#2383 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
On September 11, 2001 I was getting ready to go to school. It was my 8th grade year. I watched the news every morning, and they were live talking with someone only a little bit away from the twin towers. She was talking bout how she felt when she saw the first crash. All of a sudden, she started screaming, and finally the word was given that a second crash had taken place. I ran to my parents room and told them what had happened, and they told me to finish getting ready for school. When I got to school, we sat there the whole day, watching tv and talking bout our feelings. We were scared all day, and our lives have never been the same.
Mara Weiss | 14 | Indiana

#2384 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
i was asleep in bed with my boyfriend. the alarm went off around 10:30 am and before he turned it off i groggily heard that the pentagon had been attacked. i assumed that i had misheard or that it was a joke and we both fell back asleep. at 11:30 i finally woke up and walked back to my own dorm room. it was an absolutely beautiful day outside. as i approached my door i ran into my roommate, who had locked herself out. i smiled, and said hello. instead of returning my greeting, she responded that the trade centers had been attacked. we ran back to our room and sat glued to the t.v. set. after the intial shock subsided i called my family and my boyfriend, whose brother worked across the street in another building in the world trade complex. in a stroke of amazing luck, his brother had been assigned to fly to chicago that morning and had safely landed there. for the rest of the day i remained, like the rest of the nation, horrified and in awe.
erica | 20 | Connecticut

#2385 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I was teaching a computer class in midtown Manhattan, on 45th street. The class started at 9:00 am. I walked there from another building about 10 minutes to 9, unaware of what was already happening. The class started, and the door was closed. At 10:40 or so, having had a continuous session, I said: "Let's take a break," and opened the door. Immediately, people came in in a flurry. I work in a bank that had just gone through a merger, so there had been ongoing rumors of staff reductions, so when one guy came in, breathless, and asked: "Did you hear what happened?" I said no. He repeated the question, so I replied, with a little edge: "What, another round of layoffs?" And then he said: "No, the World Trade Center towers are gone."

I couldn't believe it, and we couldn't get any other information, but then I thought: I'm in a room with 40 computers all wired to the Internet! So someone found a site. For some reason, it was www.bbc.com, the British news organization. Already, it had 5 or 6 small digital pictures of the second plane going in, and the dust of the collapse. It was staggering.

The rest of the class got cancelled. And the rest of the day was just a lot of shock and bewilderment, and figuring out how to get home on the commuter railway.

The next day, I stayed home. Thursday, we came in again, but there was a bomb scare at noon, so I went home. On Friday, I felt ill and out of sorts, and stayed home.

I am Chinese, born in Indonesia, a naturalized US citizen since 1987. I have lived in different places, different cities. Until 9/11, I would not have gone out of my way to say I was a New Yorker (even though I have lived for 20 years here) or that I was "American": being a US citizen was an intellectual feeling, really. I was in Hong Kong for three years from 1992 and traveled around Asia on a US passport, but I looked at it as more of a convenience, not a nationality.

After 9/11, I found myself feeling strongly that New York was my home, and I started looking at the American flag a different way. I became "American" in heart. When the flag flutters on a flagpole, it is a beautiful sight. Really, if you look at the flags of other countries, none comes close to the beauty of the American flag, how the elements complement together. This is not a boring flag: the 50 offset stars that fit exactly together, the stripes, the colors, and the meaning of those elements. It really represents something to me now -- a way of life, a piece of earth, a philosophy of government, an economic system, a culture, my home. For someone who all his life has been apolitical and not at all patriotic (I had not felt connected to Indonesia or China at all), this new feeling is wondrous, and not a little humbling. It's sad, of course, that it took something like 9/11 to make me see the blessings of this country.

It still bugs me a little, though, that nobody interrupted my class that day to let me know what was happening as it happened.

John Tjia | 49 | New York

#2386 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
September 11, 2001---I was driving to work that day and running late. I work in Manhattan. I saw the plane hit the WTC from New Jersey on my way to work. The minute I saw it I stopped. Thinking it was just an accident I stayed on the side of the road when I saw a second plane hit the second tower. That was when I knew I was in the middle of a war zone. Frightened not knowing what would happen next I turned around on my way home, I wasn't going to work that day. I called my wife on my cell phone to tell her I loved her incase anther plane just hit or a bomb fell or something. I got home that day. It was the first experience of its kind for me and many other Americans, I do hope it was the last. Osama Bin Laden, I hope he suffers, I hope he and anyone else in the Middle East who thinks this is great suffers. GOD BLESS AMERICA, THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
John | 27 | New Jersey

#2387 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I am 11 years old. I'm half Philipine, half Finish. On September 11, I was in school. I had no idea what happened. My friend said a plane hit the Twin Towers and it callapsed. I asked her if one of the towers was still standing and she said, "No" I had no idea about what happened much. A lot of my friends went home early that day because their parents were scared. And one of my friends cried. When I walked home, I saw smoke far away and I don't know if it's from the towers or something else because I live in Garfield NJ. Today I still can't believe what happened that day. I think it's my fault it happened because before I went to school I really said, "Another boring day at school" I feel so sorry for the people who died and their families. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
Sheena | 11 | New Jersey

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