#241 | Wednesday, November 7th, 2001
ok i'm the youngest person here writing something but that's ok. I didn't find out about theese terrosrists until LAST period in school. I had had 2 go get a worksheet for social studies & i missed what my teacher said but when i came back she told me personally. She didn't tell me much but tears came 2 my eyes. I'm glad my teachers didn't tell us because we would all be scared 2 death! I remember in math (2nd period) a school secratary came in and asked 2 talk 2 her in the hall. Like most kids the whole class started 2 talk when our math teacher came in we all shushed up. She just continued on w/ math.
I remember when i got home my mom told me that my aunt wuz on a plane but it wasn't a targeted 1. When we got inside our house my sister wuz there & so wuz my dad. MY sister home???? She's in high school & plays soccer so it wuz REALLY rare 2 c her home before me. The TV wuz off and my sister asked me dad if she could turn it back on. My dad didn't say anything. I told them that i already knew & they turned it back on. The pictures were sad. My sister started 2 cry when she saw the people jumping out of the buildings.
my b-day wuz on Oct.24th. What did i want most of all? For terrorism & Bin laden 2 go away!
Right now, my sister & mom r downstairs and it feels good 2 hear their voices! YIKES! i think i made this a little 2 long! SORRY!
Alexandra | 12 | New Jersey

#242 | Friday, November 9th, 2001
These are the lyrics written by Alan Jackson and sung this year at the CMA awards show .
Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)
by Alan Jackson

Where were you when the world stopped turning
That September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in L.A.
Did you stand there in shock
At the sight of that black smoke
Rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children that lost their dear loved ones
Pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below
Did you burst out in pride for the red, white & blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself for what really matters

Chorus
I'm just a singer of simple songs,
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love.

Where were you when the world stopped turning
That September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty because you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that Bible at home

Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset for the first time in ages
Speak to some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on I Love Lucy reruns

Did you go to a Church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

(Repeat Chorus twice)
I'm just a singer of simple songs,
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love.

The greatest is love
The greatest is love
Where were you when the world stopped turning
That September day
Beth | 50 | Maine

#243 | Friday, November 9th, 2001
I will never forget September 11th, as I'm sure no one else who was alive on that day will either. I was supposed to take a business trip to New Jersey that day, but my husband was adamant about me not going that day. He has never told me not to travel on business, so because of his insistence, I did not go. I would have been driving by New York City when the tragedy occurred. I feel that my husband may have a sixth sense. Instead of being on the road, I was at my desk when a friend told me that the Howard Stern radio show was talking about a plane that went into the Towers. I thought it was a small plane, so I went down to the lobby with a few co-workers to watch CNN for any news of this event. Much to our horror, we watched the story unfold before our eyes. First the Trade Towers, then the Pentagon, then a fourth plane with possible hijackers. We were in complete shock at this point!! When the second tower collapsed, I just broke down with tears. The building was closed down for the rest of the day. I drove home as fast as I could to be with my husband, all the while listening to the news and crying. I stayed glued to the tv for the rest of the day, and late into the night. It is something I will never forget. I don't think this world will ever be the same again....
Sarah | 30 | Connecticut

#244 | Friday, November 9th, 2001
I remember rushing to a coffee shop on campus to get a quick wake me up before I went to class. As I walked over to the cash register, I noticed a bunch of people gathered around the TV in the sitting area. Everyone had their jaw dropped. This one guy kept crying out, "Oh my god! Oh my god!" he looked like he was having a nervous breakdown. I just remember watching the TV awestruck, with the huge headlines "America Under Attack" America under attack? How? Why? Is this real? No one seemed to believe it at the time. I remember walking away and back to class. Trying to not think about it for an hour while my professor (who commutes from the city) tried to take our minds off it for an hour or so.
Jennifer Tran | 20 | Connecticut

#245 | Saturday, November 10th, 2001
Like most weekdays, September 11th started with the radio alarm clock sounding off at 4:30 AM. After hitting the “snooze” several times I listened, for a while, to the 5:00 news. In the shower and out and dressed by 6:AM, I like to leave for work no later than 6:15 AM. I first heard the news at about ten past six, on the radio “… an airplane has just flown into the World Trade Center (WTC).” This news flash caught my attention. My Dad works in Manhattan. Rather than head out the back door to the garage, I went into the living room and turned on the television to the Fox News Channel. Thoughts entered my head of the B-25 “Mitchell” Bomber that had, tragically and accidentally flown into the empire state building on July 28th, 1945. What I envisioned paled, however, in comparison to what eventually filled the screen.
The radio account I had been listening to referred to a “small” airplane. When I saw the smoke and flames I knew this had been no small airplane. I went back into the bedroom, turned on the second television, woke my wife and told her to look. A plane had just crashed into the WTC. As she was rubbing the sleep from her eyes I could barely believe what I was watching. Just as the bedroom television was coming into focus I saw a plane fly into the second tower of the WTC. My first fleeting thought was “this is an instant replay.” Quickly, however, I realized the first tower was smoking and burning as I witnessed the second crash. Again the reporters said “…Small plane.” Again, I knew better. I know airplanes and I got a look at this one. What I saw was, at least the size of a Boeing 737 or A-320 Airbus, neither of which can be classified as small. Both of which are long-range, commercial passenger liners. I was horrified, but I was also behind schedule.
I left the house and was listening to the car radio when I called my Dad at his Manhattan office. He made a semi-tasteless remark about the “…worlds two biggest birthday candles” and we discussed what type of aircraft it might have been and the cause. I was still in denial, I guess, thinking “Major ATC malfunction…” when the news of the Pentagon crash came on the radio. There was no denying it; at that point, we were under attack. America, land of the free and the home of the brave, is under attack.
I was fighting back the tears as I told him “another one just crashed into the Pentagon,” and rhetorically ask my Dad, “…what is going on?” We talked for a few minutes till he got word to evacuate his building, 15 blocks up-town from what is now commonly referred to as “ground zero.” I told him I would call him when I got home from work. The last thing I remember him saying was “life as we know it in this country has just ended. We’re going to wake up in a different country tomorrow.” He could not have been more correct. Many things have, indeed, changed.
I have been driving onto this California Military Installation almost every day since 1975. Typically, there will be one or two military guards checking the cars for a valid sticker issued by the military police. These stickers expire when a person’s contract expires, and generally, suffice to get as many passengers through the checkpoint as happen to be in the vehicle. Military exercises, from time-to-time, will present a minor inconvenience. Rather than simply checking the cars, the GI’s will post a sign announcing the exercise is in progress and the level of security to which the exercise has elevated the facility. There will also be a second posting that reads “ID Check in Progress.” This is the inconvenient part. Each passenger must now show a photo ID to the guard. Sometimes the guard will be required to touch the ID. In an effort to minimize the inconvenience, the number of guards is often doubled. Today, in the wake of the 9/11 attack, I leave thirty (30) minutes earlier for work.
The delays today can be long. In addition to the six (6) to eight (8) military guards now checking ID’s, there is an armored hum-vee or tank with a 60MM machine gun and eighteen year old operators conspicuously parked near the gatehouse. Everyone, in every vehicle, must stop and show the full battle dressed guard two (2) forms of photo identification. Those who do not pass the scrutiny of the hands on ID check, are directed to pull into a previously seldom used, parking area. Six to eight additional armed guards provide special assistance for those in need of a temporary vehicle pass or directions on how to get back where they came from.
During my 35-90 minute drive to work I no longer listen to the same radio station as before September 11th. I find myself constantly switching between NPR and any other talk/news station reporting on the military action or politics of the day. Home television is likely to be on one of the news network stations these days, and the kids are sometimes sent to Mom and Dad’s room to watch a video while the sometimes-graphic news plays in the living room. Since September 11th television reports have brought about many changes in my life. I was at work when I heard the TV outside my office door report the unthinkable. One of the towers had what? I thought I heard words like “collapsed,” “gone,” “fallen.” I will never forget the thoughts I had upon hearing this. Sensationalism, exaggeration, lies, inaccuracy, disbelief, I got mad at the news reporter who was speaking. Collapse? No! I thought. They don’t mean collapse. They mean glass is falling. Gone? No! They don’t mean gone, they mean hidden behind a dust/smoke cloud. Fallen? They mean a chunk of the building has fallen. I wish these reporters could get it right, I thought.
I now know there is not a list of unthinkable happenings. Anything can happen and this truth has changed the way I live my daily life. I stop strangers at work and ask them to display their ID badge. I listen to different radio stations. I watch different TV programs. I drive different routes to work. I spend more time on the floor with my two (2) year old and my seven (7) year old, often jumping on my back. I have had long term plans to eventually move back to Canada. With each anthrax report these plans become more firm and less distant.
Yes, the events of September 11th have changed many things for me and my family. The prayers I have are that these changes will, somehow, be for the better.
Rick Woodcock, IT Manager | 43 | California

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