#1472 | Monday, July 15th, 2002
Where was I the day the world stood still?
Well I was at home, playing around online and talking to a friend online. We got concerned over a friend of ours in Maryland and were trying to call him throughout the morning, but for some reason the phone lines were rather busy there. We both got rather flustered by this.
In between phone calls with my friend, the phone rings, I thinking it's her pick it up and say *yeah*, it was my father. His words to me were a shock, "the World Trade Towers have been struck by a plane", my mother was not home, she was getting her car serviced. I immediately turned on CNN, and watched in horror, LIVE as the second plane turned and went straight for the the second tower. I was off the phone with my dad at this point and on the phone with my friend Andrea. I called her and told her to turn on the news. We both sat there in shock watching the news. Both of us were on our cell phones trying to reach everyone we knew in NY, and in DC/Maryland area. The phones were all busy, EVERYWHERE!!!! I sat there watching as the news broke about the Pentagon & Pennsylvania. I didn't leave that spot for hours. I cried for the most of the day.
After awhile I had to go to work, and while at work we watched it on the televisions that were throughout the store. We were practically a meeting hall for people to watch the news. It was very sad to watch. All the while I had forgotten that my uncle lived near there at the time. After a few hours we recieved an email from him saying he was fine, and that he watched it all happen.

I few months later I was driving through DC and I swear that traffic STOPPED on the road I was on (interstate) when we all saw a small plane going rather low, and straight for one of the buildings that you can see from that road. It was scary.

My old job was right next to an airport, so daily you would hear planes coming in and out. But for days after that it was silent. But once the planes started up again, whenever one sounded too close, you could see the fear in people's eyes.

I remember also seeing the hatred in people's eyes. We have many Arab customers who would come in, and that day was not the day to be arab and shopping there. I felt so bad for some. There was one woman, I can remember her clearly, she was arab, we were talking about the attacks and about the possible death toll before it was announced, and she came and joined our conversation, the fear & hurt were genuine in her eyes, she was disgusted with what happened!! But there was this one family who came in, and the looks in people's eyes were just terrible! I have to admit at first I did it too, but then I was like why am I doing this? They aren't out there celebrating the attacks, they are hurt by them too. And after that I persoanlly didn't look at them any differently other then seeing that they were Americans!!!!
Shaine | 27 | Virginia

#1473 | Monday, July 15th, 2002
I had been to an all night party, and I'm never normally up that early in the morning, but me, and my boyfriend at the time, decided just to stay up. As we were leaving our friends house, and in the car on the way home, we heard a breaking news come across the radio station, and all we heard was "We are being attacked we are being attacked!". I had no clue what was going on, but we heard the mention of planes, and I thought they were attacking everything, in the usa, and I looked to the skies, and was just looking. We sped up to 90 miles, an hour, and arrived home, and turned on the tv, to see the see the second tower get struck, by a plane. It was horrifying, and I'll never forget, how scared I was, and how vulnerable I felt. It was a day I'll never forget, and it will remain with me forever.
Trudy Taylor | 24 | North Carolina

#1474 | Tuesday, July 16th, 2002
September 11th started out as a normal day. I had to work the closing shift at my Kmart store at 1 PM, so I got up relatively late, about 9 AM. After waking up a bit, I decided to kill some time by going online and checking my email, LiveJournal, and such. One of the emails I got was a post to a Yahoo! Group ML that was, as far as I know, dead. Here is the email, verbatim:
[There are some Japanese words in here, since it came from an anime RPG mailing list]

"Giys [sic] the pentagon has been bombed one world trade center has been bombed and collapsed, please pray for everyone this could by [sic] our final hour minna [everyone] just pray that everything is done according to God's will, Amen and arigato [thank you] for listening and this is not something you should take lightly, this is serious business."

My initial reaction was less than stellar -- "Yeah, right..." But in the back of my mind, I was thinking that maybe I should turn on CNN and see what they say about the whole thing. I turned the television on, and the first image I saw was the second plane flying into the World Trade Center. I sat for what seemed like an eternity in utter shock and disbelief.

Then I realized... my friend was supposed to fly back into Columbus that day. I got frantic. I made calls, sent emails, worried, started visibly shaking, and cried. Luckily, my friend's plane had not taken off yet; she would be stuck in LA for a week. It was better than being up in the air at the time of the attack, though.

The attacks affected me at such a deep level, that I couldn't stand being alone in my room. I called work and told them I was coming in early; that I needed something to do to take my mind off the attacks. Of course, the attacks were the topic of conversation all around... at least I was around co-workers and friends, so I could offer support to those who needed it.

The 9/11 attacks have strengthened my interest in the country. Before then, I just went through the motions. I voted, but I never really followed what went on that made our country work. I now have a newfound respect for how our government works. (By no means perfectly, but it could be much worse.) It also ultimately strengthened the bonds between my friends and me.

It will be nearly impossible for anyone to forget what happened on that fateful day, and how it changed their lives, both personally, and in society as a whole.
Dustin Riley | 20 | Ohio

#1475 | Tuesday, July 16th, 2002
I got off the R train in Times Square and headed for work. At that moment the first tower was hit but I had no idea till I reached work and saw it on tv. The first thought was a terrorist attack. I was in the Trade center in 1993 missing the first attack by 1/2 hour. At that point I called my wife who was working on the east side and told her we have to get out of Manhattan. I calle my brother who worked a few blocks from me and told him were going back to Queens. Let my Mom know at her home everyone was ok.

I picked up my wife and we statred walking up to the Queensboro bridge about 11am. By now the towers were gone. As we walked over the bridge into Queens you no longer saw the towers, just thick black smoke. It was an erie sight I will never forget. You had to think to yourself is this really happening. At that moment NYC was in bad shape. I remember as we walked over the east river almost three hours after the attack why there was no military presence in the air, no fighter jets or military helicopters and it was such a clear day visibility was nothing less than spectacular. I finally made it home which is just accross the east river. It was on the warm side that day temps were around 80 degrees. With no trains running we walked about five miles till we caught a livery car in Long Island City, Queens who was kind enough to pick up my wife and I. As we reached our block thats when the thunderous sounds of the fighter jets passed over our neighbor hood.

For the next week or so our neighborhood was filled for what it seemed twenty four hours a day with sirens,helicopters and fighter jets. I am born and raise in NYC and this was truly the first time sirens bothered me.

I think the next four weeks or so most of us living and working in NYC where in a state of shock. I attended several Funerals at St. Patricks on 5th ave so the events continued for many months for us here.

Now we are approaching the first anniversary and I have not been to wall street since the attacks. I dont know when I will be able to go there. For me it is not a tourist attraction. The towers wher apart of my NYC life from a kid to my adult life. I have worked in them and traveled through them on my way to work, I still can picture inside and out vividly in my mind. I can say now that I miss them.

I wait for the day we can bring closure, but we should as a nation never forget that the enemy still lives among us. liberty and Freedom have a cost and should be defended.
For a brief moment in time I felt it was in jepordy. I never want my children to have that feeling.

SWS NYC
SWS | 36 | New York

#1476 | Tuesday, July 16th, 2002
Well, September 11 in NY was a beautiful day, and the breeze was amazingly fresh. I was at work, in a construction site in Queens, NY, in the basement. I remember feeling horribly sad for some reason, and I wanted to go home.

Then came about 9 o'clock, a fellow worker came to see me, and said: "You hear that a plane hit the WTC?" and I, in shock, cursed, and said: "You have to be kidding me?" He said they were watching from the third floor, that it could be seen very clearly, and we proceeded to run up to the stairs to the third floor.

By the time we got there, the second plane had hit and almost every head on the job was there, watching. I demanded for a radio, and we got one, and played the news station as we watched.

I remember a lady being interviewed, and she was sobbing loudly, saying over and over: "There were people jumping out! Those poor people..." I'll never forget those words in my life.
And even as we watched the towers burn in full tecni-color, and listened to the radio, the news came that The Pentagon had been hit, and a silence came over the job. Then they said that there might be 3 more planes out there.

Everyone's eyes just widened, and we did not know what to do or say. There was a guy there that I worked with, who was trying to get in touch with his brother, who worked on the 80 something floor of one of the towers.

As we watched the towers collapse, I remember looking at him, and a lone tear spilled from his eye, he seemed to be paralyzed. I went up to him and just held him. Thankfully, his brother was alright.

I cried too, and many others did too. The next day, I got up, got dressed, sat down, and couldnt get back up again. I was crying for months after that, and I still choke up in tears now.
7-16-02
Katia N. Ruiz | 23 | New York

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