#454 | Monday, December 10th, 2001
I was in between jobs on that awful day, and not having to go to work, I woke up and turned on the TV in my apartment, expecting to see a rerun of "Little House on the Prairie." My TV came on tuned to WPSD, our local NBC station, and the first image I saw was of both WTC towers on fire. At first I thought it was old footage and I asked myself why they were replaying video from the 1992 WTC bombing, then I saw the word "LIVE" on my screen. About that time, Katie Couric from the "Today" show asked if the network could replay the airplane slamming into the second tower. They did replay it, as I watched in horror. The next thing I did was call my friend, probably because I wanted someone to tell me that I was dreaming. I woke her up, so my call was the first she heard of the attacks. I got dressed and went over to her apartment, and we watched the coverage together for a few minutes. During that time, the 3rd plane hit the Pentagon, and as the news about the Pentagon crash began to trickle in, we both began to realize the scope of what was happening. We held hands and prayed for several minutes, and then tried to distract ourselves by going out for breakfast. We turned on the radio on the way to the restaraunt, but of course nearly all of the local stations had broken into regular programming to cover the breaking news. I will always remember our exact location when the news announcer said that the first World Trade Center tower had collapsed, because my first thought was, "Yeah right. Skyscrapers don't collapse!" Later on in the day, I had a meeting with a former professor of mine, and we watched together as ABC replayed the tape of both towers as they fell to the ground. Like most other people, I stayed glued to my TV and radio that day, in disbelief. The pictures looked like a war zone half a world away, but this was my own country. Later that night, I attended two non-denominational prayer services, and on the way to the first, the local country music station played a version of "My Heart Will Go On," with sound clips from the news coverage of the day. The song stirred up so much emotion in me that I nearly had to pull the car over to cry on two separate occasions. Thankfully, I do not know anyone who was killed or injured in the attacks, although a friend of mine was at home in his new apartment just across the river from the Pentagon at the moment it was hit. Also, the local news interviewed a lady from Cape Girardeau whose brother was supposed to be the pilot on one of the airliners that slammed into the World Trade Center, but his schedule was changed the day before.

My heart goes out to the New York City Police and Fire Departments who lost so many in this tragedy, as well as all of the other victims and their families. Osama and his cronies hurt our country badly, but they did not and will not destroy our American pride or my faith in the Lord. The attacks left us all stunned, sad and angry, but they also united our people more than ever before. After seeing how our country has reacted to September 11, I am prouder than ever to be an American.


***September 11, 2001***
***World Trade Center, New York, NY***
***The Pentagon, Washington D.C.****
***Flight 93, Somerset County, PA***
WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!!
Mark Beck | 23 | Missouri

#455 | Tuesday, December 11th, 2001
Though i had no loved ones or any link to the victims of the September 11th attacks, like many other people i washed the tragedy unfold live on TV. Shock, disbelief, anger, and that of sadness ran through my mind, i could not begin to imagine the terror of those who were passenegers on the hijacked aeroplanes, or those innocent workers trapped in the rubble of the world trade centre, or though relatives who waited with hope that there loved ones were unharned and safe. Though we are now 3 months on not a day goes by where i do not think about what happened on this tragic day, i wonder why? but then see the togehterness of the world and the love we now all have for each other, but then i still think did it have to come to this? my heart goes out to all victims of this terrible day and also the whole of NEW YORK CITY, such a beautiful place cannot be harmed by such cowardly people it can only bring us closer. Closer in our thoughts and love for each other, we cannot give in we can only become stonger. Such a strong and beatiful country, such strong and beautiful people, my heart goes out to you, my thoughts are with you.xx
courtney gripling-smith | 17 | United Kingdom

#456 | Tuesday, December 11th, 2001
I was in my apartment, and I heard about it on tv just like the rest of the w orld. My first thought was that we habe been changed forever. I felt changed from the night before, and I still feel changed.. nothing else can be as shocking...
Patrick Turnage | 20 | Florida

#457 | Tuesday, December 11th, 2001
I was at home with my 3 year old son and watching "Little House on the Prairie". It was a commercial so I flipped over to the news and saw the World Trade Center was hit by a plane. I thought..what a terriable accident and knew it would be on the news later so I turned it back to Little House. My Aunt called me and told me to turn on the news NOW. So I turned it back to the news. It was live and watched the second plane crash into the Trade Center. I thought "This CAN'T be real...this has to be a dream." My son was watching tv with me and asked what happened. All I could do is answer "I don't know."My mom who I rarely speak to and never calls me called me and told me she loved me.My husband who was working at a local plant called me and said they were locked in at work and he did not know when he would be home. THANK GOD he came home right after that. What I remember the most is talking to God. I have got away from church for a long time and I told God I was sorry...and meant it. I also remember going to a grocery store later that day and everyone had the same look on their face. I will never forget September 11, 2001 and none of us should.I was forever changed that day. I am from Generation X and we went from the MTV generation to something a lot more powerful.
Dana | 29 | Texas

#458 | Tuesday, December 11th, 2001
"A few minutes later,towers collapsed" 9/10/01 Gavin Heck

I was at home 3-4 blocks from the Empire State Building having just walked the dog, I got online and my girlfriend who works 3 blocks from the WTC asked me on IM if I had heard anything about a bomb or missle hitting the WTC as when she was exiting the wall street stop flaming paper was falling from the sky.

I turned on CNN and saw that a plane had hit. I told her and she went downstairs at 100 Broadway to smoke. She saw the second plane hit, and rushed upstairs. We talked online a bit and she left to go to the bathroom. The towers fell and all communication went away. I wasn't sure if she was alive, and I had to go to work, avoiding the UN avoiding Time Square. I had a meeting that hadn't been cancelled. I sat in the meeting and wondered if I would ever see her again, ever wake before her and kiss her awake. People were talking about projects and plans as if everything was the same. Finally I got email from her boss that she was o.k. that they were walking to safety.

I wrote this the day before:

“DREAMLAND WAS NOTHING”* Gavin Heck 9/10/01

The joint owners of Dreamland
Bought and brought to your head
Then decided not to rebuild
Painted it red
They were politicians

Pollute - icians
Bellowing the dreamland fire
There would be nothing to replace it
While you were sleeping, huff, huff dream
Dreamland began to burn

It became a blazing torch
Freud stopped by, high
A few minutes later, towers collapsed
Falling down, falling down
Your lion climbed up the incline

Following the cat's bloody footprints
Find humans, strange creatures
Make-like-nature in small spaces
Huff, huff enough
Bangs… and ashes are ashes


I wrote this the day of 9/11.

HEY; ARE YOU OK? (RULES OF ENGAGEMENT) Gavin Heck 9/11/01

State of emergency, all smoked out
Evacuation of Manhattan is recommended
1. No one throws stones
An apartment window was open
Concrete, stainless immutable

The birds of peace flew in
Hiding from the day
Ducking the birds of prey
Are the subways working?
The floor was (and remains) shark infested

Jumping from pillow to pillow
2. Be thankful you weren’t killed
Can you imagine sharks attacking
Sleepy commuters
Victims with burns and head injuries

3. Get a cleaning lady (person)
Did she make it out?
Even if all others give up
4. If every single person grabs a stone
5. I must feel alone, stone-less, mutable, dis-armed

Feeling, flaming paper coming from the sky
For us, we are all in this together
Going to go snag some food and water
Dove behind my bed (not the bird the action)
I dreamt my house was on fire

Hope she is far away right now
Saw the flames coming out
The top of the building start to fall
6. Seek, create, imagine stone-less Utopia
Took a cab, crying on the bus made me
feel strange

I woke up bright eyed and ready to go to work at 8:30
Both towers later collapsed.
It is not the way for me
Like watching a sea wave breaking on the shore
7. Water the subliminal hope (daily upon rising)

Just some more folks who hate America
Stay where you are
Keep your head down
Kiss the ground having made it home safe
Home, the home of souls (safe)

Fight the subliminal hype (or don’t be so surprised when those seeds you planted grow
into weeds that break through your concrete)
Landing, I seek the pure land
Last night the boss asked me to please come in on time
We could go to a Goth club and listen to our darkness

Dance like robots
Like a tornado
Like the game I played as a kid
Must evacuate
8. Must keep believing

My friend thinks its ww3 is starting
Or perhaps just hopelessness
9. Lets embrace hopelessness (then breathe and release it)
Paper covers rock
200 years old but have made so many enemies

She was ok but her building is only 3 blocks away
Since I was old enough to know that my father died for this country
Wished that someone would come and erase it
It will be a nice day other than the terrorism
10. The attachment is absolute (breathe and release it)

The beginning of the end
Life as we know it is over
The building exploded in my face
A big balloon of smoke
News people just advised to leave Manhattan

Then came down for a cigarette and saw the second hit
I fell back asleep...
They are closing everything
The Brooklyn bridge is open, thousands of people are walking it
Walt Whitman would be happy

Thing about terrorism is that really
We are all walking on pillows on the floor (floor equals water, spaces equal sharks)
We are the sharks and the water and the fear
We don’t live in the state where understanding covers action (paper covers rock)
Compassion can also thrive on the rockiest soil (You ok?)

-----------------------

This morning (12/11) while walking the dog I looked up and saw a plane and started crying.
I am moving to brooklyn soon.

Love

Live

Gavin
J Gavin Heck | 37 | New York

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