#316 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I must begin by saying that I am now a Nursing student at the ripe age of 47. These thoughts were captured for my personal portfolio, something that each of us as Nursing students must do. In addition to that, I am also a firefighter and paramedic. My husband was scheduled to fly to New York from Chicago on the morning of 9/11/01 to accept an award at a convention that was to be held at the Jacob Javitz Center (which of course, never took place).

Journaling entry dated 9/11/01

I walked into the room knowing that caring for this patient would be a challenge, since I had never cared for a patient that was obviously at the end of her life. I thought to myself, “the best way to handle this is to assume that she will live, and treat her as if she was awake and one of your family members”.
It helped, and I began my day at clinicals as I always do, asking for assistance from G-d and praying to give help to those who need it. I proceeded to take vitals, check lung sounds and do a quick head to toe assessment. I was told later that this patient was a possible nursing home abuse case, and for a brief moment I thought, “Nursing home? How could someone purposely hurt a person who can not protect herself?”
I decided then and there that this patient would receive the best care possible, if I had to sit with her all day long and hold her hand, then that would be the way I would try and make up for the pain and anguish someone else had given her.
I began her AM personal care, and the shift before me had left the TV on for what I assume was some sort of link with reality. I had my back to the set, bathing her face as gently as I could when I heard, “Special Report”. I thought to myself, “oh now what!” My husband was flying that morning to New York to accept an award for a merchandising display that was well deserved. I turned around and saw what very clearly looked to me to be the outline of a plane in the side of the World Trade Center in New York. The announcer was explaining what had taken place, which the thought at that time was that there must have been something mechanically wrong with the airliner to fly into the building. As I am listening to his explanation, I see out of the corner of my eye another airliner rapidly approaching the other tower. For a split second, I thought this must be a replay of the impact that had just happened. Suddenly, the airliner hits the building and burst into flames. At that moment, I suddenly realized that this was no accident, this was purposeful.
I felt a strong urge to scream, then cry. I also felt that at that very moment that I needed to protect this patient, keep her safe and unaware of what had just taken place. Other nurses from the floor were now coming into the room when they heard the TV on and were discussing what was taking place.
I ended my patient’s bathing and took a walk outside the room so that I could gather my thoughts. My first thought was that my husband was supposed to be on a flight to NY. It had been announced that the airliners had been hijacked, and I began to panic. I called my husband’s office and three phone calls later, I learned that my husband’s flight had never left the ground from Chicago.
From that moment on for the rest of the clinical day, I spent as much time with my patient as I could, never leaving her room unless absolutely necessary. I held her hand, stroked her hair and explained to her what had happened in New York, how it impacted my life and how everything in the world now seemed so sad. I talked to her about how much she must have seen in her life, and how I wished she could tell me about it. I told her how I was a firefighter and an EMT, and that my first inclination was to go to New York and help. But I also let her know that I was proud to be with her, glad that she was my patient. I thanked her for allowing me to take care of her, and I also promised her that no one would ever hurt her again.
I write this recollection so that what I felt that day for not only my patient, but for the world, will never be lost. At the same time, not a day goes by that I do not think of her, hope that perhaps she improved and went to another place where she is safe. And if her life did end, I can only hope that I made her transition a bit easier, and that she knows that someone cared for her very much.
Jenna Jonteaux-McClay | 47 | Illinois

#317 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I woke late morning and got prepared for my class. I don't usually check my email before going out and I was just checking a mail from a US joke list I had been joined to for a while.
The list contains various stuff, and sometimes jokes in the form of a story.

That morning, I was reading about a guy who had gone into work and heard some terrible news, so him and his co-workers surrounded the tv.
I laughed when he said that he was still getting McDonalds though on the way home. (Good 'ol Ernie).

By the time I had finished reading I had to hurry to get to my course.
I always grab a coke before my course and walked past a news headline saying something about attacks on the US.

It's all pretty blurry now.

I had read the email while still waking, and now I was seeing something that was connected to a 'joke mailing list'?

The first thought at all this was.. "what the f**k?".
This had to be some weird coincidence.
And now I had to pinch myself to check if I was actually awake. I've never had to pinch myself before. Maybe I had drove into town still asleep. Maybe I *was* still asleep.

It wasn't until I entered the course's building and spoke to someone I knew, asking if it was real, that I started to tie together what was happening.

I got shown a newspaper. -This was several hours after it had actually happened, so there were already tonnes of pictures with the articles.-

Utter shock, disbelief and emptiness ran through me.
"What the hell is going on here?!" and "Great, here comes WW III".

All I knew at that moment was that I had a huge desire to be at home.

It was one of the most horrible days I have ever known and that this generation has ever seen. It may be compared to Pearl Harbour, but there wasn't any way that I could comprehend any real feeling and understanding with just seeing old history books and tv.

WW One may have been called 'the great war', but now I believe it never ended.
It's all about power and religion.
And it sucks!
InDeSkyz | 21 | New Zealand

#318 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
September 11th, 2001 was my 24th birthday...

Every year for the last 6 years that I have been out on my own, I have rewarded myself with a day off on my birthday. In 2001, since my birthday landed on a Tuesday, I decided to take Monday off and work on Tuesday.

I returned to the office bright and early Tuesday morning, slightly sunburned from the day my hubby and I spent at Islands of Adventure in the nearby city of Orlando, FL. I was relaxed and cheerful, ready to start my 24th year on this earth.

None of my coworkers knew it was my birthday. I am a private person and hate all the fuss that they make over personal holidays. They just thought that I took a vacation day to relax from a stressful job.

At 8:30 that morning, I entered a departmental meeting that was scheduled to last until almost lunchtime. We were in the middle of the meeting, discussing some trivial company matter, when a coworker opened the door to the conference room door, without knocking, and told us the news in a very hushed voice.

"Just thought you guys should know since you're been stuck in there. A plane just hit one of the World Trade Center towers."

Everyone in the meeting froze and we looked at one another in shock. As you can guess, the meeting ended instantly as coworkers ran to their offices to call relatives. I called home to my husband, who was on vacation from his state job, and told him what happened and to turn on the news.

In the distance, I could hear the TV in the lobby being turned on and the news broadcast, staticy as it was, was turned up for the whole building to hear. As the news spread, a group of people started to gather around the TV, trying to decifer what was going on from the static filled pictures that played before them.

I called my best friend in California on my cell phone as I watched the story unfold before me on the TV screen. We were both shell shocked and we consoled one another for a few moments. Before hanging up....

I sat in one of the chairs in the lobby, watching the TV and shaking my head.

What a way to celebrate my 24th birthday...

God bless America...
Anita Keller | 24 | Florida

#319 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I was sitting at home, watching television, just got home from school. Suddenly, while switching to CNN, I saw something that I simply couldn't believe, there was smoke something very wrong going on at the WTC, so I kept watching and watching the live feeds all throughout the day. I called several friends, who then begun to watch as well. None of us could simply believe what had happened.
André Rřsbak | 17 | Norway

#320 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I live in the Central Time Zone, so at 8am I rolled over and turned on the radio to help me wake up. The news announcer was talking about a fire in the top of the World Trade Center. I decided to get up and see if there were pictures, yet, on the TV. I stumbled into the living room and clicked on the television where, indeed, Good Morning, America had the WTC on the screen. They were discussing how a plane had crashed into one of the towers when I saw a plane crash into the other one! The hosts gasped and immediately started to say that this was NOT an accident like they thought the first plane was. I just sat there stunned beyond belief. I could not believe the utter horror I was witnessing. From that moment on I never left the couch except for short sprints to the kitchen or bathroom. When it got to a later time, I called my dad in California and told him something terrible had happened and to turn on his TV. He doesn't listen to the radio or watch much TV so he needed to hear what had happened.

What I did next was get out our flag and put it up. I didn't have a flag holder attached to the house so I put some nails up under the porch and hung it flat. It took many weeks for me to find a bracket so I could put up my flag with the pole. I still put my flag out every day and take it in at night. Yes, it is a pain to remember, but I am showing my support for all the men and women who are fighting back for the evil done to our innocent civilians. Not only for my own countrymen and women, but for the hundreds of people from other countries who were also killed, do I put the flag out.

May God stamp out the evil that perpetrated this horrendous thing on the world.
Karen Proctor | 51 | Florida

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