#449 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
I had flown out to California from Connecticut on Sept 1. (Amazing how much safer flying felt then.) I had just moved into my new apartment on Monday Sept 10, and still did not have phone service or worse yet internet access. Tuesday, Sept 11, I left my apartment in the morning and heard someone's TV blaring out a window about some airplane crashing in Pennsylvannia. I didn't take much notice. "Just another plane crash" I thought. I went on with doing shopping that morning. Absolute no sign in the store I visited that anything in the world had changed (this was a "99 cents only" store). I returned after shopping, had some lunch, then ventured out onto the Caltech campus (I was starting my first year of grad school there) to do some more errands. The first building I passed by said "Campus Evacuated", another said "Campus Closed". I was confused. Had a fire occurred? Had some kind of crime occurred? I was more confused because I saw other people (probably other grad students) walking through campus like nothing was wrong. I asked one person on the street if they knew what the signs were about, they didn't know. So I headed back to my apartment, and along the way I passed by the apartment's recreation center which had a TV with CNN. I peaked in to see what the news was and was horrified to learn what was occuring. This moment was not until about 1:00pm Pacific time zone. I was completely shocked. I watched replays of the plane crash on CNN, and over time more and more footage was available to CNN of the planes crashing from different angles. It was so terrible. I luckily found a phone and used a calling card to dial home to reach some relatives and make sure everyone was okay in Connecticut (which they were). I watched the news for hours there in the recreational center, with a short break for dinner. This was a day I will never forget. I found it tough to not have internet access, since instant messaging and e-mail made it easy for me to normally contact my friends. The next day I used Yahoo Web Mail from a Caltech library computer to e-mail some immediate friends and family to let them know I was ok. I was somewhat shocked that my choice to fly to California early (much earlier than I needed to before starting grad school) had been a better choice than I could possibly have realized. My condolences go to the families and close friends of the victims.
Michael Newman | 22 | California

#450 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
September 11th was a tragic day for the U.S. and for the world. We are still feeling its after-effects even in Canada. It has changed the way we, on our "island" (North America), view our freedom and our security. We are no longer immune to the threats of terrorism. Perhaps we are a bit smarter and a bit less naive, but the innocence has been lost, which is the truly sad consequence to these attacks.

The atmosphere at work the day of the attacks was very glum. We tuned in to the TV in the boardroom and watched as we tried to comprehend what had been done, who had done it, and why someone would want to do such a terrible thing.

The true test will not be our initial reaction, but how we handle things now and into the future. Will we succumb to the hatred, or will we try to understand the reasons someone could do this and, perhaps, grow in our understanding of ourselves and of humanity.
Jason Hastie | 27 | Canada

#451 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
When the first plane hit i was actually sleeping in bed after hearing something(of course my hearing is not so good when waking up) on the radio about the world trade centre having been crashed into. I immeditely turned on my television set to cnn to my utter horror i sat there and sat there...and just stared for severla minutes until i saw another jet slam into the second trade centre building. The at that i was shocked to even think about the consequences for the person or persons responsible.
benji | 14 | Canada

#452 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
I was listening to a Christian radio station while working when they had a news break. They said that a jet plane had crashed into the World Trade center. I ran to the break room to see it on CNN.
I was watching when the second plane rammed the other tower. I was shocked and horrified. It was shocking enough when I thought it was an accident. It choked me up when I watched it unfold. I was praying to God with tears in my eyes. I called and woke up my wife so she could pray too. I do not cry easily but the thought of the thousands of people and what they were going through would cause any non-evil person to cry.
Tim Slover | 38 | Oregon

#453 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I first found out about the attacks when I arrived at Bandera High School in Bandera Texas for another lazy Bandera day of being a Senior. A good friend of mine came up to me with a frantic look on his face, saying that he had seen on the news before coming to school that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. I figured little more of it than just another TWA-style incident; mechanical failure in a really bad location.

It was no more than a half hour later before I was in my second period class and the principal came over the PA system, asking teachers to turn on their in-class televisions, and he explained the situation as it appeared around 8:45 a.m. CST. An apparent terrorist attack had occured...after these words, everything went into slow motion; emotions rose up, shock was on everyone's face, and nary a single person could speak a word. We just sat and stared at the television, entranced by the horror that we had yet the time to fully grasp.

I thought about how every one of our meager 740 students were all watching this as well; as well as every other student in every other public high school across the nation. It was an overwhelming consideration, but no less overwhelming than the reality that was unfolding as each second ticked on the clock.

I need not speak of the tears, the anger, the confusion, or the testing of simple emotional cohesion that occured during these minutes, hours, days, or weeks. We all know it too well.

This is my story of where I was on the morning of September 11, 2001.
James Taylor | 18 | Texas

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