#678 | Sunday, January 27th, 2002
On the morning of 9/11, I was in my office getting ready to start the day. I had just gotten my two children off to school and I remember it was one of those beautiful September days that I wished I was home in my garden instead of at work.

I had just gotten settled at my desk when one of the men I work with came in saying he had heard on the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Of course, everyone was upset and tried getting on the web to see if we could find any news. No one could get through.

Luckily, one of our conference rooms has a tv and the entire office went in to watch the news. As we were sitting there transfixed by all we saw, we heard about the 2nd tower and the Pentagon; a few people had tears in their eyes and most were just speechless; hardly anyone said a word and if so, it was done in a whisper.
Being a child during the late 50's, early 60's, the first thought seemed to be that all those air raid drills and bomb shelter nightmares were coming true.

My husband had just started a new job at a high rise hotel and office complex and I had no way of getting in touch with him. All I could think about was him and my children and if we were going to see each other again. I think it had to be the most horrifying feeling I have ever had in my life.

I also have friends and relatives that work in lower Manhattan and I kept praying that none of them were involved.

Eventually, we returned to our desks and fortunately my husband was able to get through to me. He had been up on the 16th floor and saw the 2nd plane hit. After that he helped to secure the building and after seeing that everyone left safely, he would be coming home.

I then called my children's schools and was told that they hadn't told the children in the middle school anything and that the middle school and high school was going on as normal til 3 pm.

Our company closed at 11 am and I think the ride home was the longest it has ever been. Knowing that my husband and children were safe helped quite a bit, but from Rt 287 you could see the smoke pouring up over the city and the horror and fear I felt for everyone in NYC stayed with me.

I remember walking into my home and turning on the tv - then the tears finally hit. Eventually, the calls started and luckily we had no one directly connected to this tragedy; although so many from our area did.

President Kennedy's assasination, then Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, the Challenger explosion, Lockerbie and Oklahoma City Bombing (just to name a few) and now the World Trade Center...all senseless. Lives lost and familys ripped apart; for what?

The first few days after were surreal. We got up, did the laundry, made dinner, kids went to school, people went to work, trying to bring some normalcy back to our lives. Unfortunately, however, our lives have been changed forever.

A few nights later, I took my daughter to a store on a local highway. We were coming out of the parking lot and there were people lined up on the highway with candles and flags and it continued all the way home. When we got back to our town we rode through the main street and there were people lined up there as well. It was one of the most beautiful sights to see. We had once again, come together as a nation and the feeling of patriotic pride was overwhelming. I hope that this trend continues. Although no one wants a war, we must stop madmen from destroying the world and the world we want for our children and future generations. I think the following says it best, even though it was written over 200 years ago, it is even now more appropriate:
"It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war; but if it shall actually take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire... we must try to extinguish it."
-Thomas Jefferson

Jean | 46 | New Jersey

#679 | Sunday, January 27th, 2002
I was sitting in class when another teacher busted in telling us about the first plane, we were all like damn thats really weird.Then we went on break after that thats when the second plane hits.I went to my car so i could listen to the radio, and decided to just go home to watch it on tv, since there was noway i was going to beable to concentrate on school after that.
larfus | 29 | North Carolina

#680 | Sunday, January 27th, 2002
I was getting my 15-month-old son ready for my moms when I turned on the television and heard something about the Trade Center Tower was hit by a plane. So when the screen finally came in I saw the whole level on fire and going up in flames. While I was getting ready for work I missed the second one being hit, when I came back into my room they were both up in flames. I kept seeing the same replay of the airplane hitting the tower again, and again, and again, it was like a broken reel. Why they kept showing this over and over again was wrong in my eyes but people I guess needed to see the true damage that took place. For the whole day I had different emotions going through me. Such as revenge for the people who did this, and also sorrow for the families that had lost loved ones. My main goal for the day was to come home to see my wife and son safe and sound and thanking God that we are okay. No other day would be like this one was…
Rick Rodriguez | 27 | Texas

#681 | Sunday, January 27th, 2002
I was in my 1st hour (ORACLE) and some people was like, "A plane crashed into the WTC!" but nobody really paid attention to them because they talk alot and stuff. Then 2nd hour they were talking about it again so I was like whoa... and we turned on a radio and started listening about it. Then in 3rd hr. my world history class we went into the auditorium and was watching the news on a big movie-like screen and I watched the 2nd plane crash in replays. But alot of people in the auditorium was talking alot and wasn't watching it which was making me mad, because tons of people died. Then alot of people went home, and some just stayed at school. From that day on I live my life to the fullest 1 day at a time (you never know when you might choke on a pretzel...lol), no time to argue or fight, just to live in peace and be friendly to everybody.
coty tabbee | 15 | Utah

#682 | Sunday, January 27th, 2002
I was in my 1st period English class. My teacher was at a wedding in Texas so we had a substitute that day. He had gotten a call on his cell phone from his wife. After a minute or two he rested his forehead on his hand saying "Oh my God." All of us in the classroom stopped talking.

He ended his phone conversation and announced to us that the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. It seemed odd to me that a plane would run into a building of that size and magnitude. My friends and I started to debate about how this could have happened. Something must have gone terribly wrong.

A few moments later, our teacher had gotten another phone call. This time was worst then the last. He announced to us that a second plane and ran into 1 of the World Trade Center buildings. Now, I knew something really wasn't right. All of us grew silent.

The lunch bell had rang and a few of my friends and I ran down to the media center to see if they had the TV's on. Of course they were. We watched it all unfold before our eyes. Pictures pouring through the screen of 2 planes crashing into the buildings. Watching the smoke billow out of them. Then, without warning, the buildings started to collapse. Some teachers watching started to cry. Others gasped.

I then realized that my brother was supposed to be coming home that day by airplane from Boston. My heart jumped into my throat. I jumped up and ran to find a phone. I called my mother. She assured me that my brother was okay, that he had called about 10 minutes ago.

I prayed that day. I prayed for all of those lost, and those who lost. For those who were helping. I then knew that America would rise from those ashes. We will stand as one nation and fight the evil that had damaged our great land. America will prevail.
Adam Watts | 18 | North Carolina

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