#311 | Thursday, December 6th, 2001
I was driving to work after having just dropped my daughter off at daycare. We had been listening to her favorite Raffi CD, and when I switched over to the radio, I heard the DJ's talking about the World Trade Center being on fire, and unconfirmed reports of a plane crashing into one of the towers. The DJ's were watching CNN at the station, and had the CNN audio patched into the board so it would broadcast over the radio, and still allow the DJ's to be heard. As the CNN reporter was talking, the DJ's were throwing in their own comments here and there, when suddenly one of the DJ's yelled, "OH MY GOD! ANOTHER PLANE JUST HIT THE TOWER! I SAW IT HAPPEN - THIS JUST HAPPENED LIVE WHILE WE WERE WATCHING!!"

I remember at that point going numb. I managed to drive to work, but I don't remember anything about the drive. I do remember switching the radio station several times, trying to get as much information as possible. I called my office, and they'd already heard about it. I told them to get the TV out of the supply closet and set it up so we could keep the news reports on all day.

We were pretty much glued to the television at the office. I remember having horrible daydreams about the towers falling or collapsing because of the planes crashing into them. Our shock grew deeper and deeper as we heard about the Pentagon attack, and then the crash in Pennsylvania.

Then, to my great horror, the first tower collapsed before our eyes. When the second tower collapsed, I remember feeling this incredible sense of helplessness - I wanted to be in New York to help pull people out of the building. I wanted to scream "RUN!!!" but knew that the only people who would hear were those standing around me.

September 11th has had a profound impact upon my life. I was fortunate enough that I did not personally know anyone who died in the attacks. However, I felt, and continue to feel, a deep hurt for those who did, even though I didn't know them. Suddenly, firefighters and police officers are heroes, even those who are not affiliated with New York City. Suddenly, life has extra meaning. I am more patriotic and have a deeper love for my country now than I ever have before. The sight of our flag makes me at once proud and, at the same time, tearful. Before September 11th, my feelings of patriotism were lukewarm at best. As much as I opposed our president before, I support him more now.

I have started a scrapbook of the events of September 11th. It includes images, stories, and personal writings describing my feelings and the things going on around us. When my daughter is old enough to understand, I will show it to her, talk to her about the horrible events, and hopefully ensure that this day is never forgotten.
Bob | 34 | Georgia

#312 | Thursday, December 6th, 2001
Where was I? I was in bed when this tragedy happened, I awoke just like I do everyday and took a shower and prepared myself for class at the University of Missouri-Columbia. As I was walking out the door a friend of mine called and asked "Can you believe this?", my response was "Believe what?" So I turned on the television is shock and disbelief. The second tower was till standing then shortly after I turned on the T.V. it collapsed. I couldn't move. I was in shock. I had to go to class, so I left. As I walked through campus there was not a smile on anyones face. I saw many tears and many hugs. The whole University of Missouri campus, though so far away from NYC was in complete shock. I sat in my class and the Professor walked in and took a seat. With a lump in his throat and a tear in his eye he left it up to us, did we want to stay and learn or did we want to leave and call or friends and families. We stayed for a short time and has a discussion. The Professor put it best. . . he basically said that everything has been put in perspective. This class we were sitting in was not important at all. It was just a class, the nation has just been attacked and thousands of lives lost and he did not feel that it was right to go on with class like nothing happened. We all agreed and left. A friend of mine in the class was in tears, a close friend of hers is in the Army close to the pentagon and she could not get ahold of him. I was worried, a friend of mine, whom I just visited 1 month before this, lives in Brooklyn and works downtown by the Empire State Building. It was a day of confusion, anger, shock, and sadness. Eventually we found out that our friends were both safe, but soon found out my father found out he lost a classmate he graduated highschool with in Washington D.C. It is amazing how many people directly loss someone in this event. I will never forget turning on the television the morning of September 11th, 2001 and having to sit down because I was in shock, the two buildings I had visited not a month before were gone. I realized that the world was never going to be the same.
Zach Whithead | 20 | Missouri

#313 | Friday, December 7th, 2001
I am English and was travelling around the US with my girlfriend at the time, having just left Univeristy aged 21. We were on an Amtrak train from Houston to LA and an announcment came over the train informing us that "because of events on the east coast" the train would have to be stopped and every item of luggage matched to a passenger. The announcer added that he had no reason to beleive that the train was under any threat. My initial thought was that a bomb had gone off on a train on the east coast. We stopped in western Texas and the process began, after identifying our luggage I heard a woman with a walkman relaying information to people further down the carriage. I couldn't hear her properly but I heard the phrases "both the World Trade Center towers are gone", "they say 7,000 could be dead" and "they are asking citizens to give blood." I simply did not belive my ears about the WTC especially because less than 2 weeks earlier me and my girlfriend had visited the WTC observatory and were amazed by the height of it. To think it was not there anymore was impossible. I thought what could kill 7000 people in New York and thought an earthquake initially but then realised that quakes like that do not happen in New York. The eerie silence of the people who could here her worried me. After a few minutes I walked into the carriage behind to see if they knew what had happened. As long as I live I will never forget that scene: every single person had their heads bowed in prayer. As I entered a man looked up at me ( blue baseball cap, middle age) and I asked if anybody knew exactly what had happened. He told me that "both the WTC towers have been bombed and have collapsed." I was so scared at that point. He then said "The Pentagon is on fire and the President is in an underground bunker. And warships have been sent to New York" For a few seconds I honestly beleived the 3rd World War had begun. My heart started beating so fast and my mouth went dry. I stammered out the question "was it terrorists?" and he said yes. A woman who was near me was crying and saying that she had just boarded the plane and had seen the video footage of it and how terrible it was. I was shocked it was on tape. No one mentioned it was planes. I stood there shocked and the man offered to lend me his walkman to listen to the news (typical American friendliness), I said it was ok my girlfriend had one and went back to her. I physically could not tell her for about a minute - it was so strange. I eventually told her and we sat listening to the news through Texas and later New Mexico and Arizona. The whole train was in total silence for the rest of the journey (another 18 hours). It was terrible, all the flags we saw were at half mast. Five days later we went back to New York by plane from San Francisco. We saw a plume of smoke as high as the WTC was and when the wind blew uptown (we stayed on 30th street) could smell the smoke. Horrible.
Sam Smedley | 22 | United Kingdom

#314 | Friday, December 7th, 2001
I was in my studio apartment in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11. My friends across the hall ran it and said "Are you seeing this?" On turned on CNN, it was right after the 2nd plane hit the WTC. We went on my balcony and could see the smoke and flames. I remembering thinking "what the hell is this, WW3?
My friend heard on the new s that one crashed in the pentagon. we were so shocked, and worried because one of my roomates had a father who worked in the WTC. He literally ran out down stairs to get tto the WTC, and his Dad was standing there, thanking God he decided to go to work late that day.
tolkein | 21 | New York

#315 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I was asleep when the phone rang. I rolled over, head under pillow. It was 10 AM. The phone kept ringing and I got up groggily to answer. It must be important. My daughter was calling hysterically. "The babies, how do I keep them safe!!" Huh? From what? Turn on the TV, Mom!

You woke me up to see a stupid movie? NO!! This is real! The fog in the brain took a while to lift and then it started to sink in.

Stay home and off the roads. They don't want you or the babies. Relax and let me absorb this. Then came pure fury! How dare they! Whoever they were!

Never, ever threaten my kith and kin!! The tears, the anger, the rage! It just poured! If any of mine had been there, I swear I would have killed you personally!! My anger was the worst part, the killing rage. I'm so happy the rage has left and it's just a solomn vow to avenge!!

Turk McGee | 55 | Florida

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