#1788 | Sunday, September 8th, 2002
One morning, I woke up and imediatley heard my Mother say "Oh My god." I sprung out of bed to see what was happening. I should of stayed in bed.

Every single channel, looped replays of a scene witch will stay with me forever.
The first plane, then the other one, over and over again, then the one at the pentagon, over and over again.
Andrew | 14 | Australia

#1789 | Sunday, September 8th, 2002
I was getting ready to go to class. The phone rang and my sister told me that "something" was going on in New York at the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV and my heart sank. I sat there and watched the images on my TV screen in complete shock and horror.

Lorie | 24 | Arizona

#1790 | Sunday, September 8th, 2002
I was in bed. The radio by the bed was on. I heard the dj break in with the news. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I jumped out of bed & ran to the living room. At the time my television had no sound. I turned on the tv then stood there watching the terrible tragedy unfold. I was horrified. Yet at the same instant I was thinking that what my eyes were seeing couldn't possibly be happening. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I thought of all the people who had lost their lives. My heart broke for their family & friends. I said a prayer for the living, the dead, & America.
J. Brookshire | 41 | California

#1791 | Monday, September 9th, 2002
I was on vacation in England. At the time I was at a mall in Manchester, UK with my friend Ed who got a phone on his cell phone. After he got off the phone he just calmly said we had to get to a tv. I just thought nothing of it...perhaps something funny was on tv. And I didn't press the issue cause I thought he was trying to surprise me. As we were walking into a certain section of the city he got another call and by then I had a hunch something was up. I asked him what was going on and he told me that the Twin Towers were attacked and that perhaps up to 50,000 people were dead. Ice ran through my blood as we headed to a bar to find a tv. I was just stunned on what was going on. I felt shocked and numb. I felt at a disadvantage not being on home turf and wondered if I would get back to L.A. on schedule a week later (I did). I must say the British people were very sweet and supportive. When people found out I was American they gave condolences and were very kind. Obviously it is a time in life I will never forget.
Rich | 42 | California

#1792 | Monday, September 9th, 2002
I live in Australia but am originally from Michigan - maybe why "it" affected my so deeply.

As usual, the alarm went off at around 7:30 a.m. on a fine Sydney autumn morning, in the "upside-down" part of the world. I usually grunt and roll over - the alarm goes off for my partner and not for me. But I was instantly awake this time - the radio announcer was hysterical, you couldn't understand a thing that she was raving on about. There was a mixture of fear and disbelief and horror in her panicked voice - a timbre that would soon creep into mine as well. I shot out of bed so quickly my butt hit the floor with a thump and I reached for the TV. Oh, God, the black scar and smoke on that building - how could a pilot get it so wrong? Those poor, poor people.

Even though we had slept on, unknowing, and it had happened, all happened, hours before, we couldn't comprehend it. Two buildings? Three? and a Pennsylvania field? A kind of innocent amnesia that initially refused to acknowledge such pure hate. So, I, the ex-patriot Yank watched and watched. Surely, surely somebody from Cantor Fitzgerald would make it. That no-one's loved cat or dog would wait in a dark apartment for the owner that never came home. The dry cleaner who would fret about what to do with that order of shirts, no starch, for which the likeable finance dude with the toussled hair would never claim again. The faces at windows, dumb, like lambs, waving torn drapes from the corporate boardrooms, patiently waiting for the bold rescue that never materialised.

I suddenly became defiant and cruised the Sydney 'phone books to find an American flag, huge, with which to plaster the front of the house. A small flag marked our back gate. "Beware - Yank Within" I was sure they screamed out. I almost wanted someone to challenge me - I was willing to be a martyr and defiance was my main emotion in the early days. The imagined armed middle-Eastern men never did arrive at the door. More likely, someone at the market, on hearing my accent, would ask me what I felt and I could hear my voice start to go up high like the radio woman and I had to try, really try, to stay calm.

I made donations to the American Red Cross and the American Humane Association and ordered Anita Diamant's "Saying Kaddish" so a Sydney Catholic could mourn the New York members of Cantor Fitzgerald in words by which their God might be pleased and ease the pain of their loved ones by just a fraction more. Every tear was a prayer and there were quite a few.

And so my defiance changed to sorrow and my initial action to the dumb disbelief of a beast. Yes, the alarm did toll for me and it pealed out: "the world is not safe, nowhere is safe, not for anyone, not any more". All the sad certainties of my life seem even more certain and of a denser shade of sad.
Susan | 52 | Australia

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