#2059 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
It was 11:00 am on Tuesday September 11, 2001. Shakespeare I had just begun and we were still unpacking our backpacks for class. The door opened, and a very disheveled secretary said in a hasty, shaky voice “The world trade center is gone. It’s just gone. Class is dismissed. The pentagon is being bombed.” Our professor looked at her and asked, “What do you mean the World Trade Center is gone?” She didn’t really say anything; she just hurried out the door. Our professor just turned to us and said “I guess we don’t have class today.” I got my things and ran started to call my roommate, Melissa, to find out where she was, but my cell phone wasn’t working. Luckily, she was outside the English building talking to her friend on a bench. I found her and said, “We have to go home right now.” She just kind of looked at me and smiled, and then she must have seen the confusion on my face. I told her what the secretary had said, and she kept asking me if I was sure. It was a mile trek back to my car where we immediately turned on the radio to try to get some idea of what the hell was happening in the world. For the next hour, all we could do was listen as I barreled home. People kept talking about airplanes and explosions and chaos in New York, and all we could do was listen to descriptions. Finally, we got home and sat. My first visual of the mayhem came at 12:30. It was then that the surrealism began in full effect. For the next 8 hours, I was glued to the television. Somehow the images made it all sink in, but it took some time to process. Somehow I felt like I was watching a bad television show rather than something that could really be happening. I remember thinking how strange it was that something occurred that would mark history forever, and I was sitting in class, for more than 2 hours, with no idea. Somehow, that sensation, a year later, hasn’t quite faded.
Michael Bailey | 21 | Georgia

#2060 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
September 11, 2001 was my first scheduled day to work from home for Merrill Lynch. I was busy on the computer when my husband called to say that the WTC had been hit by a plane. I thought he must be joking -- it seemed totally unreal. But I turned on the radio, and sure enough, newscasters were reporting it. At first, we assumed it must be an accident, but then the second plane hit. Slowly, the realization came that this was no accident, but a deliberate attack.

When the first tower fell, my husband came home from work. Our home had been hit hard by hurricane Floyd a couple of years before, and the feeling of being traumatized came back. We just wanted to be together.

We drove up to Washington Rock park, where you can see the Manhattan skyline on a clear day (which it was - an absolutely gorgeous day). A group of about 40 people had gathered. We looked at the skyline, and there was a big gap where the towers used to be. White smoke was pouring up to the sky, blowing southwest along the Jersey shore. I remember looking at the scene -- the towers were gone, but it still didn't seem real.

I thought of the Bible verse, "who can stand before envy?" New York, and especially the WTC, stand for America's financial success, hated and envied by those who lack the opportunity or the discipline to be a part of it. Like rebellious teenagers, they tried to destroy what they couldn't compete with.

When we learned that the attackers were fanatical Moslems, I pitied them. Those pathetic men who died in the acts of theft, lies and mass murder actually thought God would reward them with Paradise! Instead, they were dragged straight to Hell by the devil who tricked them. They followed the god of hatred and destruction, and so were destroyed eternally.

That evening was the first of many candle-light vigils and prayer meetings. We prayed for the victims, hoping some might be found alive in the rubble. We prayed for each other, as so many had not heard from loved ones, who never came home. And we prayed prayers of forgiveness for the perpetrators, refusing to allow bitterness to infect us with added suffering.

I lost my job as an indirect result of 9-11; Merrill laid off 9,000 employees. A year later, I am again out of work. The terrorists succeeded in hurting the NYC economy. But they can never succeed in destroying our faith in God or in our country. America rose to greatness in that hour -- great compassion, great generosity and great courage. And God willing, we will rise again to financial greatness as well, because we will keep on working, keep on learning, and keep on contributing all we have and are to build the country we love.

The twin towers may have fallen, but NYC is still the financial capital of the world. We will never forget those who died to make it so.

May God bless and comfort you, and may God bless America!
Kathryn Riss | 55 | New Jersey

#2061 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
14.45 in Italy, i was in my office and worked..............i tried to understand what was it happening thruoght internet, i didn't believe what my eyes did see..........all was so absurd, at today i am not able to to understand the reasons of all this..............
massimo | 30 | Italy

#2062 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
i was off from work that day, and was in the red bank, new jersey public library. i did not have a radio with me, and i was inbetween my home and the library when the attack started.
when i had gotten to the library, the attacks had started, and some of the computers that they have there have streaming audio and video.
i had heard the librarians talking amongest themselves. having my interest peeked, i had asked one of the librians,
'excuse me, but did i miss something?'
'you mean you haven't heard?'
'heard what?'
well that was how i had gotten the first reports.
there is a small park next to the library building, and i had gone outsid e to smoke a cigarette. looking toward the direction of new york, because i am only three or four miles from new york city, if you draw a striaght line.
i rememeber thinking, gee that is a low lying cloud. then i was then that i realized that i was the smoke from the fires.
lee wayne sandro | 40 | New Jersey

#2063 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I was working in a pub on the Isles of Scilly. It was a wonderful sunny afternoon, and I had both locals and visitors in the pub. My boss rang down from upstairs and told me to switch on the TV. I thought what I was watching was a movie, but then I realised it was real. I couldn't, and didn't want to beleive it. I felt stunned, angry, confused. A year on, I can still remember where I was and how I felt. But today, I fell proud for America, for they have not fallen to their knees, but have stood up, and rebuilt. My thoughts and heart go out to all who have lost family and friends. Time will never forget those who died, but time will unite us all together to fight against terrorism and we will be strong.
May God protect us all
Nicola Ann Smith | 22 | United Kingdom

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