#2466 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I was working in the emergency department at the hospital on Andrews Air Force Base - Home of Air Force One, on the outskits of the District of Columbia. I was working with my nurse manager, who was going out to the front desk to triage a patient. She came back through the doorway and said, "You'd better come out here and watch this. A plane just hit the World Trade Center." Since my sister had just moved to the greater NY area, I knew instantly that this was not an accident. We were standing there watching the television when the second plane struck the second tower. The realization of what was going on hit everyone like a ton of bricks.

Then every thing became a blur of activity. Suddenly the Pentagon had been struck, the base had been shut down, the phones were ringing off the hook.... The Emergency coordinator for the national capital area started taking information on how many beds we had available in the hospital. Then rumors started flying. We heard the White House was on fire, we heard that there was an explosion at the capital building, we heard that the base itself had become a target....

The hospital's medical control put together teams of people to put in buses to take them out to the Pentagon. I was initially sent down to get on a bus, but other people had already put together certain teams so I stayed in the ER.

We didn't get any of the critically injured, but we did see the "walking wounded." There was an Army troop that had jumped out of a third story window. There was another man who was near the impact site. He was doing alright - physically - but he was sure that the friend he was talking to was dead.

I didn't get home until later that night. I had spent the day being all business. It wasn't until I got home that evening that I had the time to sit down and watch the news with complete attention. And it wasn't until then that I allowed myself to feel what was going on.

Colleen | 29 | Virginia

#2300 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I just got back home from taking my kids to school. We were moving into our new home on Sept 15, and I started to pack some more boxes. I was due to have another baby in October, so I was exhausted from packing and decided to call my husband at work to say hello. He asked me if I had the t.v. on, and I did not. I switched it on just in time to see the North Tower collapse. The horror of it all did not completely grip me until I saw replayed footage of people jumping from the towers. I have had continual nightmares about those images. All I could think was how mad I was that someone could do this. Today 9/11/02 was bittersweet....as I thought of all the lives lost last 9/11, I got my first glimpse of a new life. I am having yet another baby and the first ultrasound was today.
Lauren | 29 | Texas

#2263 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
At the time, I was living in northern NJ, about 25 minutes from Manhattan. As usual, I got to work about ten minutes late that day. I turned on the radio and a few minutes later the news came on that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I told my co-worker Jose. The radio deejay did not have any other details. We thought it was a small plane, just an accident. We could not figure out how a plane could fly into a building by accident. Then it came on that it was a commercial airline. I called my “significant other” in South Carolina to see if he heard the news (he did not). By this time, everyone at my job was huddled around radios. Then the news that the second tower has been hit by another commercial plane. It sinks in that this is a terrorist attack. People at my job started crying and panicking. One of the owners had an old black and white TV that he put on. What we saw was unbelievable. I felt sick to my stomach. I called my boyfriend again to tell him the latest news. We talked about the fact that this happened about the same time he would be getting off the train if he still worked in Manhattan (he stopped working there in April). Then comes the news about a hijacked plane heading for Washington. I call him again, worried because his father works in the Pentagon. He starts to panic. Both of us were unable to get in touch with his Dad. Our boss decided to let us go home to be with our families. We all said goodbye to one another, unsure of whether we would see each other the next day or not. I immediately went to the daycare center to pick up my two youngest children. My older son remained in school. As soon as I got home, I turned on the news. I watched in horror as the towers collapsed. I cried, hugged my children and called my Grandmother. My boyfriend finally received a call from his father’s friend….he was on the other side of the Pentagon when the plane crashed and was okay. My phone rang non-stop that entire day. My best friend and I reminisced about the time she had an interview with the Port Authority a few years back. I went with her and waited for her in the lobby of the World Trade Center. That had been the only time I had ever been there. For the rest of the day and night, I remained glued to my TV. I was scared. I was sad. I could not even begin to imagine what it would be like to be inside of that building or in one of the hijacked planes. I felt helpless; it seemed like all I could do was cry. I never felt so bad.
In late fall, my sister, my father and I went to visit Ground Zero. We were surprised at how close people were able to get to the scene. It was eerie. It smelled horrible. I could not help but to cry at the sight of what was left of the WTC. What I had been seeing on the TV did not prepare me for what I saw in person. We read all the tributes posted around the area and looked at the memorials to those missing. Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, friends….all missing. It was so sad.
In the past year my life has changed a bit. My children and I moved to SC last December. At first I did not miss the New York area, I was glad to be away from there. I like where I live now, but now I do miss the NJ/NY area. There are great people there. I still talk to my old co-workers frequently. I feel like we share a special bond because of that day.
I offer my deepest sympathy to all the lives that were lost that day. I have the utmost respect for all the men and women who selflessly risked their lives to help others. I am proud to be an American.

Denise | 29 | South Carolina

#2215 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I DID NOT lose someone on September 11, 2001. I DID NOT know anyone on the planes, in the Pentagon, or even in the World Trade Center. I was one on the lucky ones.
My husband and I, with our daughter, were traveling across the country to our new home in New York. We didn't even have the safety of our home to retreat to.
Now I awake each morning and go to bed each night cherishing each and every moment. I pray for some of the strength that I have seem victims' families demonstrate. It could have been me. I pray it never has to be anyone else. Bless you all, for you are always in my thoughts.

Jennifer | 29 | New York

#2153 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was teaching my 6th grade DARE class. I am a police officer in Ohio, and this morning was no different than any other, until I got the horrific news as everyone else did. I watched the events unfold on the TV and for days to come felt a huge emptiness and loss for our country, the victims and families of the attack. At the same time, I was planning my wedding, which was to take place on September 15, 2001. I was angry, hurt, and sad all at the same time. How can this happen to us??? I want to thank the heros and the families of the victims/heros of September 11, 2001. Your strength got me through this long year. GOD BLESS YOU and OUR GREAT NATION!
Jamie | 29 | Ohio

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