#194 | Sunday, October 7th, 2001
I remember logging on to my email that morning, and noticing a headline that said the the World trade Center was on fire, nothing else was said. I flipped on the Today show and at that moment live footage of the 1st tower on fire. As I watched transfixed by the images, I heard the anchors of the morning program speculating as to what had happened. As they spoke, a second plane came into view and slammmed into the 2nd tower. There was nothing to say, but to gasp and think what is happening? Was this a terrible accident, where the second plane's view was obstructed by the smoke and could not help but crash into the second tower? No one on the news knew what to say, when suddenly more headlines popped up on the screen, there was a fire on the Mall in DC, the White House was being evacuated, and all planes were ordered grounded. I attempted to reach my husband on the phone, but could not get through, so I called his office directly. No one there had yet heard what had happened, so she spread the word to others. I tried to log on various news sites on the internet, but nothing was coming up. I called my mother and told her to turn on the tv, and that I was coming over ASAP. I finally reached my husband, and called my best friend to bring herself and her baby up to our house. I was crying most of the time and felt very scared, was this how it was going to end, on a beautiful September day?
My husband finally came home and turned on the television to see what had happened, he had not seen the footage from earlier, and I could not bear to see the images of flames and desperate human beings falling to the ground, so I turned away and cried. I called my grandmother and she said that my cousin, who works in DC not far from the Pentagon, had not been heard from yet. Apparently, she had been speaking to her husband and suddenly the phone went dead. He, along with all of us, were really frantic to find her. Thankfully, about 5 hours after the attack, she arrived home.
I kept my coworkers informed about the situation, and then spoke to my executive director, who wanted to know more about the flights that were unaccounted for. Her husband was on his way to Las Vegas for a convention that morning, all she knew was that he was leaving from Boston around 6-6:30 am. He had not left any flight numbers or airline name with her. Needless to say, she was frantic for any info. Six hours later, she recieved a phone call from her husband, whose plane had landed in Detroit. He was in a small hotel outside of town, upset and wanting to get home as soon as he could. He ended up driving home and arrived 2 days later.
I am still emotional about the events of September 11, I find myself crying more frequently and feeling anxious. I am sure these feelings will subside, but it will take time. I just thank god that my family and friends are safe and sound, but pray for all the families who were affected by these unprecedented attacks on innocent lives.
Staci Fortunato | 28 | Maine

#195 | Monday, October 8th, 2001
The morning of September 11th as I lay in my bed, ignoring my alarm, ready to pull the covers back over my head and get an extra 10 minutes before I went to school... I heard my mom calling through the door to my room, saying "The World Trade Center is on fire! Turn on the news! Get up, it's time for school". In my groggy, half-asleep state all that came from me was "huh?"
But the alarmed tone in my mother's voice had me wondering what was really going on. So I turned on the news and sat trying to figure out what was happening. It was about 6:00 AM Pacific Standard Time.. and the news was focused on Tower One of the World Trade Center. The news anchors were speculating about the plane crash, not sure what to make of it. Really they were just giving normal commentary you would expect to hear during one of the "Breaking News" segments. It didn't seem like it was that big of a deal. As I sat there procrastinating starting the day (really just making myself late), I continued to watch the TV and listen to what the newscasters said. All of a sudden another plane came into view. This was puzzling. The next thing I knew, it was just flying straight into Building Two. "What's going on?!"
The silence that followed was so eerie. The news anchors who always, ALWAYS have some sort of commentary just sat in shock, along with the rest of the people who saw this. What could you say? What had just happened?
I ran to my mother's room and yelled "The second tower! A plane! A plane crashed into the second tower! I SAW it! I saw it LIVE!"
This was all too much. I went about getting ready for school and my mom left for work as normal. I called my closest friend, who I also drive to school, and made sure she knew what was going on. We decided we still needed to go to school. So, as I got ready, I continued listening to the news... but there wasn't anything more exciting happening. The buildings were on fire and it seemed to be terrorists. I didn't know what that meant. It was sad, people were probably dying, but what are you gonna do?
Nothing more exciting? Well, I was wrong there. The next thing I hear coming from the TV in the other room is there is a fire in the Nation's Capital. Again, "huh?". I walk in to the nearest room with a television and hear reports that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon!
I went and called my mom on the phone, trying to frantically tell her of the new developments while keeping one ear tuned for more information. I didn't know what to do. But, my friend was waiting for me, so I decided I had to continue on to school...
I left for school 15 minutes late at around 6:45 AM Pacific Standard Time. I picked up my friend and we headed off to school. My zero period class was marching band, and when I walked in our director was just talking to us, seeing what we had heard. Luckily for me, the section I was in had their own room and we just went in there and had our own small discussion. We walked around and even joked. Saying maybe it was aliens. We were all going to die beause aliens were attacking planet Earth.
When zero period finally was over and it was time for passing... I just went straight to first. Still half in shock, I didn't feel like standing around anymore. I walked into my first period English class, and shockingly, my teacher hadn't heard anything of it. I told her what I knew.
When the bell rang and class started, the teacher repeated what I had told her so in case any one else was uniformed, they could tune in. Then kids who had been watching it in their zero-period Government classes told us the First Tower had fallen! We went on like that, discussing it and setting clear all the details. Then we were forced to put it aside and do a little vocabulary... to me it seemed like a rather odd time for vocabulary...
Next it was off to Ap Statistics.. I walked in the door and saw the news was on. I went and sat near the TV and saw the wreckage. The debris from the first tower was strewn eveywhere. When class started, our teacher was up at the white board writing a message, and the rest of the class was glued on the tv. Our teacher only said one thing to us that whole period "Read the Board" and up there he had only written which assignments to turn in. The rest of the period we sat and watched the news, kids called their parents on their cell phones, and did more discussing.
Then the time came for Economics. Again, all we did was watch the news. Watch them play things over and over again. We didn't talk about the Economic effects this attack would cause. Who could think of economics at a time like this?
Wind Ensemble was the same. We sat and watched and tried to figure out what all this meant.
Off to R.O.P.... A little bus ride to a school a few towns over... Graphic Design was waiting. Harldy Even a Mention here! Our instructor asked if everyone had heard, we had, and that was it. A Campbell's Soup ad had never seemed so irrelevant, yet so welcomed.
A whole day of confusion and play-backs of terror from all angles can be quite tiring. The chance to forget about it for 4 hours was welcomed. A bus ride back with President G. W. Bush giving a speech on the radio, left me finally finished with my school day at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.
I'm glad that I wasn't the only one affected that day, because otherwise I may not have made it home. Everyone was driving slower, and being more polite. Instead of honking or fist-shaking, people weren't upset at all by slow motorists. I was in a daze for those short 3 miles and I'm glad I made it home in one peice.
More news at home. Safe at home with my family. It was long day.
Traci | 16 | California

#196 | Tuesday, October 9th, 2001
When I heard about the attacks, I was walking out of my morning Spanish class. I walked out of one hallway and saw about 20 people gathered around a television, pushing to be able to see the screen. I hurried back to my room so I could watch what was happening myself. As I walked down the hill I heard everyone talking about the planes hitting the towers. When I got back, I immediately turned on the television and couldn't believe what I was seeing. Every channel was broadcasting about the terrorist attacks and everyone was in panic.
Classes were cancelled for the afternoon because so many students either didn't want to go to class or spent the entire class talking about what was going on. The rest of the week it was discussed about it all my classes except one. My professor was bound and determined to get us to move on I guess.
When people were shown jumping from the towers, I couldn't help but wonder what I would have done if I were in there shoes - whether I would have jumped or tried to get out or just stayed there. So many innocent people lost their lives for a reason that can never be fully explained. Why do people hate us so much and why would you go to this extent to express that hate? It obviously didn't matter to the terrorists that they were also taking their lives, because they knew going into this that they wouldn't come out alive. Why prove to someone that you despise them so much by taking your own life? Why do you even have to prove it? Do you have no decency for people? Innocent people died September 11th, people who could have done something wonderful and beneficial for this world. It is no one's fault who is alive now, because these terrorists had the opportunity to say no; they had the opportunity to make a change.
My prayers go out to all those who knew anyone who was hurt or who died September 11th: may you be able to tell your friends and family what a wonderful person was taken from this world for no good reason; may they forever live in your memories. My prayers also go out to rescue workers who died September 11th who risked their lives to save the innocent who were in the wrong place at the wrong time by no fault of their own. My thanks and prayers go out to all those who are doing something to make a difference for those who were affected by this tragedy - may you be blessed for the good that you have done.
Kristin | 19 | Michigan

#197 | Wednesday, October 10th, 2001
I remember where I was when I heard the news. I work at a service station and I have the lucky advantage of watching television when business is slow. I was doing just that... watching tv. All of a sudden everything went off and "breaking news" came on. At first, I admit, I thought it was a freak accident. Then I saw the second plane, and I knew in my heart that this was no accident. I was so scared. I think I was very stressed out because when I finally got to see my fiance later on, I was extremely upset and crying. By the end of the day I had a terrible migrain headache and was still scared. I don't know about anyone else, but I felt the impact of this event very much. And it will always be in my mind.
Kelly Mitchell | 19 | Maryland

#198 | Thursday, October 11th, 2001
I was at home in Tel-Aviv, Israel with my friends. As we were laughing and having fun my mom walked into the room and told us that a plane crashed into the twins towers (in hebrew we refer to the towers but we mean all of the WTC).
At first we didn't think it was a terrorist attack because that was unreasonable, terrorism in the US yeah right, whatever. We just thought it was an aroeplane accident but then the second aroeplane hit, and it was clear to all - the world as we know it is going to change, from now on - nowhere is safe...
Rony Herut | 13 | Israel

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