#739 | Thursday, February 7th, 2002
On September 11th 2001 I was at School singing O Canada. Nobody had known what happened the morning. We never knew until that afternoon. But yet we still never knew how bad it was until we got home and had saw what had happened on the news..
Lacey Rigg | 15 | Canada

#740 | Thursday, February 7th, 2002
September 11th, 2001 held such a strange conjunction of events for me. First of all, it was my birthday. Second, I was ill and took the day off from work. Third, it was a day that I found out about some relatively invasive physical therapy that I was going to have to endure. It's so funny the way life's annoyances and seemingly significant problems can be brushed to the side and forgotten in a moment. I had called in to my office to let them know I wouldn't be in and the secretary asked me if I had turned on CNN. I hadn't, so I walked in to the living room and tuned in with the rest of the country. It felt like I was watching a movie - I absolutely could not believe what I was seeing. I tuned in just in time to see the second tower collapse. I didn't know what to say. I just looked over at my girlfriend and started to feel the tears well up in my eyes. Celebrating my birthday will never feel quite the same again.
James Kittredge | 22 | New Hampshire

#741 | Friday, February 8th, 2002
I was at work when it happened. In a small shop, in a small town, listening to the radio. It was the afternoon here, and the news came on proclaiming "the world trade centre is ablaze". The seriousness hit me when I logged on to cnn.com and saw a picture of one of the towers on fire. The usual radio broadcast ceased. DJ's were silenced and just played music. I decided to close my shop and walk down the road to where there was a tv. By this time, one of the towers had collapsed. They kept on showing the replays. Myself and the few people around me, watched in shock as the events unfolded. We disbanded and I called my girlfriend to tell her what was happening. She didn't really seem to take it all in. I changed my radio station to hear live coverage. A few minutes later, the second tower collapsed. The radio boradcasters were almost in tears at the events. America, the "world leader" was being cut down by this unseen enemy. The pentagon was hit, a plane was on its way to washington. It was a war, but there were no guns. The weapon being used was terror. I went home that day with nothing else on my mind but the collapses, and I turned the tv on right away. I watched with my girlfriend as they replayed the day's events. I felt physically sick. I was on the verge of tears. Seeing the images brought the humanity of it all to me. People hanging, falling from windows. The unimaginable fear that must have gone through their mind when the first tower went. The terror of the passengers on the planes. And in all my sadness, anger. These people, just like me, were at work. Just an ordinary day. These were not soldiers, they were you and me. I later heard of stories from ground zero about the haunting ring of mobile phones in the rubble, and I was despaired at the desperation people must have been feeling. Rarely a day has passed since the event when I haven't thought about it somehow. The sad fact is, in my eyes, the terrorists have already won. The reason, I am scared. Scared of the future, scared what it will bring. As America goes boldly on its march of retribution, what will happen along the way? World War? It despairs me to think the world has not learned its lessons from decades passed. The millenium brought hope to many people. Gone was the century of war. Now comes fear and uncertainty. And all us ordinary people can do is hope, hope and pray that our leaders know what they are doing and the consequences of their actions. I listen to John Lennon's "imagine", and it has so much meaning for me. I wish to convey this message to all those victims, survivors, familys members, and friends of anyone who has been involved in these terrible events. You are now no longer ordinary people. You are all hero's. Your grief gives us compassion, your determination gives us hope. Your suffering has/is not in vain. May god be with you, our thoughts and prayers are.
Richard Clifford | 20 | United Kingdom

#742 | Friday, February 8th, 2002
I was sat in a history lesson. Well, actually, someone I know said before the lesson "A plane has been flown into the Twin Towers". I didnt believe him. When I got to the lesson, I found out it was true. We spent that lesson gathered round the computer, with the BBC online website up..all of us in shock, all of us scared beyond belief. The media coverage was so distressing, so horrendous, but it hit home in all of our hearts. The sight that will live with me forever is a picture, of the 1st tower, with people jumping out of it. Inevitable death, but they were so utterly terrified, that they were prepared to do anything to get away.

Forever in our hearts.
Hannah | 17 | United Kingdom

#743 | Friday, February 8th, 2002
I was on a study-trip to London when it happened. We'd visited some politician, and then we split up into small groups to do whatever we wanted to do for the rest of the evening.
We were walking on Oxford Street, had just been in a H&M store, when Lasse phoned Britt, his girlfriend. He was in Hungary at the time. Britt listened to him while the rest of us chatted outside the store. I remember it vividly. In that single second, we had no concerns. There was no homework, no dangers, nothing to worry about. In that moment, we were just six girls having a good time in a foreign city.

And then Britt turned to look at us. She told us that four planes had crashed in New York, that the Twin Towers were gone and that there was still several planes missing.

She sounded...she sounded like she couldn't believe the words she said. And we just looked at her - and it was so unreal. I think that deep down we knew that it was true and that things would never be the same, but at that moment it seemed...surreal. Impossible.

We thought she was kidding. We *prayed* she was kidding. The other four went into another store while Britt and I waited outside. She tried to call her parents although the network was overloaded.

There was a TV store nearby. I walked inside, saw the screens in the far end. It seemed almost...perverse. All the wide-screen were showing movies or series, but in the corner, on two small TV...was New York.

There was snow on the screens and the colors sometimes disappeared...but I didn't notice that. I only saw NYC, covered in gray-brown smoke, and then recording after recording as the Twin Towers collapsed.

We were maybe ten people, just standing there - customers, a few from the staff - and there was silence. The silence was so loud that it was deafening. And finally, when we spoke...it felt like blasphemy to break that silence.

We headed back to our hotel via the metro. Some tried to call home, but the network was overloaded.

We got off at Bayswater like so many times before (and the first time we walked there - who would have imagined that the world would be turned upside down?) and on the way we passed another TV store.

This time, the live broadcast from New York was on the big screens in the windows. There must have been fifty-sixty people just standing there, watching - we had to walk out on the road to get past.

When we got back to our hotel, most of the others were there, too. Most called home. I figured I'd wait until the long line for the phone booth was gone.

So I went on the 'Net instead, to find out if my 'Net-friends were all okay. It was...weird. One of the e-lists I'm on - usually such a fun place - we were suddenly very serious. I checked in, read the others' notes, wrote to Rachell, my friend from Bosten, Mass.

I was just about convinced that we'd all gotten away unscratched when one of the girls on the list checked in. She said that she was okay, but that her cousin had been on flight 77 that hit Pentagon. He was...he was just a kid.

I didn't know him, but suddenly everything broke through my protective sphere. The fact that someone I'd written to, someone I'd sent feedback to, had lost someone - it made everything seem so horrible real.

I left the 'Net-lounge and headed for the breakfast room where the TV was. Usually, there would be maybe five people when there wasn't breakfast, but this time...the room was full. There were benches and chairs for seventy-five people...and they were all taken. There were people leaning against the wall, all looking at the TV.

And as we stood there, we saw the recording of the second plane as it hit - how it hits the tower, how the wings are torn off, and finally it tears through the building before it explodes. Recording after recording, until the images were burned into our minds for the rest of our lives.

Oh, God.

That night, we didn't go party. We stayed at home. Talking. Watching TV. Eating. Drinking.

I went sympathy-drinking that night. I don't usually drink, but sometimes...

I drank for the girl's cousin. I drank for my friend who'd lived in New York - had friends in NY - and now awaited word about them. I drank for the image of the planes that hit - images that are forever burned into my mind - and I drank to make it all go away.

Of course, it didn't.

But it gave me a break and a chance to get everything together again...and maybe that was what I needed.

My first reacting to it all was 'oh, my God'.

Now it's different. It still seems impossible, incomprehensible, but now...

...Now, we will not forget.
Sorceré | 18 | Denmark

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