#1643 | Monday, September 2nd, 2002
September 11th, 1989 was when I was born. September 11th, 2001 was when it happened. I couldn't beleive my eyes. I was really excited for school because everyone promised they would sing me happy birthday the whole day through. I was getting ready for school when my aunt called. She told my mom to turn on the news. As I was getting ready I walked past the tv and saw it! I was amazed, it reminded me of the movie Independence Day. I was glued to the tv. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. It was so sad. and took me and my family by shock. I didn't realize the time but I was late for school so I was rushing to get ready and stopping every time I passed the tv just to see what else has happened. I went to school, hearing everybody talk about it. I over heard boys saying they would have to join the army(not quite sure what would happen and how bad it was) I got lucky. My friends still sung happy b-day to me the whole day. I was lucky enough to not be forgotten. I am looking forward to my b-day this year but I know it won't be the same!!!
Marissa Cravens | 12 | California

#1644 | Monday, September 2nd, 2002
Well, first of all I would like to point out that I am not American by birth, but since serving with you guys in the Persian Gulf, I am American at heart.

September 11th 2001, I was returning from Ireland by ship back to scotland when the tragedy struck. I got a phone call from my brother in Amsterdam, to tell me of the news.

I spent the next few weeks glued to the tv and radio. Couldn't beleive what had happened. Even now the size and gravity of what took place still does not sink in.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all as the 1st anniversary approaches. We will think of you all during this difficult time

Both my wife and I would like to congratulate the United States of America in the way they have dealt with this tragedy. Since 1990 and learning more about your way of life, I have tried to be more like you guys. If the uk could follow in your example I am sure we would be a far, far better place for it!

Michael Ross | 32 | United Kingdom

#1645 | Monday, September 2nd, 2002
I was just leaving my law class in high school when I heard my teacher question what she heard. Some of the students in class had no idea what the twin towers were or what the world trade center was. As I was preparing to go to my next class, I made a stop in library for our school pictures. The television was set up and students gathered around to watch CNN Live. For the rest of the day I didn't move. I watched in horror as the tapes were played over and over. This was something that hadn't really struck as being anything too terrible. I assumed a plane had crashed because of engine failer. I did not understand the tragedy that hit that day.
Katherine McCarthy | 17 | Canada

#1646 | Monday, September 2nd, 2002
I am a law enforcement officer, on September 11th a fellow co-worker and I had made plans to have lunch that day. On the morning of September 11th when the news broke in Sacramento my co-worker called me on the phone and told me to turn on the television. I thought what I was seeing on the television was a war movie and that she was mistaken or perhaps I was on the wrong channel. After realizing what I was seeing was actually occurring in my country, I was in a state of shock. My first impulse was to gather up all members of my family and somehow protect them. As I calmed down I realized I was one of millions of people in the United States that did not know exactly what we should or should not do at that particular period of time.

My co-worker and I agreed that it would be a good idea for her and I to be together to help each other get through this tradegy. Spending that time with her helped me to not focus on me but helped me to think about how I could help others who may be in a worse situation than I was.

I worked several extra hours per week providing special security to areas identified in our jurisdiction as highly potential targets. Knowing that I was fulfilling my duties and responsibilities as a law enforcement officer helped me immensely, knowing I was helping others helped me to cope and stay focused during this difficult period our entire nation was experiencing.
Shaunda C. Davis | 41 | California

#1647 | Monday, September 2nd, 2002
“Where was I on September 11th?”

Unknown to me that morning, for the last time I would be able to step on the plane with minutes to spare. I settled in aboard the 6:00am American Airline flight from Minneapolis to Dallas (and ultimately on to Houston).
I had taken this flight numerous times over the last year. My children had moved with their mother back to Minnesota, and I had taken on the traveler role. Once a month, for five days with the return flight out of Minneapolis on a Tuesday. The last year …….so much had happened. The falling apart of a marriage, the separation, My wife taking the children back to Minnesota, the divorce, my mothers cancer, the pressures of work. Each day before September 11th was a reminder of what a challenge life had turned out to be for me.
Falling asleep, I began the pattern that I knew so well. As I seasoned traveler I had become savvy in the airports, knew my way around delays, and could fall asleep in a heartbeat once sat. As we landed in Dallas, I began to make my way towards my connecting flight on the next concourse. I noted a few people gathered around a television, and approached. The pictures were unclear, the sound was down. My first thought was “What building is on fire in Downtown Dallas”?
Reflecting back on the next few hours is still a bit of a blur for me. So much happening, incomplete information coming to me as I continued to push on towards my gate. I actually still felt like I was going to be flying on to Houston. The cell phone began ringing with the many family and friends that knew I was flying. I settled into a seat in front of my gate and watched as the Pentagon was hit, the towers collapsed, and the airports were shut down.
A friend in Dallas was able to help me sift through the mountain of luggage, get out of the airport, and get me one of the last rental cars in Dallas. After contacting my boss, he had let me know that he wanted me to get down to Houston; “Get to Houston-you are supposed to work tonight”. That pressure, the unknown of what was happening with the attacks, the massive weight of being away from the children again, stayed with me as I pressed on towards Houston. I decided to drive with the radio off, so that I could absorb what was occurring. Making it into town, into the restaurant, and then home sealed what was working in me.
I cannot fathom the sadness of the many that lost loved ones that day, suddenly, unknowingly, so violent. I do not know if I ever will be able to.
For Me, September 11th crystallized what I knew I had to do. Within 6 months, I had left my job of 10+ years & relocated back to be with my children. I also had the opportunity to be together with my family as my mother passed. September 11th reminded me how much I love those around me, and that I had the energy, power and will to show them that. I continue to feel that as I make further steps forward in life.
I look forward to being in New York with my children in the coming week, as I show them the “persevering” spirit that life calls for on occasion, and the energy that occurs when people work together.
God Bless
Jim Hofer | 35 | Minnesota

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