#1708 | Saturday, September 7th, 2002
I had resigned from my job on August 31, and my husband and I took off on holidays - we hadn't had a holiday in 2 years. We had a restful and remote 2 weeks in surf and sun, with no tv, no phone, just dropping into tourist places and talking to the locals. On September 11 we went to a theme park, and we were chatting with the lady at the ticket entrance, when she told us that 2 planes hit 2 of the towers. She looked a little shaken, and I could see fear in her eyes. We couldn't believe it. But not having access to a tv, we didn't see any of the telecast until we reached our home.

September 11 was also the day we checked out of our accommodation, and began the drive home. The first minute in the door (around 5pm) we turned on the tv, and saw the images of what was happening, people running, ducking behind cars, crying, jumping out of windows.... It was like we had come from extreme peace and rest, to return to utter conflict, confusion and destruction. It took some time for the enormity of events to sink in.

There are so many emotions - even for someone like me who has travelled extensively, but never to NY. I have shed tears for people I do not know, and I have ached for those family and friends who have lost precious people, who were their heart and soul in life. I feel very humble, very human, very fragile, and almost vulnerable. These people just went to work on a normal day, and never came home.
Then, and now, I still cry when I read about widow, and children, and parents of the lost ones.

How many times do any of us silently and proudly congratulate ourselves on how hard we are working, how well we are doing, and how many things we are accumulating in life - the measure of success.

As cliche as this is going to sound - I have made a new motto in my life. To do a certain amount of good deeds every day, on the roads, in the office, in the supermarket, in our home... wave another person through first, smile at someone, make a colleague a cuppa when you make your own, give someone encouragment. Love and give. No, that probably doesn't help on a global scale, because people are still out there doing evil deeds - but us in our smaller lives have won - with love.
Sally | 31 | Australia

#1709 | Saturday, September 7th, 2002
I was awakened by the phone ringing off the hook and messages saying to turn on my TV. We are a homeschooling family and I sat on the sofa with my two children and watched in horror the planes hitting the World Trade Center. My husband was awakened by the sounds of all the sirens on the TV.

I cannot even begin to describe how I felt, how I still feel about this horrific act. I was sickened to my very core the day it happened.

I am truly proud of how we came together as a Nation and I'm proud to be an American. I feel the best way that I can fight terrorism is to live my life as I always have without fear. I won't let them take that from me.
Lisa Myers | 40 | Iowa

#1710 | Saturday, September 7th, 2002
ON THAT DARK TUESDAY MORNING I WAS ALL ALONE.I ALWAYS WATCH THE TODAY SHOW WITH (KATIE AND MATT)SHOW HOST.AT THAT MOMENT I SAW THE FIRST PLANE HIT THE TOWER I THOUGHT I WAS WATCHING SOMETHING FROM A CLIP IN A MOVIE,WITHIN SECONDS I KNEW IT WAS REAL. AFTER SEEING THE SECOND PLANE I WAS TERRIFIED.I AM IN A STATE OF SHOCK.WE ARE HERE IN MA.TEMPORARILY AND NO ONE BUT ME AND MY HUSBAND ED , WHO WAS AT WORK( HE CAME HOME)THANK GOD.MY FAMILY IS IN W.V.AND S.C.I JUST SAT AND CRIED OUT LOUD.I DIDN'T KNOW IF THIS WAS AN ATTACK ON NEW YORK OR IF IT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO ALL OF AMERICA.I WAS SCARED AND LOST.THEN WHEN I HEARD ABOUT THE PENTAGON AND PENNSYLVANIA I KNEW IT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO THE REST OF US IN AMERICA.MY LIFE FLASHED BEFORE ME.I WAITED ANXIOUSLY. I HAVE NEVER FELT SO MUCH FEAR IN MY LIFE.I PRAYED AND PRAYED THAT THIS WAS NOT REAL.FIRST THE SHOCK THEN THE FEAR AND THEN THE ANGER...I ASK"WHY AMERICA"?WE ARE THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.WE WELCOME ALL OTHER COUNTRIES TO OUR HOME TO LIVE IN PEACE AND FREEDOM.WHY!!? ALMOST A YEAR HAS PASSED AND NOT A DAY GOES BY THAT I DON'T THINK OF THAT TUESDAY.I DON'T TAKE MY FREEDOM FOR GRANTED ANYMORE.I FEEL THAT AS AN AMERICAN WE ALL MUST PROTECT OUR COUNTRY,NOT JUST THE GOVERNMENT AND THE ARMED FORCES AND ECT.WE THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA ALL HAVE A HAND IN PROTECTING THIS GREAT COUNTRY AND" BY GOD", AND FOR OUR FREEDOM,WHICH DOESN'T COME FREE,I PROMISE, TO DO ALL THAT I CAN TO KEEP OLD GLORY ABOVE MY HEAD WAVING, AND TO SEE MOTHER FREEDOM STAND PROUD AND TO HEAR THAT LIBERTY BELL RING.MAY THE EAGLE SOAR THE FREE SKIES AND MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA..PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN...CRYSTAL J. DEEM 9/7/02
CRYSTAL J. DEEM | 41 | West Virginia

#1711 | Saturday, September 7th, 2002
my 9/11 had started really early. i had to wake up at 4am and drive with my stepdad to his workplace that was maybe 50 miles away. i came home and got ready to go to school and because i had a car i left the house at about 7:15 ct. i had to buy a parking sticker for my car or it would be towed away but i for some reason found it hard to put the sticker on the car so i was worried about my car. well around 8 i was talking to my friends when another friend of mine said "hey did you guys know that two planes just flew into the world trade center in new york?" i didnt even know what the wtc was. about 4 of us went and found a tv in the teacher's room and saw what happened. it was a sight. for some reason i thought that that was it. we were going to go about our day. when we went to our first class(U.S. history!) my teacher left the tv on for a bit and then he shut it off so we could get with the planned day. about a half and hour later he turned the tv on again so we could watch a movie and the news said that one of the towers had collapsed. that was unbelievable. just then the second one fell. i had this incredible urge to throw up and cry. it was all just amazing to us. then we went to our next class and i heard that the pentagon had been hit and we were at war and another plane was headed to the whitehouse. in choir we were planning on taking a trip to new york in the spring and we had been raising money for it. it all went down the drain. by next class the teachers were not allowed to keep the televisions on because the school corporation thought that we would be traumatized or something. this outraged a lot of us. during lunch we watched tv. when the bell rang at the end of the day i raced home and turned on the tv. total chaos. it looked like a war zone. mom came home and said that we had to go and pick up my stepdad. all the way there we listened to the radio. towards the end of school there were rumors that gas prices were going to go up and people were fighting over the gas. on the drive with my mom i just stared at the sunset. the most incredible sunset. i was so afraid of what was going to happen. i went out later that night to get newspapers and there were hardly any but while i was out the president came over the radio. i pulled over in a parking lot and listened. i didnt actually cry until late that evening. it all just hit me. the next day at school you can tell that people were just so tired. everything was more silent and people began to realize the importance of things. september 11 was the longest day in our lives.
natasha | 17 | Indiana

#1712 | Saturday, September 7th, 2002
I had just woken up....the news on my clock radio was on saying that planes were crashing and suggesting that people turn on the news.....I did.....

So, on September 11th, I woke up to the sight of the second tower coming down on live tv.

I called work and said that I was going to be late.

I called my mother in Ontario - two time zones away. We just sat on the phone and cried.

Then I went to work and watched more news.
Mike Bingley | 26 | Canada

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