#846 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
My wife and I were er-route to Orlando Florida for our annual vacation on September 11th 2001. We were at 34,000 feet above Newfoundland on a Virgin Atlantic flight. We made an unscheduled stop at Gander, where we were looked after by the Salvation Army at one of thier camps. We stayed at Twin Ponds for 24 hours and then flew back to Manchester in the United Kingdom. We were treated like royalty by the people of Gander and we were harldy alone. There were thirty nine other big aeroplanes and many passengers also 'stranded' at this time. While our hearts go out to those directly affected by the attacks , we feel we owe a debt of gratitude to the people of Gander and particularly the Salvation Army , who looked after us. Thank You to all of those involved. We are forever in your debt.
Barry & Tina Coomer | 34 | United Kingdom

#847 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I was already through a good part of my school day on September 11, when, just after walking into my third-period classroom, my friend Daniel walks in and says that a plane has hit the World Trade Center. At this point, I'm thinking it's most likely a small private plane or at worst a Leer jet. Being the news addict that I am, I turned on the televison and switched over to Fox News. I will never forget that first image I saw there- not one, but two WTC towers pouring black smoke from their tops. Everyone simply froze, even the freshmen, as we watched the scene unfold. That morning it seemed like the sky truly was falling in all the confusion. First the towers, then the Pentagon, then the crash in PA, not to mention the many other rumors that spread like wildfire. It was...surreal. At the end of third period, just as the bell rang, I had glanced away for a moment, heard a collective scream, looked back up...and there appeared to be only one tower standing. This, to me, was incomprehensible. I truly believed that this was the beginning of the end.

It was a bright, warm day, and in between classes, there were men and women of all ages crying. Those who weren't crying simply didn't speak, and hurried quickly to their next classes where they could continue to monitor the horrid events.

My fourth period class was acting. I flung the back door of the theatre open and rushed inside, to see a small semicircle of peers watching a TV mounted on the wall by the stage. Details poured in: all airports are shut down, all railways are shut down, stock market has been closed indefinately, both the president and the vice president are in a constant state of motion in an attempt to thwart any assassination plans.

The rest of the day was spent just as most others spent it: glued to the television. Curiously, the scene that brought to me the most distress, the most sheer outrage, was that of President Bush, reading a children's book to a group of elementary school students, being informed of the second impact. The contrast there, the everything that changed within that one minute...that was an image that I had (and continue to have) a difficult time dealing with.
Ryan Vance | 17 | Georgia

#848 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I was at home, i had the day off of school for illness.
My parents had left earlier to get to a meeting at the WTC, and they were there in the north tower when the plane hit.
I just want to leave a tribute to my perfect mommy and daddy who are no longer with me.
I feel only anger for those evil men on the airplane. they killed my family and made me all alone.
It is not their children who are without both parents, it is me. And i have to deal, they don't. they took the easy way out, death. If i could die, maybe i would. But i have to stay alive, for my parents.
I have tried many times to kill myself, and i know, that it's at the very moment you really think you're gonna die, that you wish you were alive.
I loved my parents and now they aren't here nobody loves me back.
they're gone. forever.
the taliban got what they wanted.

now its our turn.

tahliya | 15 | New York

#849 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I had just arrived at work, completely unaware of the tragedy unfolding until I was inside and people were in the conference room watching the news. We all sat in silence watching the first tower burning when the second was hit. My cousin works in downtown Manhattan. She arrives on the ferry from New Jersey, so I wasn't sure if she was okay or not until late that night. Fortunately she was late to work on September 11th.

My heart breaks with the rest of the world as we mourn the loss of our beloved citizens and the loss of our innocence. However, my spirit soars with the knowledge that we are strong and united as one country. We will NOT be defeated!

Peace to all.
Polly | 48 | Colorado

#850 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I work for a restaurant corporation located in Phoenix, Arizona. Living the west means open spaces, few if any tall buildings, and wide roads that seem to lead to any future you could imagine. Having lived in such cities as Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco, I felt that living in the southwest was a wonderful way to live.
On September 11th, I was in my apartment in Scottsdale, a suburb north and east of Phoenix. I was getting ready for work (it was just about 7:00 a.m.), and had the television set on with no sound as was typical for my morning routine. It was tuned to CNN.
I was rushing to get out the door in order to drop my dog off at the boarders. Our company was having their annual sales convention the next day in Las Vegas, and I had an early morning flight out on the 12th – too early to drop the dog that day, so I had her booked at a local pet resort for the 11th, with a drop off by 7:30 a.m.
As I crossed the living room to shut the patio door to leave I glanced at the TV set and saw two buildings – with smoke coming out of them. I sat down, riveted on the scenes being shown on the TV. At that time it was still confusion so I continued on my course of dropping the dog off, tears running down my face all the way on the commute in. I had the radio on, and while listening to the newscasters I kept thinking of all those people – innocent people – who were dying.
The rest of the day was spent at work. The conference was cancelled – and even though that seems like such an easy decision to have made – at the time it took quite a bit of conversation. Nobody knew what was really happening – and more importantly - how this day was going to change the way we do business. Co-workers roamed the halls and boardroom, watching television, discussing, listening to the radio, anything to keep in contact with the disaster that was taking place. The President of the company told us we could leave if we wanted to – but I didn’t want to go home to an empty apartment and face despair on my own. I stayed in order to be close to other human beings. The world was different in the space of a few moments.

Jeanne Brock | 42 | Arizona

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