#2467 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
i was at home on that day when i heard the news on tv, i just sat in total shock the tears and the pain i felt for those people and kept asking why. one year later we the world still feel the pain and will never forget those people who lost there lives and there familys. God bless always in our hearts
nicola | 30 | United Kingdom

#2293 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was in my car driving to work in Summit, NJ. I was listening to WPLJ and a caller said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I parked my car and ran up to my office. No one that was there had heard what happened. We tried to put the TV on but the only station that came in was Spanish (none of us spoke Spanish) so we got PLJ on the radio and muted the tv. We all watched live while the 2nd plane hit the towers and then when they collapsed. We heard about the Pentagon and the crash in PA. We heard the roar of fighter jets over our building as they scrambled to patrol the airways around NYC. One of my co-workers turned to me in tears and said "You and I will never forget each other because we will always remember where we were and who we were with when this happened." She was right. I won't ever forget. No one will.
cf | 30 | New Jersey

#2289 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was watching people holding hands and jumpimg out the window. I was right outside. I had a meeting at Church Street. It was the most horrific scene I have ever scene. It's the anniversary and I can still see it. Americans were being murdered. Just horrible.
anon | 30 | New York

#2288 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was at work at our office on the corner of 57th Street and Lexington Avenue, about four and a half miles north of the World Trade Center.

They leave the TVs on all the time on the trading floor where I work. Normally, no one pays much attention before the market opens. But on that morning, everyone was clustering around, watching images of smoke pouring from a gaping hole in the north tower of the World Trade Center.

I called my girlfriend, Christina. Her office was down on Whitehall Street, a block over from Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan and less than ten blocks south of the World Trade Center.

“Honey, are you watching TV!”

“No. Why?”

“A plane just flew into the World Trade Center!”

“Are you for real?”

She thought I was kidding. How could a plane hit the towers on such a clear day?

I called my parents in New Zealand. It was 1am there, and Dad had just got back from a business trip in Australia. I told him there had been a plane crash, but I was ok. He told my mother as he went to bed. She got up and turned on the TV just in time to see the second plane plough into the south tower.

I called Christina again. This time she knew why. The impact of the second tower being hit, much lower than the first, had rocked her building. “We felt it. We’re leaving. I’ll call you,” she said, and hung up. A moment later, I realized I hadn’t had a chance to ask where she was going. I would have to wait for her to get in touch with me. That didn’t worry me at the time. The thought the twin towers could come down never entered my mind.

When they did collapse I called Christina again and again, but the system was overloaded and I couldn’t get through. All I could do was stay by the phone, listening to the continuous wail of sirens outside as emergency teams poured downtown in waves, and watching the disaster unfold on TV.

Hours later, Christina called. She and hundreds more people were watching in Battery Park when the first tower collapsed. A wall of smoke and ash boiled out through the man-made canyons of downtown and engulfed them all. She was convinced she was going to be either smothered or trampled. She found her way to the lobby of an adjacent building and waited out the death of the second tower.

When we were reunited we waited in line for a ferry on the West Side, the only way out of the city to the Jersey side.

I wish I were able to submit something more inspiring. I’d like to be able to say I did anything significant or constructive. Today, a year later, I still can’t identify with what happened. I was neither victim nor hero, survivor nor witness on September 11. No one I know was lost. My firm is still in business. Just like Americans think of New Zealand as some tiny Pacific islets, my Kiwi friends, who have never been to the States, have no conception of the size of Manhattan. In emails and telephone messages they thought I was in harm’s way, when in fact, on the streets outside my office, you’d never have believed there was a crisis going on at all. I was minutes away from the worst disaster in the history of the city, I read all the books about it, watch all the documentaries, but I don’t think I’ll ever understand it.

Simon | 30 | New York

#2266 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
Around 8:46am, I arrived at the Pentagon Metro Station to catch the subway to my job at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Once at work, I learned that one, then another, passenger plane had slammed into the World Trade Center. At 9:40am, my office building,located across the Potomac River from the Pentagon, shuddered. Instinctively, I looked out my office window. All I saw was enormous ball of black smoke and red/orange flame. I began to cry...
C. | 30 | District of Columbia

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