#2413 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
The morning of the 11th I woke up a little later than I'd planned (not an unusual occurence), and was in a hurry to get to work (I'm a web programmer in Houston, TX). I guess it was about 8:50 central when I got in the car. So at that point things had already been happening in NYC and elsewhere, I was blissfully unaware. I was preoccupied thinking of the upcoming day of work, so I rode silent in thought instead of turning on the radio to the local alternarock station (KLOL, 101.1fm) like I usually do. Most of my drive to work is along a road called Westpark, I think I was about half way to work (probably somewhere around Fondren and Westpark) when I turned on the radio. Instead of hearing music, I heard Dan Rather's voice, talking about combat air patrols over New York City and DC, something about towers falling. I had no idea what was going on those first few minutes, at first I thought it might have been a modern equivalent to the 30s-era War of the Worlds radio production (were that my stupid idea had been correct). Subliminally I think the world was different that morning, perhaps this is a case of hindsight. The air seemed colder and crisper, almost empty. I didn't notice much traffic, and I didn't see any jet contrails in the sky (very odd for Houston). When I got to work, everybody was clustered around one of the machines watching a realvideo stream... All the major news sites were totally hosed, so this must have been from some affiliate station I guess. That's when I saw the first footage of the second plane. I thought that it looked like a bad movie, but the sickening thing was that it was really happening / had happened just bare hours before. Real people, thousands of them, just gone, while I was waking up, showering, or speeding to work worrying about getting in another row with my boss about being late... We all went home after about an hour or two, unable to concentrate on work. Who could, on a day like that?
Mike Jackson | 24 | Texas

#2414 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I remember going to work at 6:00 in the morning, as any other ordinary day. My sister as I later found out was in the hospital delivering her baby. I had intentions of going to see them after I was off of work, but all that changed.

I volunteer for the Winnebago County Sheriff's Emergency Response Team , and I recieved an emergency page. The instructions that came blairing out of the pager that morning really disturbed me. The message was as follows, "All SERT (sheriff's emergency response team) and ESDA (emergency services and disaster agency) members report to the EOC (emergency operations center)IN FULL UNIFORM", now this was a very disturbing page indeed! I am used to going to a Hazardous Material Spill, not this. Wait a minute, what the Hell is going on?

I left work and jumped into my truck, turned on the radio, and heard what was going on that morning. I couldn't believe what I heard. A Misguided plane right??? NO Two planes DON'T make the same mistake!

What a DAY, NIGHT, and DAY again!! I went to Soooo many Anthrax Scares in the County. I put in more hours in one month than I usually put in ONE Year!

However I now had a beautiful nephew, born: 9-11-01. What a day! What a Country! USA BRAVE
Nathan Rowlett | 23 | Illinois

#2415 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I am British and I watched all the events unfold on the BBC at home whilst I was working. My wife came through to my office to tell me that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York and my first thought was for my parents, who had both flown over to visit my cousin several days before and were due to be in Manhattan that day. As I watched the news unfold while, unsuccessfully, trying to reach my father on his mobile, I then saw the second plane strike the second tower.

It was at that point that not only I, but also the rest of the world knew for sure that this was no freak accident and we were witnessing a global act of terror. I was glued to the TV for the morning whilst also trying to contact my American colleagues in our London office to offer my sympathies. It felt insignificant, but was the only thing I could do.

There is no way to express the shock, but there is a way to express the solidarity with a nation struck by such as calculated and well-planned strike at civilians who were not at war with anyone. Britain holds America as its friend not just because of previous wars were both fought equally, but more importantly because we share similar attitudes and beliefs about democracy, freedom of speech and movement as well as the right to live in peace.

My parents were alive and well and survived the attack. My cousin went to work at her hospital, she is a highly-qualified nurse, as is her husband, to do what she could. I now work in the Middle East because I now that the problem is not Arabs, nor Muslims, but extremists who, literally, live in their own little world and can’t abide for others to live in a world with different rules to theirs.

Recently a flag of the Union Jack, which was found in the rubble, was returned to Britain by a lieutenant from the FDNY with the words that it should find it’s home in Britain. After all that has happened this has brought closer ties with America – and I count this a good thing out of such a bad thing.
Jonathan Howell-Jones | 32 | United Arab Emirates

#2416 | Wednesday, September 11th, 2002
I woke up and went to work at 7 as usual that morning. I remember wishing I didn't have to work because even at that time, it was already looking like it was going to be a warm, beautiful day. I started doing my usual morning routine- running my daily reports and counting up my cash drawer. I work in a hotel at the front desk. So that morning my manager was running late I guess, so when she wasn't there at 8 as usaul, I assigned the housekeepers their work for the day and sent them on there way. Then at 9 I think, my boss came in the door, and without even stopping at her office, she went to turn on the tv in the lobby and told me that she heard on the radio that a plane hed crashed into the WTC. I work in an extended-stay hotel, so our lobby is small, theres a couch and a couple chairs...like your living room at home. And some of our guests become friends and "family" temporarily. For the next 10 minutes or so (it seemed an eternity)
myself and a few other co workers who had now come in, watched in sheer disbelief as the first tower burned through the blue sky. Guests were walking through stopping to see what was going on. At that point no one really knew what was going on yet. How could a jetliner just fly into the Trade Center? It must of been an accident, but how could it have been? But just a few short minutes later, we all knew, along with every other American who was glued to the tv at that time, that this was no accident. There were no mistakes. We watched as the second airliner went crashing through the second tower, exploding into a huge ball of black smoke and flames. They flashed images of New Yorkers, stopped dead in their tracks, staring up into the sky. How do you comprehend something like this? Its not happening? To us? On our ground? In the greatest city in the world? Its all so surreal. Even to this day, one year later, I still have trouble believing that this really did happen. We continued to watch the continuing coverage that was on every station, recieving bits and pieces of scattered info as it became available. All planes had been ordered to be grounded. There were reports of other suspicious planes.
So many images of people running around NY. I have never in my life, seen such pain on peoples faces. Not knowing where their family and friends were. Not knowing what would happen next. I felt the pain too. Even though I was not there, and did not know anyone, I felt for all of them. I wanted to know that their loved ones were okay. Just when we all thought it could not get any worse... a third plane has crashed into The Pentagon. The White House is being evacuated. As the news flashed between Washington and New York, everything was chaos. Fire trucks and ambulances rushing in from every direction possible. At that time, I don't think any of us knew how big this would be. Yes, it was huge, and yes, a lot of people have died, but they'll put the fires out. No one expeced that minutes later the first of the two towers would simply fall from the skyline. 112 stories.... diminished to rubble. The images were of people running, innocent people running from a huge cloud of smoke and debris that was flooding the streets of Manhattan. And people jumping from the second towers windows, because as inconcievable as it is, that was better than being trapped and burned inside. Then the news hits that a fourth plane has crashed in rural Pensilvania. And soon later.. the second tower collapsed. All of these events happened in less than two hours... but it seemed like the entire world had stopped. And it had. I called my mom, cause even though I knew she was safe, I had to tell her I love her. It took a while to get through because everyone was using the phones. Carrier cicuits were busy and cell phones too. A few minutes later a guest came down, panicked and with tears, and told me his sister works on the 63rd floor of one of the towers. He hasnt been able to get in touch with her because phones arent working. Everyone just felt so helpless. The rest of the day went by as a daze. Everyone was glued to the tv. We later found out that by some miracle, his sister just happened to be running late for work, and was on the train on her way there when the first plane hit. Unfortunately, 3,000 other people were on time, and had their lives taken from them for just showing up to work. The next few weeks were filled with replays of all the tragic events that took place and with pictures of deceased and missing. And with memorial services and vigils, and a country that was now, more than ever...UNITED. Today, a year later, these pictures are still fresh in my mind, and I will never forget. And neither will you. But our country has opened its eyes now. We have a responsibilty to the victims to make sure that they did not die in vein. And a responsibility to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. To our armed services- God Bless you... I'm behind you... take those fuckers out!
To firefighters, police, and EMS across the world and in NY especially- you are the difinition of the word hero. You have been and will continue to be for the rest of your lives. Thank You.
And to the victims and your families- I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you have been through over the last year. My thoughts and prayers are with you every day. Be strong. And have faith that we WILL bring the people that did this to us to justice.
Be strong America...
And never forget 9/11/2001
Gina | 18 | New Hampshire

#2417 | Thursday, September 12th, 2002
At the time of the First Plane hitting the world trade center i was boarding a plane headed for Spain. As the second plane hit we were ready for take off!!
Victoria Simms | 18 | United Kingdom

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