#960 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
When I woke up that Tuesday morning a report I heard on my clock radio stated a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. At first it sounded as if it was an accident, much like what happened when a bomber crashed into the Empire State Building by accident during World War II. I showered, dressed, and went to work. I only have a four minute commute to the high school where I teach Social Studies at, so I did not get more information from the radio.
I was still thinking accident when another teacher came into my office and said the other tower had been hit, My only response was an expletive. Our department decided to put a television in the study area for students to watch the news. I put a sign under the TV letting students know there was counseling in the main office. I watched as young people held hands, hugged, and cried. We all know it was not an accident, but an evil act perpetrated on innocent people. The bell rang and I had to go to class.
After the first part of class I asked my study hall if they would like to go to the study area to watch the news. They said yes. Before we left we shared the news and rumors we had all heard.
When we got to the study area a crowd had gathered. My first thought as I watched the horrifying images on TV was, where's the other tower? As if he read my mind a student said it had collapsed. I was in shock. Then on TV the second tower fell. That's when I cried. I didn't know if people had gotten out. I was thinking that it could be America's bloodiest day. that it could be worse than the 23,000 lost at Antietam during the Civil War.
After hearing that the Pentagon was hit and another plane crashed in Pennsylvania, but may have been targeting our President, I was worried for my country. Some group was trying to decapitate my government. We were at war. I looked at all the young faces around me and I could see their fear mixed with anger and frustration. We were unable to act, we could only watch. I left the room to call a friend of mine. As we talked we discussed how we were at the Monday Night Football game between the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos at the New Mile High Stadium the night before. It sounds selfish now, but it was an eerie feeling knowing we were at a nationally televised event with 76,000 other targets. It was chilling to us. The day's events sure made sports far less significant. We finished our conversation and I hung up the phone. I called my Mom and Dad and told them both I loved them, I couldn't think of anything else to do.
The rest of the day I absorbed the news, and tried to teach, but my and the student's hearts were not in it. Students asked me if they would be drafted. A few kids had parents or other relatives in New York or in Washington, DC. One girl's brother was already overseas with the United States Marine Corps. I only wish I had the answers and words that would ease their fear and pain.
On my off hour I listened to Tony Blair's speech and was heartened that our country had such a great friend and ally that is Great Britain. I made sure to print out copies of Blair's and President Bush's speeches to use later.
When I got home my Australian cousin, Ross, called me from Sydney. We talked about the day's events and other things and he made a joke that the only time he ever calls is when disaster strikes. One of the last times he called was just after Columbine. He assured me the Australian people were with us and we left it at that.
That night I stood outside and watched the stars. It was strange not hearing planes, not seeing contrails in the twilight, or flashing beacons up in the sky. By this time shock and fear were gone, I was angry. That anger has now turned to resolve. We will win.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families as well as the brave men and women defending us overseas.

God Bless America
Christian Shute | 32 | Colorado

#961 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
I remember when I first heard what happened. It was about 8a.m. my mom had called and woke me up. All I could make of the call was that I needed to wake up and turn on the television. When I did I was in shock and disbelieve at what was going on. How could someone do this to us? How could these people hijack not only 1 plane but 4 planes? I had mixed feelings of outrage and sadness. Outrage, by thinking that there are people in this world who are so heartless and cruel. And sadness for the people lost and for the families of the fallen.
After seeing the towers fall I decided that I needed to do something to try and make things a little better for the people in NYC. But being in Illinois and so far away the only thing I could do was donate. So I waited in line at the Red Cross for over 3 hours to give my pint of blood. And every time I saw a sign saying Donations I pitched in. I wish there was more that I could have done.
God bless America and NYC
Melissa | 22 | Illinois

#962 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
I was in a hotel in Billings Montana, sleeping when I received a telephone call from my mother to turn on the T.V.
I turned on the T.V. and watched in horror the events that were unfolding that day. I could not believe what I was seeing. I was awe struck. My heart was very heavy and thought "who could have done this". I was deeply sadden to see the twin towers on fire and then eventually crumble. I felt as though the US was under attack and I needed to get home in Utah to be with my family. I felt a sense of urgency to call my wife and tell her that I loved her and I hope she was ok as well as my family. I was up in Montana for a funeral of my grandfather who had pasted away two days earlier. I also what he would have thought about this whole ordeal. I am not sure what he would have thought but I know he would not have imagined this was happening on our soil. As the events unfolded, I felt scared, uncertain and above all, I thought the world would be in WW III. Some other thoughts that ran threw my head were thoughts of my newly born son that was only 6 months old. I hope he will never have to see war in his lifetime. I also felt the saddening of the people in the towers. Then we heard there were firefighters, policeman and others in the towers it just made me sick to know that were in there and might not come out alive. If I remember correctly, I beleive I said a prayer for my family and those in the towers. May God bless those who have given their lives in the line of duty as well as each and every one of those victims in the towers and planes.
Lance | 31 | Utah

#963 | Monday, March 11th, 2002
I remember distinctly where I was. I was coming off of work. (night shift) As my typical morning I was listening to a popular morning talk show (Bob and Tom for those who know it) and just cruising home.

I decided to grab a breakfast biscuit on my way home. As I was pulling away from the drive thru window, the radio show announced the report of the first jet crashing into the buildings. At first, my reaction was much like many people. Some plane landing/leaving New York had some tragedy, perhaps a pilot died, and this was a terrible accident.

But then, about fifteen minutes later, as I was pulling off Due West Ave onto Ellington Pkwy in Nashville, TN, the radio hosts announced the second hit. Whatever thoughts of the first plane being an 'accident' were wiped in a single shot. I can still remember the shock of the radio personalities as their usually silly show became instantly somber and serious. On my drive home, the police were scrambling all over the city for the Airport/Capitol/etc. I even recall seeing a number of cars pulling off the road as they apparently were listening in on the news.

The rest of the ride home was more mechanical than conscious. I kept my friends who were at work informed, as I had the TV/internet/radio all going gathering any news I could. It was maddening. Not only the WTC, but also the Pentagon, along with other false reports. (CNN reported an incorrect attack on Capitol Hill)

That night when I woke up, I found a barely nibbled-on breakfast biscuit sitting on my computer desk. It went into the trash. My favorite show was having their season finale that night. I taped it. Didn't watch it for a month.

I can't tell you what I had to eat three days ago, but I will never forget 9/11.
Scott | 30 | Tennessee

#964 | Tuesday, March 12th, 2002
I was sound asleep when the attacks happened. The phone rang about 5 something in the morning, obviously an unusual time... in my mind I was just thinking, oh no, I hope this is not going to be some bad news about any of my family members...When I picked up the phone, my sister's voice sounded so somber and I started thinking that my premonition was true. It was actually a relief when the first thing she said was "turn on the T.V.!" She didn't have to explain anything after that. At first, I felt so numb...it just seemed so "Hollywood"...like it was only a movie or something. When they showed the people running, the fear so evident in their faces, I felt oh so sad... At work that morning, I left the television on all day so the students could witness history in the making. We discussed the history, the root problems of the attack. Unfortunately, it took a tragic event like this to have students in this generation gain a better appreciation and understanding of how history affects all of us....I'll always remember the breathtaking view of New York City at night atop the famous World Trade Center...now a part of history...
Emy Tagama Keola | 35 | Hawaii

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