#52 | Monday, September 17th, 2001
I was half-an-hour into the second day of the worst job I've ever had. Didn't get much done that day...
EJ | 26 | Canada

#53 | Monday, September 17th, 2001
I was standing outside of the Family Court in Queens, NY. Other students in my law school class and I were waiting for our professors to arrive and lead us on a tour of the court. A man ran down the steps proclaiming, "They just bombed the World Trade Center! They smashed right into it!" He looked wildly at everyone standing on the steps. Mothers trying to calm their children and smoke cigarettes before their court appearances did not appear to welcome this "crazy" man's exclamations.

I immediately dialed the number of a former supervisor who I knew to work in Building Seven of the WTC (later collapsing as well). I got no answer. Suddenly, other students began to dial the phone numbers of friends and family and lovers who worked in the buildings or the area.

My professors arrived and seemed disappointed that the class would not see the court on a "normal" day. They lead us to the metal detectors (customary procedure) and within two minutes, we were told that no courts would be in session. Soon after, a police officer in riot gear addressed the waiting room:

"Attention everyone! We are now evacuating the court house. Everybody move!"

So, we did.
Buffy Maria Baldridge | 24 | New York

#54 | Monday, September 17th, 2001
On a normal morning, I would be frantically preparing myself for a hectic day. Preparing for meeetings, finishing drawings (I am an Architect)and sipping my morning brew, but the morning of the 11th, I walked into the office to find our receptionist asking where she could find a news source on the web. I asked why and she said that a plane had struck one of the WTC towers. My first reaction was, "What a strange thing, someone at AA is going to get hit hard for this...the BOOM! The radio reported that the second plane hit the towers, my second thought was that the air traffic controllers were unknowingly leading planes into tall buildings. Then it began to sink in. This innevitable gloom that there was foul play involved.

I am normally a workhorse. Going about my day in an orderly fasion, but after hearing the news I was emotionally shut down. I could not think, much less work. The rest of the afternoon was spent reading reports on the web, and a mad dash to the closest TV at lunch to watch CNN. I was literally mortified. Downtowns all over America were being closed, and panic was beginning to set in. My girlfriend was sent home from her office in downtown Dallas, and all I could think about were my friends in New York, so I began sending e-mails. Luckily all have come back successfully, but I am now left with a sense of anger and fear. A strange and potentially reactionary mix.

Now I am unsure of Americas future. We will strike back, but at what cost? That is the question looming over many of us in Dallas.

I am still mortified, and still have lingering fear.

Thoughts go out to everyone suffering today, the world over.
James Ryan McLean | 28 | Texas

#55 | Monday, September 17th, 2001
My wife Amanda and I had just been married in Memphis a week earlier, and were due to catch a 10:20 AM (CDT) flight home to Pittsburgh after driving back to Memphis following a honeymoon on the Alabama gulf coast. Memphis International closed about fifteen minutes before we arrived to check in "due to terrorist attack in New York", according to the counter agent. News trickled in from fellow stranded passengers - the Pentagon was on fire, a plane had crashed outside Pittsburgh, there were eight planes unaccounted for, or was it six, Chicago was being evacuated, and so on. Fortunately, all of our parents still live in Memphis, so my mother came by to pick us up to plan the next move. I realized that this was all real when I saw my mother starting to cry - she doesn't get rattled by much.

Nobody rents cars to 24 year olds (which we both are), which doesn't matter much anyway because by the time we left the terminal all the cars were gone, too. Neither Greyhound or Amtrak could take us anywhere we wanted to go, either, so we started to look to buy a used car. Used cars were starting to fly off the lots, as well - we missed out on one 1990 Honda Civic that was purchased by an airline pilot on his way home to Detroit between the time we called to ask and the time we got to the lot.

From there it's the standard quickly-buying-a-new-car story (which we settled on after realizing all the used cars we'd looked at which were remotely appealing and realistically affordable without financing had something seriously wrong with them). In Memphis, Amanda had noticed the outpouring of support from communities visible in flags and signs, and decided to take pictures of these on the trip back through the midwest.
Brian Trammell | 24 | Pennsylvania

#56 | Monday, September 17th, 2001
My dad was supposed to have been at the Pentagon, but had happened to have rescheduled his meeting. Praise God.

I was at a friend's house, and I was terrified for awhile. His phone call sure made me feel better!
Aaron Shafovaloff | 19 | Ohio

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