#2089 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
A friend of mine had been visiting the night before, and he ended up staying with me the night of the 10th. The morning of the 11th, we both had to work--so he got up to go home. It was about 9 in the morning. He left, and I was going to go back to sleep--but couldn't. I turned on the radio, and I heard "A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center." I remember thinking, what a sick and twisted joke. They continued to talk about it, as I laid in bed. I got up to turn on the tv, and on every channel was a picture of the World Trade Center with smoke and fire pouring from it. Then the second plane hit. I was absolutely stunned..I didn't know what to think or what was going to happen next or what was going on at all.
The rest of it all happened so fast...the plane crashing into the Pentagon, the plane crashing into the ground in PA, the Towers crashing. It was all so unreal and hard to imagine.
I work with children, and the only thing I kept thinking was "I have to go to work today....what will I tell them? How can I assure them that they will be kept safe?"
But they were talking about closing the streets of Pittsburgh, shutting down the city. There were reports that the plane that crashed in Shanksville was headed for Pittsburgh, was headed for Washington. I wasn't due in at work until 2 or 3 that day, but I got ready at noon and went in to work. It took me over an hour to make a trip that should have taken 30 minutes.
The thing I remember most is listening to the radio, and hearing the lady trying to give reports of what was going on. Her voice was shaking, she was having a very difficult time reading what she was supposed to. She had to stop and let someone else read it. What she was trying to tell us was that bodies were falling from the Towers before they fell.

I will never forget the images I saw that day and have seen since; the things I have heard that day and since....I hope the victims did not suffer too much and are resting in peace. I hope the families heal as much as possible, and I hope the rest of us never forget.
Rebecca | 23 | Pennsylvania

#2090 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I go to Stevens Tech in Hoboken, NJ, though I'm not from around here. The college is small but set on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River, and has a awesome view of lower Manhattan--we're a little under two miles away from the World Financial Center. On a crystal clear day you can see NYC in near-perfect detail. My dorm is one of two on campus that has windows facing east, towards the city. At exactly 9:07 AM I was woken up by my roommate's brother pounding on the door. I answered because that's one of the few things that wakes my roommate up and we'd both been up late the night before. He said, and I quote, "You gotta come see this, the World Trade Center's on fire!" I stared at him for several seconds without understanding, but my roommate was out of bed and halfway down the hall before I even knew she was awake. (Our room is on the west side of the dorm...his was top floor, east side.) I took just enough time to throw on some more decent clothing than pajamas and followed. I spent most of the day either on Castle Point watching the WTC smoke (it was a clear enough day for us to see the flames from where we were), then fall, then smoke some more. I'm not sure when I started taking pictures, but I have a few of both towers and a lot of the second tower collapsing so it must have been early on. When I wasn't on the Point, I was at my computer, sending e-mails to my parents to let them know I was okay. (I wasn't actually, I was in deep shock, but they didn't have to know that...) I would have called, but the phone system overloaded and went down early on, and the cell phone tower was--you guessed it--the WTC. Sometime around 7 PM, my friend Monica got ahold of me. (She had been visiting campus from Oregon for a week--wound up staying two because she couldn't catch her train that was supposed to leave on the 12th.) Anyway, she said that volunteers were needed at the PATH station, because they were going to start sending the WTC ferries there because Jersey City was full. I didn't know what I could do, but I felt I just had to do something. It felt like half the city of Hoboken turned out to help that night. The workers there separated us according to what languages we could speak (in case we needed interperters), those who knew CPR or first aid (I've had disaster training but my card was out of date), and those who didn't belong in the other groups. Half a dozen of us volunteered to go back up to Stevens and collect clean linens that might be needed. It was kind of funny...out of the six people, five were students, and all of them were from different dorms. Made things a lot easier. We got so much stuff from students (who like us, wanted to do anything they could to help, even if it was to give us a clean towel) that we had to get the campus police to drive us back because we couldn't carry it. After that, everyone was sent home because we didn't get as many people as we expected/hoped. I stayed up late, because I was afraid of what my dreams would be like. Eventually, though, I did fall asleep because of the stress of the day and the lack of sleep from the night before. This was the last thing I thought that night, which I wrote down as my hope for the futere: "And when this day which forever changes our lives is over, we sleep only from exhaustion. When that blessed reprieve is over, may we wake to find a world not so much changed as we fear it might be."
~Carrie Andresen, 9/11/02
Carrie Andresen | 20 | New Jersey

#2091 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I had just flown through Newark on Monday 9/10 on my way to Bermuda to visit an account. My time was occupied by conversation with a very lovely and interesting lady that was a corporate executive in the WTC. We never introduced ourselves, but I vividly recall her moans of how much work she had to do and that she would probably be sleeping on the sofa in her office, on the 86th floor. My flight from Newark to Bermuda was rather exciting however, nothing could brace me for the next morning. On Tuesday, I was at my account when they called me aside to tell me of the news. My first thought, and my continuing prayers are for the lady of the WTC. Many days I recall being stranded on the island and feeling so helpless, but I always think of the families that lost loved ones, and the lady of the WTC.
Paul West | 45 | Tennessee

#2092 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
My name is Zaire Briley. I was at work when I saw the plane crash into the world trade center on the news. I was in New york when it happened. I was in great shock. When I came home I saw many people with candles.
Zaire Briley | 12 | Virginia

#2093 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I was in Manhattan, at the northern end of Central Park. I'd turned on the TV in my hotel room to catch a weather forecast, since I was due to visit a customer at 90 William Street - three blocks from the WTC - at 11, and wanted to know whether I'd need an umbrella.

After seeing that it would be a nice, pretty day, I left the TV on. I was watching when they broke into the Today Show to report a fire at the WTC. I stayed glued to the TV as they showed the second airplane crashing into the other tower, and the fires raging, and people jumping out of windows, and the towers collapsing, and the resulting images are forever graven into my mind.

Early on, I dialed up with my laptop. I wasn't one of the folks besieging Slashdot, but I did stay on IRC for hours, talking about what I saw. That turned out to be my only reliable communications channel. My cellphone was completely useless. I got more than a few phone calls from anxious relatives that I couldn't return because the lines were jammed. I finally asked a friend to call my parents in Houston and let them know I was fine and several miles away.

This past July 4 weekend (2002), a friend and I visited Mount Rushmore. At the end of the day, we went to one of the Western dinner theater places out there. Most of the way through the show, they sang a song, "Where Were You When the World Changed?", about that day. I wound up having to leave in tears, as it brought back memories of that day, and how I couldn't get in touch with anyone except over the net. I don't know who wrote it (I asked, but have since forgotten the name - it was some country star), but he did a great job of capturing the feeling for the rest of us.
Jay Maynard | 42 | Minnesota

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