#1863 | Monday, September 9th, 2002
I was at work, my second day at my new job. I was reading the employee manual in the breakroom when one of the operators ran in, saying, "Turn on the television. A plane just hit the World Trade Center." At first I didn't comprehend what he had said, but when he turned on the television, one of the towers had just been hit. As other co-workers gathered around, trying to understand what had happened, the second tower was struck, and later, their collapse. I tried to keep my composure-I felt stunned, in a daze for the rest of the day. The rest of the week was a blur. I couldn't stop watching the news. I couldn't stop feeling angry and betrayed. And I couldn't stop crying. It's nearing a year now, and I still get emotional. I will never forget that day, and our loss.
Chanda Clark | 33 | North Carolina

#1864 | Monday, September 9th, 2002
September 11-2001 A day that will always be remembered. A day of horror, pain, shock, and fear. Yet still, those are not the only emotions that went through minds of Americans everywhere. At a time of distress and grief we felt honor, and witnessed heroism. We should be proud of the leadership skills that were shown. Damage was done, but we pulled through and as a nation we united.
Whitney | 14 | Utah

#1865 | Monday, September 9th, 2002
I was busy taking patients to their exam rooms and other tasks in a doctor's office. I'm a nurse there. The doctors are from India. Our office is in Michigan.

We have a radio that we were allowed to have on as long as the volume is very low. I was standing at the nursing station with the other nurses and staff bustling around me. There was still music playing when the phone rand and it was another nurse's husband. He just told her that the World Trade Center had just been hit. My husband also called. We changed the station immediately and found a new station (a news station). We couldn't believe what we were hearing. Then we listened to the chain of events unfold. Other husbands called and calls were made as the unfolding took place. It wasn't long before ALL the radio stations were filled with the days new.

I attempted to tell our doctor what was happening...what we were hearing. From the World Trade Center to the other planes crashing. It was as if he didn't understand what we were saying. I think he thought we were listening to nonsense on the radio. Or maybe he thought we would scare the patients. We will never know. Then, he made us turn off the radio! We were all in shock that he would make us turn off our link to what was happening to our country! A few of us became quietly angry and you could sense the anxiety in the office. Then HIS son called. The look on the doctor's face was one of literal shock. His mouth hung open and he was silent for quite some time. It was obvious he was getting the news from a source he finally believed.

Doctor then let us turn the radio back on. We were very glad because for a moment there, ugly thoughts crept into our minds...such as, what if doctor is part of it? Talk about crazy thinking. Our imaginations can easily run away. He was feeling the same things we did, only dealt with it differently. Even though most of our physicians are from India, they are ALSO American. We felt bad for them and concerned for their well-being in the days following the attacks.

The atmosphere in the office was that of shock, sadness, and even fear. In the days that followed, you could sense apparent anger and pain and fear in all of us. It was as if our country was the mother and she just watched some stranger hurt her children. It was that kind of anger. All our hearts were hurting terribly.

Days after the attack, our doctors also suffered fear because they now had people "looking" at them when they went in stores or just driving down the road. I had patients make comments or question me about their origin. I would reassure the patients that would as such things and found myself gently and quietly coming to our physicians' defense.

On Sept. 11, 2001 during my lunch, I drove to get ribbons of red, white, and blue. I affixed a frilly bow of those colors with streamers coming off my car antenna, right there in the store parking lot. I had a tear in my eye driving back to work. I was so filled with love and sorrow for our country and the victims of this terrible day.

It was also my sister's birthday. She says from that day forward, she will live on in infamy.

I had a cousin who worked at the World Trade Center, but had been transferred to Sweden only a short time before. Another cousin worked at the Pentagon but was not hurt. That really hit home with our family. You could feel the pain of the families who weren't so lucky.

You could look at the people around you no matter where you went and feel the patriotism welling.
Everyone was ready to fight for this land. Except for a select few who liked to make anti-American comments...feelings toward those folks is another matter entirely.

I've never seen everyone feel so close. People were more friendly. More open.
It was the drawing together of a nation...UNITED WE STAND.
Teri | 38 | Michigan

#1866 | Monday, September 9th, 2002
8:50 am

Late for work. Sipping my coffee while dressing. News report comes on TV. In awe of what I see on TV. It has to be an accident. A small aircraft probably. Cell phone wonít stop ringing. Weíve lost how many trunks ?!? Iím on my way in. Gotta get to work and see if I can reroute telephone traffic. On the highway listening to the radio. Itís a small aircraft, it has to be. Maybe the pilot had a heart attack and yeah.. thatís the answer. Gez this traffic, come on.

9:00 am

Ok, on the BQE. Finally, Iíll be at tunnel in a couple of minutes. News Report on radio. Second plane ?? Ohh, my god. It cant be.? Not in NY. Itís impossible. There has to be an explanation. I donít believe it..

I can see them. Wow, all the smoke. Look at all the smoke. Damn cell phone. Iíll be there soon, yeah I heard, let me go. Call wife at workÖ Damn. Canít get through. Try again, and again, and again, and again. Iíll call her once Iím at work. Sheís gotta be ok. Sheís near midtown. To far from the towers. Damn it. I canít reach her. Iíll pick her up once Iím in the city. Once I get to work Iíll call her and tell her Iíll pick her up. Damn traffic. Címon move.

9:40 am

At tunnel. WHAT!! THERE REROUTING TRAFFIC FROM TUNNEL!! I GOTTA GET THROUGH!!

OFFICER!! OFFICER!! Hereís my Verizon ID. I have to do some emergency 911 repairs at my central office.

Sorry Sir, only emergency traffic.

Yes I know. I have to get to my switch. I have to make repairs. Try and reroute traffic. So customers can reach 911. Hereís my ID.

Ok, let him through.

VROOOOOOMMM.. Whatís that guy doing on the motorcycle. Oh my god, he just forced his way through the barricades into the second tunnel. OK . Itís ok. Itís ok. Iíll be at the office in a couple of minutes.

The officer is pointing me to the first tunnel. Iím in the tunnel. Itís so quiet. No traffic. Sirens. There coming closer to me from ahead. 2 police trucks in other lane pass me by. What are they saying on the radio. I see light. Iím coming to the exit.

9:50 AM

Look at all the police cars and fire trucks. Ok, I can get on the West Side highway. Iíll be at the office soon. Liberty street a little less than quarter block away.. Damn, they have it blocked. West side highway is blocked right by the towers. How am I gonna get through. Iíll park on a side street and walk through. Let me make a U turn. All the police and firefighters. All emergency vehicles. Iíve never seen so many. Look at the police officer on the corner. On the corner of liberty. Heís looking up.

RUN!!!

OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! GET IN THE CAR QUICK.. GET IN!!
GO!! GO!! GO!! GO!!

Iím on a side street.. What street am I on?? ITíS A DEAD END. STUPID! STUPID!

SCREAMING, YELLING ALL AROUND.. DARKNESS IS COMING. LOOK. LOOK!!! THE TOWERS ARE FALLING. THERE GONNA FALL ON US!!!

Iíll love you honey.. I love you with all my heart. If you can hear me baby. I love you.

Smoke and dust cover my car. I cant see anything. Itís to dark. I canít see anything. Iím going to die.

Light.. I can see some light through the dust and smoke.. Iím going to live. Thank you Father, Thank You. Still canít see very well. Dust like a heavy fog. Iíll just stay here. In the car. Is everyone ok?? Dust is getting thinner. I can see better now. They have left the car and Iím alone now. Iíll just stay here in the car for a minute. Just for a little while then Iíll go.

Cant make a call. Canít reach my wife. The dust is still to thick. Iíll stay here for a little while longer, until I can see better. Itís safe here. I feel safe.

10:30 AM

Screaming getting louder. I CAN HEAR THE SCREAMING LOUDER NOW.

RUN!! RUN!! THE SECOND ONE IS FALLING!! GO!! GO!!

Iíll stay right here. Itís safe here. God is watching over me and itís safe here.

HERE COMES THE BLACKNESS!! Iím safe here. Itís ok. And Iím ok. OH GOD!! THE BLACK CLOUD!! I canít hear anything anymore.. Everything is silent. Iím safe in here. Iíll be ok if I stay in here. I CANíT SEE ANYTHING. ITĒS SO DARK OUTSIDE. I CANíT SEE.

THE DARKNESS IS FADING. I CAN SEE THROUGH THE DUST. I CAN SEE LIGHT ! The dust is fading . I can see. I can see people. I can see police officers and firefighters. Itís ok. The dust is fading and I can see. Itís safe to leave the car. Itís safe to go outside. Damn itÖ Canít reach my wife. Iíll call work. R---, call my wife for me. Keep trying her until you get though. Let her know Iím ok. Let her know Iíll be home soon.

BUZZZ.. Hey Ralph. I got in touch with your wife. I told her your ok.

I stayed there until 5:00pm that day to help emergency personnel. I am lucky to be alive. God Bless those who werenít as lucky that day and the people who loved them.
Ralph Q | 30 | New York

#1867 | Monday, September 9th, 2002
As a year is approaching since the attack on our beautiful country, I still remember exactly what happened that day. I didn't have to go to school because the sophomores had standardized testing...we didn't have to come in until 10 am. I've always had a love for New York City and have wanted to live there since I was a little girl. The monstrosity of that city has mesmorized me for years. "New Yorkers" have always had their own style. My dad woke me up at around 8 (9 am NY time) to tell me that the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. I watched on TV, only to my amazment a few minutes later to see another plane crashing into the other tower. I was in shock. What was going on? Why was this happening? How could this happen? Who could do this? I still remember listening to Katie Couric go on and on about the whole thing. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. By that evening, my life, as well as many other lives in this country, had changed. I no longer took advantage of my freedom as an American because as a naive teenager, I realized that someone WAS capable of damaging our country and what it stands for. I don't ever remember being more scared for the well being of complete strangers than I did on this day. I will never forget Sept. 11, 2001. This day made me see that America is amazing. Americans are the envy of the world. And no matter what, we will never tolerate someone messing with our freedom.
Courtney Rosemeyer | 18 | Indiana

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