#2437 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I had been out of work for some months and as a result was used to sleeping in. About 8:15-8:30 or so (CST, I'm in Chicago, so this was 915-30 NY time) my friend Natasha calls me and wakes me up and says "Dovie you're not going to believe this! Turn on your TV!" I ask which channel, and she says 'any channel!' at which point I realize something major happened since the only time you can say "any channel" is when the president is speaking or the world is falling apart. I sat in front of my TV flipping between a couple channels but staying mostly with Peter Jennings since he was doing the best in coverage. I couldn't take myself away from the screen for hours. I was on the phone with various people at the time. I happened to be on with Natasha again when one of the towers fell, I think the first, and we both just gasped. She had spent several years in NYC and recognized all the places we were seeing on TV. I have several relatives in NYC and fortunately none of them were anywhere near there then. It was just a shocking day. One friend came over after her work let everyone go and we just sat and watched the coverage. There just seemed to be nothing else to do and we were glued to the screen. They closed off the Sears Tower and the Federal buildings downtown as well, afraid that they would be next. It's odd, I still tear up whenever I hear stories about 9/11 but I can't help but search for more and read more and more about it. I've heard so many tales of sorrow regarding it and yet I've heard at least as many inspirational stories and miracles of how people were saved. It really makes you see the hand of God in all of this. I cant write ALL the stories I've heard of but I will relate one of the ones that just blows me away when I think about it. --- In early August there was a helicopter accident apparently over the Grand Canyon. Virtually everyone aboard the copter was killed, including a couple Jewish couples. One of the Jewish men worked at a firm in the WTC and had several Jewish coworkers. It was a terrible tragedy that nobody could understand. When a Jewish person dies, the 30 day mark after the death is a significant day. 30 days after this accident was 9/11. Several of this man's coworkers were not at work yet since they were attending a religious service marking the 30th day, and thus were saved. It was eerie how one man's death a month prior to the attacks had thereby saved countless lives a month later. God's ways are indeed mysterious.----

I could go on forever but I'd better not.

-Dovie

Dovie Gelerinter | 26 | Illinois

#2172 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was at work. I had just gotten off and went to wait for my friend to go on break. I was flipping through the channels and at first when I saw it I changed the channel because I didn't fully understand what I was seeing. Then I went back and few seconds later the second one hit. I still had no idea what was going on. The place started filling up because others in the plant were hearing rumors, and so they came to the TV to confirm them. Next we hear about the Pentagon. Then my friend came in a he had no idea what was happening, and as I was telling him I still couldn't believe it myself. I kept thinking they were just going to get everyone out and that we wouldn't lose so many people, then the towers collapsed and there was no going back. I thought WW3 must have started. I really thought we were going to be in an all out war. Today watching the memorials and seeing the footage, it still hurts as much as it did that day.
Kandace Eck | 26 | Missouri

#2160 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
the day started off very strangely. i live in staten island and take the ferry into the city everyday. when leaving the ferry at around 8am, i looked down at the grating and my husband and i both saw a dead pigeon, face down, wings spread, facing the city. a chill went up my neck but i walked on. you get used to seeing strange things in the city and thinking nothing of them.

i went to work as usual. i work at 38th st & 3rd ave, in manhattan, 5 miles north of wtc. we turned on the tv as usual. my co-worker said that a plane had struck one of the towers and i immediately thought of the story of a plane hitting the empire state building. i thought nothing of it other than it was an odd way to start the day. until my mother-in-law called about 5 minutes after the first plane struck to see if my husband and i were ok. then i knew it was real. i called all the family to let them know we were ok. and kept working.

i went downstairs to go to kinkos. in the elevator down, one of the building service men said the top of one tower was collapsing. by the time i was done with kinkos both towers were down. i could look down 3rd avenue and see the billowing black clouds. and see hordes of people making their way uptown, away from the smoke and chaos. i got back to the office to about 15 emails and 6 or 7 voicemails of people continuing to inquire as to our safety, as the news just kept getting worse and worse.

i left work as my office is in the middle of the triangle formed by the empire state building, the chrysler building, and the u.n., and if anything else was going to be hit it was going to be one of those three. i walked 20 blocks uptown to meet my husband who had walked 20 blocks downtown from the met, also a possible target. we walked over to st vincents to meet our housemates whose pre-mature baby was being released, born only 5 days earlier. it was tricky walking from 58th & madison to 14th & 8th without getting close to any major tourist sites and thus possible targets. after managing to avoid times square, grand central station and any other place we could think of, the walk past the post office at 34th was the longest.

we got to st vincents to see 8th ave blocked to everyone but emergency vehicles traveling up from wtc. we bought turkey sandwiches and water from a deli, found our housemates with sleeping infant in tow, and drove north towards the george washington bridge, the only open outlet from manhattan. we saw a huge line of people along the westside highway, ready to give blood and volunteer in any way. traffic was slow but moving. the cel phone stayed on as we continued to make contact with family members in texas to let them know we were safe, and tried to track down our own friends somewhere in the city.

we drove til our hunger pulled us over. cracker barrel, mt arlington, nj. this was the first time i'd had a chance to stop and see coverage of what had happened, and what we had left behind. we ate the most comforting food we could find, and a lot of it. with all the walking and stress i hadn't realized how hungry i was until the food came. we stayed at a nearby hotel that night, our young housemate's first night away from the hospital, because all bridges and tunnels back home were shut down. we finally got home late on wednesday to really get a sense of what had happened. and to be thankful that we weren't more directly affected.

amy | 26 | New York

#2084 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was in a hosipital in England recovering from depression and an attempted suicide! I did not need any more treatment after watching the events that unfolded. Life was put into perspective. I'd lived and worked in New York and lost many friends from the towers. My life suddenly felt so precious. I had so much to live for and be happy about and the only sorrow that I should have been feeling was for the victims and families involved. I still cry sometimes with anger, sometimes, with saddness and sometimes just remembering the good times I had with the people I'd lost but NEVER have I cryed for myself since, never have I had any pity for myself. Why did it have to happen? A question no one will never be able to answer. I will never know the grief that many people suffered but my heart is with them and hope that they can take comfort in everyone's support.
God bless America and all that stand by it!
x

L | 26 | United Kingdom

#2076 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
Nathalie - Paris - 11/09/02 - 15:36 (French time)
I was in Corsica (French Mediteranean Island) on holiday with my boy-friend on September 11th, 2001.
We were staying on a boat for three weeks of rest and discovery. When we came back to the pear in the evening, our neighbour came to us, saying : "look at your TV, a terribhe thing happened in NYC today, several planes crashed !!!!"
We had a tiny portable TV and start to look at the special information flashes on the French TV. It was such a shock for us ! We thought to our American friends leaving in Florida and American work colleagues leaving in Portland-Oregon.
We wanted to call them but it was impossible to get in touch with America this night...
It was just unbelievable ! We could not believe what we saw on the screen ! We thought it was a holiwood moovie !
And then, we started to cry and to feel very sad for America, this country we admire.
The following days, we kept listening to the radio all day long or watching TV where we could find one.
Three or four days later, our friend Terry from Miami called us to say that everything was OK for them. It was such an emotional conversation ... She told us how sad, quite, "dead" was America since the attacks.
We will never forget ...
We think of all American people today ...

Nathalie GANTE | 26 | France

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