#499 | Tuesday, December 18th, 2001
I was at work on 9/11/01. A co-worker came in and said a plane had just hit the WTC. We went into the lunch room where the TV was on. It showed the destruction. New stations were saying the plane may have been hijacked by terrorist.

We were stunned. Dozens of people stopped working to watch as the tower was burning. Then the second plane hit, then the Pentagon was hit. Disbelief was the main emotion, which turned to compassion for those lost, then anger at those who chose to attach us in this way.

Then the first tower fell. It was unbelievable, too horrible to contemplate that such a large number of people had just died. People who got on a plane, showed up for work, went to an appointment or answered a call for help.
These people all died. Why?
Did they die because of something they did wrong? No. Did they die fighting for something they believe in? No. They died because some cowards from a third world nation came to take a pot shot at America. A cowardly knife stab in the back of the greatest nation in the world.

They thought they could bring the USA to her knees in this way, but they were wrong. The Lady Liberty still stands tall in the harbor. Our lives go on. We as American's have taken a great loss. We feel deep compassion for those families who lost their loved ones in the tragedy, and for those who could lose loved ones in the continuing fight against terrirism.

How has this changed my life? It has made me more compassionate, more caring towards my family, neighbors, even strangers. It has made me very proud to live in the United States of America. I cry when I sing "Oh, Beautiful". I salute Old Glory. I feel the power behind the words of "The Star Spangled Banner".

I am a proud American.
Kim Davis | 42 | Oklahoma

#500 | Tuesday, December 18th, 2001
I was home doing day-care for several children and I couldn't help but feel like they all needed protection and it was up to me to provide it. My family has been having a pretty bad year. My son Dave was diagnosed with colon cancer and he's only 38. But, I couldn't help but feel that at least we have a pretty good chance for him to survive, those precious people didn't have that chance. I can't imagine what the holiday season is going to be for them. I also couldn't help but feel so proud of the men who thwarted the 4th attempt on whatever their destination was supposed to be. My patriotism has always been high, but it has reached new heights since Sept. 11. My prayers are there for the victims and their families. God Bless all of them and all of us.
Mary Jane A. Platz | 61 | United States

#501 | Tuesday, December 18th, 2001
I should have been at work but my supervisor hadn't called to say I was needed. I was getting a late lunch when I heard on the radio that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I sat down to eat lunch with the tv on. At the first commercial break there was a news flash, and normal life ended for that day. The second plane had hit the WTC. I cried, and then switched on the radio and logged on to the Internet to find out more news. Later I emailed all my American friends and family.
This Christmas I will be thinking especially of the families missing a member because of what happened.
Marguerite | 47 | United Kingdom

#502 | Tuesday, December 18th, 2001
I had just woken up.When I turned on the radio they were talking about what had happened.I was in total schock.I couldnt believe that there were people that stupid in this world of ours.The more that I listened the more it tore me about inside,just to know that there had been that many people innocent people killed for no reason at all was enough to make me cry.i was so defastated that I wanted to go out and kill somebody myself.But I hknew that that wouldnt solve the problem.So all I could do was just pray and cry.But at least one good thing has come out of this and that is that every one has come totether and we are now a stronger and more powerful america.
cindy hicks | 47 | Texas

#503 | Tuesday, December 18th, 2001
September 11, 2001: the day America changed forever. This wasn’t supposed to happen on American soil. A sense of disbelief overwhelmed me as I listened to television reporters after the first plane hit the World Trade Center speculating whether a pilot had been blinded by the early morning sun or, more ominously, a terrorist might have struck. Then, as I watched, the second plane hit. I woke my husband and told him the world had gone crazy. There was no doubt now that it was a deliberate attack. I watched most of the day as the awful truth unfolded: that innocent citizens had been used to kill more innocent citizens. The Pentagon is struck, a plane goes down in Pennsylvania. It is surreal.
We have lost so much. We have lost brothers and mothers and uncles and best friends. They are next-door-neighbors who work hard, love their families, and have modest dreams. And they are gone forever.
There is an overwhelming urge to touch the hands and faces of those you love. Those you can’t touch physically, you call on the phone. “I love you.”
By mid-afternoon I moved away from the television coverage long enough to go out into the streets, where already cars and trucks are festooned with American flags. There are long lines at the gas stations, where it is rumored prices are tripling and quadrupling. Even in a relatively small Kansas city, the familiar rhythm of the normal is somehow skewed.
By evening we began to learn of the ordinary people who had done so many extraordinary things throughout the day. They were called heroes. And they are.

Linda Snyder | 51 | Kansas

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