#1462 | Wednesday, July 10th, 2002
I'am a paramedic and was still in bed sleeping that tuesday morning after a long night when my relief called in saying he was going to be a little late so i just rolled back over and closed my eyes. After awhile the door to our station slamed open and my relief turned on the t.v and woke everybody up when I finally got up and walked to day room just in time to see the second plane hit and my jaw just hit the floor,When the first building fell my thoughts where the firefighters. Its strange I cant remember wher I was just last week but I'll never forget where I was sept.11,2001.GOD BLESS AMERICA.
MIKE MARTINEZ | 32 | Texas

#1463 | Thursday, July 11th, 2002
i had just gotten back from school and my boyfriend (who is american) called me from his place where he was watching cnn. we didn't really talk then - he just told me to turn on the tv and watch cnn.
i couldn't believe what i saw and i called my mom and my colleagues at work (i had the afternoon off). they hadn't heard anything at that time and told me the next day that they spent the rest of the afternoon watching tv after i called.
i think none of us could imagine at that time what consequences this attack would have. i don't think i even got the importance and tragedy until i saw the first tower fall ... i went to see my boyfriend that evening spontaneously (he lives a few miles away) because he really was in shock and i felt like he needed me. i think he knew what it meant a lot sooner than i did. it finally "hit" me a couple of days later when i kept seeing desperate people trying to find their loved ones and single tragedies ...
i want to let everybody in the united states know, that germany grieved with you and still does. and i think everyone who helped victims or even saved a life by putting himself in danger is a real hero!!! LOVE TO YOU ALL from germany *
kim | 25 | Germany

#1464 | Thursday, July 11th, 2002
Due to time differences the events of September 11 actually occured on September 12 in New Zealand. That morning I woke at 6am to the blaring of my radio alarm clock. Through the "BEEP BEEP" I could distinctly hear the voice of an announcer utter the words "World Trade" *BEEP* "destroyed." Being something of a skyscraper fan I immediately knew that this was an absolute catastrophe, but I couldn't quite comprehend what it meant or would look like. So, I rushed into the living room and turned on the TV. At that moment it was showing the smoke rising from the Pentagon (this was 6 hours after the first plane struck). As I didn't realise that had also been a target I assumed I was looking at a picture of the New York skyline. For a few seconds I thought that New York had been flattened by a nuclear explosion. It was only when I saw the startling images of the second plane flying into the tower that I pieced together what had happened.
I had to get ready for work, and being a teacher it's a little difficult to pull a sickie at such short notice. All I wanted to do was sit there and stare at those images and find out more of what had happened.
Driving to school I picked up a paper which already ran the headline "US UNDER ATTACK."
I arrived at school and went to the morning staff meeting. Everyone was in a somber mood and the Principal advised us not to talk too much about it lest the students get upset. One teacher hadn't heard the news and went into a state of shock (she was an American).

However, I knew that this would be all we talked about that day. Some of my students didn't know about the attacks either so we all sat around and I explained what had happened. Even though none of them had really heard of the Twin Towers (they were mainly 11 year olds) they could fully comprehend the magnitude of the tragedy and empathised with all those who lives were affected by it.
Paul | 26 | New Zealand

#1465 | Thursday, July 11th, 2002
On September 11, 2001, I sat in the band room at school while the jets crashed into the World Trade Center and later the Pentagon. I vividly remember the peacefulness I had felt that day while practicing, the bright sun outside, the only sounds being my music and the tapping away of my teacher at his computer. I had no idea that terrorists were attacking only 25 miles from my school and my house.

At about 10:30 I walked into American history class to hear my friend talking about a plane hitting a Twin Tower and knocking it down. I had no idea what he was talking about, and asked him to explain it to me. A crowd gathered around his desk and soon we realized that he was talking about something that actually happened, not a movie or story. The information he gave was slightly wrong because the events were still going on and reports were mixed, but it was enough to terrify us. He had been getting food in a store down the block when he saw the news on TV and had been among the first of the students to hear about what had happened. We spent the rest of American history class discussing what little we knew of the events, living out, ironically, the enormous part of American history that was being made as we spoke.

The rest of the day was a blur of rumors and emotion, students and teachers crying because friends and relatives worked in or near the World Trade Center and no one knew how many people had made it out alive. The school was put on lockdown, meaning no student could leave until further notice. The day wore on and we were brought to the gym, where it was announced that all students had to be picked up by a parent, and teachers were in the process of calling them all. Students took out cell phones and called parents themselves to make things go quicker, and also to hear how loved ones were.

I'll never forget watching the footage of the jets hitting the towers or of the people jumping from windows. I'll never forget the footage of the children in Afghanistan celebrating our tragedy. I'll never forget the stories about my friends' parents walking home from Manhattan because there was simply no other way to get home, arriving here covered in soot. I'll never forget the terror I felt that evening as I heard a plane flying overhead, when I knew planes weren't allowed in the skies, until it was announced on television that it was only a military plane.

Several days later I went to a park near my house and I could still see the smoke. I used to be able to see the towers, but instead I saw grey soot where they once stood. It was the first day planes were able to come back to America, and there was a continuous line of foreign jets going over my head.

The 9/11 aftermath continued for a long time for me here in New York. One of my teachers was absent many times because her husband was a fireman and she had to attend the many funerals of his fallen friends. Luckily, her husband survived, and he was part of the rescue/cleanup crew. Little things continued to remind us here of the tragedy, and still do. We will never, ever, forget.
Erin | 17 | New York

#1466 | Friday, July 12th, 2002
Being in New Zealand, I was fast asleep at the time. My Dad came into my room a little after 6am, "America's been attacked". At first, in my dazed state, it didn't register. I got out of bed and went out to watch what was happening on TV.
Complete shock. I immediately assumed I was witnessing the beginning of World War III. We all sat around the TV silently cursing before realising we had to get out of the house and go to work/school.
It seemed nobody was unaware of the morning's events. I can't remember a class I went to where we actually worked. The majority of the time, we sat glued to the TV, watching and re-watching what had happened. Talking. I don't think any of us had ever heard the name Osama bin Laden, so our History lesson was spent trying to discover him; what he stood for, etc.

Over the following weeks our television and newspapers were filled with images and reports, also personal accounts including those that had lost loved ones.
Last week at the library I picked up a book 'Tribute to the WTC'. It was amazing to see the building of the two towers - so much work, material, time gone into their making.. so strong-looking.

I do hope they will re-build the towers. I quite liked Brad Pitt's idea of having a see-through part on each tower where they were hit (even though that would probably be somewhat eerie).
Lana | 17 | New Zealand

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