#236 | Sunday, November 4th, 2001
When my supervisor called me over to talk, I thought I was about to get in trouble. It was my second day on the job as a student teacher, and I had been sitting at a table coloring little rectangles while talking to the children. I thought I was about to be told not to color with them, not to get involved in their conversations too much, not to take up room at the table. Instead, she pulled out a pad and scribbled, "Two planes have crashed into the World Trade Center. The nation is under attack." I looked at her, and she looked at me. Our school is on the upper west side of NYC, nowhere near downtown. I envisioned planes flying overhead, coming to attack the rest of the city. We didn't know they had been commercial flights. At that point, we didn't know anything. Then I said, "My dad was supposed to go there for a meeting this morning." I had to wait almost two hours before I could call home, since we didn't tell the kids right away. Parents showed up at the usual time to gather their children, and we started getting calls that the afternoon session was going to be very small. I called my house and got my mother, tearful, explaining that my dad had been in the shower getting ready for his appointment and heard the news on the shower radio. They had then looked out our bedroom window (we live across the river) and saw the second plane hit. We made plans for me to stay with family in the city, since it was obvious I wasn't getting back across the river that day. Meanwhile, a few children trickled in, talking about it, so we spent two very solemn hours until their parents arrived to claim them, too. It was from the children that we learned about the plane that had crashed in Pennsylvania. We had no news, so we had no idea what was happening... When I got to my cousin's house at 4 pm that afternoon, I saw what downtown had looked like for the first time.
Lisa | 24 | New Jersey

#237 | Sunday, November 4th, 2001
On the morning of Sept. 11th, I was in my office in lower midtown Manhattan, settling in for a day at the office. Just as I was about to start getting ready to start the day, I heard a co-worker of mine run into an adjacent office and cry out, "a plane just hit the WTC!" I immediately tried to get on the Internet to find out more about what had happened. At that time, no one really knew what was going on and CNN offered no better news than my co-worker. I then rushed to the bank of windows that directly faces the WTC buildings. Being on the 11th floor of one of the last "tall buildings" as you head south in lower midtown, I had passed by these windows many, many times before, always noting what a magnificent & unobstructed view we had of the WTC buildings. What I saw as I ran to those windows was too much believe. The top of the first Tower was engulfed in flames and smoke! Even from 1 1/2 miles north of the buildings, I could clearly see that a large portion of the building was completely destroyed. I immediately broke down into tears, not knowing at that point that this event was actually a terrorist attack. I then ran back to my office to make some phone calls to my family and friends, knowing some of them did not even really know where in NYC I worked... I didn't want anyone to be worried about me. As I was getting on the phone, I heard someone yell out, "another plane hit the second Tower!" I could not believe my ears! I tried to get back on to the Internet, but all of the news sites were clogged with traffic. I ran back to the bay of windows facing the WTC Towers and saw the most horrific scene I have ever seen in my life -- both of the Towers engulfed in fire and smoke. I could not even comprehend the destruction. As the morning wore on, I did much the same as I just described -- I ran from my office to the bay of windows to the phone and back again. The two+ hours or so from the time the first plane hit to the time the last Tower actually fell seemed like an eternity. In such a short time, I had witnessed, firsthand, the most destructive and horrific scenes I hope I never have to see again. I also watched, with tears streaming down my face, both buildings collapse and then the streams of soot-covered survivors walk past our building, heading uptown, heading away from the unimaginable. I will never forget Sept. 11th -- it was a day filled with terror, immeasurable sadness and first-hand images I know I will never be able to clear from my memory. In the end, the one thing I hope I never forget are all of the innocent lives lost and all of the brave & heroic people who fought to save them. God Bless America.
Leila Bryner | 26 | New York

#238 | Tuesday, November 6th, 2001
i can remember it all too clearly to be healthy. I was sleeping on the couch in my dorm room, the tv was off. It was about 10am, I turned on the tv, and saw what looked to be a huge dust cloud hanging over NYC. My family lives there, and I have been around there alot, so, I was like, "Wow, a dust cloud in NYC, kinda wierd...." Suddenly, I heard a banging at my door. My Ex-girlfriend runs into the room, crying... I turned to her and said, "Whats wrong?" She looks at me with tears welling up in her eyes, and screams, "THEY HIT US!" I turned back to the tv just in time to have the image of the second tower collapsing into the all too familiar city-scape of home. She and I ran out of the room, and began calling. Calling anyone we could get in contact with. As details came pouring in, I heard that 4 more plains were in the air. Although this was unfounded, I got everyone that I could into my car, and drove out to my friends house outside of the city. Ever since then, my life has taken new shape. I can't really describe it, but nothing is, nor will it ever be the same anymore.
I can't get the images out of my head. All this descruction over books and a piece of land. Why must it be so senseless? D.C. has never been the same as before. We like to pretend that it is, because the pentagon is not in the heart of the city. But now and that the terrorists are using letters instead of planes.... somehow, nothing is safe anymore. I hope some good will come out of all of this. I cried myself to sleep for days, I couldn't close my eyes on that day because everytime that I did, everything played back.
Now, in this period of recovery and rebuilding, we must try to find our way once again. One last thought. I have never been a fan of war or violence. Not surprisingly, I not only agree with the attacks on afganistan, If osoma ever admits that he had something to do with all of this, then i will join any military force that I can, and I will jump in every single cave until we find him. I will not rest until justice has been served.
I have no hatred for muslims. I have hatred for those who wish to express their religious beliefs and mantras with the blood of thousands. Thos who wish to make a point by killing the innocent. Those who wish to do harm, simply because of how we are not getting along with them. I will never think of sept. eleventh the same way again. I will never see New York the same way again. And there are those who will never see the light of day ever again.
if there is one thing that we should all strive for, it is that this nation never forget when at it's darkest hour, it was capable of almost uniting the world for the first time in history. All because of 19 guys with box cutters and plane tickets.
Casey Krugman | 20 | District of Columbia

#239 | Wednesday, November 7th, 2001
I was at school when all this happened. I first heard of it when I was back at my dorm. It is horrible. Our hearts and thougts go to all the victims families and to all rescue employees and fire fighters!
Nick Timmermans | 17 | Netherlands

#240 | Wednesday, November 7th, 2001
I remember waking up, and my roomate immediately said to me, "Pete, terrorists ran into the World Trade Center!". I immediately sat up and put on ABC news. As soon as I saw the clouds of smoke billowing out of the side of the first tower a sadness hung in my heart. I continued to watch as the second plane struck the other tower. I had classes soon, but I wasn't going to go, and neither was anyone else. I just sat with friends in my room all day and watched the news religiously. Certain parts of scripture flashed through my mind, as well as predictions from Nostradamus. I usually wouldn't believe all of his sayings but some things just seemed to match up too well. Especially since there was an earthquake not less than a few weeks after the tragedy. All I can remember is worrying whether my brother who commutes daily to NYC was ok. I was terrified for him. Later in the day I felt nothing but an uprush of pride in how America was responding. For all of the insults, badgering and degradement people try to place on the US, we came together when it counted and proved our country is the best there is, with the best people there are.
Peter Palumbo | 19 | New York

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