#1437 | Thursday, July 4th, 2002
On September 11th i was at school. i got in about 3.30 (UK TIME)
when i got in from school my mom was in a panic phoning people asking questions that seemed no one knew the answer to. i didn't look at the tv i was to busy worrying about what was going on with my Aunt.

My great Aunt lives in America and had been visting us in the UK and was flying back that day.
My Nan had taken her to the Airport that day and saw her on to the plane.

my mom finished on the phone, then she explained.

"two planes have hit The World Trade Centres"

i didn't know what the WTC's were so my mom explained. she also told me they don't know if it was my Aunts plane, they didn't know where she was.
i looked at the tv and watched the footage of the second plane fly round and hit the 2nd tower.
i sat on my couch open mouthed i was in shock. it didn't seem real, it seemed like i was watching a movie or something.
i sat on my couch and cried, i feared for my Aunts life and understood how many people were feeling that day.
My aunt didn't like flying at all, she is in her late 50's and was flying alone.
i was luckier then most people though. My aunts plane had been diverted somewhere, she wasn't on the planes that hit.
my deepest thoughts and my heart grieves for all the people that were less fourtante than me!
I am truely sorry, that may sound stupid coming from a 16 year old but i almost lost someone that day so i know how everyone was feeling.
Thank You for reading this.
Stacey Mclean
replies-bad or good-are welcome
Stacey Mclean | 16 | United Kingdom

#1438 | Thursday, July 4th, 2002
This horrible day will live in my soul forever. I'll never forget that fateful tuesday morning, when I slept in a little, turned on the TV and was shocked to see every channel showing the WTC with a hole in it, smoke coming out. I hoped it was an accident that a plane hit it, but I wasn't so sure. I am an American, and damn proud to be one. We are the land of the free, and the greatest country on earth. Exactly 60 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, we were fallen victim to an attack different from Pearl in every way except for the element of surprise. Being from Boston, I know people who had friends or family on those planes. One guy I know lost his brother-in-law to one of those hijacked planes out of Boston. A good friend of mine's wife lost about four friends on one of those planes. My father works in the city of Boston, and I worried nonstop, "will dad get out of the city before they bomb it?" I worried about my girlfriend's well-being, even though she wasn't anywhere near a major city or an airplane - I had no Idea where they could hit next, so who knows if my girlfriend is okay. I worried about all my family. What was running through those victims's minds when they were on those planes? There were little babies on those planes, imagine how scared they were! Thank God for our allies and our strenth as a nation. But I would like to say one thing - my patriotism never changed that day, I have always been a proudd American. And one special thing happened to me after the attacks - I befriended an Arab student living here in America who worked with me, and learned a lot about his culture, and that not all Arabs are our enemies, and that many arabs actually are as disgusted by 9/11 as I am. It is important to know that terrorists are an evil minority in the arab world. God bless America. September 11th is ugly not just because of death and distruction, but because it was the product of irrational hate towad a nation where everyone is free and equal. New Yorkers were not the only victims of September 11th, don't forget that many people from here in Boston lost their lives on those planes, as did those from Washington.
Mark | 21 | Massachusetts

#1439 | Friday, July 5th, 2002
I flew into Newark on the 8th of Sept. and stayed at my friend's (Heidi) that night. Her husband fixed a delicious Italian meal for us and had it ready when we arrived. We went to NYC by train on Sun. and took the subway to a station near our hotel. We stayed very near Times Square and Broadway. (first plane, train, subway trips for me! ) I called another friend who lives in Manhattan, Maureen, and we set up a place to meet for dinner. We had a delicious dinner and then went to Greenwich Village for dessert and to Maureen's apartment for a few minutes.
Monday, the three of us went to the WTC, had lunch, and went to the observation floor. We were going to the roof but it started raining so they closed access to it. Heidi found out that we could have the manager sign our tickets so we could return another time and go out on the roof. We also went to Chinatown and Little Italy that day and left Maureen with the thought that we would call her Tuesday after her work day and set up plans for dinner. Meanwhile, Heidi and I went to the play, "Rent", and decided we would go to the WTC for lunch at Windows on the World and go on the roof before dinner with Maureen on Tuesday.
We were exhausted, slept late on Tuesday, and were awakened by Heidi's cell phone. But by the time she answered it, there was no one there. She tried returning the call to her husband but could not call out. We tried the hotel room phone and could not call out. She went to the bathroom and I flipped on the TV. I see a skyscraper billowing smoke and across the bottom of screen is a list of various buildings in US that have been evacuated. I said, "Heidi, come here, we're being bombed or something, and what is that building?" She said, "That's the World Trade Center tower." And I said, "No, it's not, if it is, where's the other one?" Then they showed reruns of the attack on the other tower and showed it collapsing. We watched in horror as the other tower collapsed. It was so unbelievable. It was like watching a movie. We thought about leaving the city right at that moment but then it was announced that the city was closed and no one could leave nor come in. I'm not sure how tall our hotel was but we were on the 11th floor. We considered leaving the hotel but I wanted to watch TV. After a little while, we felt safer, knowing no planes were flying except for military planes (and they were flying so close, they were almost deafening at times). We finally got a call to Heidi's husband who called my mother. And she, in turn, called my husband. My mother and husband and son all knew about the attack around 9 am, and did not get word from me until around 1pm. We attended the mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral with Cardinal Egan that evening. (I've never been to a mass before) It was very touching. Several were there with pictures of missing people. Lots of tears were shed. The NY TV stations were there and we saw parts of the Mass on the news that night and the next day.
So, we did finally leave the hotel late Tuesday afternoon. Compared to Sunday and Monday, the city was very quiet, sad, different. Wednesday was the same, yet the streets seemed even more desserted. Those who could leave, did, and the streets were so vacant. Many stores and restaurants were closed.
The rest of my stay in NYC is somewhat a blur. I remember things I did, but not necessarily what day. I did go to Washington Sq Park, Central Park, Grand Central Station, Empire State (but not inside), etc. We attended the candlelight vigil at Wash. Sq. Park. We didn't have communications with Maureen, so we went to see her again. She was fine, thank God. Because of the difficulty in getting out of the City, we stayed an extra night. We even considered staying another one, but Thursday (13th) there were 4 bomb scares that were too close to us for comfort. It's scary seeing people running down the street after what happened the 11 th. Heidi's son had come home from school in SC to see for himself the goings on and he drove into the city to get us.
On Tuesday, the 18th, I decided I wanted to go back to the city. Heidi was surprised but I wanted to see it once more before I went home. We had planned on going by Staten Island ferry on Sunday or Monday but didn't. On Wednesday we did. That's as close as I got to the Statue of Liberty, but the captain of the boat steered as close as he could to it for me while staying within his guidelines. (The Statue was still closed to tourists.) I drove the boat and Heidi did also. The skyline is definitely different. When we left, it was dark and you could still see the smoke from the WTC and it was strange that most of the city was lit up but the section near where the WTC was eerily in the dark. The bridges were lit up just like the pictures.
Heidi's husband drives heavy equipment for NYC and volunteered for work at ground zero. He took pictures of the area where he was working. Total destruction. Her family has NYPD background so she heard lots of stories that we did not see in the papers. I have a collection of papers and mags from NYC. Papers here in KY covered it but not anything like the NYC papers, of course.
I was supposed to leave for Louisville, KY on Saturday night (15th) but I was not ready to fly. My family desperately wanted me home, but I wanted to get there safely. I explored other ways to get home: Amtrak, Greyhound, a friend of a friend of a friend (a stranger to me) was driving as far as Charleston WV (five hours from home), Heidi driving halfway and husband halfway, rent a car, and even having Gene, another friend, chauffeur me. All of those methods involved a minimum of 15 hours riding. I could not justify spending two days going home vs. less than two hours in the air and two hours drive time! So, I did fly again. I flew to L'ville on Thursday night and got home about 130 am. The flight was uneventful except for turbulence for the first 30 minutes (Newark had rain and lightning). There were 16 people on the plane including the crew. The flight was very casual; one attendant came and sat with various passengers and chatted about various things, including the week's events. One pilot did the same thing while we waited for the plane's audio system to be repaired.
I've always heard New Yorkers are arrogant and obnoxious. Even before the tragedy, I did not find that at all. People were very nice and polite. I felt very much at home. After the attack, the people pulled together and worked together so well. The city is clean, beautiful, well managed. I had a wonderful experience. I wish the bad stuff had not happened but I'm glad to have been there to have that perspective. I returned to NY City in October of 2001, about a month after the attacks. The skyline was markedly different and noticeable upon my arrival into Newark. The people of the city seemed to have a renewed spirit...a determination...to continue their lives. I visited the observation deck of the Empire State Building where I could still see smoke and an empty spot where the WTC had been. I also visited the United Nations Building on this trip. I'm sure both the Empire State Bldg. and the UN had new, different security checkpoints, etc. I felt very safe. NYC is still a beautiful, fascinating and wonderful place.
B Milby | 44 | Kentucky

#1440 | Friday, July 5th, 2002
I remember the feeling of the day so well. It was a beautiful early fall morning, cool and comfortable. I had just dropped my four-year-old off at his Montessori school in downtown CincinnatI.

As I turned out of the dropoff, I turned on Howard Stern. It was about 10 minutes after the planes hit and Howard and Robin Quivers (his sidekick) were astonished, incredulous, that a plane had just hit one of the World Trade Center towers. I listened, confused...a few minutes later, they were saying "OH MY GOD...ANOTHER ONE!" (or something like that) and Howard immediately said, "This is war. We're going to war" or something like that. I was surprised at his insight; I was just thinking the first was an accident and the second...dumbfounded me.

I hurried a few blocks to my mother's condo to watch CNN. (Because she lived nearby...although she was at work so I knew no one would be there) I went to her apartment and watched about a half-hour, then went down to get in the car to drive the 2.5 miles to my house and continue to watch.

As soon as I turned on the car, I heard (also from Howard Stern) that the first tower had crumbled. I ran back inside to my mother's and watched for another hour, then finally headed home. My husband had just awakened, having finished a 12-hour shift at 7 a.m.

My mother, a stockbroker, had just called to tell him and say, "Gather the family..." She thought we should go get my son at school in case there was any more trouble. My son's daycare was a few blocks from Procter & Gamble's offices and my mother feared that large corporations would be targeted too. (That's a stockbroker for ya!) My husband and I spent the next three days watching television and finally went camping for the weekend to get away from the news.

We have since moved across the country - just because we wanted to. We sold the house and moved to an apartment; life is too short to be a slave to the man. I found this site looking for thoughts on flying September 11, 2002. I was making airline reservations and didn't realize the date until my itinerary was given. I didn't buy the tickets.
Amy | 35 | Arizona

#1441 | Friday, July 5th, 2002
I was at school. I heard about it in government class.
W. Harlin | 15 | Maryland

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