#1558 | Saturday, August 17th, 2002
Blessed Be!
I feel like all who have died are like family and I morn for their lives and souls that were so wrongfully taken away from their loved ones. I only hope that we will never have to go through this ignorant loss o f souls again. I just wish that the whole world could put aside our difference and think about working together to solve a problem. I know that morning I woke to find out what had happened. I know that if that was my husband, son, grandmother,etc...I would be so full of emotions. I will always remember the people of 9/11 and be greatful everyday that I can wake up and see my family again....
Blessed be!
Dawn Ferrebee | 20 | West Virginia

#1559 | Saturday, August 17th, 2002
September 11 started out one of the most beautiful days in recent memory. Sunny and bright, barely a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was perfect. I'm not a morning person, but that day I couldn't help feeling a little energy boost as I emerged from the house and noticed how gorgeous it was outside. I was in my car, on my way from my home in Philadelphia, PA to Camden, NJ to see a client. I was just turning onto the approach to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, when I turned on the radio-- just in time to hear the DJs exclaim, "Oh my God, another plane just hit the other tower!" About a minute went by before I finally heard them say "World Trade Center," and when they did I started punching buttons to check other stations, thinking that it was just some really sick joke. I was stunned when I found that it was all too real. I stomped on the gas pedal and sped up, wanting to get to the client's offices so I could get to a computer and pull up some news sites. When I finally made it there, I tried to pull up CNN's web page and see what the hell was going on-- but it and many other news sites were crippled from millions of people simultaneously trying to do the same thing. We ended up finding and turning on a radio, and getting absolutely no work done as we stood around listening to KYW (the local news radio station) with increasing horror as the reports kept rolling in. Finally, someone managed to pull up MSNBC's main page on their computer, and then we all saw that unbelievable, unimaginable, nightmare image that will probably stick with us for the rest of our lives-- black smoke pouring from a giant gash in one of the twin towers, and the other engulfed in a tremendous fireball from the impact of the second plane and ignition of its full load of jet fuel.

Planes in the primary landing pattern to Philadelphia International Airport can be seen through the floor-to-ceiling front windows of the building I was in. After we heard of the FAA's nationwide aircraft-grounding order on the radio, we watched them coming in, one after the other. We held our collective breath for a moment each time, watching and waiting to see if the plane was really on final approach, or if it was going to veer off toward center city Philadelphia on some hijacker's insane suicide mission. People started to leave to pick up their kids from school and daycare as word spread that Philadelphia was essentially shutting down. I headed for home myself at about 11:20am, when rumors started flying that major area roads and the bridges over the Delaware River were going to be closed (they turned out to be just rumors). The ride home seemed to take forever, but finally I got there. I spent the rest of the day staring at CNN, barely able to accept what I was seeing. Reading the words in the special editions of the Philadelphia newspapers later that afternoon didn't make it any more real, either.

One month ago, I took my annual day-trip to New York for a computer trade show. It was still dark in the morning when I was on the train to the city, so my first look at the city in daylight finally came that afternoon, on the train home. Even after seeing the hole in the skyline with my own eyes, I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that those buildings are gone. I simply sat and stared out the window at the place where they should have been, until my line of sight was finally obscured as the train moved farther away.
Michael Stango | 29 | Pennsylvania

#1560 | Saturday, August 17th, 2002
RE:11 September
I was at home, I had picked my son up from school. He was watching a cartoon channel, when my mum phoned and said "what do you think the yanks are going to do about this". I asked "what", and she replied "you haven't seen it, put on a news channel". So I did and I saw a replay of both towers being hit by planes. All I said was "oh christ Oh christ" and as I watched, the reporters were saying that people were jumping from the buildings and that this was believed to be A Terrorist attack. My mother who was still holding on the phone asked "who could do this", my reply was "I don't know, an arab connection perhaps". My mum said that she loved and she was going to phone my sister's and that she loved me. For the rest of that day (and the following days) we watched the news channels in disbelief and horror. My son, who was 4, asked me why the planes crashed into the buildings. I told him that it was on tv and wasn't real, with hindsight it wasn't the right answer to give him. But he's just a child I wanted to protect him and his right to a happy, worry-free childhood. He was fortunate his parents were in a position to protect,
To finish this, I want to say that we must protect our freedoms and democracy from all extrmists from any religion or political belief. And as a british citizen, that the republican and loyalist forces in N.Ireland have taken note of the 'zero tolerance'that has prevailed against all terrorist groups, since september 11. And that they take notice of worldwide global feeling that wants peaceful, negotiated settlements to the political issues that beset, democratic nations.

Deborah Hills
Devon
United Kingdom
Deborah Hills | 26 | United Kingdom

#1561 | Saturday, August 17th, 2002
I was at the Renaissance Charter school in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City.

I work there as a couselor twice a week. When I first heard that the tower had been struck, I like many of my colleagues believed it to be a freak accident. As the morning wore on and we were able to catch some television stations that teachers were utilizing in their classrooms, it became clear to us what had occurred and I was just walking around in a state of total disbelief. I could not imagine that what I was viewing on the television was actually happening.

The schools went into security alert mode and parents began to race to the school demanding with good reason for the release of their children. It became quite chaotic a scene. Some of the other memories I have are of children crying in the main office and being comforted by extended family members who themselves were in shock of sorts, because these childrens parents were working in the towers. A part of me just felt like I was walking around as an observer to all this happening around me and my responses were almost robotic in a way. It was when I finally arrived home in the late afternoon and watched the newscasts, that I finally was hit with the reality of what had occurred on this day. It was simply unbelievable.

For the next two weeks or so, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night, startled and thinking...."Is this really happening? Did this really happen? Did those people really jump out of this building?" It was so surreal.

In late September I registered with the Red Cross and began going to ground zero as often as time would allow for me to do so on the weekends, when I was free from work. When the Red Cross pulled out and the Salvation Army tent went up, I registered and began to volunteer with them at the tent on the site. It was an incredible experience. I stayed on through May 30th, the offical closing of the recovery mission.

At this time, I am looking forward to September 11th, 2002, the anniversary, as a day to remember the lives lost. I am not so much concerned about another terrorist attack at that time as I am about how I will feel going into the city and being around the site again. A part of me simply wants to get through the anniversary date, then close the book, and put it on the shelf where I can see it and be reminded, but where I can also go on with my life. I believe the most honorable tribute I can pay to those who lost their lives, is to get up every morning and live my life to the fullest in their name and in their honor.

Denise Villamia | 42 | New York

#1562 | Sunday, August 18th, 2002
I was standing in my kitchen with two contractors and a wallpaper hanger as the news came across the television. It wasn't real. The only thing I could think of was getting my four year old from school.
Rob Cantrell | 38 | Florida

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