#1578 | Tuesday, August 20th, 2002
The morning of September 11th started out the same as any other Tuesday. I didn't have to work until 1pm, so I slept in. I woke around 9:30am and turned on the tv. Sportscenter was on ESPN, so I watched that for awhile. There was no word yet of any attack or accident or anything. I decided about ten minutes into the show that I was bored, and I started to flip through the channels. CNN was among the channels I happend to flip through. What I saw I can only describe as mind boggling. I could not believe that I was looking at the World Trade Center towers ablaze. Everything turned to a blur. I grabbed a piece of paper and started writing things down, reports that were being given, images that were being shown, accounts of the events that were being taken. It was a very surreal image, watching the Twin Towers smoking. It seemed almost like a dream that I was going to wake up from when my alarm clock went off. When the first tower collapsed at 9:50am, I stood with my mouth agape. Had I just seen one of the Twin Towers fall? Had it just crumpled like a house of cards? Was this really happening? I really wasn't sure.

The next two hours flew by as I ignored my already-cold breakfast. In the meantime, there had been reports of another plane crash in Pennsylvania, and the second tower had collapsed. I tried to pry myself from the tv, but I couldn't. I was somehow drawn to this tragedy, wanting to know more, wanting to hear more, wanting to see more.

When I got to work, which is WGNY, a radio station in Newburgh, NY, there was nobody upstairs. Everyone had retreated to the basement, where updates and information was being released every few minutes on the AP News Wire. A brave few were crowded around the boss's small tv, watching the events unfold in New York City, a short 45 minute drive from our very doorstep. When the report came across that one of the planes had apparently flown over Stewart Air National Guard Airbase, we all froze and stared at each other in horror. We see planes take off and land at Stewart Airbase everyday; it is located about two miles from where we work.

September 11th was quite possibly the sadest day of my life. Fellow New Yorkers, many of whom live within 20 miles of me, were victims of these horrific attacks. That day will remain in my mind as the day the world changed.

President Bush, if you read this, I want you to know that I support you one-hundred percent in your efforts to rid the world of terrorism. Please, for God's sake, do not allow this to happen again. Not here, not in Europe, not in the Middle East, not anywhere. We will never forget this day. Not ever.

Tom Morel | 20 | New York

#1579 | Tuesday, August 20th, 2002
My co-worker and I were chatting about the morning gossip when our neighbors wife across the hall came in the door and said "someone has bombed the WTC!" I looked at my co-worker, he kinda laughed. "They gotta be joking, Jim's just trying to get you back for that candybar joke," he said. I shrug it off and went back to my newest gossip. The neighbor came running back in the room and started screaming "the other tower has been bombed!" We go running into their office and started watching the fuzzy screen (no cable). At the bottom it explained that two planes had crashed into the WTC, not a bombing. Then we saw the footage of the second plane hitting. I just looked at everyone in the room. They all stood, dumbfounded at this.
My co-worker and I walked back to our office in silence. Then it finally hit me this was no accident as I spoke it aloud. My co-worker just nodded. For the rest of the day we listened to the radio for clues. I wanted to go home, no one knew what was going to happen next. There were reports everywhere of another plane headed at the white house. The pentagon had already been hit.
I called my mother and asked her to go home and not go back to work. I told her not to turn the tv on. She easily upsets, and she didn't listen.
I still get chills and tears come to my eyes everytime I see that plane crash into the tower. I hate watching it, though I feel I need to, to forever remember. I dread the day my children ask me about it. I dread the day I see it in their history books.
Kat Hall | 19 | Georgia

#1580 | Wednesday, August 21st, 2002
I was watching Cable TV as we just got the product that week. The amazing thing was I was on the CNN channel while it crossed over. To this day I can not believe what I seen. That whole night was spent on the phone to friends to see if they were safe. Those days/weeks that passed just went by with disbelief and still to this day I know it's gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA & THE LOST SOLES!
Steve | 23 | Australia

#1581 | Wednesday, August 21st, 2002
the time here was 4:00 pm when we heard about the attacks. i was at job doing the usual thing when we heard the news on the radio. and they said something like two airplanes had collided in air and one of them accidently hit on of the towers. but it was too soon for anymore informations. so 10 minutes it was confirmed this incident was an terrorist attack. two airplanes had crashed into the towers. and then on radio we listened to a guy who saw the 2nd plane crash into the 2nd tower. he explained that it was like seeing a movie. about 4:30 pm i went home and didn't know anything else but to turn the tv on. and all i saw was the towers crashing down, collapsing. and everything else seemed less important. i got a call from my sister, and i don't remember what we talked about. but i thought she knew about the attacks. so we talked about various things and we said goodbye. and about ten minutes later she rang up again and was obviously shocked about the recent news. the thing is, i thought she knew so i didn't bother to tell her. which is kind of dumb now when i think of it. but i was so numb and confused, this isn't real, this has to be the worst nightmare, ever. soon, i thought, we'll all wake up and think "oh my god, thank you, that was just a nightmare".
Mogwai | 25 | Sweden

#1582 | Wednesday, August 21st, 2002
My co-worker/friend and I were driving to work at 8:50 AM that morning. We live and worked in Staten Island. I was driving, and we take Front Street, a street on the edge of the water. We worked at the Courthouse, which is on the water and directly across the water is downtown Manhattan. I was driving, and the Towers were on our right. I turned to say something to her, and I noticed that there was an explosion that had just erupted in one of the towers. We both were stunned, but oddly enough, we both thought that because it was early, we were imagining it. We drove a little more, and again, we saw the huge fire. I braked my car in the middle of the street, and began honking my horn and pointing. Other drivers ahead and behind me stopped too. As we drove on, we saw a couple of fire engines going towards the Verrazano Bridge, with their sirens on. It’s sad to think now most of those men never made it back.
When we got to work, none of our other co-workers believed us. We got out a small television and turned it on. As we turned it on, we saw the plane flying, the second plane. Some people across the street said that they actually heard the plane fly overhead as well. I was on the phone with my mother at that exact moment, and she too was watching television. She started saying just as the plane veered towards the second tower, “Oh my god, there is another plane. There is another plane!" It was at this point that another friend and co-worker said, “This is not an accident.” That thought hadn’t crossed my mind.. I thought that what was happening was a fluke, that a plane had gone off course or something.
We all rushed outside and ran across the street toward the water. People were becoming hysterical, many people were crying and becoming very animated. Staten Island is a small place, with a lot of firemen, and a lot of people who work in Manhattan. I was worried about all of my friends who work in Manhattan, and I was just so scared. We began hearing stories that the Pentagon was hit, and some people were saying that the Washington Monument was also hit. I remember thinking: We are under attack. I thought that pretty soon, we were going to start seeing bombs exploding everywhere. I just couldn’t believe it was happening. A court officer said to me, "Dana, today is September 11th, and it certainly is 9-1-1." I realized our national call number for emergencies was indeed today, the 11th day of September. I remember thinking that is beyond ironic, it is too damned eerie.
We saw both towers go down, not on television, but right across the water. It was surreal… people were really losing it at this point. I was with a friend, who at the time was scared his brother was near the area, and we started screaming and hugging. I remember him screaming out his brother's name. The building just seemed to disintegrate. . It was like a horrible dream. People started coming in, hundreds of them, off of the Staten Island Ferry. They were covered in soot, some were bloody and hurt. I remember a woman who collapsed in front of me on the courthouse steps. She needed something to drink, and I had a Diet Coke in my hands. I told her that I had already drank out of it, and she told me that germs were the last things on her mind. I remember saying to myself: How stupid am I? This woman just escaped from a war zone, and I am thinking she would be worried about my germs. I don’t think the enormity of the situation had sunk in yet. I saw a man, who worked the floor of the Stock Exchange wandering around, still with the tickets in his hand. I saw people hysterical, saying that their family members were in one of the towers. People were saying how they saw people jumping out of the windows, that they were landing on the pavement right in front of them. I couldn’t believe that this was really happening. My co-worker was looking for her step-mother, who worked across the street from the WTC, and often shopped there in the morning. She hadn’t heard from her yet, and was extremely worried. She thought maybe she made it to the ferry and hopped on. She hadn’t found her by 1 PM, but she did make it out. She arrived home later that night, with a stranger and her baby, who was also in the area. They were covered with ash and soot, and they saw the whole thing happen.
I spent the rest of the day in a daze. The court system was closed. The bridges and tunnels were closed. I felt so strange. I called my friends and family, and began to find out who was missing and who wasn’t. I remember waking up on the 12th and really and truly believing that I dreamt all of this. To this day, I cannot think of that day without crying. I know this sounds almost corny, but life for me changed that day. And it probably will never be the same.

Dana Cognetta | 26 | New York

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