#841 | Saturday, March 9th, 2002
The beginning of the end. My wife, only 42 years old, had been quite ill all year. Her problems due to severe arthritis were compounding. With no one else in the family to provide around the clock care, I worked from home and cared for her every need. Holding tissue to her mouth early that morning, I turned on the TV in our bedroom. My first impression was that a Bruce Willis movie was on, but yet it looked like the national news channels were involved. What we saw was the WTC on fire. Later that day, I took my wife to the emergency room where she was admitted. While she did come home a week later, I again took her to this same hospital January 8, 2002 so that a tube could be inserted into her abdomin for stomach feeding. Three days later she passed away...she never came back home. She had asked her nurse to call me at home the evening before and asked that I return to the hospital. Exhausted, I remained home and never spoke with her again. This will be my life long regret.
ruben montano | 42 | Arizona

#842 | Saturday, March 9th, 2002
It was about 7 a.m., and I was jogging on a trail in the woods, trying to get a good radio station on my walkman, since I live at high altitude in a remote area. A weatherman started to give his spiel when all of a sudden he stopped and said "I am getting this from the wire....", and he began to talk about what was happening. I was about three miles from home, desperate to get back and turn on CNN. The fastest three miles I have ever run. I got home and saw the towers, still standing... Called my mom, who sleeps late, and simply said, "Turn on the TV". Same scenario when I called her about Princess Diana, so she knew it wasn't going to be good. I couldn't believe how it brought my little community together. Instantaneously, flags went up, strangers talked as if they were best friends, and shops closed so that everyone could go to the local bar (which had CNN and was open at 9 a.m.) to watch.
Amanda Kemp
Cloudcroft, NM
Amanda Kemp | 31 | New Mexico

#843 | Saturday, March 9th, 2002
9-11. A Date that shall truly live in our hearts and minds forever. I woke up at my normal time to get ready for another normal day as a Senior in highschool. Then I turned on the TV and my world froze. the first plane had hit the towers and moments after I turned on the TV, I saw live the second plane travel a perfect arc, centering in, targeted at the tower. I saw it in slow motion as the plane seemingly decintigrated, bursting into flames as the wingtip that cleared the building continued on, raking the side of the building with flames. I was beyond tears, in utter disbelief. Then I heard about the Pentagon, and I knew it was war. One of the first teachings of Tsun Tsu in the Art of War is to conquer and divide; crush the market, crush the control base and you crush the enemy. I just never thought in any stretch of the imagination that the enemy would be us. I'm not old enough to remember Vietnam; I didn't serve in Desert Storm, I don't have any idea what the world looked like during the World Wars, all I know is that in times of crisis, we come together. I never have truly liked America. I love America for what it stands for, for the freedom, the beauty of our laws, our justice. I'm proud of the country I was born in. I just never liked the way I saw it presently. everywhere I looked, there was greed, powermongering; even those in the government really only looked out for themselves. Why does nobody care about what America really means anymore? Then 9-11 came. My world changed. I saw flags flying everywhere for the first time, people with the WTC on their T- shirts. I saw Americans doing what our fathers wanted; shaking hands, crying on each other's shoulders. This is the world I've always wanted, I've waited for all my life. This is not the world of the president, or any true adult. This is our world. We, the future. Someday, we'll change everything, someday, we'll create a true utopia, without greed, without hate. That's our biggest problem now; hate. So much hate in so small a world. Well, the future is now. It's time to start changing. Godspeed, longlife, and, most of all and truly so- GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Michael Arruda | 17 | California

#844 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
My wife and I both teach at the same elementary school, so on the morning of Sept. 11 we two and our two children were all getting ready for school when my sister-in-law, who lives up the street, called and told us to turn on the TV. We watched like everyone else as the tragedy unfolded in New York City, at the Pentagon and in that lonely field in Pennsylvania. I remember saying "Happy birthday to me" as I watched the carnage. Sept. 11, 2001, was my 41st birthday, and it is certainly one I will never forget. I tried to explain it all to my fourth graders at school. The odd thing is, the children really didn't seem too freaked by the whole thing. They talked about it, but to me it seemed many of them didn't grasp the enormity of the situation. I got the impression that many of the kids felt it was just like scenes from a movie or video game they had seen a thousand times. I feel like they had no real idea that thousands of people died on that surreal, spring-like September morning.
Mark H. | 41 | California

#845 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
September 11, 2001:
Last night, It was on September 10, 2001 I was on duty at a Security Patrol site, as I am in Security. My night as I recall was calm, with a few disturbances as normal. When I arrived home that following morning, a little exausted, I turned on the Television and viewed in shock of a the first N.Y. flaming building shown live on T.V. I did not realize or heard any thing from other sources moments before arriving home because I was enroute for home with radio silence?. You folk in N.Y. saw the immediate devestation effects.
At home, I was about 5 minutes or it seemed into the news when I watched a second plane ram the adjacent twin tower. [I Being a veteran realized we are at war from not hearing about the first hit plane, but a second is deliberate, as the first]. 'Very unusual' I said to myself, 'oh lord'!
I said to myself as a Veteran would, "We are at War"! Still shocked I changed the channel briefly and surely the tragic news was all over T.V.
'This can't not be happening, those innocent people are in the middle of a horrific and uncalled for act of terrorism' I said to myself. The persons involved as being responsible will be brought down by MIL. defense measures for this kind of cowardness.

Bare with me... this is a veterans mind talking war thought, due to defense of you and the United States. If I was not older than the cutoff age for reinlistment back into the U.S. Forces, I would go back and defend my people of the U.S.A. The U.S. Military needs to change the age policy, especially when we/I still have knowledge of previous military defense. I was a soldier and still think about it today. 'This, We/I will defend' is a soldier motto of war defense.

I am not scared of war, because I am hardened by my special area of training. To make a long story short, every true american should be on the defense of terror regardless if they are scared.
Talk to someone that is not scared, and we will sort out the problem of terrorism. Lets all work together. This incident at the Pentagon and New York should not have occurred due to our specialized mil. airborn intelligence and technology of tracking ahead of our own schedule time, anti-terrorism tactics and defense measures to prevent terrorism.

***My heart goes out to all families and innocent victims of war. Veterans and Active Duty MIL>Personnel too! This is war and we need to stick together and in any way...snuff out the bad people terrorist's.***

Back to the television screen live on 9/11 in the Pacific A.M., as I am watching and thinking, wish I could be there to help find people immediately, due to my past emergency service training.
However, I was called back to my work duty here to defend our other part of the Nation from more terror acts.... Sacramento. I was protecting and guarding a State Building around the clock until relieved for rest. Terror just about can occur anywhere, anytime.

Any, I repeat, any suspicious activity of any type regardless how small they are, should be brought to the proper authority by you for investigation before the incident and innocent get involved as a horrific scene. Defend Our Freedom. Be Alert always from this day out.
America will survive terrorism.

**God Bless America and our Freedom, yesterday, today, tommorow, forever.**

Eric Olsen | 38 | California

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