#1497 | Friday, July 26th, 2002
I was about 2 blocks away, very much near the NYSE. Our main offices are located accross the river in Jersey City, NJ. A colleague called to ask if we knew what just happened at the trade center, we all thought he was pulling our leg. A few minutes later we heard a tremendous roar of a jet engine, and then a deafening crash, a noise that I will never forget.. The second plane.. Most of our team was not there that day, we wanted to leave to see if we could help, but we had responsibilities to stay and be at work for the stock markets open, one that never ocurred.. As we watched everything unfold on the tv, we could only imagine the loss of life that we were witnessing, it was a very sad day.
We felt a rumble, like a train was directly under us, the building shook like there was an earthquake, then total darkness and smoke billowing in every window crack. We did what we could to cover our mouth, most of the men in the office ripped parts of their shirts for the women to use as barriers for the smoke and grit we were breathing. In retrospect, being inside was the safest place for us to be, wouldn't have wanted to been outside when the towers came down..
We were finally able to leave around noon time, we were being evacuated because of a bomb scare at the exchange. Walking out the door to see inches and inches of debris on the street, my heart sank. The worst part of the whole experience for me was writing emails to my Mom, telling here to reach my wife, tell her I Love her and I hope to make it out of there alive, no one knew what our destiny was that day.
When I finally got home that night around 4pm, I finally lost it when I fell into my wifes arms. To this day, I still have nightmares of that day, still wondering how the people on the upper floors chose to take their own life instead of suffer in the smoke, how they felt when the towers went down, how those fearless firefighters and police officers felt, some knowing they would never see their families again.
I see things differently now, truely respect and cherish everything much more than before the 11th. My heart goes out to the families of those 3000+ heroes lost that day... God bless them and may we never see another day like that one...
Thomas L. | 32 | New York

#1498 | Friday, July 26th, 2002
Sitting through the normal English class, working on a project about the Holocaust, somebody surfing the internet on a computer said that there was news on usatoday.com that a plane had crashed in New York. I had remembered something from the week before about a parachuter who got stuck on the statue of liberty, and thought nothing of it. I was picturing some stunt plane that ran off-course.
Then the History teacher from next-door came in and said that another plane had crashed into the WTC and it was intentional. It finally hit me - and scared me.
The next class started and I had to go to History. On the TV there we saw the collapse of both buildings unfold. It was just unbelievable to sit there and watch - just watch live and two whole buildings tumbled down, and not be able to do or say anything. Then, as they announced the Pentagon's crash, I got worried about my brother who lived in Washington DC. He turned out fine, after many phone calls. Others weren't so lucky.
That night at home was the first time I cried. I couldn't imagine what the relatives of victims were feeling right then. Everything still seemed so surreal.
The newspapers didn't stop running the story for weeks.
I kept every newspaper.
Sally | 15 | Pennsylvania

#1499 | Friday, July 26th, 2002
I was honorably discharged from the Marines after a successfull 5 year tour and arrived back to my home town in southern Maryland in June 2001. I went to work for an asphalt company and rejoined my local volunteer fire department that I had joined in high school. On the morning of Sept. 11th I was awakened by a phone call from some friends at the squad house saying we were under attack. Thinking it was a joke I just rolled over. I decided to get up for the day and go to the station house and that was the first time I saw the news and could not believe my eyes. I can't remember a time that I was more mad, upset, and emotionally torn all at once. My first thought was that I was going to be recalled immediately and I wasn't going to be able to marry the woman I love so much in December. Then when the towers collapsed the station got quiet, it hit us that we just lost not only helpless civilians but hundreds of our fellow brothers and sisters. After talking it over with my fiance I decided to re-enlist into the Marines and go back to California. All of us wanted to go over and do our part in catching the people responsible but I knew just doing my job here in the states for uncle Sam was helping enough. Although to this day I wish I could join my fellow Marines in the search for the terrorists. I am happily married now and trying my best to accomplish a lot more during this tour. I plan on getting back out again at the end of this 4 year term and become a professional firefighter in San Diego. I think of the events of that day almost everyday, some days it reminds me why I do the job I do. I have made helping people a goal in my life. Until the day God removes me from this Earth I will be out doing what I can to help people as a Marine and some day as a firefighter. My heart and prayers go out to the families and to the people who lost a loved one that day. I want you to know that there are those of us that think about you all the time and will never forget the sacrafice your love ones made.
Ronald Michael Teller III | 24 | California

#1500 | Saturday, July 27th, 2002
The ride into St. Louis that morning was a normal one, the traffic was flowing and the weather was ok. My boss had the day off and the computers were down.it was business as usual at work. It couldnt have been a better morning. Untill the phone rang.

My frantic mother was on the other line, utttering about a plane hitting the World Trade Center. Reflecting about a time i remeber reading about a small plane hitting the Empire State Building, i quickly told my mother not to worry. I told her airplanes cannot cause severe damage to a skyscrapper, especially the twin towers. i hung up on my mom, thinking she was stressing over a single engine airplane. Boy was i wrong.

I stepped away from my cubicle to have a cigarette. As i walked back into the lobby i glanced over at the television. I could not believe my eyes. And then, with the very same eyes, i witnessed the second plane hit the towers.

I quickly called my mother back. She was on the other line with our relatives from North Jersey. I apologized for not taking her seriously and together we witnessed the rest of that tragic morning unfold.

By lunch time we closed the office and i was heading home. There was five o'clock traffic in the middle of the day. for thosewho said that the rest of the country could not understand what new york/new jersey went through should think again. myself as well as other drivers were in tears all the way home. There were people on the bridges and streets waving American Flags. They were both young people and old. Both white, black, hispanic, oriental and arabic. They were all Americans.

I went to donate blood but the line was too long so they told me to come back later. I stayed anyway.

Doug | 24 | Missouri

#1501 | Saturday, July 27th, 2002
i was at home swiching chanells, when i arived to cnn i sow the 1 of the wtc in fair,i was shoked by wats hapened and then the 2'n plane come and its was clear that that's was terorist atack.
adam | 16 | Israel

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