#2003 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
Being only 13 kind of made September 11th a different experience. I live in the Seattle area, I knew of the Twin Towers, and not much else. When I was getting ready to go to school Sept. 11th of my 8th grade year, I didn't really know what was going on. My Dad drove home after leaving for work a half hour earlier to tell us to turn on the TV because all the lines were tied up. All he said was " A plane hit one of the WTC's." I didn't know what was going on, only that it was serious. On the bus, we listened to the news, and a few people talked about it, but most of the stories were about the night before's football game. Not until I got to school did I really realize what an effect it had on people and the actual seriousness of it. My teachers were all antsy and answered our questions the best they could. Everybody was on cell phones trying to reach loved ones. I remember in 1st period, orchestra, one of the students came in and said, "they're gone! They both collapsed!" Two beautiful towers of such massive size, gone.
This summer, I visited NYC. After seeing ground zero, I now feel that it's not just a hole in the ground across the country. It's a resting place for thousands of innocent lives who had families, friends and such wonderful lives of which most weren't even half way over. I now wish I could go back to that day and know what an affect it would have on people today! My prayers go out to all those who lost loved ones in this tragic event and the people who worked to rescue those lost. I will wave my flag remembering those who were lost in 9-11.
Andrea | 14 | Washington

#2005 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
I was sitting at my computer, chatting with a good friend, with my TV on and listening to TV. I heard about the crash immediately and watched the day unfold as Tawnya and I chatted on MSN. We were horrified by what was happening to change America.
I will never forget this day and when I heard about a plane (Flight 93) going down within 100 miles of my home, again I cried and prayed for the victims and families of the attack on America..
Bobbii Zermane | 48 | Pennsylvania

#2006 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
Even though it was a beautiful Autumn day in Ohio, I was sleeping in on Sept 11, 2001. My husband had gone to work, I had talked to my daughter in New York City just the night before....all was right with the world. Until the phone rang...then my panic began. My sister told me to turn on the TV. When I did, I was horrified. I tried to call our daughter but couldn't get through. I knew she was near the WTC that time of morning, catching the subway to work in upper Manhattan. I prayed she wasn't there. I tried to call my husband at his work-site, but couldn't get through. I jumped in the car and drove to town to talk to him. I needed to be with someone! I couldn't stay there in the farmhouse...all alone and with the horror the TV was showing me. And not knowing about our youngest daughter. Where was she? Was she alright? Was there going to be another attack?
My husband and all his co-workers were idle, listening to car radios. They all seemed so calm! I couldn't believe how calm they were. We continued trying to call our daughter and finally got her on the phone. She was ok! Oh how my heart leaped with gratitude. She was stuck in Manhattan and couldn't get home unless she walked. A lot of the employees discussed spending the night in the offices. But she decided she wanted to get home so she chose to leave after a while. She said the streets were filled with police, that sirens were going off constantly, and it smelled awful.It took her hours to get home and then she went up on the roof and filmed the chaotic scene in lower Manhattan. I kept calling her, needing to hear her voice and know she was alright. For days afterward, I kept myself glued to CNN, thinking I might miss something that I needed to warn her about. Eventually I realized that this was keeping my sense of danger and fear heightened and I had to turn the TV off.
I remember the day that Kennedy was shot. I was a freshman in high school, sitting in study hall. The teacher was at her desk in the front of the room and someone came in and whispered in her ear. She immediately began to cry and ran from the room. The messenger then announced to all of us that the President of the United States had been shot and he was dead. I remember that he was the first President I had actually paid any attention to. He was Catholic...so was I. People said things about him and the Pope which made me want to defend him all the more, even though I knew next to nothing about politics. Now he was dead. As the days unfolded, I watched the funeral on TV with my mother, who loved the Kennedys. It seemed as if life would never be the same in America.
That's the same feeling I had after Sept 11. Would anything ever feel the same again? Would we ever feel like we could laugh again? I wanted to think things would be ok, because I had lived through the assassination of Kennedy, the Vietnam War which tore our country apart for a time, and we had been able to heal after those. But this seemed different. We had been attacked in one of our major cities! There was a terrible loss of life...almost entirely made up of civilians who were just traveling or going to work. This wasn't a battlefront in Vietnam. Or even Pearl Harbor. This was New York City! And it was where my daughter lived! So my doubts and fears would ebb and flow. I was up and down in mood...always on a heightened sense of alert for any trouble coming. I called my daughter constantly...telling her I loved her and asking if she was ok.
Now it's a year later and it's the night of Sept 10. Will anything happen tomorrow on the anniversary? There is a High Alert for tomorrow. I've called my daughter again with a plea for safety. I've asked her to leave for work early...to not be on the subway during rush hour. It's my way of feeling like we're doing SOMETHING to protect her. Has it really been a year? The fear and anxiety seemed to be almost gone and suddenly, tonight, it's back. Now I wonder if it ever really went away.
Carol Contreras | 54 | Ohio

#2007 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
On September 11, 2001, I was a college senior attending my second to last semester of school. That morning, I was attending an 8 oíclock management class. Towards the end of the class period, we were working on a group project. I remember finishing up a few things and talking with some other people in my group about our project. One of the guys in my group was checking his voicemail on his cell phone when he then had a panicked look on his face and started telling us, ďThe World Trade Center has been bombed! The World Trade Center in New York has been bombed!Ē

Because of the first Trade Center bombing, I donít think I fully realized the extent of the catastrophe. I donít think there was any way for me to understand how horrible it really was. Since I had a break between classes, I went to the computer lab down the hall to check out the news stories on CNN or MSNBC. Several other people sitting nearby were trying to do the same exact thing. We were all looking off of each othersí monitors trying to find a site that wasnít overwhelmed with traffic. At the same time, I logged into my email and found message after message from a Sarah McLachlan email list, all sent within seconds of each other and all pertaining to the attacks. After seeing my inbox, it finally hit me that this was no ordinary day. I think I finally saw a picture on MSNBC but I couldnít get any further to actually read the story. I donít think Iíll ever forget that photograph of the first tower with all of that black smoke.

At that point, I realized that I really needed to go home to see what was really happening. As I was driving home, all of the FM radio stations were talking about the attacks and they werenít playing any music. To hear such a grave tone on the normally light-hearted radio stations was one of the scariest moments in my life. Nobody knew what was going on and I suddenly felt so vulnerable. All of the absolutely terrible things that I never thought Iíd have to worry about in this country were happening to us and we didnít have any control over them. The whole time I was rushing home, I kept thinking, ďHow did this happen to us and why? Arenít we the number 1 superpower in the world? Arenít we supposed to be protected from this stuff?Ē When I got home, my parents had the TV tuned in to one of the news channels. I still couldnít believe my eyes. I stood there dumbfounded with my mouth open. I couldnít even sit down. It really felt like our whole world was coming to an end.

That whole day and the rest of that week and month made me realize how silly all of my small pity problems were. Here I was worrying about group projects and deadlines when thousands of innocent people were fighting just to stay alive. The images that I saw and the emotions that I felt that day will always be itched in my heart and mind. I will never forget what we have lost as a nation because some truly evil people found it easier to hate than to love their fellow man. May all those who lost their lives rest in peace and may those who are still suffering find inner calm.
Noor Ali-Hasan | 22 | Illinois

#2008 | Tuesday, September 10th, 2002
On September 11th, I was at school, like normal. We didn't watch our classroom news that morning, so we had no idea what was going on. I didn't learn about what had happened until it was roughly 10 AM in NYC. They kept showing the collapse over and over again, the news was depressing. The TV stations seemed to only have national news on except when President Bush gave his speeches. His words were comforting in this time of tragedy. It will be painful to think about for all of my life, as it is something very hard to deal with. Thousands dead, thousands more without a family member. I was lucky and did not lose anyone that I know and I could only wish that more people could say the same. God (or whomever you choose to celebrate) Bless America.
Elaysha | 13 | Missouri

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