#929 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
I was at my desk eating a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. I usually read the paper online while eating so I brought up USATODAY and saw the headlines that the World Trade Center Towers had been hit. I thought it was a private jet that crashed into them by accident. We were able to see the Towers from our building, so we all ran to the window on the 4th floor to go see the smoke. While we were coming downstairs to the 3rd floor, the second plane hit. That's when everybody knew it was a terrorist attack.
Yagnesh Jani | 24 | New Jersey

#930 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
Where Was I?
I still asleep untill about 10am. I go to the local community college Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I sleep in the other days. I woke up because people from the insurance company were coming to samples for our mold claim. They mentioned something they heard on the radio about the being hit or burning down. I could not really hear them. I was getting dressed in my room. My mom and brother rushed to the tv and turned on the Fox news channel. There before all of eyes we saw it all replay. The second plane crashing into the building, the Pentigon crash, the plane crash in Pennsyvania, and the plane that was headed to New York that they could not get a hold of but finaly did and had them grounded. The president's speech stayed in all of our minds. My family already knew that it was most defintly Bin Landen. My mom said that my older brother in the navy mentioned that there were reports of him (Bin Laden) stating that something was was going to happen. All I could think of was maybe this is not really happening maybe this is all just a very bad nightmare. But to all my hoping and praying it came to no avail this is real this is happening. Then I mentioned something that I read on the yahoo's news, about Bin Laden's guys taking out the leader of the North allaince. I knew then that this was some collisal plan that they had made to us down and out. Even then I prayed that this was not real. Then the Presendent came on agian and said that this was war and that we will get our justice. I remember that speech in my mind more than the pain and hurt that I felt because I knew that we would not let them get away with attacking us with our backs turned.
Brandelyn Wiser | 18 | Texas

#931 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
On Tuesday September 11th, I got up at 5:15 PT for a run. My wife had spent the previous night in Portland in order to be at the Portland Airport for a 6 AM flight to Oklahoma to visit her mom. I usually listen to a tape on my Walkman, but for some reason turned on my radio and was listening to National Public Radio. About 15 minutes into the run the radio announcer said that a "small plane" had struck one of the Towers of the World Trade Center. Growing up a New Yorker my first thought was to picture the Towers dominating the skyline of Lower Manhattan and thinking that was very strange. I tried to picture which Tower it might be and I wondered if perhaps something had happened to the pilot of what I assumed was a small engine, perhaps private plane. The radio broadcast cut away to another story and I coninued my run, saying a small prayer for the people affected by the crash.
As I approached my house I heard the word that a second plane had hit the other Tower. I immediately felt a chill and thought that this was no coincidence. I rushed into the house and turned on the TV in time to see a video of the second plane hitting the South Tower. I tried reaching my sister at her office in Midtown, but all the lines were dead. I worried about my wife Barb who at that moment was in the air with no way of knowing what had happened. I called Barb's mom but she hadn't heard anything about the attacks. We promised we'd keep each other informed. I sat mesmerized for a bit then, with the TV on in the bedroom I turned the radio back on in the bathroom as I started the shower. At that moment, I heard a reporter talking live from the Pentagon who was waiting for an official statement. In an instant the correspondent interrupted himself to say that there had been an explosion at the other side of the building. After some confusion he gathered himself enough to say that the Pentagon had been hit. It was clear now that we were under attack. I called into the elementary school where I work as a counselor and told the secretary that I would probbably not be in until much later, after I had word about my wife and family. Then I sat and waited.
I eventually heard from my sister who was evacuated from her building because of its proximity to Rockefeller Center and the fear that another attack might target the City's communications center. She was meeting up with her son who works in a nearby office and they eventually walked home to Brooklyn. My wife called a couple of hours later to explain that her flight was grounded in Salt Lake and the airport closed. Passengers where advised to make arrangements for staying in Salt Lake until the airport reopened, presumably the next day. She eventually decided to rent a car and drive back to Oregon a few days later.
For days afterward I was in a fog, feeling helpless that I couldn't be there, knowing that there were personal friends who worked in One World Financial Center, as well as schoolmates and close friends of other family members who were lost in the devastation.
Dominic Cusimano | 52 | Oregon

#932 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
We were donating time to the United Way - Sept. 11 was the day for the scraping crew - We scraped the old paint off of a very poor lady's house and made repairs so that the paint crew could come by a few days later and complete the work. We heard about the towers being hit on the way to the site.

The old woman's daughter came by and spent a few hours with her during the day. As she left the house, she turned to me and said, "You're doing a very good thing on a very bad day."

Ultimately, those who destroy cannot defeat those who build.

Richard Hare | 46 | Texas

#933 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
I was getting ready for work when our phone rang just around 8 a.m. (CST). My sister came into my room and said it was our mom on the phone at that the WTC had been hit by an airplane. She had the TV on in her room. She was on her way out the door, and I went into her room and watched TV for a few minutes. I couldn't believe it, and it sounded like it was an accident, a smaller plane at first.

I left and finished getting ready and went to work. On my bus, two women that got on a few stops after mine were talking about it and I heard one say that two planes had hit the WTC and that it was a terrorist attack. I was shocked and once I got off the bus and started walking to work, I called my boyfriend who was on his way to a job interview in the suburbs. I asked him if he had heard and he confirmed what the two women said and told me to be careful, since I work a few blocks from the John Hancock building in Chicago.
He said he was still going out to his interview, since he was halfway there.

I got to my building and took the elevator up to my floor. Another woman who works near our department was coming from the stairwell and turned around when she saw me. She asked me if I had heard the news, and I said "Yes, about the WTC being hit". She then said, "No, the Pentagon has been hit too!" I was so stunned as I walked down the hall in disbelief. I passed by our director's office, and she asked me if I knew what had happened, and I told her that the Pentagon just got hit as well. She didn't believe me and said, "No, I think you have it mixed up with the WTC". Well, she found out soon enough that it did get hit.

A few people had radios and we were trying to listen to what was going on. I kept on trying to access the news sites on my PC, but they were too busy. A coworker then told us that the towers were collapsing, at which point I had a hard time trying to stay composed. I kept thinking about a business trip I took to NYC the year before, and walking past the WTC towers - they were so big and tall it seemed impossible to believe they were gone.

Our director gathered our department soon after and told us that we could go home for the day. I decided to walk home, since I'm about 2 1/2 miles away and noticed several other people on Michigan Avenue leaving the buildings.

I walked through Lincoln Park, and it was strange because there were other professionals like myself walking through the park in our business clothes and briefcases at 10 a.m. in the morning going out of the downtown area. The buses were packed going to the north side of town, full of people going home. I thought of the Sears Tower, and the Hancock Building, wondering if they were targets. I also thought of my dad, who was on a business trip in Florida, and how and when he would get home to my mom and other sister in Iowa (he ended up renting a car and driving with a co-worker).

I was so glad to see my sister when I got home, my brother and my sister's boyfriend came over. We called my mom and other family and sat and watched the news, and there were false reports circulating around Chicago that a fifth hijacked airplane was headed for the city. The mayor got on the TV and denied that and stated the city was in crisis communications mode. My boyfriend came over a few hours later and said that he still had the interview, but that people were watching the news and the expressways were empty. We stood outside and noticed how quiet it was, except for the sound of military jets high up patrolling the skies.
Alexis | 27 | Illinois

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