#118 | Friday, September 21st, 2001
i was asleep, in seattle, having very odd, surreal, almost nightmarish dreams.
my mother called me at 6:45 am PST, from 8:45 central time in Texas.
she was upset, and my mother is generally a very cool and collected individual.
she told me i had better go turn on the tv that the pentagon and the WTC had been bombed.
i did not register this immediately since i was slowly coming out of dream stage, but i wondered into my living room, flicked on the tv, only to see the immediate replay of the 2nd plane hitting.

i was floored.

minutes later the first building to collapse did so live right there on tv.

nyc skyline that i know and love changed FOREVER.

i immediately called work, told my friend at work to turn on the news.
watched and cried and tried to make coffee, tried to get ready for work.
called work again, told to stay home. i cried. then cried some more as i was transfixed by the images on my tv.

eventually i stopped, got around to calling every person i know and love on the east coast.

then my friend came over to get me out of the house and we went and had a few drinks at a local bar where the mood was very somber and quiet, even the jukebox was not playing.

i hope the "people in charge" take heed to be extraordinarily careful in their actions. it will not fix the pain and sadness of all of the families that lost to make more families with losses on the other side of the globe.
lisa | 26 | Washington

#119 | Friday, September 21st, 2001
I awoke that morning in my usual ignorant state of bliss. I didn't have class until around two o'clock that day so as usual I was milking all the extra sleeping time that I could. At around eleven I went on to my computer and logged to AOL Instant Messenger. One of my friends from home came on and told me that the end of the world was happening. As usual I figured he was kidding so I replied with, "cool how can I be a part of it." Little did I know that two planes had crashed into the two beautiful towers in the city that I had spent so many days and nights in. I quickly turned on the news and what I saw I could never have been prepared for. It was horrible. The video of the planes crashing into the building just kept being played over and over again. I still can see those videos when I close my eyes. It is a scar that will ne forever in mine mind. That night as reports started coming in of all the missing people I didn't know what to do. I sat in my bedroom and cried. I cried for hours on end just thinking of all the mothers and fathers who had been lost. Thinking of families all over the state, families which were now missing a key person in their lives. I thought of all that and I cried.
Jonathan Kelly | 19 | New York

#120 | Friday, September 21st, 2001
I remember waking up for no apparent reason at 5:45am (pacific time...8:45am eastern) and having this weird feeling settle over me. Soon after I fell asleep and then around 8:15 was awakened again, but this time by the phone.
My friend, Brendi, said in a panicked voice, "Are you watching this on t.v.???". Of course she knows I don't have a television, so my obvious reply was "no".
As she began to explain what had happened over the past few hours, I sat in shock wondering how someone could be so cruel to such an amazing country like ours.
It is unbelievable how many people have come together and shown the world how powerful we all are, no matter the city or state.

GOD BLESS AMERICA...home of people that won't let such tragic acts affect them, they only grow from them. :O)
Emily Kauffman | 20 | California

#121 | Friday, September 21st, 2001
I was working graveyard in the casino cage at Bally's in Las Vegas, and had just come back from lunch, which had left me a bit nauseous. I had no idea how nauseous I was going to be.
My boss, who was eating lunch in an upstairs office and has access to a television, comes downstairs to tell us that two planes had hit both towers of the World Trade Center. I found such an accident incredible, and had no clue it was a terrorist act.
That was until I went upstairs to file some paperwork. Just as I walked in, the news was broken that the Pentagon had just been hit by an airplane. I knew then that the attacks were no coincidence, and that rumors of a terrorist act were likely true.
I stood in the cage afterward. Televisions at the bar far across from the cage were showing constant replays of the 2nd crash, and live footage of the towers burning. I could only stand and watch in disbelief. My shift ended at 10 o'clock, and I had no clue that the towers had collapsed until I walked into a cafe I hung out at, to see how my peers were reacting, and everyone sat crowded around a small black-and-white TV, transfixed. Instead of music, NPR played from the stereo. One friend patted me on the back as I sat down with the rest, and I looked at the screen as replayed footage of the towers crumbling played back. I knew then that I had witnessed the blackest event in American history.
Steven Gomez | 22 | Nevada

#122 | Friday, September 21st, 2001
7:45am (Central): I was asleep on my apartment balcony in the middle of a big city.
I had pitched my small tent on my balcony the night before, a beautiful Texas night with lows in the 60s. It was my way of saying, "Even though I live in a city, I won't abide by urban conventions!"
I awoke at 8:12 to the distant sound of my phone inside. Unable to reach it in time (and not really caring to), I let it go unanswered. At 8:35am, another phone call. Once again, I did not answer.
But I did get up a minute later and look at the Call ID box. It was my sister. I lazily called her back, wondering what could be so important this early in the morning. As the phone rang, I noticed that the 8:12am call had been my father. "Isn't he in Chicago on a trip right now? Why would he be calling this early?"

"Hey, it's me."
"Have you turned on the television?! Do you know what's happening?"
"Uh, no... what's going on?"
"Oh my God, it's crazy. Planes have flown into the World Trade Center!"
"They're showing planes running into the World Trade Center. It's completely crazy. It's all live."
"Okay, I'll go turn it on. Did you talk to dad? He had called me."
"Yeah, he's okay. Go turn on the TV. Oh my gosh, they're saying there was just an explosion at the Capitol."

Detached disbelief. That's what it was. As the TV tube warmed up, I saw an instant replay of a passenger jet slamming into a 110 story building.
I debated about whether to go to work or not (what if missiles were overhead? I work in a 5 story building... would it be a target?) Eventually, I chose to go to work.
Iíll never forget what happened as I pulled into the parking lot. The radio station I was listening to was carrying the live ABC video feed. Assuming that his audience would be seeing the video as well, he simply said, "And now, the World Trade Center is collapsing. Thereís really nothing that can be said. We can just watch." Then, complete dead air silence for 90 seconds. "This... is the worst thing I have ever seen. The World Trade Center has, effectively, just been destroyed." It was then that I let loose and cried for 5 minutes, sitting in my parked car.

It has now been 10 days, and I have not slept in my tent since. A small part of me is afraid to Ė somehow, that part of me feels irrationally vulnerable and exposed out there. But mostly, my partial motive for sleeping out there -- "My life is so 'terrible' because Iím imprisoned in this city apartment working my 9 to 5 job" Ė now seems unbelievably petty. My God, at least Iím alive. Facing an uncertain future, admittedly. But alive.

Bradley D. Garner | 24 | Texas

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