#851 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
You know, this is odd to me. I remember as a child always hearing my Mom recall where she was when Kennedy was killed, or my Grandfather recall where he was when Pearl Harbor was attacked. I never imagined that in my life time I would too, later recall where I was when something like this happened. I do recall though with a lot of sadness. It was the one morning I didn't turn the TV on as I was running late for work. I loaded my son into the car to head to daycare when I heard on the radio that a plane had hit one of the towers. At this point, they did not know that we were under attack. I was shocked, first thought in my head was the pilot must have had a heart attack or something. I get my son to daycare and get my morning coffee when I heard the other plane crashed into the other tower, the plane crashed into the pentagon and another was missing. I went to work anyway, a little frightened. We watched and waited at work. Then I heard that they were evacuating the schools in the area my Mother lives in due to the Air Force base being right near by. I panicked then, rushed to daycare to get my son and went home and started making phone calls. I could not turn the TV off for fear I might miss some important news. I will never ever forget that day nor will anyone else in this world. I have saved several newspapers for my son who is now 2. I want him to be able to understand this when he is older and see what our country went through and survived. God Bless America and those who are suffering due to Sept. 11. One last note, I am a registered Democrat, but THANK GOD, George W. Bush is in office and is handling this. If there ever was a man that could change the way I vote, it will be him. I only wish I had voted for him to begin with. Thank you mister President.
Jennifer Turner | 29 | Arizona

#852 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I woke up to get ready for school . . .I had a test at ASU that day . . .in Arizona it was so early in the morning . . .When I turned on the morning news I saw "breaking news" on the screen, and decided to see what was up as I brushed my teeth. Then when I saw what was going on I just sat down. I saw the second plane hit, the pentagon get hit, both towers collapse. I saw people I knew running down the streets in Manhattan . . .I felt so helplessly far away. My old friend Peter, a NYC firefighter, passed away that day. My cousin Nick died, as did 4 old family friends. My life will never be the same, the pain will never really go away.

I encourage "closet" patriots who came out after this event to stay out. I thought it was a shame that more flags hung in my neighborhood sept. 12th than the past veteran's day and independence day combined.

Next time you see a firefighter, policeman, Veteran, or Armed forces volunteer, thank them for your freedom.
Katie | 22 | Arizona

#853 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I was one of the lucky ones. I had been to the Michael Jackson Tribute Concert the night before Sept 11. I had an early flight back to Seattle the next morning-at the time I wanted a later flight, but now I am so grateful it was early, my friends and I took seperate rides to various NY airports(none of us could get on the same flight for various reasons) me being at JFK. The time frame is such a blur to me now, having just switched my watch back to Pacific time that I'm not sure when exactly everything happened, but my flight(American Airlines 265) left New York about 8:50 am or so. Being hard of hearing, there was an announcement made over the intercom but I didn't understand it so I asked the gentleman in the seat next to me what the pilot was saying since it was a long message. He was shaking his head slowly as if he wasn't sure himself, "Something's wrong with the radio communications West of Chicago?" he said uncertainly, "apparently it's never happened before, we may have to stop in O'Hare." 'No problem,' I thought, my connecting flight doesn't leave Seattle for 8 hours and I've never been to Chicago.' We ended up in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I remember a flight attendant being a little jittery having had my arm splashed with a little hot water but everything seemed normal-except for this stop in 'Chicago.' I was very upset when I got off the plane but only because I wasn't going home right away. A nice man named Jack Nash(thank you Jack, wherevewr you are) helped me find my luggage and shared a cab with me as we found our hotel rooms-no small feet since I was in a wheelchair and I also was toting a box of one dozen Krispy-Kreme donuts with me to surprise my friends at home. Waiting at the ticket counter at the Toronto Airport I was surprised to learn that there would be no flights out until Thursday. "Why so long?" I remember asking the ticket clerk, I don't remember her words to me but she had a look on her face I now recognize as the realization that I hadn't been told yet. I asked her to call my parents at home for me since I was hard of hearing and she did. Turns out it was a good thing she did, my parents had been woken up with the radio broadcast of the events of New York and Wash.DC and had no idea what to do. I ended up at a hotel in Toronto (thank you, Toronto) where I turned on the TV to see what I thought was a promo for some Schwarzennegger-type film but as I turned the channels, realized the same thing was being shown over and over. I think I just whimpered in front of the set "I was just there" over and over until I was practically screaming. To try to sum this up, I avoided the TV as much as I could for the remainder of my stay- 5 days- and took a lot of baths. I even snuck a cucumber slice out of my salad for my tired puffy eyes. Well that's it basically, like I said I was one of the lucky ones, except for being so lonely.
Sunny Inge | 32 | Washington

#854 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
I was en route to work in downtown Denver when I turned on the car radio to get a weather report. I heard Dan Rather talking about the World Trade Tower fire. I thought he was talking about the bombing several years ago. Then he said "the tower has collapsed" and he sounded so sad. Then I realized what he was talking about was actually happening. I started to cry. As I drove towards the city of Denver I kept staring at our tall towers wondering if we were next. It was eerie. Late that night at home after I finally turned off the tv, I lay in bed and heard nothing but silence outside. No wind, no people, no airplanes flying overhead. Just utter stillness. I knew the world had changed. And I knew thousands of people were out there waiting for someone they loved to come home, and that some of them never would.
Nancy | 41 | Colorado

#855 | Sunday, March 10th, 2002
On September 11, 2001 I was at work. I work at a telecommunications company that has customers world wide but our customer base is in the U.S. I was talking to some of the members of my team when they started telling me that one of the towers at the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. They asked me to go to the break room to see if anything was being shown on the TV as the Internet was bogged down and no one could get to any news sites. I walked down to the break room to find several other managers watching a news channel. My former boss, and friend, was standing there watching so I asked if she knew what was going on. She said she had just gotten there herself. As we talked and watched the second tower was hit. We just looked at each other. People on the TV started screaming and running. All I could do was walk away. I knew that if one person started crying I would be useless to my team. There was no doubt in my mind we were under attack. Further proven later by the Pentagon attack and the crash in Pennsylvania.
One of the women that works in my department asked if she could go call her brother who was due to work in one of the WTC buildings. I took her down to the break room to use a phone and that was when the first tower fell. So did she. She collapsed in a crying heap and I didn’t know if I could even begin to help her. We got her on the phone to no avail as all the circuits were already busy from the overload of calls into and out of New York. I left her there to try and call her brother or anyone back in New York.
I decided to go back to my team to see how they were doing. Our call volume had plummeted. It seemed all of America was watching the news. I noticed one of my employees seem more distraught then the rest, we all were by now, so I pulled him into a conference room to talk to him. By this time they had identified one of the United Air Lines planes as having come from Boston that morning. As we talked he informed me that his brother, a United Air Lines pilot, was supposed to fly out of Boston that morning and hadn’t been heard from yet. That was it. He started crying and I couldn’t keep it in any longer. Here was one of my employees crying because his brother could very well be one of the casualties. There is a certain kinship among your employees and times like this were when we came together as one team. I offered to send him home to be with his Father so they could continue to call. He declined as his work number was the only way his Father could contact him. I took him off line and had him call his home every fifteen minutes until something was heard. About an hour after the second tower fell our entire corporation closed and the buildings were emptied. I sent all of my people home with a number to call the next day to see if we were re-opening. I gave my employee my cell phone number to call me when he heard from his brother. I was praying non-stop that he and his family would get a call. They did. His brother was safe and still in Boston. That is one of the happiest calls I have ever received in my life.
When we closed the corporation some of us volunteered to stay and take calls. We support Government, military, and emergency services for their telecommunications systems and had gone to a National Defense/Emergency service only scenario. We changed our incoming message to state our current support stance. Our regular customers were being asked to call back the next day to see if we were operating as normal again. I stayed from 6a.m. to 10 p.m. but only took calls from about 11a.m. to 10 p.m. I should say I was waiting to take calls. None ever came. That was one of the most depressing nights of my life. We never heard from anyone because there was no one left. We moved forward the next day taking care of the complete customer base. People were a little kinder and a lot more sympathetic to each other but it will never be the same.
By the way, the woman who’s brother was to be at the WTC that morning had decided to go to his companies warehouse first that morning and is safe.
People have always seen me as very patriotic but now I think they understand where I was coming from.
Terry E. Browning | 30 | Colorado

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