#138 | Sunday, September 23rd, 2001
I was at school. I'm in the photography program at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I was in the basement and ran upstairs to have something printed out.
A boy ran in and said "The World Trade Center blew up!!" and everyone was all like "surrrreee, kid"

The we turned on the news and saw it was true. No feelings yet. Shock.

Back in the basement and now they're evacuating the USX Tower since the 2nd plane has hit. USX is the tallest free standing structure in Pgh.
Other photo students run outside to take pictures of the evacuation.

Then the plane crashes in Sommerset, PA.

Now our school is being evacuated.

I am walking across the Smithfield St. Bridge and realizing how Pgh. is very similar to Manhatten in it's geographical setup.
A peninsula which is only accessible by bridges and one north location.

It is silent. A mass exodus away from downtown and it is silent.

I watch the news for the next 4 days 24 hours a day.

Those images play over and over in my head.
Jill Tomaszewski | 19 | Pennsylvania

#139 | Sunday, September 23rd, 2001
I was at home, my mom told me about the first plane, So i turned on the TV, every news station was talking about this, I saw the second plane crashing and the buildings collapsing live. It was unbelievable. Unbelievable.

Dutzi (Rishon LeZion)
Eldad Bercovich | 17 | Israel

#140 | Sunday, September 23rd, 2001
i was about 16 blocks from ground zero when the attacks happened. I had come into NYC about 12 hours before ( monday evening ) and was up at 7:00 AM, getting ready to go about my day. I heard both "booms" but didn't know what to think about it. when i turned on the tv and saw what was going on, i began to make my way there to see what, if anything, was needed.
on my way there i stopped at points to see what i could see of the buildings - with all the smoke they looked like two candles whose flames had been put out.
then, only about 7 blocks from the area, i saw the first one had collapsed and i was struck with grief. i kept walking only to stop again momentarily because we could hear more sounds again. it was here that i saw the skyline changed forever. the second tower collapsed in on itself. one woman a few feet away from me had to vomit. the instant grief and disbelief was universal.
the rest of my day was spent trying to find one of my best friends whose company had offices both in the WTC and in a block near it. at around 6:00 PM , i found out he and his wife had exited the WTC building about a minute before it happened. They had seen everything and had been evacuated to Staten Island.
right now i am in Atlanta and am stuck with a mixture of feelings. i could not leave NYC for the next 7 days and in that time, i grew to become more connected with it than i ever have in all my visits there. perhaps it is because the feeling of community that I have always felt was heightened now. oddly, this is probably the opposite effect of what was intended by the people that did this.

| Atlanta |
Cedric Victor-DeSouza | 29 | Georgia

#141 | Sunday, September 23rd, 2001
Every day, at the end of second period, my high school gives announcements over CCTV. They play the announcements on channel 48, overriding CNN Headline News. After the school announcements were done, the TVs throughout the school went back to showing CNN, where the current headline was "2 planes crash into World Trade Center towers."

I thought it was an impossible coincidence. I actually laughed. It seemed impossible that, in the same day, two planes would crash into two towers of the WTC. I knew no commercial pilot could hit such huge buildings, so I assumed the planes were small planes, probably flown by student pilots, and that no damage had been done.

At the beginning of third period, the principal gave an announcement over the intercom giving the details of what had happened. My teacher had the television on. I saw the plane hit the second tower, and realized that the crash was no accident. The news anchors then talked about a plane crashing into the Pentagon, and a bomb outside the State Department (reported as fact at the time, even though it turned out to be false.) We watched the Twin Towers crumble.

That was my education for that day.
Gavin Baker | 15 | Florida

#142 | Sunday, September 23rd, 2001
I was getting ready for school that day, when I hear my mom calling me saying that a plane had hit one of the towers.

I enter the room with the TV on, I had been watching the Today show. Now they had the camera focused on the fire in the first tower. I thought to myself "oh my god, that was no small plane." However, I had no idea that it was an attack. My thoughts were "how will they put out that fire?"

Then, as I was watching I saw the other tower explode. The camera angle didn't show the plane, so I thought it was a bomb or something, until they showed it from a different vantage point.

I can't even describe how I felt when I saw the other tower explode. I knew it was an attack then, but it was so incomprehensible. My mom said I could go to school late and watch the news for a while more. I had an econ test first period, and I knew that would be the last thing on my mind if I went to school.

Then, as they are talking with their Pentagon reporter, he says he just felt an explosion of some kind. They show a camera view from across DC and it shows all the black smoke rising up. Then reports come in about an explosion at the State Department and a fire on the Mall in DC (Those were false though). I was panicked. They evacuated the White House, and then a local Special Report comes on saying they had evacuated the Sears Tower, and that all Illinois state offices and the state capitol were being closed. My mom then called in to say I wasn't going in at all. The attendence woman says "Oh what, does he think the school will be next?" At that point, heh, who knew if it would be?

Then the airplane crashes near Pittsburgh. It was all so crazy.

I stayed glued to the television that day. My life changed that day, I can feel it.

The next day on my High School's radio station, I hosted a two-hour special about the attacks. I talked with my Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., about what he saw in DC. It was still surreal, and to some degree it still is.

I had never been to New York City, and just a few days ago it hit me that I would never be able to see those towers.

So unbelievable. There are no words.
Dave Stroup | 17 | Illinois

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