#1893 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
I was in Chicago enroute to O'Hare to board a flight that was scheduled to leave that morning after seeing my son graduate from Naval Boot Camp. As I turned on the radio to check traffic conditions as I approached the airport, I came in on the middle of the news broadcast reporting just after the first plane hit the Towers. It sounded like the "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. I searched the skies of Chicago looking for dark smoke thinking a plane hit the Sears Tower in Chicago. I couldn't see any smoke on the horizon then the announcer reported the 2nd plane hit the Tower and reality hit me in the stomach as the announcer said another plane hit the other tower of the Trade Center in New York. The next few moments driving in the car seemed like a nightmare as I heard of the the plane hitting the Pentagon, heard that flights would be delayed, and as I pulled in to return the car to the rental car drop point was told that all flights were cancelled until further notice. Since I started a new job the next day, I opted to keep my rental car and drive the six hours home from Chicago. As I renegotiated my contract for the extra leg of this journey, I heard on the radio the news of the final plane crash in Pennsylvania.

As I started my journey north, I did not have the benefit of seeing the actual pictures of the attack. I only had the verbal pictures provided by radio. My mind could not possibly imagine what my eyes actually witnessed later that evening when I sat down in our living room and for the first time saw what happened earlier that morning just before President Bush's address to the nation. Enroute from Chicago to Grand Rapids, I was able to find a christian radio station that turned all of their programming over to the wishes of the listening audience. No commercial programming was played that day and if the listeners wanted to share about loved ones they knew in the area of the attack, request prayer, or dedicate a song to someone, the radio station allowed them to dictate what was done on their radio programming. The station also cut in when new developments occurred. I was able to carry that station only that day up to Kalamazoo. After returning home, our son called us from Chicago. Assured us that he was safe and when asked whether he regretted his decision to join the Navy in light of the recent attack, he said, "No. I signed on to defend my country and I'm not afraid to serve and defend my country." I'm so proud of his commitment and dedication to defending his country.

A year later, I can report that our son is safe and stationed in WA. Memories still bring tears on occasion. I will never forget what I was doing the day before and the day of 9/11. God was faithful in protecting me during my drive home from Chicago and provided me with a station that could minister to me and give me comfort as I drove by myself. That station helped me keep my emotions in control so that I could safely travel and stay alert.
Connie Plank | 45 | Michigan

#1894 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
I was sitting at home and had just sat down to my computer.I went online to check my yahoo news page as usual. One of the headlines was "Plane crashes into one of the twin towers".I clicked on it and there was no story associated because it was too early. I thought it must have been a small plane accident. I checked back a while later and noticed the headline had changed to 2 planes hitting the towers. A chill went through me and I knew we were under attack. I ran to my television and never left it all day. I called my wife and a good friend to discuss the events as they took place. My wife had just stopped working near the towers few months before the attacks. All we could say to each other is how grateful we were that she was not there. But we were so sad for the people that were. I cried for at least a week on and off...and to this day still shed tears..I am sure I always will. We must live are lives..we must love each other and help each other..now and always. Freedom will never die.
Jim | 36 | New Jersey

#1895 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
On the morning of 9-11-02, I was in my second period math class. My school is located outside of Washington DC. Rumors were spreading like wild fire through the student body about the world trade center. (the first one) Students were being pulled out of school by their parents, and teachers were tuning on the televisions so that we could keep current with the tragic events that were occurring. Students were crying, for some of them had family who worked in the Pentagon. I was one of those students who got taken out early, and I rushed home to my mother and we just sat and watched the news until 7 pm that night. I don't think either one of us said one thing during the whole period. For the next week, the news could always be heard in our house, along with many outbreaks of tears.

God Bless America
Crushed Student | 16 | Maryland

#1896 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
I was sitting in my cubicle listening to my cd player. Just a normal day at work. I felt someone tap on my shoulder and I took the earphones off my head, and the voice from behind me said, " The World Trade Center just got hit by a plane!" I immediately thought, "no way", and went back to work. It didn't even phase me that something this tragic had happened. After the first plane hit, then the second, I felt another tap on my shoulder. This time I stood up in my cubicle, and thought about my family as I listened to the radio in my office. I am a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I immediately thought of my little 2 year old baby girl. I was gearing up to go to war. I was scared. Everybody just stood still. Like the world stopped moving for a day. I am not a very religious person, but every night before bed, I say a silent prayer for the victim's and thier families. My heart belongs to those people and the heros of 9/11. God Bless You All.
Katie Ovanek | 24 | West Virginia

#1897 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
On september 11th, I was At my high school here in Gloucester, Virginia about three hours away from D.C. It was a normal day until about second period when I came into English 10 around 9:28AM. My teacher had the Television and I asked her what had happened. she told me that two planes had run into the World Trade Center(A building i would of never thought about until now) and that a plane crashed into the Pentagon! I was speechless; I couldnt believe what was going on nor did I comprehend it. My mind flooded with thoughts of my uncle and his family who live in Midland Park,NJ not to far from NYC and my uncle in NY who often traveled there for his job( Several days later I found out that he was on the Beltway into NYC when He saw the Smoke and turned around. Thank God!). I prayed they were safe. AS the whole class watched the horrific scene, my teacher told us to write a paper on what we were seeing for some homework assignment. just then one of the towers fell!. this was unbelievable!!!! totally incomprehensible!!!! I remember just saying "i cant believe it! the frikin' tower fell down!" then later the second one fell down . that was the first time I have ever heard a newscaster say "Oh God." on National television,ever. at this point I could not take it any longer. Watching to huge buildings collapse knowing there were thousands of people in them was too much for me. I maintained composure long enough to be excused from the class. I ran out and collapsed, knees hitting the hard floor , and weeped uncontrollably, rocking and moaning for the many people who died and did not know Jesus and were going to Hell. My teacher and several friends carried me to the Guidance Councelors office. i tried to no avail the explian to my counselor what was going on in my torn and bleeding, Heart and soul. EVentually after some 15 minutes of crying out to God in prayer on the floor in the office I was able to regain composure enough to go to class. In the office my teacher had brought my Books with a note saying I did not have to write the assignment and she left me her # so If i needed to talk i could call her . the rest of the day was spent glued to the T.V. watching replays of the horror and death. As this One-Year remeberence comes tomorrow, there will be many tears but we can be strong with Hope for tomorrow in God. God Bless America. UNITED WE STAND

Becky Little | 16 | Virginia

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