#698 | Wednesday, January 30th, 2002
I was at work at Cablevision in Hauppauge,NY (on Long Island).
I answer the phones at Cablevision,we supply T.V service,Phone service and Internet service.The t.v's were on and we saw the first plane hit and thought it was an accident,then the second one hit and we all stood there,watching helplessly.
Then the flood of calls came in to us, people's modems and computers went down and they were screaming at us,at me, frantically to help them,they were trying to e-mail their family and friends who were in the WTC Towers, I will never forget their voices and their screams in my ear to help them get their e-mails to their loved ones to see if they were alive ,and then on the phone with them,crying,and me crying,my whole office crying, we watched the towers fall,one after another.My life changed forever that day,as it did I'm sure for every "AMERICAN". I STAND BY MY COUNTRY AND "I'M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN".
Elisa Romano | 28 | New York

#699 | Wednesday, January 30th, 2002
I was sleeping in when my fiancée called and told me to turn on the TV. She had heard about the first plane crash at work and at the time nobody knew what was going on. I turned on the TV and was amazed by what I saw. Sitting there, talking with my fiancée on the phone, watching the burning building, then seeing the second plane. The fireball took my breath away. I've always wondered what it meant when people had said they were at a loss for words and I finally knew. All I could say was, "Oh my God," over and over and over again.

The news had come about the Pentagon plane crash. Early reports said it was the Old Executive building, next door to the White House, and fear had set in. Living just hours from DC, I couldn't help but feel the fear of what was happening.

And there I was, watching the TV again, talking with my fiancée again, when I told her, "They have a close-up of one of the corners of the building and it literally looks like lava flowing out of the side." I didn't realize it then that the molten lava I was seeing was the supports of the World Trade Center towers melting away under the extreme heat. My fiancée asked, "Lava?" and before I could tell her yes, I saw the top part of the crack angling over. Once again, I was reduced to, "Oh my God." I watched the tower crumble to the ground with my eyes and mouth wide open. It was like something out of a bad movie. The smoke rising and rolling between the buildings was unbelievable. We both knew that it was only a matter of moments before the other tower went and we were unfortunately right.

The skyline looked naked. It looked fake. Like someone took a picture and just erased the buildings to see what it would look like. But it was real. The devastation was real. The Pentagon was left a broken rectangle wondering where its other side was. It was sad. It was devastating. It was a shot straight to the heart and it hurt. Bad.

Then the stories began. The people who helped others get out with no regard for their own lives. The people they managed to pull from the rubble. The firefighters and policemen going into the devastation when others were running away to safety. The firefighters who wouldn't leave a woman alone in the building and managed to survive in the stairwell. The Bible on the chair at the Pentagon. The heroes became evident. "The strong shall survive" and they will forever survive in our memories. Pro sports stars became little children again, realizing that they played a game and that the real heroes were the men and women who risked their lives everyday to save others. We honored those who had long been forgotten and taken for granted. We started waving at the policeman and the firefighter again. NYPD and FDNY became etched in our memory as two sets of four letters that both became the definition of the word hero.

We honor our heroes and we fight to protect our freedom so that those who died will not have done so in vain. Those who brought this destruction to our country did not win. They destroyed our towers and took so many of our loved ones from us, but they made us stronger. They brought us closer together. We once again became a country of one. We once again rose as Americans. We are Americans and we stand together for the freedom we love and cherish.
Fred Telegdy | 26 | Virginia

#700 | Wednesday, January 30th, 2002
I spent the early afternoon of September 11th shopping for gifts and I got back home around 3pm, right about the time of the first plane hitting the WTC. I turned on the television and wanted to watch some news on CNN and saw footage of the tower in flames. My first thought was that I had turned on some movie channel by mistake but quickly realised it was indeed CNN I was watching. Moments later, when I saw the second plane hit the other tower I realised at that moment that something was terribly wrong.

I knew instantly the world would never be the same again after that day. I watched in shock and disbelieve as the events unfolded on television, seeing the footage of the crashes again and again and watching the towers collapse, it was not real, it couldn't be real, but it was. I cried that day and the following days and I couldn't really focus on anything and it still is difficult sometimes to focus on everyday life.

As much as September 11th will always be in my memory, so will the following Friday when Europe and the world joined America in 3 minutes of silence. I have never seen life come to such a complete standstill and the images of that day were very moving. Not just my own country but the complete civilized world standing by our American friends in a time of need.

President Kennedy declared that as a free man he was a Berliner, after September 11th I join the many free men everywhere in proudly declaring "I am an American".

My thoughts go out to all those affected and especially to the heroes of the NYPD and FDNY and US flight 93.
Michael | 33 | Netherlands

#701 | Wednesday, January 30th, 2002
I will always remember. I was walking to the lunchroom all the Tv's Turned on. I sat down and thought to myself how cool it is that we get to now watch TV in the commons...

My friend walked to the table flipping out over planes hitting buildings people jumping out and I cracked up... Now I thought it was a joke becuase he said the pentagon is on fire and I didnt believe that was possible. He sat there laughing one of those laughs a crazy person does. I looked over to the people crowding the TV screen and to my surprise The whole cafeteria was there.

I slowly rose up getting sick. My Uncle is a NYC police officer in a meeting at the 74th floor of the first tower. Then I have a cousin who is a NYC fireman. so I was extremely worried. My aunts work was the smallest building next to the WTC which burnt down.

I saw people rushing for the phones I stared in disbelief. I felt like crying. as I went through the periods all we talked about was the attacks. Teachers upset and students going crazy with questions. I was on the bus and got home and my little sister smiled and walked in the door.

I remember walking with my other sister into the living room noticing the TV was already turned to CNN i sat down. My little sister was in the kitchen and then I realized that she was a in Middle school she wouldnt know about this. I told her about it and she cried. She couldnt believe it either.

I found out later My Uncle The NYC police officer helped save lives in the tower but didnt die. My cousin a Fireman Also survived. My aunt was on her way to work and saw the towers... She is still to this day tramatized...

That was my story...

Ryan Metz | 16 | Ohio

#702 | Wednesday, January 30th, 2002
I was in the car on the way to school when I heard a couple seconds of the news saying "pentagon and world trade center," but I didn't hear anything else and thought nothing of it. Then, in my first period Physiology class, I heard about the first Trade Tower. Throughout that day, news was hard to come by and no one knew what happened. I never knew the full extent of the attacks until I got home at 3:30ish that afternoon. Then I watch the news and cried for a couple of hours.
Jessica Anderson | 15 | California

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