#1457 | Wednesday, July 10th, 2002
I teach at a Royal Saudi Air Force base in Jeddah. We get off work at about two in the afternoon and I was in my villa soon after that.

I was in the kitchen fixing dinner and my villa mate was taking his mid-afternoon nap. I had the American satellite on and was half listening to The Today Show. The news guy said he had a breaking news story from downtown. He said to his producer “What? Go to commercial and then the footage?”

They cut to the last commercial we would see for almost a week.

I was watching as they went back to the news and showed the first plane run into the building. I woke up Roger. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting more and more depressed. We were wrong about everything we said to one another.

We knew at once it wasn’t an accident. We also assured ourselves that the towers couldn’t come down; that the best thing for everyone in the other tower to do was stay inside. We told each other the story about another plane crashing into the Pentagon was just a rumor.

My wife and father-in-law were flying from Panama (our home) to Miami for medical tests that morning. I was worried out of my mind. The phones were all jammed. It was only a few days later that I heard that she had been diverted to Grand Cayman Island.

On the flight line, a couple of Saudi airmen celebrated when they heard the news. Our (American and Filipino) guys called in RSAF officer. The two were taken away in an official car and have never returned to the flight line.

The next day, the Colonel called in all the Americans (and Canadians, they seem to be confused about Canadians) and offered his sympathy. Lockheed called us all together to discuss the emergency evacuation plan.

The site manger asked us if we had any questions. There was only one. “Would we get danger pay?” Expatriates are tough and strange birds.
Paul | 44 | Saudi Arabia

#1458 | Wednesday, July 10th, 2002
Im a British soldier and was on exercise in Canada when someone said that the WTC had been attacked.
We were on a maintenance day so we were just sitting in the middle of this huge plain with a crappy little radio to tell us what was going on. I have distant family in NY.
Later the Welsh Guards company commander assembled us all together and briefed us on events, thats when we learnt about the Pentagon.It was frustrating as we couldnt get to see the news for another 2 weeks and when I eventually did see the pictures it was just overwhelming.
In March 2002 I deployed to Afghanistan and was part of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force)in Kabul.
I believe I am right when I say that these creatures that did what they did are not representative of most Afghans.
I also think, along with many, that we have entered a new age, this wont be an isolated event and this jealous hatred that drove them still persists.
Gary | 30 | United Kingdom

#1459 | Wednesday, July 10th, 2002
Where to start, where to start?

Well, I woke up in the morning to my mother yelling at me from her room across the hall. "Jeremy, Jeremy wake up! A plane just hit the World Trade Center."
In my drousy state I managed to respond, "your kidding, right?"
Needless to say, she wasn't kidding! I jumped out of bed and the first thing I saw when I walked into her room was the picture of the first tower that had been struck. It may sound terrible, but it was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. The hole was gigantic. I noticed you could see the outline of the wing tips on each side.
We started to talk about what could have happened. Glide scope problems? Problem with the hydrolics on the plane? Pilots drunk or incapacitated in some way? Pilot error? But on a bright sunny day? I told myself it was a freak accident and then began to walk out of the room. Just as I got to the doorway I heard a person who the news station was interviewing start to yell, "Wait a minute it looks like another plane is coming. Another plane just hit the other tower!" Right then and there it became all to apparent what was happening. One plane could have been an accident, but two planes had to be intentional. We moved to the livingroom to watch the bigger TV, and to call my dad. We listened to the President's remarks from the Florida Elementary School. I'll never forget the gasps of the crowd when he announced that this was "an apparent terrorist attack on our country".
I had to pick up my brother at around 7:30am and I was getting dressed when I heard a report about a fire at the Pentagon. Still in my state of denial I told my mother not to worry, it was probably just some small isolated fire that was being blown out of proportion because of the days events. Then I saw the first pictures, and I realized that I couldn't have been more wrong. My only thought at that moment was 'My God'! Then reports started coming in from all over the place. Another fire on the Washington Mall, all planes believed to be hijacked, many more possibly in the air, an explosion at the state department, another plane headed toward Washington, air force fighters scrambled, a plane crash reported in Pennsylvania, White House and the Capitol being evacuated, Pres. Bush being evacuated to a secure undisclosed location, all US airspace had been closed. Luckily many of these turned out not to be true, but sadly many were true.
Out of all these two really struck me. First, US Navy ships were being deployed all across the country, and then the military was orderded to stand up to Threat-con Delta. That is when I realized the sevarity of the situation. The military only goes to Threat-con Delta when we are at war. Basically as far as the military was concerned, as of that morning the US was at war with someone. I got a real idea of the true sadness of the nation when I went to the local Fred Meyer grocery store and heard nothing but complete silence. It seem silly to notice something so irrelevant, but in a store where normally people are chatting away, and you can hear the humm of people discussing various topics the silence stuck out like a sore thumb.
I think Sen. John Warner put it best that day when he said, "This has indeed been the most tragic hour in our nations history, but I think it can be out finest." As painful as that day was, look what came out of it. I have never in my short life seen such patriotism, and national pride. For a short time everyone forgot about all racial, or cultural barriers. For that short time we were all simply Americans. We were all one family. It was amazing to see kids on the side of the road waving flags, and see people from all nationalities immaginable turning out for rallies, and memorials. And another thing that I never expected was the world reaction. Even with as many faults this great nation has (as does any nation) the world rallied around us. For one moment the entire free world stood as one, shoulder to shoulder. As arrogant as we may sound to you, I don't think anyone will ever understand how much that support meant to America. Something as simple as playing the American National Anthem at Buckingham palace moved many Americans to tears.

Thank you for letting me ramble on like this. Keep this site running!
Jeremy | 20 | Washington

#1460 | Wednesday, July 10th, 2002
On September 11th 2001,
I was at work. I heard the radio
announcer state that a plane had crashed into the world trade center. I said out loud, "now that is NOT funny".
I thought someone was playing a sick joke. As soon as I said that, the dj said "this is not a joke". Then my mother called from her work. She said
"have you seen tv, did you hear what happen at the world trade center?"
I immediately turned the tv on. Everyone was mesmerized and in shock by what was transpiring. Everything was happening so quickly. I called my dad and brother to make sure they were ok.
I gave them updates on what was happening. It was so chaotic. I couldn't believe my eyes/ears. I knew our lives had changed forever. One woman in the office said "we are going to WAR". It was such a beautiful day weather wise. Who knew what a horrible day it was going to turn out ot be!
I was glued to the tv until 2am the next morning. I felt so helpless. What
could I do to help? My heart was just aching!
Karyn
Karyn A. K. Fleck | 31 | Rhode Island

#1461 | Wednesday, July 10th, 2002
At the time the first plane hit, I was in class at Kennesaw State University. Totally oblivious to what was happening, I hopped in the truck to go home, expecting to hear the local talk show host who is normally on at that time in the morning. The news of the first plane was just breaking over the air. First reports were coming through that it was apparently a small plane (like a Cessna) and it appeared to be a bad accident. Believe it or not, the station went back to regular programming and said they would keep us posted. I thought nothing of it and put in a CD, listening to music the rest of the 15 minute drive home. When I got there, I flipped on the tv to catch the last hour of the Today Show. Like everybody else in America, I was shocked by what was going on. I called my mom, and best friend who live in a much smaller town than I do, knowing that with me being in Atlanta they would worry about me. They were both at work and had no idea what was going on. I let them know that everything in Atlanta was normal, but I would let them know the second that anything changed. At this point, nobody knew if more attacks on large cities were coming, but (looking back) I did something really stupid and went to downtown Atlanta to try and find my boyfriend. I finally found him on the Georgia Tech campus and let him know what was going on. We spent the afternoon glued to CNN, watching in shock as the events unfolded. We went with his roomie to eat at Ruby Tuesday for dinner, but the mood was pretty rotten, and we watched the tv at the bar, as our lives were changed forever by this senseless tragedy.
The thing that sticks in my head the most that day, was the message on the traffic signs in Atlanta. Usually they give travel times and warnings about wrecks, but today, of course was different. They simply said "National Emergency--ATL Airports Closed." I don't know why I was so moved by these signs, but they brought tears to my eyes to see those words, National Emergency.
My heart goes out to everyone that was affected that day; whether it be those who were lost, those who lost a loved one, or just those like me watching from a distance.
God Bless America
David F | 20 | Georgia

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