#1703 | Friday, September 6th, 2002
At 8:46 I was sitting in my French class with Ms. Cooley at Irmo High School. We were all oblivious until the end of 5B at 9:45, where we heard whispers of a plane hitting the Pentagon during the class change. (I was thinking of a Cessna.) My next class was ROTC; there, the radio was on. Colonel was on the white board trying to keep tabs on what had happened, a plane hit the Pentagon, two planes into the World Trade Center, one tower collapsed. Then came word of the north tower, the 1 was X'd out for a two. Finally, an hour after the first hit the principal came on and told the story to anyone who hadn't heard already.

Then came lunch and talk of what happened. When another student told me the towers were flat-out gone, I couldn't believe it. I had visited them a little over a month before (August 3, if I recall)--how could they be gone completely?

Finally, at about 12:30 I saw the pictures. The pictures looked like hell on earth, and the interviews and speculation and news bulletins didn't help. When I got home (all extracurriculars were canceled), my family was watching CNN as intently as people watch Survivor or Big Brother. The pictures kept replaying over and over--it was unreal.
Billfred L. | 16 | South Carolina

#1704 | Friday, September 6th, 2002
As I was walking down the hall to class, I heard a few people yelling across the hall to others that something had happened to the World Trade Center. Not being able to understand what they were saying, I completely ignored the conversations. When I arrived in class, I forgot about the whole thing and started getting out the homework that was assigned to us the night before. My friend leaned over to me and asked, "Did you hear that a plane hit the World Trade Center?!" At first I thought that maybe a small plane like a Cessna had it on accident. I asked what type of plane had hit it and when she told me that it was a commercial airliner, a horrible feeling that I had never felt before permeated throughout my body.

As the rest of my peers began to enter the classroom I heard rumors that a car bomb had exploded outside the State Department building and that a plane had hit the West Wing of the White House as well. The class as a whole was not informed of the attacks until a few minutes later when another teacher entered the room and whispered something to my teacher. My teacher then asked the class if we had heard what happened in New York. The majority of the class was informed, but a few still did not know yet. As my teacher proceeded to teach the lesson, she realized that no one could concentrate on the lesson and asked us if we wanted to go to another classroom to watch CNN. It was when we arrived in the other classroom that we learned that the second tower had been hit, that another plane was still unaccounted for, and that the Pentagon had been hit as well. My friends and I spent our lunchtime in one of the classrooms watching CNN, unable to eat because we were so sickened by the news.

All after school activities were cancelled that afternoon so I was able to go straight home. When I arrived back home, I immediately flipped on the TV and just sat and watched CNN for the next few hours.

As the weeks ahead unfolded, a deluge of patriotism flooded my hometown. There were huge lines of potential donors waiting to give blood at the local blood banks. People gave an unprecedented amount of money to the Red Cross and the United Way.

September 11, 2001 will be a day that all Americans will remember. We will never forget the horrifying images of the Twin Towers collapsing, killing thousands of people. We will never forget the gaping hole in the Pentagon. We will never forget the heroism of the people on flight 93 who heroically averted a certain fourth attack. But most of all, we will never forget the heroic firefighters, police officers, EMTs, military personnel, and ordinary civilians that sacrificed their lives to save others.

We will defeat the terrorists who committed these atrocious attacks whether today or in 100 years! America, we will win, and most of all “God Bless America!”
Sam | 17 | Virginia

#1705 | Friday, September 6th, 2002
I am a British citizen who was living in England at the time and remember being at work in the hospital when somebody mentioned to me that an airplane had hit the WTC, at that time I did not even really know where it was. When I got home i put on the news just seconds before the second plane hit and I remember feeling total disbelief that this could happen (in America of all places) I sat in silence stunned for the rest of that day and long into the evening trying to grasp the magnitude of what happened. I still to this day cannot believe the fact that on live television I watched thousands of people die. It upset me from many many miles away so I cannot imagine what the poor people who were actually there felt. Before this I had never really had much to say about America I knew little about it I neither liked or disliked it but as I watched the events on 9/11 I truly did feel the pain and the sadness with the people who were involved I felt some strange connection to those people a kind of feeling I had never had before or have I had since. But out of all this evil there did come some good never before have I seen such resilliance and humanity from anyone on this planet than those people in new york the way they have put their lives back together is amazing and the way that those brave rescue workers carried on until the last piece of rubble was removed nearly a year later they are a credit to the human race. Unfortunatly on the other hand after this terrible killing almost immediatly America was striking back inflicting the same horrendous acts on people who they thought may be responsible those people in Afghanistan had to experience much the same feelings as the people in America, they too have lost brothers and sons and mothers etc. But yet no worldwide support for them at the end of the day whether we are American British Arab anything we are all members of the human race and we all have the same feelings and emotions no one nation is any more superior to the other they may be different but not better or worse and as the growing problems in Iraq escalate due to America continuing throwing its weight around the world just to make sure everyone knows who is in charge there will only be more killing and hate in the world. So in 12 months I have gone from feeling a deep connection with America and sharing their pain but now I am finding this hard to do when they are striving for war. On 9/11 2002 I will give a thought to the families of those who have lost loved ones but after that day any emotional connection I have with America is well and truly severed as it is turning into something I could easily end up hating who are they to decide all of our fates by leading us in to war! I would welcome any comments people may have.
Ben | 21 | United Arab Emirates

#1706 | Friday, September 6th, 2002
On September 10th, I was checking in for my flight to San Francisco from Rio De Janiero, Brazil. The ground staff began issuing boarding passes for a flight via Newark on September 11th, then tore them up saying that the checkin deadline for that flight had passed. They rebooked me on a flight via Miami instead.
After an uneventful flight to Miami, I boarded United flight 984 to San Francisco. We took off over the high rises of downtown at 7.45 am, and the aircraft a 767, was almost empty.
Two hours into the flight I was watching a video program called 'earthquake in New York' predicting a quake there and an expert came on and said, 'the Twin Towers would survive an earthquake...' at that very moment a tense voice came through the headphones, 'cabin crew to the cockpit, emergency,' and the passengers who had heard that pulled off their earphones and looked bewildered around the cabin; immeditately the plane began banking and dropping sharply; the flaps were up on the wing to slow us down as fast as possible. I immediately began paying attention to the noises around me and the plane sounded fine; but there was no announcement at all as to what was happening if it was amechanical problem.... as i listened to the crew prepare us for an emergency landing (in Oklahoma, the TV screens told us) I looked for a phone to call my family but there wasnt one, and later that day I realized what it would have been like to be on the hijacked planes and have to call to say goodbye.
we continued to drop very quickly and did a bumpy landing in Oklahoma and saw about 12 aircraft rapidly land on the runway immediately after us; then we realized the situation was much bigger than our plane alone. The captain said that there had been a national emergency and we were to get off the plane as fast as possible. When we got to the terminal we found it full of people just standing around watching the TV....by then the towers had fallen. We were then rushed off to a hotel and later reports came in of flight 93, the flight I had narrowly been booked on,was the plane that had crashed in Pennsylvania.
For two and a half days we bonded with our crew and passengers and when we did take off we were like old friends. The 2 hour flight to San Francisco was tense but calm, and the cabin crew performed the safety demo with defiance. When we arrived at the gate, ground staff outside theplane were cheering and waving US flags, and when we entered the darkened terminal there were more staff waving flags and cheering us.....it was quite a welcome after such a traumatic and stressful three days.
Dave Lowe | 29 | Oklahoma

#1707 | Friday, September 6th, 2002
I was sitting down in my apartment eating breakfast...turned on "The Today Show" I was wondering why they had the camera on the Trade Center. Matt Lauer was saying they were thinking an accident.Then as they were talking and still showing the one tower in flames...I witness the second plane hit!!!! I was like "Oh my...." At hat moment Matt said we are under attack by terrist.
Dana | 24 | Michigan

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