#413 | Sunday, December 9th, 2001
I was in my school, Stuyvesant High, when the planes hit. I was in my pre-cal class when I heard a muted booming sound. There was always some construction around our school and I didn't think much of it.
Sometime near the end of the lesson, an announcement was made that a "small plane" crashed into the World Trade Center, and that we couldn't go out for lunch, as was the custom.
The teacher went on with her lesson (who can blame her?), and in the my next class, the TV was on (every classroom in Stuy has a TV.)
That's when I saw the huge fire and smoke and almost cried over the clips showing the planes crashing into the WTC. Not only that, from the classroom we had a partially obstructed view of the north tower. It looked like the tower had a huge gash, bleeding smoke.
I only became scared when they reported that the Pentagon was hit too. NBC showed live footage of the smoking Pentagon and wasn't able to provide any more information.
The ground shook, the lights flickered, and the TV went out when the first tower crashed. That was the scariest moment of my life.
About an hour later, the decision was made to evacuate the school. Everyone walked up north and I didn't stop walking until I was somewhere around 50th street, where I called my parents. Since hearing the news that all subway and bus service was suspended, I walked over the 59th street bridge to Queens and got on the #7 train when I saw that it was running.
Weiyin He | 15 | New York

#414 | Sunday, December 9th, 2001
I remember the alarm saying it's 9:00 AM and I got up to start my day as usual working as a customer rep for Cingular Wireless. I started looking at the tv and it was on HBO they were running cartoons and I just stared as my sleepiness dissipated. After my shower i got dressed and headed for the car at about 9:35 to be in for my 10-7 shift I had been working the 5pm-2am slot but had started my new shift that Monday it was now Tuesday. Before getting into my car my Mother who lives next door mentioned that apparently the World Trade Center had been bombed once again. I thought "Huh! not again" and told here I'd check it out when I got to work and was on my way. It was a beautiful drive to work that day since it was a beautiful day unlike I've seen in a while. When I got to work I found myself in an enviorment of total confusion and awe. everybody was at their terminal quietly reading the Internet and there was hardly any calls coming in. When I asked what had happened I was amazed to find the situation more grave than I could have imagined. A fellow employee told me that apparently two planes had struck the Twin Towers and a third was just launched against the Pentagon. I got nervous since I considered this could be a terrorist attack and imagined some Cessna aircraft being used. Also, I thought what a desperate and stupid thing to do and that such an act could have no real consequences. Boy, was I wrong. All the news sites Yahoo, CNN, USA Today and others were all offline seeing as they were apparently posting more breaking news and the first headline I read didn't even have any pictures. At about 11am I saw the first headline with a picture of World Trade 1 smoking. A radio at low volume some girls had been listening to was on when I heard that both Twin Towers had collapsed. At that moment my heart sunk and I couldn't believe it. It was like someone playing a cruel joke. I was pretty much up to speed by the time I got home and turned on the news where I saw the incredible footage. It was in the least a very strange day.
Mitchel Sardinas | 35 | Puerto Rico

#415 | Sunday, December 9th, 2001
I was training in a Security Control Center with my coworkers. I heard the news on the radio and then viewed the event on a news internet site.

TIME STOOD STILL.
LIVES WERE LOST.
FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WERE HURT.
PHONE LINES WERE BUSY.
PEOPLE WERE STRANDED.
PEOPLE WERE NICER.
NOTHING WAS ACCOMPLISHED.
AMERICA BECAME STRONGER.

I AM A FORMER SOLDIER. ONCE A SOLDIER, ALWAYS A SOLDIER.
What can I do now? I guess I'm helping right here in my current role. I will do more to help America in my own way. God bless all.
George | 38 | Illinois

#416 | Sunday, December 9th, 2001
I don't remember exactly where I was when the first plane struck. Probably sitting in my college's cafeteria, finishing the remnants of a stale bagel and complaining about a huge reading assignment for my 9 a.m. American History class. When the second plane struck, I was sitting in that class with other freshmen, arguing about the causes of the Civil War. Just before the first tower fell, I was hurrying across the strangely quiet campus to check my mail before my 10:30 class. That was when I first realized that something was wrong.

There were a hundred silent people clustered into one half of the college center, just in front of the rows of mailboxes. Someone had found a radio and had turned the volume all the way up so everyone could hear the news report. The announcer wasn't making any sense. She was saying that something had happened. Planes were missing. Planes had crashed. I stood there near the back of the crowd, looking to other students' faces when the radio provided no answers. Finally something began to get through. Something catastrophic had happened in New York. I think maybe someone I knew hugged me. I don't remember. I just stumbled back to my class, where I saw the same horror and stunned silence repeated on different faces over and over. My teacher dismissed class. She had to. None of us could think about the past just then.

I learned the details later. I tried to sit in front of the TV and watch CNN, but I couldn't. They showed the same pictures over and over. So I stumbled up to my room and talking with my roommate until it was time for my practice. I think maybe twenty girls came to practice when there should have been twice as many. They were clinging to anything normal. They wanted to forget, just like I did. Maybe we did forget for a few hours, when all that mattered was carrying the boats from the boathouse to the dock and wrestling the oars. But then we were back on campus, back in the real world, and life went on. It had to.

Later I tried to comfort friends with missing family and friends. Later I took a white armband, wrote "Peace" in block letters and colored it red, white and blue. Later still I was called a traitor to my country and told that peaceful patriot was an oxymoron. But that was later. Just then I was united with everyone else on my campus, no matter what nationality they were and no matter where they came from. We weren't all Americans, but we were all human beings. What had happened was unthinkable. We all mourned. And, finally, reality began to sink in.
Anna | 18 | New York

#417 | Sunday, December 9th, 2001
I feel so bad about what happened september 11th and I was at school that they. I heard the news when we were down in the auditorium for Fundraiser prizes and announcements I felt really bad I started praying to God almighty about this. I think this tradgy happened because America was pulling more away from God and not praying to him. This reminds me of Israel In the Old Testament where whenever they fall away from God God does something to have them come back to him and worship him. I think this is one of those incidents were God knew that America was pulling more and more away from God So that is why I think God wanted this to happen, because nothing absoulotly nothing is done without God seeing this This was all part of God's Plan I think.

Sam K.
Sam Kunjummen | 14 | Minnesota

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