#1427 | Sunday, June 30th, 2002
My wife was feeding our newborn son when news broke on the radio. She came in and woke me with a frantic voice saying "a plane ran into the WTC I think." Still dazed, I turned on the TV and was glued to it for hours. I saw the second plane hit live. I thought for a moment it was just replaying the first plane. For the first time in my life I was scared. After witnessing the birth of my son just days before hand, I did not know how to protect him.... My life was changed twice in a matter of days. My heart has been broken for my fallen brethren. I feel a great loss. I don't even know the great men who died doing the job that we love. I can't help but weep for them. I see the stories about the families who lost their loved ones. I now have a greater appreciation for life. The "I love you's" are more meaningful when kissing my family goodbye for the night. I work for the Greater Brighton Fire Protection District. I may be 1800 miles away, but I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the wives who lost their husbands. I would like to close with the poem;

"WHAT IS A FIREMAN?"

He’s the guy next door – a man’s man with the memory of a little boy.

He has never gotten over the excitement of engines and sirens and danger.

He’s a guy like you and me with warts and worries and unfulfilled dreams.

Yet he stands taller than most of us.

He’s a fireman.

He puts it all on the line when the bell rings.

A fireman is at once the most fortunate and the least fortunate of men.

He’s a man who saves lives because he has seen too much death.

He’s a gentle man because he has seen the awesome power of violence out of control.

He’s responsive to a child’s laughter

because his arms have held too many small bodies that will never laugh again.

He’s a man who appreciates the simple pleasures of life -

hot coffee held in numb, unbending fingers –

a warm bed for bone and muscle compelled beyond feeling –

the camaraderie of brave men -

the divine peace and selfless service of a job well done in the name of all men.

He doesn’t wear buttons or wave flags or shout obscenities.

When he marches, it is to honor a fallen comrade.

He doesn’t preach the brotherhood of man.

He lives it.

Author Unknown
B.A.O. | 27 | Colorado

#1428 | Sunday, June 30th, 2002
SEPT 11,2001 IS A DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET, I WAS AT WORK WITH THE DEPT OF SANITATION TRAVELING ON 95 NORTH IN NEW JERSEY AFTER DUMPING A GARBAGE TRUCK IN NEWARK, AROUND 8:45AM THEN ME AND MY COWORKER NOTICE EVERY ONE ON THE HIGHWAY WAS PULLING OVER TO THE SHOULDER TALKING ON THEIR CELL PHONES I NEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG BUT DIDNT KNOW WHAT THEN WE HAD HEAVY TRAFFIC OUT OF NO WHERE, I TOLD MY PARTNER I WAS GONNA ASK THIS TRACTOR TRAILER DRIVER WHAT WAS GOING ON SINCE I DIDNT HAVE A RADIO ON HAND, HE TOLD ME THE WORLD TRADE CENTER TOWERS WAS HIT BY TWO PLANES AND THEY HAD COLLASPED I SAID OH MY GOD I TOLD MY COWORKER, WE WAS IN SHOCK, IT DIDNT DAWN ON ME RIGHT AWAY THAT WE WAS ATTACKED BY TERRORIST THEN FINALLY IT HIT ME WHEN I HEARD ABOUT THE PENTEGON, AS WE APPROCH THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE IN FORTLEE NJ WE WAS TURN AWAY BY THE POLICE THEY HAD FLASHED A SIGN ON THE BOARD THAT READ "STATE OF EMERGENCY" WE HAD TO STAY IN FORTLEE FOR 5 HOURS, SO WE FOUND A BURGER KING AND ATE THERE AND THE REST OF THE SANIATIION TRUCKS FINALLY ARRIVE ALSO WITH US SO IT WAS 7 TRUCKS NOW AND WE HAD TO PLEAD WITH THE OFFICERS FOR THEM TO LET US CROSS THE BRIDGE, IN THE MEAN TIME I HAD BROUGHT A PORTABLE RADIO TO LISTEN TO THE NEWS, THE NEWS WAS ON EVERY STATION AS EXPECTED, THAT DAY WAS LIKE A DREAM I COULDNT BELEAVE THIS HAD HAPPEN, MY CELL PHONE DIDNT WORK AT ALL DUE TO HEAVY TRAFFIC FROM WHAT HAD HAPPEN, THEN FINALLY AFTER PLEADING WITH THE POLICE THEY AGREE TO LET US CROSS THE BRIDGE, WE WAS A CONVOY THE ONLY TRUCKS THAT WAS CROSSING THE BRIDGE AS WE APPROCH NEW YORK CITY,THE CITY WAS NOT THE SAME PEOPLE WAS CRYING AND IN SHOCK, I GOT TO MY GARAGE AND LOOKED ON THE TV THEY WAS SHOWING THE PLANES HITTING THE BUILDINGS OVER AND OVER IT WAS LIKE A MOVIE VERY SHOCKING,I FINALLY REACHED MY FAMILY MEMBERS AND LET THEM KNOW THAT I WAS OK,I SIGN OUT AND WENT HOME LOST, COPS EVERY WHERE PEOPLE CONFUSED IN THE STREETS, I HAD TO GO HOME LAY DOWN AND TAKE ALL THIS IN AND HOPE THAT IT WAS ALL A DREAM BUT IT WASNT ITS A DAY THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET GOD BLESS AMERICA.
RANDY | 46 | New York

#1429 | Monday, July 1st, 2002
I was on my way home from work when i heard the terrible news. I drive a school bus for elementary children and had finished my morning run and on the way home i hear this horrible news. Well all the little children where scared when i got back to the school. But i remember one child saying my daddy will protect us all he is in the military and he flies a bomber. This child was in kindergarden and she thinks her daddy can protect the world this is the same way i grew up and felt but you feel as you are not protected and dont know how to protect yourself.
Tim Greer | 22 | North Carolina

#1430 | Monday, July 1st, 2002
At the time of 9-11 I was an assistant manager for a restaurant. That morning I had to go in early to take care of a breakfast catering we had scheduled. I remember being in a huge hurry because I had a college class at 9am. I was just a few blocks from home when I heard the news on the radio of the first tower being hit. I remember thinking..oh goodness! But I honestly thought it was an accident. By the time I walked into my front door my boyfriend was glued to CNN. When the second plane hit I was in complete shock. I looked at my boyfriend and said are they replaying it..he said I dont think so. Neither of us said much just stared at the news in complete shock! When they came over with the news of the Pentagon being hit..I remember starting to sob hysterically and saying..Oh my God...we are being attacked!!!! I was soo worried about my parents and little brothers who lived in another state. It took me several hours to get through to them!
While I think that morning will forever be etched in my memory and the memory of my fellow Americans..I also think many of us came away from this horrible horrible tragedy with a new realization of what is really important. For the first time in a long time that day I prayed..VERY hard!
My heart goes out to those who lost someone that day..they may be gone but they will NEVER EVER be forgotten!
With the 4th of July coming upon us...I hope we all have our flags waving proudly and I hope when we see a member of our military, a firemen, a policman,etc..Please stop them and tell them Thank You for the WONDERFUL jobs they do. They put their lives on the line every day so that we may enjoy the freedoms our forefathers fought so hard for!
God Bless Everyone!
Kim | 25 | Arkansas

#1431 | Monday, July 1st, 2002
I am from a suburb of Chicago in Nortwest Indiana. I had just started a new job the day after Labor Day. I had to be at work at 8:30am EST. Before I had gotten to work, I had stopped at McDonalds. I was in the line for drive-thru, and my buddy Erik, who had taken his mother to work, and was getting some food to go home, pulled up behind me. He got out of the car and shouted, HEY, NEW SLAYER CD comes out today. The SLAYER cd was entitled GOD HATES US ALL. I had purchased it a day earlier from, a independent music store.

After I got to work, I got dressed and went back to the garage. I was the first mechanic there, and the oldest one had just arrived. He said....did you hear about the World Trade Center? I thought he was just babbling on, and thought he had referred to 1993, so I had walked away, for there were customers arriving.

As I changed oil on the first vehcile, someone in the lobby area had the TV on. I had noticed people were sitting in there, even workers. My co-worker had called off, and I had got upset, because we had a lot of cars early. I occasionally walked by the TV, but I was so busy, I couldn't stop.One radio was on in the shop. It is normally some classic/blues, but it had a AM sound. I started to listen as I heard about the WTC getting attacked. I thought, thats terrible, but is it that serious? Why is it national news, and why isnt the music on? Next news flash was....Pentagon got hit. I started to freak out. I know the Penatgon is our defense capital, and began to worry. Then we had heard about the plane supposedly headed for Camp David/White House. I started to realize that these attacks were heading west towards Chicago. My sister worked at the SEARS TOWER. I worried for her life, and I have a relative in the Air Force who worked at the Pentagon. I swore to myself, if another plane hits OHIO or something, I was going home.

Work had finally died down, and it was luchtime. We got an hour for lunch, and I only lived 5 minutes from work. I went home and called my girlfriend. She was in hysteria, and could not stop crying. I assured her that it would be okay, but in reality, I was confused and shocked. I watched CBS for the next 40 minutes and went back to work.

When i went back to work, we had no more cars for the rest of the afternoon. I didn't really watch TV, becuase I was new to this job. I didn't want to get in any kind of trouble, so i kept busy. My managers and co-workers handled it differently. I just kept silent, and was more upset that the others. Finally, we got to go home.

I went home, and my g/f was supposed to go to college that evening, but instead she came over. She never felt better to hold on to. I didn't want to let go. She was afraid I would be drafted, and worried about a bunch of other things. At about 10p.m. CST, she had left. I watched the news for another hour and went to sleep.

One more thing about this, the next day at work, we still had the no-fly zone i effect. My co-workers and I looked into the sky. It was the most intense pain to know that a terrorist had the ability to slow us that much for 2 days.
After they had let up the no-fly zone, I was watching more of the news that evening, and a plane roared right over my home. For some reason, I thought I was going to die. Ever since then, I have realized that noone is ever guaranteed the next second of your life. This WAR in the name of GOD is disgusting. The Palestinians were celebrating. The old woman looked like a serpent flipping her tounge. I was boiling inside, because i do not find any form of death amusing. That is my story. I would give anything that I could, If I had the power to prevent those planes from getting hijacked. The flight that crashed into Pennsylvania are indeed heroes. All Americans were touched somehow. I really admire all the rescue efforts. I know deep in my heart the Osama Bin Laden, all terrorist networks, and Saddam Hussein will pay a extreme price. Saddam is behind this also. Guaranteed.

May you all be blessed, and my heart is with you. Feel free to E-mail me for a link to a site that is very heart-felt. OR E-mail me just to say anything about 9/11/2001.

Justin H | 23 | Indiana

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