#386 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I had been at work since 7:00 and was in my office trying to catch up on some work. I had told my wife earlier that day that I would meet her at the gym around 11:00 unless something important happened. Around 8:45, one of my coworkers paged me and said I needed to get down to her office, something was going on at the Trade Center in NY. We watched her small B&W tv completely stunned and then in total disbelief as the second tower was attacked. The feelings escalated further with each new report: the Pentagon, the downed plane in PA, and worries of other flights out there. Needless to say, I called my wife and didn't meet up with her as everyone at my office spent the remainder of the day at work glued to the tv and wondering what would happen next.

Having spent 3 years overseas in the military and having seen the way other countries protect themselves against such terrorist attacks, I was stunned that it could happen in our country but not too surprised. We have paid a terrible price for our overconfidence and inflated egos which took our safety for granted in this country. Now it's time for us to correct those mistakes and find the people responsible for such pain and tragedy. My heart cries for the victims of that terrible day.

I wish our men and women of the military the best of luck in doing their job in a quick and safe manner. Go get 'em guys!!
Bob | 33 | North Carolina

#387 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I was at work in the cafeteria of one of the many tall buildings in downtown Chicago (not too far from the Sears Tower). I was going about a usual day, planning on meeting my Mom for lunch, it was her birthday, at her building which is also downtown. I overheard two of my customers talking about something happening to the WTC towers. I immediately went into our office to try and find something online, finally reading that not one, but two airplanes had crashed into the twin towers. I was in shock for most of the morning and then the fear set in after we learned that the Pentagon had also been hit. I went to get my Mom from her office building and we went to her house and sat with our eyes glued to the TV. We spent the afternoon and all evening watching in shock, horror and disbelief. I still think about it everyday. I know that it is true, Americans will never forget.
Kim Jones | 25 | Illinois

#388 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
The first time I heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center I was entering my second period class. My Spanish teacher was fiddling with the computer with one of the other Spanish teachers (don't know his name). They finally got it to work and started looking for CNN. Someone in the class asked what was going on in class and the teacher what was going on. She says something to the effect that America was just attacked and the World Trade Center towers were hit.

To be truthful my first reaction wasn't quite that potent. I mean I wasn't even really sure where the WTC towers were. However I was interested in finding out what was going on. Apparently so were all of the students in my class because for the first time I could remember everyone was quiet.

Finally we found a reliable news station. I remeber they were talking about the second plane attack and I was just numb. I was just sitting there soaking up the information like a sponge not really comprehending what was being said.

I didn't start crying until I saw one of the buildings collapse. A few minutes earlier they'd been talking about evacuating the injured people outside. All I could think as I saw the building collapse live was that all those people never even had a chance to get away.

Later my class turned to a local news station. In it they were talking about all of the places in the city that would be evacuated. True to form, we were concerned about we griped about our shcool district not releasing us. I know that's extremely shallow thing to do, all I can say is that I think some of us were trying to hide how upset we were, I know I was.

Then someone mentioned that they were evacuating the Johnson Space Center. My first thought was 'oh my god my mother works right next to there.'I said it outloud in this flat emotionless voice and someone, I think Matt, told me they were sure they'd evacuate her job too. Honestly I didn't think of it again until I got home. Every time I got so scared, I just felt like some one had splashed ice cold water on me.

I went to lunch after second period. My friends and I discussed what had happened and who we thought was responsible. We discussed what the country was going to do and what we thought should happen. Also true to form we managed to bash Bush as many times as possible.

Nothing was really accomplished that day. A lot of my friends parents came to pick them up from school. I'm sort of glad my mom didn't pick me up. I learned a lot about my friends that day that I'd never have known. I think the things that stands out the most for me is that no one cried. Kids discussed things like it was something we were learning about in history. When I think back to that day I have to keep myself from crying.

So where was I on September 11th. I was sitting in my Spanish class pretending I wasn't about to break down and sob.
Roz | 15 | Texas

#389 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
I was sound asleep that morning....dead to the world. The phone rang and I fumbled to find it and turn it on to answer it in my groggy confusion. It was my husband at his office. "Do you have the TV on? Are you awake?" he asked. Confused, I said No. He said "Turn it on NOW!" A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center." I thought...."ok, but why wake me up for that?"....I struggled out of bed and limped around the room to get the remote, turned on the tv and saw flames pouring out of the first tower. I was stunned , it looked so awful. I told my husband I felt so bad for the people in the bldg and on the plane but how did they get so far off course? And as I said this, the second plane came in and hit the next tower. I screamed, NO! No! No! He couldn't see what I was yelling about as he didn't have a tv where he was. I told him about the second bldg and we both immediately said,"It's an attack." Two planes wouldn't have done that at the same time by accident. He had to go back to work but I sat in bed and watched in fascinated horror for hours. My chest was tight and my heart cried out for all the people who were trapped. And it was with sheer agony that I watched in disbelief as people jumped from the bldgs. Dear God, how bad must it have been in there for a person to even contemplate jumping from that high up? Then the buildings began to collapse and the horror was compounded. So many lives gone without a chance....even the rescuers. It was almost beyond comprehension. It looked so much like some of the movies we watched that I wanted to tell myself it wasn't real. But it was.

Even when I had to get up to feed all my animals, I kept the tv or radio tuned in to the broadcasts and have not stopped watching CNN since then..now 3 months later. Prior to that I couldn't even tell you what number CNN was on on our cable system and rarely watched news programs. NOw I seldom watch anything else.....out of a fascination I guess with the minds of people who could perpetrate such cruel actions and feel righteous about doing it.
Yes, my sense of security is shattered, tho, in the back of my mind, I always knew it had to happen one day. Those who's lives are filled with misfortune so often blame those who are more fortunate and want to "punish" them for what they have due to their place of birth rather than realize and understand they are circumstances of fate and that they too , but by accident of birth, could have been on the other side. And there will always be those who feel it is their destiny to control others by force.

Fear does not keep me from living my life however. I have flown. I have ridden the subway in NYC even tho I don't live there. I have driven thru long tunnels knowing it would be easy to commit a terrorist act in them. I open my own mail. Life goes on.
My thoughts are with the soldiers from all countries who are giving up their time with their families and, in some cases, their lives to try and make this entire planet a safer place in which all people can live.
Paula | 54 | Indiana

#390 | Saturday, December 8th, 2001
It was a normal Tuesday morning for me. My husband had left that morning on his run to Ashville, my daughter was up and demanding breakfast, and my mother-in-law was asking for coffee. I was not awake enough to face the day, only thing on my mind was coffee and a cigarette. It was 8am where I live. I picked up the phone at 8:05 to call my friend to see if she wanted to go shopping. I hadn't had the TV on yet. To early for that. When she answered the phone I said "good morning" she said "not really". Ok, (I think she's foul because of no coffee too). Then she says to me, "have you turned the TV on yet? I said no, and she said you need to. I will never forget that moment in time. I didn't see the first plane hit, but I did see the second. I was dumbfounded. Within minutes they say the Pentegon was attacked. I knew we were under attack. I watched about 15 minutes of it, then hung up the phone with my friend and was back on the phone in and instant trying to locate my husband and my brother. My husband was on a trucking run to Ashville, so I called his cell phone to see if he was ok, and begged him to come home. He couldn't because he had just started to unload. But he promised as soon as he was done he would head back. My brother on the other hand was a different story. He works and lives in San Francisco. He works in the second tallest building there. The BankAmerica building on the 15th floor. I was panic stricken. I finally got hold of him and told him "their picking us off Marc!!" He said no they aren't it'll be ok. After a time they did a evacuation of his building. I made him call me as soon as he got out and then again when he got home. I have never in my life felt so totally helpless and scared. I was afraid I would lose my entire family. Thankfully for me, everyone got home safe and sound. But I will never forget the shock, of seeing it all happen right before my eyes. And knowing I couldn't help.
Karen | 39 | North Carolina

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