#361 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I was at work in NJ outside Philadelphia. Someone said to find a tv because a plane had run into the World Trade Building. I was thinking it was just some small private plane. When we finally got a tv working in the office I couldn't believe what I was seeing. By then the second plane had hit the second building. There was flames and lots of black smoke pouring out of the buildings. The newscasters tried to explain what we were looking at but I think even they were haveing a hard time with it. We could see debri failing out of the buildings. Everyone had their eyes glued to the tube. No one in the room could believe their eyes. One of the people I worked with had a brother who had an office in one of the buildings. She tried frantically to get intouch with him. Finally she found out that he was working across town in a different office that day. Then we were shown a different picture that was obviously not NY. The newscasters weren't aware that the picture had been changed for a while but as it turns out it was Washington D.C.
I'm not sure I can describe the feelings that went through my mind when the first building collapesed. I do know that my knees got very weak and the world seemed to change. We looked around the room and you could see that everyone was feeling it. It wasn't just another plane crash or building fire. Now it was something that we had never seen. All those people in that building - thinking, knowing that they were not going to make it out. It was a feeling I don't want to ever feel again. At that moment it wasn't rage - but sadness - that we were not going to be the same again.
Rob Keiser | 41 | Pennsylvania

#362 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I was taking 9 year old daughter to school when a colleague called on my cell phone. I thought he was returning my call in which I was asking him about the reliability of a certain contractor. All he said was “Are you watching TV?” I said no, I was in my truck. He explained that an airplane had flown into one of the Trade Center towers, and that another had just hit the second tower. I remarked to my daughter that those planes were likely loaded with people, that this was a bigger disaster than we could imagine at the moment. I told her that she would remember this moment for the rest of her life. I went to work painting a door for a lady. She had the TV on and we watched the towers collapse. Then word came of the Pentagon attack. It occurred to me that we were really under attack, and I wondered if we, as a nation, would have the stomach to pay back whoever was doing this. I still wonder. Thank God we have a president who is resolute. The people who did this, and all their friends and all their families, should be wiped off the face of the earth.
I knew it would no be long before the “Blame America First” crowd would pipe up. Those who say we brought this on ourselves. I guess, since they are so full of hatred for the country they live in that this is a natural response, maybe their way of regaining their equilibrium after such a shock (assuming the loss of life shocked them at all). Their negative letters and editorials started appearing in the papers before the bodies were cold. When people ask me how could these terrorists be so full of hatred, so indifferent to the suffering of innocent people, I tell them it’s not so hard to imagine. We can find the same hatred and indifference in the political left in this country, the ones who say we brought this day on ourselves.
Pat McGroin | 53 | Iowa

#363 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I work for a merchandising company and we were in Dallas at Denny's eating breakfast. One of the women who was from San Antonio got a phone call and she stood at the table with a look of disbelief on her face and we all asked her what was wrong and she replied, "a plane had crashed into the WTC about 15 min ago." We all looked at each other with open mouths, but we didn't grasp the tragedy of what had happened. We got our breakfast and then went back to the motel to grab our gear to go to work and we got together in the boss's room and we watched the news. We were in shock at the severity of what had just happened. I was so overwhelmed by what I had just seen, I was in tears. By this time the second plane had crashed into it! We didn't know what to say, we just were so shocked! But we had to leave to go to work. We threw ourselves into work but didn't forget about it, how could we? We noticed that the retail store that we were in was so quiet and empty that day. We learned at lunch that yet another plane had hit the Pentagon, more shock and disbelief and later that evening when we got into the van we rushed for the radio and listened to hear more before we got back to our rooms. We almost didn't make it to dinner that night, we wanted to hurry back and watch the tv! Our boss told us we needed to grab a quick bite, so we did and we quickly rushed back to our rooms, and turned our tv's on. I immediately called my husband to see how he and my step-daughter was and then called Florida to each one of my family members, my Mom, children, so thankful that they were all there and okay. I returned to the tv and was praying away through my tears, that everything would be alright even though I knew, things were not alright that day and they weren't going to be alright for a very long time.
Sharon Castner | 48 | Texas

#364 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
On one of the most terrible incidents to happen in my lifetime, I was away from home for training. I was in a small town called Mahwah, NJ. As this was much closer to New York then my home in Pittsburgh, PA, I became a little nervous and spent much effort trying to contact my parents and my fiance as quickly as possible. I don't think the scope of things really became clear until later that evening I saw a fighter jet flying over my hotel. I had recently gotten out of the Navy and it brought a tear of pride to see our military in action. You see, I worked on the EA-6B for eight years which were all during peace time. In some ways I'm glad to be out of the Navy, but in so many others, I wish I was still in. My prayers go out to all those that were affected by this, which in other words mean everyone.
Joe Patz | 26 | Pennsylvania

#365 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I was at school celebrating my birthday when we heard about the WTC on the radio. This deadened the mood in the room. Later, at home, when I saw the replays, I realised how terrible it was.
This I shall never forget
Sean Ellingham | 17 | United Kingdom

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