#703 | Thursday, January 31st, 2002
I remember going to bed on the 10th and thinking “wow I don’t have class tomorrow and I’m off from work, all I’m going to do is sleep”. I then turned off my alarm clock and went to bed. On the morning of 9/11 I had awoken at 8:25 a.m. the time of day that I dread, the ironic thing is that I never wake on time when I have to work or go to school and on my day off I did. I tried to go back to bed but couldn’t so I turned on the television, and saw a picture of a building on fire; I first thought it was a movie so I turned the channel only to see the same picture with the caption on the bottom of the screen that read (World Trade Center buildings collapse in terrorist act) then seconds later to see a picture of the Pentagon on fire and hearing Bryant Gumball say “America is under attack” my heart hit the floor I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach. Being hundreds of miles away from the catastrophe I felt scared and vulnerable. I then immediately called my mother to see if she was okay. After checking the whereabouts and safety of friends and family all I wanted to do was to go back to sleep hoping to wake up again to have all of this been a horrible dream. But it’s not a dream it’s our horrible reality.
Lorenzo | 19 | Texas

#704 | Thursday, January 31st, 2002
I'm a 28yo Australian expat living in Hong Kong who was feeling very ill on the day of September 11.

I'd had the day off work due to tonsilitis and was dozing on the couch beside my boyfriend. I'm not a big watcher of TV so it wasn't until about 11pm local time (about an hour and a half after the first plane hit) when news of the attack first reached me. (My bf's friend called his mobile and urged us to switch on the TV as something BIG was happening in New York).

I switched the TV on and the first thing I saw was Tower 1 in a plume of smoke. The local HK station was repeat airing a US based FOX NEWS direct feed and the caption read: "America Under Attack".


My first thought was disbelief. In fact, if I can paraphrase my mind, I said something to myself like: "Huh? That can't be? That's a World Trade Tower- it's one of the tallest buildings in the world!".

Then, I'm almost ashamed to admit, I thought about the movie "The Towering Inferno" starring Paul Newman and how I'd loved that film as a teenager. This thought was followed by "OMG....it's for real!".

This was no Hollywood Blockbuster, as countless others had first imagined this to be.

Then, seconds later my thoughts were interrupted, when abruptly flashed across my TV screen came the replay of the 2nd plane striking Tower 2. The camera angle showed the plane veering in from the right side of the screen, disappearing behind the tower and then- BOOOOM- a massive fireball erupted from the left side of the tower.

My mind went blank. I couldn't comprehend what I just saw.

And then, a replay of the footage and a voice over explaining the image.

Oh My God....

My boyfriend and I held each other and stared in disbelief at the TV screen- desperately trying to comprehend what our senses had just seen.

Then- flashing across the screen- a body of a man- still in his business suit- falling from the tower. The camera shook, audio of spectators gasping from behind the camera could be heard.

The network cut suddenly to a Hong Kong newsreader apologising for the footage and explaining the difficulty of censoring such images during all the confusion.

I'll never forget that image- EVER. 2001- the year the entire world saw people die on LIVE television. Is this the end of Reality TV programming- the entertainment fad of the new millennium??

I called my Mum in Australia to be certain she was not missing this. It took a while to get through but I finally managed to get a line. I didn't even know why I was urged to call. I guess I was scared of the consequences of what had just happened. Could this be a new World War? I'd never seriously contemplated there would ever be one during my lifetime....and here I am, in Hong Kong- away from my family and friends. NO! NOT NOW!! Don't strand me here in a foreign country! Would it ever be safe to fly home again? Less than 10 minutes after I first learned of the disaster- I was already imagining this future!

I have to admit, I do have an over-active imagination. (Heck- I get paid to have one!) I have often thought about those poor souls trapped in the building. I work in a 40 story glass tower myself so the whole scenario is a little close to home, so to speak. I think would I have survived if I had worked in the WTC? Would I have been to work on time that day?

I know for sure that I was absent from work the day of September 11 due to illness. Had I worked in the WTC, I might probably have survived due to this. Besides, I can't resist a McDonald's hash brown on the way to the office so this rarely gets me in the office before 9am anyway....not that that's a comforting thought.

Although it may sound odd for me to imagine such things, the fact remains I do work in a glass tower and a day hasn't gone by since 911 that as I ride the elevator up to my 32nd office floor, I wonder if I may never be coming down.

My world has been changed forever, and I cannot begin to imagine the incredible depth of suffering, damage and despair it has done to the lives of those who lost loved ones. May their memories live forever.

These are my memories of September 11, 2001. Thanks for reading them.
Evan S. | 28 | Hong Kong

#705 | Thursday, January 31st, 2002
I had just sat down the morning of September 11th, in my first class of the day. The principal came on the intercom. "Two commercial airliners have just crashed into the WTC." I'm a pilot that flys small airplanes. When the message was over, there was a long eerie silence. My teacher ran to the radio, and turned it on. The town I live in is only 70 miles north of downtown New York City. Around 20 minutes later reporters from the radio station started yelling and screaming. At this time the first tower collapsed. Minutes later the next tower.

We will all remember the day of
September 11th, 2001
God Bless America

Tim | 13 | Connecticut

#706 | Thursday, January 31st, 2002
I'm not working, so I was home, naked, brushing my teeth while listening to/watching the Today show. At the top of the hour they break for local news, and the local break ended with "more on this morning's plane crash at the WTC in a moment on Today." Gulp.

I came out of the bathroom into the bedroom to watch a live interview with a news exec uptown at Penn Plaza, telling what he happened to see, as he was looking out his window as the first plane hit. The camera showed the view downtown to the burning tower--what he saw as he recounted the horror--then as he was explaining what he HAD seen minutes ago, he excitedly said "there's another plane! It's too low! Oh my god!" And live, on the Today show, I watched the second plane hit.

I still get goosebumps, and a sick feeling in my heart when I think about it, or see lower Manhattan. I used to live in NY before moving to Austin. My company had an office in WTC. I've been there hundreds of times. I went to college with a guy who crashed into it with his husband/partner and their adopted son. I'm always going to be sad when I see NY.
Steve Basile | 42 | Texas

#707 | Thursday, January 31st, 2002
At 8:30 my alarm went off, I had a 9:30 class. I got up, turned on the television, a habit I had only just picked up, got dressed, then sat at my computer to check my email. I was not really paying attention to the television. At about 8:55 I heard of a fire at the World Trade Center, so I stood to see what was going on, and saw the smoke billowing out of the top floors. As they were talking the newscaster kept mentioning that a plane had hit the building, and at this point it still seemed that it was a rumor or a small plane, they did not know for sure.

As I finished getting ready I listened to the television and turned to it as they were saying that it was defiantly a plane that hit the building, and it was a large commuter jet. As this was being said I noticed to the right of my screen another plane coming into the frame. As I stood there I thought that the plane was going to hit the building again. I watched in shock as the plane turned and aimed for the second building. I started shaking and did not stop. I knew I had to go soon after that and I finished getting ready. At my 9:30 class not many people had heard about what happened and I could not say anything I just sat there and pictured the plane hitting the building. When I got out of class at 11:00 I went to the campus center and learned that the towers had fallen, the Pentagon had been hit, and a plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

I could not cry that day; I just sat and watched the news, fell asleep and had no dreams. I woke up not thinking about what had happened. About a week later I had a couple nightmares, finally turned off the news, and began trying to get back to normal. This is not an easy thing to do since there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about it at least once.
Melissa Miglaiccio | 19 | Pennsylvania

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