#42 | Sunday, September 16th, 2001
Tuesday was my one day off from work. I take it off every week for band practice. Than my phone begins ringing while I am still asleep which of coarse wakes me up. Normaly I would let it ring my dad usually gets it anyway, but than i remembered that he was out running errands, so i roll over and grab the phone thinking it was my drummer freting over band practice. It was my mom who works for the goverment with a company that fixs submarines. I never herd fear in her voice before then. With shakeing voice she tells me about the world trade center and pentagon. The first thing I said was "Get out mom" She said she would as soon as posible. So i throw some pants on run to a tv and begin a new day of infamy. I call my cousin, both her parents work on a sub base she was already up and aware. Neither wanted to admit it but we were both scared so she came over as we watched the news unfold. I forgot where I was for alot of things but never will i forget watching the towers come falling down ending lives and instilling a new sence of patriotism flow through my veins. Even through my saddness I could think in the back of my head " I am an American, I am Pissed off" We will survive A revalution gave us our freedom. Many wars have tried to take it wel will overcome this Because I am an american I will always be an american. Its not only my right but my privlage given to me by those fallen in previos wars anf my thought of those you died just to save our nation grew, I know the world trade center is only the first in what is yet to come but people have already died and i dont want their death to be in vein. All thought in my head while the towers came down.
Larry Kuhse | 18 | Connecticut

#43 | Monday, September 17th, 2001
I was still sound asleep when NYC and Washington DC were being attacked by terrorists last Tuesday morning. Oblivious to what had happened, a couple of hours after the attack, I peacefully enjoyed breakfast with my daughter, while we both watched cartoons.

All of a sudden, my boyfriend, who had been asleep, entered the room with this devastantingly sad look on his face. I knew something was wrong.

Not to scare my little one, he discretely asked me if I was aware of what had happened in NYC and Washington DC, and I told him I had no clue as to what he was talking about. He had heard the news on the radio as the alarm clock went off. That is what I call a "rude awekening."

Quietly, we both go into our room, turn on the TV and watch in horror footage of what had been recorded until that point.

I remember the golf war, the L.A. riots, the Oaklahoma bombing, and many other tragedies that we, as a nation, have had to endure. This event, however, felt a lot closer to home and its profound and devastating effects will be felt in my heart for a very long time. Honestly, I don't think the wound will ever heal.

My heart goes out to those whose friends and family have died in the tragedy. My thoughts and prayers will be with them and all other survivors who will have to live the rest of their lives with memories that should have never come into existence.

I wish we could resolve this peacefully. God bless us all.

Eliana
Eliana | 33 | California

#44 | Monday, September 17th, 2001
I was on my way to college and heard things on the radio. I did not know the extent of it, but knew I would call my parents and tell them to turn on the TV.

I arrived to discovered people on their cell phones calling people, and everyone was saying there was an accident. I called my parents from a pay phone and thought I would now go off to class.

I passed the Student Lounge which is always near empty, but this day it was so filled with people, that everyone had to lean on each other to see what was in the corner ... the college TV which was now pumping in CNN. From there I saw everything, Tower 1 smoking, and soon Tower 2 would be hit. When I saw part of one of the towers fall, I felt the need to fall to my knees, but prayed silently in my head, instead.

My heart was in my throat. I grew shaky and almost numb. I knew I had to go to the Student Services Office and get a counselor in there. Once the counselor was present, I left the Student Lounge, knowing I was seeing too much for me to handle. I was afraid if I was obviously afraid or acted in such a way it would effect the students around me.

Days have passed and sometimes I feel numb, like I can go back to normalcy. I rented videos to watch since most of my TV channels are down, I have continued to go to school. Everyday I see more flags and candles. I am proud that people can stand together to face this tragedy. Often I feel guilty that I feel so emotionally weak. I felt I could do nothing but hide in my room, that I was so emotional I could do nothing. I was wrong ... everyday I focus on helping those around me, even if it is with a hug, or just listening to them talk. I feel everyone can do something. Hug someone, donate money even if it is spare change, it all adds up.

God Bless the Victims of Sept. 11, 2001. May those who were left behind find love, support and peace while accepting hugs and blessings.
Grey Frequency | 23 | New York

#45 | Monday, September 17th, 2001
The day this horrible attack occurred, I was in my college classes. Sadly, I didnít hear about it until about noon time, when I was in my computer programming class. When this kid came in, and sat down next to me, he asked me if I had heard of what happened? What? Is there a program due today? A paper? He is on the internet trying to pull up CNNís web page. I tried to, all though it was slow because the network was being stressed at that point. The first thing that loaded was a small thumbnail of the WTCís smoking. It was unbelievable. There was no way that what I was seeing was true. What happened? I had to ask my self that over and over again. I skimmed over the story, all I saw was hijackers, thousands and thousands of peopleÖ My jaw dropped. I received an e-mail in the campus e-mail system. It was the president of the University. He expressed his feelings about what had occurred. Classes were optional today. I gathered my stuff and ran back to my dorm. I didnít see anyone outside sitting in the sun, reading books, doing their homework, or just talking to their friends like I do every other day. I ran op the 3 flights of stairs. My door was open. My roommate sat in the middle of the room watch CNN. I looked at him. ďOh my GodÖĒ thatís the only thing that we could mutter. As I sat and watched the towers crumble, I learned the fact that the pentagon was hit, and then there was the plan that crashed in PA, I could hear the echo, of everyone else in the hall watching CNN.
I was on emotion overload. Some of my friends were contacting me on-line telling me of how they had friends who had family there. Then it hit me. The US government isnít going to do nothing about this. They are going to get who did this. They are going to use the military, especially the US Navy. My hometown is in Ledyard, CT. Right next to that is a US Sub Base. I know people who all ready out to see, they were supposed to come back in October, I donít know when he is going to come home now.
My thoughts are with those who lost someone in the horrible tragedy of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
Matt | 19 | Connecticut

#46 | Monday, September 17th, 2001
all morning i had my eyes glued on the tv ... around noon i started to feel sick, i needed to stop watching, stop listening, but as long as i was sitting there i couldn't tear myself away. someone suggested we all head out and give blood, so the office (five of us) took off around one o'clock in the afternoon to make the drive out to a blood bank. when we went past it, while looking for a place to eat, there was a line of people out the door and the parking-lot was crammed with cars.

we found a grill a few blocks down - groups of people were huddled around the restaurant, talking in low, whispered tones. finishing lunch just before two, we headed back to the blood bank. some volunteers were handing out pamphlets and saying we should expect a three to four hour wait, i checked my watch, 2:15 ... i asked for some water and took a place in line with the people from my work.

after an hour we were almost at the steps of the blood bank, a few tv vans had pulled up and were getting shots of everyone milling around in-line. a newspaper truck swung by and started giving away papers ... they already had pictures from new york. just as we were about to start up the steps, a woman came outside and told everyone that people were packed inside, and they wanted us to back up so they could give everyone more room. we backed up all the way across the parking lot, when we finally stopped moving backwards i realized we were now further away from the steps then when we had started ... my watch said 3:00

two people from the office split just after that, now it was just barbara, our manager, and nancy, one of the partners, and me. we handed the free papers around a few times and waited, the line was going even slower now, a half-hour later we were back to the spot we'd first started at, another half-hour passed and we were at the foot of the steps again.

at this point another woman from the clinic came out and said the wait would be three to four hours once we were inside the building. the steps were the wheel-chair accessable kind, that wrapped around the front of the blood bank three times, we were at the end of the first wrap. nancy, barbara, and i looked at each other ... i started thinking, "what if i wait all day and don't get to do anything" ... "what if this is just a huge waste of time" ... nancy and barbara decided they'd had enough. "we'll come back tomorrow" ... that made sense, we could show up early tomorrow and give. i took a step out of the line to follow nancy and barbara down the ramp, suddenly i could see myself at home - watching tv, wishing i had done something about this. a feeling of helplessness washed over me, i froze. i thought about all the people three thousand miles away - people trapped, fighting for their lives, holding on by a thread ... people who didn't have a choice, people who wouldn't have any more choices. i shouted at barbara and nancy, i told them id be staying, id see them tomorrow.

i let out a small sigh as i watched my co-workers leave. the line advanced another two feet up the ramp. someone had left a wallstreet journal next on the guard-rail next to me - a wallstreet journal takes hours to read, end to end. i got hooked on them taking a class on economics up at the university of washington. i snatched the paper up and tucked it under my arm. a woman came by with snacks - oreos, nuts, and handisnacks. cheese and crackers seem'd like the best way to go, but i wasn't hungry yet, so i shoved the little pastic package into a pocket.

another half an hour passed and i was inside the clinic, it was a mass of people - sitting, standing, packed in shoulder to shoulder in some places ... no one knew where to go, you simply payed attention to who was ahead of you and followed them ... an elderly man about four people ahead suddenly took off down a corridor and about twenty of us followed him. a doctor stopped us after about thirty yards, and all of us had to slowly worked our way back out to the lobby. i nudged my way around the crowd and saw the guy who was ahead of me at the information desk talking to the receptionist. i slipped though the crowded lobby and took a place behind him. i saw the girl who had been behind me, made eye contact and pointed at the receptionist, she nodded and started moving towards the desk. after a few minutes the receptionist handed him a medical form and looked up at me. name, birthday, and social security number later i was holding a donor form and shuffling off to the back of the clinic to wait in another line. my watch grinned 5:30 back at me.

whether you like it or not, by standing in line with the same people for hours you slowly start to get to know them. the gentleman ahead of me was a forty year-old european. the day's tragedy had completely crushed him. there were tvs in some parts of the waiting area, every now and then he look down from the reports, shake his head, then turn and ask me "why?" in a hurt and angered tone. i never knew how to respond to him, actually i don't think i needed to, the question was on everyone's lips.

the girl behind me was a nineteen year-old student at the san francisco city college. she was a broadcast major, "but i don't want to do the news. i want to be an on-air personality". all the schools in the city were closed today so she had gone with her housemates to give blood.

by 6:30 we were in the regular waiting room, several tvs were on and we were all watching the same reports that had been flooding in throughout the day. the same footage, over and over. everyone was quiet, focused, contemplative. the tables in the middle were stacked several feet high with magazines and newspapers, i picked up a year-old newsweek, paged though it, and made small talk with my european friend.

by 7:30 we had been herded into the donor room. about twenty tables had been setup and nurses were scurrying around tending to everyone. the smell of iodine was almost overwhelming ... a girl wearing a white tank top started to cry, a kid who had been speaking russian outside fainted. we were all moved into private rooms where a nurse gave a quick consultation and pricked our fingers. back outside we all showed off the small bandaides they gave us. while we were waiting for a table a phone started ringing behind me. around the tenth ring a nurse suddenly looked me in the eyes, "can you get that, tell them donor-collections," she asked. i walked behind a small divider, found the phone, and picked it up.

"donor-collections," i said.
"hi, i have a rare blood type and i recently took a trip to east-asia. i want to come in today and i was wondering if .."
"can you hold on for a second," i asked.
but she continued, "i just got back a month ago, but i was really wondering if i could go down and ..."
"you're going to want to speak to a nurse," a said quickly, "let me get you one."
"oh, i thought you were a nurse."

i grabbed an nurse who was walking around and told her about the call. about twenty minutes later the same phone rang again, but this time everyone in-line turned and looked at me. i gave a small grin and walked over to answer it, then found another nurse.

about ten minutes to eight i was standing at the front of the line, waiting for a table. i started hopping from foot to foot, id eaten almost nothing, except for the cheese and crackers id been saving, and had been on my feet for the last six hours ... then a nurse called me over. it took about twenty minutes to give blood. the woman who stuck me took forever numbing my arm, and trying to get the tubes sorted out. i thought i was going to put my toes through the bottom of my shoes, i was clenching them so hard.

i ended up on a table next to a rather striking indian woman. she worked at a downtown law firm, and did kick-boxing and karate in her spare time. the local news crew was still inside and decided to film people giving blood. the woman on my left was very adamant about not wanting to be taped. she told me she was going to punch the anchor man in the nose, if he came near her ... they'd given me a ball to squeeze while i was lying there, i offered to throw it at him instead.

after losing a pint of blood i lay on my back for a few minutes. a nurse brought me some water. then, after my head felt like it was the right weight again, i sat up, slowly collected my newspaper and jacket. after that i made my way to a counter where they had drinks and some food. on my way there, i ran into my european friend, they'd given him two stickers, "be nice to me i gave blood today" and "today i saved a life", on red and white hearts which he'd affixed to his shirt. he grinned at me, i grinned back, then he headed for the door.

i sat down at the counter and asked for some orange juice. a few cups and a rice crispy treat later i started feeling a lot better. after about ten minutes of orange juice and snacks, my stomach decided it was going to get a real meal, or it was going to get my liver ... so i left the counter, waved to the last of the people id spent the day in-line with, and headed out the door. i caught a cab a few minutes later and gave the address of my office. i still had to get my truck and make the trek back home. my watch said 8:30

...

for everyone who didn't have a choice.
Vladimir | 24 | California

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