America!
Momma in Wisconsin | 36 | Wisconsin

#1089 | Thursday, March 21st, 2002
I was with my wife at her doctors appointment. The due date for our son was approaching and that was all that was on my mind that day, and then we heard a nurse begin to sob. Both my wife and I had been going once sometimes twice a month to this office and had begun to get to know the nurses fairly well, so I asked her what was wrong and she said her husband might be dead and ran past us.. turns out her husband worked in the pentagon ( as many people in my area do), luckily he turne dout to be very lucky that day and survived unscathed. thy had a small television in the doctors office, however I did not get to see much of it because my wife and I were in the patients exam room hearing our sons heart beat. when we walked out of the office we saw footage of the second plane flying into the world trade centers. We reached our vehicle and I immediately turned on my favorite rock station ( 98 rock in Baltimore, Md) where the normal programming on at that time was the morning comedy team of kirk, mark, and lopez. anyone who knows this program knows that these guys normally make a joke of everything, and this time nobody wa sluaghing.. they were giving up to the minute reports on what was happening... my area was panicked.. Baltimore being so close to the d.c. area was in a state of panic, everywhere in Maryland was in a state of panic. I remember us just pulling into our driveway, and just turning on the television.. just watching the footage of the carnage in D.C. /Arlington Pennsylvania and NY.. I just kepy thinking.. what kind of a world am I bringing my first born son into?? The fact my son was born on the same day that Anthrax was realeased into the senate office building in D.C. has not made me any less concerned about the world my wife and I brought my son into. One thing is for certain, our country will never ever be the same again.
Joe | 21 | Maryland

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