#2284 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
September 11th Where was I?

At the morning of the 9/11 attacks, I had just woken up, washed up and dressed for school. It was around 7 am in the morning and I was on my computer surfing the web. My brother yelled from my parents’ room saying the World Trade Center was hit by a plane. At first it just went though one ear and out the next, but when I heard my mom call me, a rushed into her room and watched as a plane hit the 2nd building. After going back to my computer in attempt to find something about this on the internet, I watched on my TV as the first and second building began to collapse.

I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t feel like going to school at all. I was worried about those people running from the buildings. I was especially worried about my friends. I have a bunch of friends that live all over the country and I was concerned about them the most.

I ended up going to school anyways. The attacks were only thing everyone was talking about that morning before class. My only regret was that I had forgotten to bring my hand radio so I could listen in on what was happening. One of my classmates was furious about the attacks; she already knew who exactly was behind this. She kept accusing Osama bin Laden of being ‘as smart as hell but a total ass.’ I didn’t care what she said. All I was concerned about was my friends. My friend wasn’t making me feel any better since she was saying how all the dust from the WTC debris could travel all the way down the east coast where most of my friends lived.

Instead of doing our normal routine for class, we all went to our school church for a vigil of mourning and prayer. After the mass, most of us were sent home by our parents. I was the first student in the 8th grade to be sent home. My dad and I went to the nearest newsstand and purchased the breaking newspaper. When we got home, I immediately got online to get in touch with my friends. Most of them weren’t online, I guess it was because most of them must still be sleeping or at school. A few hours later I found all of my friends, all accounted for. I was very fortunate.

I can’t say that the citizens of New York were fortunate. They are the ones who have truly suffered, especially those who have lost their loved ones. My heart and my prayers go out to all of those who are fortunate to keep their friends and families, to those who have lost their loved ones, and those who have risked their lives for the sake of others.

Our prayers are with you. Forever.
Lauren (aka Maya) | 14 | California

#2285 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
On September 11, I was at home sleeping when the beautiful day was ruined for everyone. My parents woke me up to tell me what had happened. I was in tears and I couldn’t imagine what had just happened to us. I couldn’t bear to watch the news, with everyone trying to get out of the building, people running everywhere trying to escape the building, and firemen going into the burning building to risk their life for someone else. The news was overwhelming and the fact that we just had terrorists fly planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, just made me angry. I couldn’t help asking myself why this had happen to us. The answer we will never know.
We will never forget September 11. The attacks killed many innocent people but as we know today, the country became strong. We have more hope and we live as a family all together. Everyone is different in many ways but we all have the horrible memory of that tragic day. We can’t just sit around and do nothing because we know something that will always be a day of remembrance.
SaRaH | 14 | California

#2286 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I remember perfectly. I was in photography, next to my friend Kelly. A teacher came from across the hall and said, "Someone flew a plane into the Twin Towers." I just thought, "Yeah, right," because he was always coming into our class and joking around. Then my teacher turned on the TV and we were all in shock. We watched for a few minutes, then had to get back to making pinhole cameras. We turned it back on later and I remember everybody standing around the garbage can sanding the edges of their cardboard tubes and looking up at the TV. I went home and found my dad and brother sitting in front of the TV, showing the same images that had been there all day, but they were still hypnotic. I kept watching all day, terrified of getting new news. I think everybody can relate to that.
Sara Rosenberry | 15 | New York

#2287 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I remember I was at work when a customer came into the store and told me that a plane had flown into the world trade centre, I thought it was a joke or a mistake, but when a second customer said the same thing I went to the staff canteen and put on the news, I was watching the live report as the second plane hit, it's a moment thet I'll never forget... friends of mine were on holidey in New York at the time!

I ran to my locker, grabbed my phone and called my girlfriend, who is a student studying history with particular emphasis on 20th century USA. I told her what had happened and made her keep watching to tell me more...

Many people here in the UK were crushed by the death of Princess Diana, but to me the selfish waste of so many innocent lives to further one persons agenda sickens me to the stomach whenever I think about it!

I'm not a religious person, but when I went to bed on september 11th I stopped to say a prayer for all those invloved, and I'm not ashamed to say that I shed a few tears as well!
Matt Merritt | 22 | United Kingdom

#2288 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was at work at our office on the corner of 57th Street and Lexington Avenue, about four and a half miles north of the World Trade Center.

They leave the TVs on all the time on the trading floor where I work. Normally, no one pays much attention before the market opens. But on that morning, everyone was clustering around, watching images of smoke pouring from a gaping hole in the north tower of the World Trade Center.

I called my girlfriend, Christina. Her office was down on Whitehall Street, a block over from Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan and less than ten blocks south of the World Trade Center.

“Honey, are you watching TV!”

“No. Why?”

“A plane just flew into the World Trade Center!”

“Are you for real?”

She thought I was kidding. How could a plane hit the towers on such a clear day?

I called my parents in New Zealand. It was 1am there, and Dad had just got back from a business trip in Australia. I told him there had been a plane crash, but I was ok. He told my mother as he went to bed. She got up and turned on the TV just in time to see the second plane plough into the south tower.

I called Christina again. This time she knew why. The impact of the second tower being hit, much lower than the first, had rocked her building. “We felt it. We’re leaving. I’ll call you,” she said, and hung up. A moment later, I realized I hadn’t had a chance to ask where she was going. I would have to wait for her to get in touch with me. That didn’t worry me at the time. The thought the twin towers could come down never entered my mind.

When they did collapse I called Christina again and again, but the system was overloaded and I couldn’t get through. All I could do was stay by the phone, listening to the continuous wail of sirens outside as emergency teams poured downtown in waves, and watching the disaster unfold on TV.

Hours later, Christina called. She and hundreds more people were watching in Battery Park when the first tower collapsed. A wall of smoke and ash boiled out through the man-made canyons of downtown and engulfed them all. She was convinced she was going to be either smothered or trampled. She found her way to the lobby of an adjacent building and waited out the death of the second tower.

When we were reunited we waited in line for a ferry on the West Side, the only way out of the city to the Jersey side.

I wish I were able to submit something more inspiring. I’d like to be able to say I did anything significant or constructive. Today, a year later, I still can’t identify with what happened. I was neither victim nor hero, survivor nor witness on September 11. No one I know was lost. My firm is still in business. Just like Americans think of New Zealand as some tiny Pacific islets, my Kiwi friends, who have never been to the States, have no conception of the size of Manhattan. In emails and telephone messages they thought I was in harm’s way, when in fact, on the streets outside my office, you’d never have believed there was a crisis going on at all. I was minutes away from the worst disaster in the history of the city, I read all the books about it, watch all the documentaries, but I don’t think I’ll ever understand it.
Simon Sheppard | 30 | New York

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