#919 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
My wife and I were both at work on 9/11. Although our office was closed that afternoon for security reasons, we stayed at work to finish up various tasks. We both feel that the response of the public and the news media needs to be tempered by some reality. First, we kill many more people from auto accidents, alcohol and tobacco in this country than we ever lost on 9/11. Second, terrorism of this kind is endemic around the world and has killed many more than we lost on 9/11 and the US is just lucky it hadn't struck here more often. Third, we have enough home grown nuts who use terrorism to advance their agenda (think OK City, abortion clinics, militia's) that could just as easily have been the terrorists as muslims. Fourth, it is very apparent to us that the current generation of Americans has grown very soft and fails to account for the world outside our borders. Get over it. In our part of the US, life was normal on 9/10, 9/11 and 9/12 and ever since that time. We flew to a conference on 9/23 for a week and have flown many times since then. Traffic at our local airport dropped just 4% over the last 6 months.
As a veteran, I am proud of the NYC firefighters and policemen and our military response and glad to see returning serviceman acknowledged for their service as opposed to being heckled and spit on like my own experience during Vietnam.
t | 50 | North Dakota

#920 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
From my journal: I wanted to record some things about Tragic Tuesday. It was a morning for all mornings – Tuesday, September 11, 2001. It was a beautiful late-summer morning in Northeast Ohio, with a stunning sunrise and blue skies with a few white puffy clouds. I started the day like any other mundane workday. I took some extra time in the morning with the kids and my wife. I left for work about 8:40, a few minutes later than normal. I turned on the radio to 1100 am WTAM to hear the news and the traffic report and set off east down route 303 in Brunswick. When I neared the freeway, the radio broke away to report that an airplane had crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center. I was simply stunned. I thought of all of the passengers on the plane and all those that were in the building. Not knowing the full events, it was reported that it might have been a small airplane.

My initial thought were “How could this happen? How could a pilot hit the tower? Something must have gone wrong with the airplane.” I continued on to work in my dad’s 1996 Chevy Lumina. The regular radio broadcast went to a national broadcast from ABC news. They were interviewing a gentleman who worked a few blocks from the World Trade Center and he was telling what he saw of the plane crash, when all of a sudden he exclaimed, “The second tower just exploded! I can feel the heat through my office windows!” This was amazing. Then the newscaster said that another plane had crashed into the second tower. The witness indicated that he did not see the plane but he must have had a different view. I was simply beside myself. I could not wait to see the news and to talk to somebody. After the second plane hit, I felt that either someone at air traffic control was making some horrible mistakes or that it was a terrorist attack.

When I parked the car in downtown Cleveland, I asked the parking attendant if he had heard what was going on. He didn’t so I told him and he could not believe it. When I got to work, everyone was huddled around the television in the workout room watching the news. The first image I saw was the Pentagon on fire. An airplane had also hit the Pentagon. “O my!” I said. This was definitely a terrorist attack. But how? Then I saw the two towers spewing smoke and ablaze. What a horrible sight. We heard reports that people were jumping from the top floors. An incomprehensible thought of what the situation was for someone to decide to jump from a 110-story high window to the street below. As if that wasn’t enough, I then saw the second tower to get hit collapse on live television. A few minutes later, the first tower to get hit collapsed right in front of my eyes. This was devastating. It was an absolutely horrible feeling. I felt like I could hear all of the cries and screams of those who died at that moment. One blow after another, would it ever end?

We then got wind that a plane was hijacked over Cleveland and one plane was on the ground at Cleveland Hopkins Airport with a suspected bomb on it. At this point I turned to our vice president and asked if we should evacuate. We then heard that a fourth plane crashed only minutes away (flying time) in nearby Pennsylvania. Our office was then evacuated.

Before I left, I called my wife to try to tell her about what was happening and for her to get my son out of school. But she was not home. She was at the school board getting trained on how to do ear and eye testing. So I left a message on the answering machine and left my office. My two other children were being watched by a neighbor who lives up the street from us. I ran down E. 9th street to my car and drove home to get my son from Towslee Elementary School. When I got to school, I was hoping that they had already taken the kids home already but they hadn’t. I then wondered if I was over reacting. But I went into the office and asked if they were going to close the school. They said that they weren’t but I could check out my son if I wanted. They said a few other parents had done so already. I said that I would like to take my son home. They were very friendly and asked who he was. When I told them it was Mitchell Taylor, everyone in the office said “Oh, Mitchell! We love Mitchell! He is so awesome!” I was a very proud parent at that point. They then called down to Mrs. Young’s room and said that Mitchell’s dad was here to pick him up. A few minutes later, my dear Mitchell came walking into the office, smiling, where I gave him a big hug. I signed him out and left.

As we left the school, there many more parents coming in to pick up their children. I was still concerned about getting a hold of my wife. Luckily, I ran into a neighbor and she called the neighbor that was watching my other children to see if my wife was there. She wasn’t, but I told her to tell her that I picked up Mitchell and I was on my way to pick up the other children. Mitchell and I then drove around the school grounds near the school board and high school looking for my wife's car. I was going to go get her, but we could not find her car so we assumed that she had left already. When we got to our neighbor's house, my wife was there and we all gave each other a big hug. We were all relieved that we were together and safe, a blessing and luxury that many families did not have that day – or ever again. It was about 11:30 a.m. at that point. We stayed there for a while marveling at the day’s events so far but being cautious not to alarm the children.

When my wife was at her training, they interrupted it to watch the news and events. She said she was OK until Cleveland’s mayor Michael White had a press conference and talked about the hijacked plane over Cleveland and the plane at Hopkins that was on the ground. She then got very worried about me and tried to call me, but I had left the office already. She then was really hysterical and called my dad in a panic. He assured her that he was working as usual in his downtown office. Which is surprising because most of Cleveland was evacuated already. It began with the terminal tower and the federal buildings. He assured her that I was OK. When she got to my neighbor's house and my neighbor told her that I had picked up Mitchell and that I was on my way over, she was very relieved. She was very worried about me.

The country was stunned. It was bad enough that any one of these events happened. All of the planes were hijacked. My thoughts were that this was a malicious and well-planned attack. If only the towers did not collapse, it would have been so much better. But we lost so many when they collapsed. – mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, policemen, firemen, and heroes. It was kicking the country when we were down. This was not in some far away land. All of this destruction and death occurred on mainland America. I remarked to my wife that if the events of the day were in a movie, I would have said that the movie was too far-fetched and too unrealistic. Think of it! Four planes were hijacked with plastic knives and box cutters. Not one, not two, not even three, but four planes were hijacked! Too unreal. Not only that, all four of them crashed. Once again, completely unreal. Not only that, but two were crashed into the World Trade Center towers and one into the Pentagon. Unbelievable. I would have left the movie at this point because it would be too fake. Then, just out of nowhere, both towers collapse in an awesome display of smoke and fire. What are the chances? Even the most creative, money-hungry minds in Hollywood would not write such a far-fetched script. No way.

To celebrate our togetherness and life, we treated ourselves to Wendy’s for lunch. We went through the drive through, came home and ate it as a family. We put the kids down for a nap. Then my wife and I turned on the news and watched it until the children woke up. We played with the kids and enjoyed them when they were awake. But we watched it again after they were asleep for the night. The whole country stopped and watched. There were no commercials for two days, just continuing news coverage.

Thus ended this beautiful of all Tuesdays –the darkest day in the history of America, 9-11-01. A day I will never forget. The day that changed the world forever. May God continue to bless the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Brigham John Taylor | 29 | Ohio

#921 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
I was in a sales training class preparing for a job at Dell computers. We had a quick break and heard a little of what had happened but the impact of it was not full force because only one tower had been hit at the time and we all thought it was just a tragic airplane crash. Dell's building is right next to the Nashville airport and we all noticed how no planes were flying in or out. Normally during a break we would always see five or so. About ten minutes into our class after the break, someone came in and told us about the second plane and the Pentagon and that was when it hit us all. They dismissed our class for about two hours so we could have the opportunity to watch the news and wait for the President to speak on the teleprompters around the building. I remember the fear in my mind of wondering where would the next plane strike. Normally there are over 100 customers waiting to speak to sales reps and it dropped to 0 and stayed that way for days. The impact on me has been tremendous even though I didn't lose anyone close to me. I think about these events everyday and wish I could extend my sympathies to all the families and friends of those innocent Americans who lost their lives. This is my opportunity and I thank those who put this website together to allow each of us to let us express our condolences.
Tammy | 25 | Tennessee

#922 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
I remember on 9/11/02, I was getting ready to go to work, and as usual, running a bit late. A friend was picking me up since my car was getting fixed. It was just after 7:30 am Mountain time, and I was finishing my hair when I heard Katie Couric on the Today show break into the normal morning news. When they reported that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, I thought for sure that it was a complete accident. Maybe something went wrong with a plane from La Guardia or Kennedy, and the pilot couldn’t help it. So I sat down to see the footage of the first building on fire, and that’s when the second one hit. I still remember the collective gasp you could hear on the Today set. At that point it was obvious that this was no accident.

About that time, my friend arrived to pick me up. She came in the house, and we just sat in front of the T.V. Forget work, this was WAY more important. My friend is from Long Island, and we just watched the T.V., horrified. We eventually got in the car and made it to work, where it was eerily quiet. At least half of the 500 employees at our office are NY transplants, and a great majority of them were gathered around the one T.V. in the building that would get outside channels. People were calling NY, trying to find their loved ones; many people were crying because they couldn’t get a hold of them. Any calls that we tried to make to our Long Island office were met with a busy signal. The only means of communication with them was via e-mail. The company issued several updates as the morning went on about the tragedy. What a horrible, horrible day.

Around 10:00 am, my boyfriend came to pick me up to take me home. No work was happening, and we all kept thinking, “Where are they going to strike next?” We didn’t feel safe anywhere, and mostly just wanted to be with our loved ones. We spent the rest of the day watching the horror on television.

During this time, I continually thought about my friend’s husband, who is a fireman in Queens. I didn’t know for sure if they would go over the bridge to help or not. Turns out he was there, and when the buildings started collapsing, they just ran for their lives. It’s probably the only thing that saved him.

Since then, I’ve been amazed by the amount of patriotism that I’ve seen. Coming from a family who’ve fought in WWII and Vietnam, we had always held our country in such high esteem. But the outpouring of pride in our country continually blows me away. Driving to work each morning and seeing flags everywhere, and signs that said “God Bless America”, filled my heart with pride. It’s good to know that even in these days of slackers, tabloids, scandals and isolation that our country can come together as one.

As I write this on the 6-month anniversary of 9/11, I have one other thing to say. To those who decide to use this site as a political forum, I feel sorry for you. Sorry that you can’t live in a country where unity and freedom are cherished, and where adversity is always met head on.
Shannon D. | 28 | Colorado

#923 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
Where was I?

On September 10, 2001 I flew into Chicago from LAX to attend a meeting and a major trade show. On the morning of September 11, 2001, I left my hotel room at approximately 7:50 am, just as news was talking about a “fire” at the WTC. We went into our meeting and took a break around 10:00 CST; at that time I noticed several missed calls on my cell phone. As I walked out into the Lobby of the conference center, I notice a standing group of people with their eyes glued to the TV set. People were crying, my 1st thought was this was a movie trailer, when someone mentioned the attacks on WTC and the Pentagon. After watching briefly, I attempt to call my family in Southern CA to let them know I was all right, all be home as soon as I can. Unfortunately, my cell phone service wouldn’t work; next try was the payphones, which were all busy with people trying to call home. Finally a payphone was free. Fear started settling in as I realized all circuits were busy, collect calls and calling cards wouldn’t work. Being over 2000 miles away from my family, I started to panic as I heard reports of Los Angeles and Chicago being possible target areas. The attendees of the meeting decided to continue with the meeting. Finally about an hour later, I received a very distraught call on my cell phone from my youngest daughter; they’ve been trying to reach me for over 4 hours and were extremely anxious to hear my voice. I assured them, things were okay with me and I’d keep in touch. I felt like I had to be brave but my thoughts went towards my daughters, my husband, my Mom and mostly towards my daughter’s friends who are in the service. I couldn’t help but think we are at war. Later that day in Chicago, the city was voluntarily evacuated. It was an eerie feeling to walk the streets of Downtown Chicago and find restaurants closed and no taxis running. Since all flights were canceled, all rental cars booked, trains filled up. My co-workers and I were basically stuck in Chicago for the week. We continued to work and spent lots of time at the restaurants and bars. I consistently called my husband and family. Although I enjoy Chicago, I so looked forward to finally going home to my family and friends. The biggest emotion that has come out of these attacks is FEAR. How can we ever feel safe again? How can I assure my daughter’s were safe. We’ve picked up and moved on and we are trying to continue with our normal routines, but nothing will ever be the same again. Never again will I take the little things in life for granted.
JC | 41 | California

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