#296 | Tuesday, November 27th, 2001
On that horrible morning I was at work. Things were really busy and lots going on. Over the cubicle wall I could here people talking about this plane crash, I was like..."yeah whatever".

I then received a call from my husband, informing me of the same. He gave me the details that he had at the time and I ran into the company's gym to watch the T.V.

I heard it, I saw it, I cried!!

I thought of all the people, so many lives gone, affected, hurt, torn. It was very overwhelming. I tried not to cry, being at work, but as I looked around I saw that I was not alone.

I then thought of my brother-in-law's girlfriend who lives in NY and called her right away. She was safe.

I then thought of all the people that I know who are in NYC often on business with PrePaid Legal Services and my heart sank. So many who fly, so many...

I was relieved to hear by the end of the day that from what I could tell, all were safe.

Such acts.....such destruction...

I was filled with so much anger, so much hate...pure evil orchestrated this, there's no other explanation.

I will never forget September 11, 2001 for as long as I live.

For those that were lost and for those who helped in any way they could.

God Bless America has a new meaning for me. It's something I hold near and dear to my heart, now more than ever.
Robyn | 27 | Canada

#297 | Wednesday, November 28th, 2001
I was in a high risk building only a few blocks away when it happened. I heard the first plane hit when I was in a store in the lobby of the building. I stood still for a few seconds in case my building started crumbling. I'd run to the exit quick. It did not, so I returned to my office. Someone non-chalantly tells me that a plane flew into the Trade Center. From the way she said it, it seemed like a one-man do-it-yourself plane flew into one of the windows. Someone pulled out a tv from under her desk and we were shocked to see the vision. I was so hurt for not only the people who were instantly gone, but for the people who were stuck on the floors above, if they were still alive. What a way to spend the last 10 minutes of life!

I went to my office and cried. I cried for the people who were stuck. Trapped. Thinking about what they should have done during their short lives. Who they should have hugged or kissed more. What they should have eaten, where they should have traveled, and what money they should have spent.

I heard the next impact and couldn't move for a few seconds. I thought their building exploded. Isn't that what happens in the Die Hard movies? Impact, then explosion. Then someone comes and saves the day.

My sister called and told me that two planes hit the Trade Center, they think it was deliberate and get out of that building now. That's all I needed to know! I put my sneakers on, and flew out of the building. Ran up north. I was on Survival Mode. I surprised myself. I had no time to chat, or hold hands or coax anyone into leaving. If my co-workers didn't want to act quickly, then they were on their own. After all, we could have been next. WE COULD HAVE BEEN NEXT.

I was far up north by the time the buildings collapsed. When I found out, I cried. What else could you do? I shopped there, took the E train to Chambers, right underneath the building - and I even passed by people every morning who were going into that building to work. How many of them were gone?

Since then I've realized that nothing is too expensive for my budget. My wish is my command. I am alive for a reason. I refused to wake another morning dreading the day, hating my life during the hours I spent in the office. For almost 10 years I hated Monday through Friday. Sundays were getting bad, too, since they lead into Mondays. I left my position as a paper pusher at an inept agency that treats hard-working employees poorly. I began my own home- based business and am doing well. I have no more psychosomatic problems - disgestive problems, headaches, insomnia. I'm waiting for my arthritis to disappear,as well!

So many people lost their lives. I decided to live my life to its fullest not only in honor of them, but because I'm thankful for this special gift! The Gift of Life!
A. | 32 | New York

#298 | Wednesday, November 28th, 2001
At work, in New Jersey, about five miles from where the towers are. We had heard from our techs who were down there when it happened, luckily for them they had seen enough after the first crash and headed back into the holland as quick as possible. The first picture in my head was of a small plane, some sort of amateur mess-up. Our TV at work was bunk, we had no cable and all the channels were out after the initial attack. My internet connection was all jammed up. When we heard of the second plane over the radio I didn't know how to react. I went outside to see if i could see the smoke, i could but that was about all i could see. I'll probably never feel like that again. This emotional place where i wanted to do whatever i could but the realization at the same time that there was nothing i could do. Everyone left work by 10am. I drove up to carlstadt where i could get a clear view of the skyline....it was just smoke. It was the most beatiful day of the year too. The kind of day that happens maybe 10 days out of the year here. Crystal clear, no humidity, so blue. I thought about all my friends that live downtown and if they were okay. I thought about my grandmother who lives on 23rd st. I thought about what the skyline would look like after the smoke cleared. I turned off the tv after a while and went back out for a drive, all this nervous energy had built up. I thought about the reaction, radio personalities were already asking for the heads to roll. I thought about the changes that were on the way. How this could be a positive thing, making people more spiritual and less hateful, resentful, just more open....anger is a reaction but how can we reconcile what happened with anger?

Later on that night i went to a friends house to just sit and talk about what happened and hear about their stories and thoughts. It felt good to just let loose some steam with people my age. (22)

Three months later, it seems that its just business as usual in america, which is the real tragedy to me. There is such an opportunity to change the way
we live because of this loss. The media is confusing us and sending smoke screens to people. The frivolous things that were so abundent before 9.11 are creeping their way back into the conscious of america. I don't have the answers but a spiritual awakening seems in order. a change of approach seems right somehow.

Someday we'll all be free
that kid chris | 22 | New Jersey

#299 | Wednesday, November 28th, 2001
Written on September 11th:

Years ago, on what must have been my second or third trip to New York City, I sat on the top of a red double decker bus on a tour of the city. As we made our way through downtown, I craned my neck up to admire the glow of twin towers reaching to what seemed infinity against a clear and intensely blue sky. It's one of those visions that becomes permanently etched into your memory.

Today, many more memories have been engrained into my mind's eye for years to come. The sight of a commercial airliner ramming into the second tower of the World Trade Center was mortifying. All I could imagine was the people on board of each of these planes, the people inside the WTC, the Pentagon, and all of their families, and what they must have felt today.

It may sound crazy, but I've been wishing I could be there to document this day with images. Every time an event such as this takes place, I can't help but crave the chance to get it on film. I want to be there now, shooting off rolls and rolls of film one after another, documenting everything. Not as a spectacle, but as a moment in our history... for people to understand, years from now, the essence of this tragedy. I suppose that is why my calling is photography.

I was at a loss to see those marvelous structures fall, and all the people trapped inside going down with them. And I thought about that day, as I sat there in the crisp air peering upward towards those twin masses. To watch them be completely destroyed on television seems surreal, at the very least. As I watched the towers and all the people fall, my heart dropped with them.

As I stepped outside my house today, I turned to see the American flag waving in a soft breeze, glowing from the backlight of the sun. I stood there for a moment in silence, watching it dance in the wind. It's hard for me to know how to feel or what to think at the sight of the national flag right now. So instead, I took a moment to think about the citizens involved in today's disaster, all the vivid images I absorbed from the light of the tv screen. But there is no thought that you can give to those thousands and thousands of people, other than the hope that many more lives will prevail than those that have perished, and that the death toll will remain as low as possible in the aftermath of such a tremendous tragedy.
Lane | 19 | North Carolina

#300 | Wednesday, November 28th, 2001
As a college student in Viginia, but a resident of NY, I was sound asleep when the first plane hit. I'd sent my boyfriend home from a wonderful vist here the day before through JFK airport, and was awakened by a phone call from him, screaming at me to turn on the tv. He is in the NYPD, his cousin is an EMT, his uncle is an FDNY fire captain, and his father and brother are police officers just above the Bronx. Needless to say, I was thrown headlong into the morning with phone calls and scary moments.
I watched in horror as the buildings shot flames towards the sky. Friends began to IM me, and only then did I realize that it was Tuesday, and my mother was in the WTC at a conference that morning, of all mornings. I spent the morning glued to the tv watching new developments, waiting for the next piece of news. Friends began to gather in my room, coming to offer words of hope, wanting to be consoled or to be kept current on the real news. The cable news channels were doing their best, but I was able to hear first hand what was going on in NY. About 11am, I finally got through on the phone to my father at his office. My mother had just been in touch with him - she'd been in the second building to be hit when the first plane went in. She felt the impact, and went downstairs against the instructions of the security, saying "forget it, I'm out of here," and went into the subway tunnel and went uptown to get out of NYC. She was underground when the plane hit the building she had just been in, and when she was able to look again at a tv, the building no longer stood. She had to evacuate Grand Central Station, but was then able to call my dad, and was let on to the last train headed north to the suburbs before they closed everything down.
We gathered together as a community here, many people having friends and family in NYC and in DC, and many people still waiting to hear from them. Everyone was looking for clear answers and no one could provide them. I sat in my room, unable to tear myself away from the news or my cell phone. My family finally all got home and they were all able to slowly get in touch with me and let me know that they were safe. I began to hear stories from my boyfriend and his family about bodies and horrible things that weren't being shown on tv. Seven members are gone from his uncle's firehouse. I've spent the last few weeks finding out about all the people who I didn't think of that day - friends of friends, family of friends...
We've lost so many. I know that God was busy that morning with so many new guardian angels. The innocent people we lost are so tragic, and the heroes, some of whom I was close friends with, died doing what they loved, what they lived for.
I want to go to sleep and wake up with the last 2 1/2 months a dream, to return to being innocent. It's not possible, and I'm not about to forget this scary time. I will never forget, never let those around me forget. Hug everyone you know, tell them you love them... in this time, and in any time, you never know when it will be the last time.
Lissy | 20 | Virginia

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