#2459 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I couldn't believe my eyes when i turned on the news that day. I was in shock, as was the world. I went about my morning as usual, got in the car, and drove to work. The news flash came on the radio that the Pentagon had just been hit by an airplane too. I remember sitting at the stop light and it hit me.. My mother is there. I frantically grabbed my cell phone and called her office. No answer. I got to work and kept trying to get through and still no luck. She always calls me whenever anything happens up there.. whether it be a bomb threat, a demonstration, or an evacuation. Three hours later, her call finally came through. I heard her voice say, " honey, i'm ok, i'm out of there, i just need a hug." She was in tears. She was just down the hall from where it hit. I was so relieved at first, but then i felt the guilt because someone else had lost a mother, a father, a loved one. I picked up my daughter and our family gathered together and hugged all night. She is always our support and this time we were hers. The affect this has left on her is unexplainable, unless you were there. She loses sleep, she tenses up when she hears a plane, everyday she walks in the building, she remembers. She always told us to make sure you tell someone you love them because you never know if you will see them again... and we tell her everyday. We are thankful for the opportunity to do so.
Wendy | 31 | Virginia

#2458 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
My name is Sandra Burnworth, I have 6 children and a husband. I live in Tacoma, Wa. On Sept.11,2001
I was just getting out of bed at 6:45am
to get children up for school and my mom called she asked me if I had turned on the TV yet, I said no, why? she told me it was bad that New York had been bombed or something (thats what news stations were saying at the time)I turned on the news and watched with horror at the devastating sights. I then went over to myneighbors and got them up and told them what I knew about it. My oldest daughter's birthday is 9/11 and she was so solom that day and she asked why did all those people have to die on her B-day? I said "honey I don't know". Thats where the Burnworths where on 9/11.

Sandra | 31 | Washington

#2448 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
11th September , 2001 was the day after my 30th Birthday, and was i feeling hard done to or what! Getting old and all that over the hill stuff was flooding through my mind. I had booked the week off work to "celebrate" but didn't feel like celebrating at all. I had moaned about not doing anything special for my birthday, and so i had got Mark to take me to a small town for a day of shopping and afternoon tea. We had arrived in town and had sat and had a coffee in a lovely tea shop, and up until then me and my partner of 11 1/2 years had been arguing and not liking each other, what a great day it had been!!! But then we had a call from a friend saying that a plane had flown into the world trade centre and it just didn't register. The night before (my birthday) we had had a curry as we were going out at the weekend for my birthday, and had watched a programme called how buildings collapse, so it was uncanny to hear about it on the news. But the severity of it didn't hit home. Then as Mark was talking to Ken on his phone, he was relaying parts of it to me, and he said "it wasn't an accident" and "it's a passenger jet". That was when i felt my skin go numb, what was going on? That doesn't happen in real life. Then while Mark was still talking i saw the electrical shop had televisions in the window and i could see the smoke coming from the tower, i told mark and he ended his call and we stood in the electrical shop and watched as the smoke poured out into the sky and the news people showed the plane hit the building over and over in slow motion. I just couldn't stop crying, and i'm crying now just thinking about it. Then when the second plane hit i couldn't watch and Mark was very quiet. Even though we were thousands of miles away, it felt like anything could happen now. We dashed home in the car and Mark was almost in shock. We listened to the radio all the way home and we phoned our family because it felt like the world was ending. Everything you see in science fiction and action films was happening. The reporters on the radio said there were allegedly five more planes one heading for the whitehouse, one the pentagon, possibly one for london. Then the other plane crashed into the pentagon and all the airports were closed. I felt like a fool worrying about being 30 years old and some of these people had just been at work and had to die in this terrible devastating way. When we got home we watched the news on every channel and just couldn't believe it was real. That evening Mark just put on his coat and said come on were going out. He had calmed down as we had watched the tv but he was still shocked. When we got in the car he said " I go through life using excuses like I don't have enough money, or enough time, or it's not my sort of thing, instead of living every single day, so tonight we are going to go to the football match." I wasn't a fan of football, that much, but it felt amazing to be standing with 16,000 people and holding a minutes silence for those still trapped and those already dead. I have vowed since that day that i WILL do things that aren't really my cup of tea, or will go to different places and forget the excuses from now on. If i have learned anything from this dreadful tragedy, then it is to treat life as an adventure not a chore, and to live every single day like it's the most important one in your life. I still think about those brave people of 9/11 and i pray for them and hope they can all rest in peace.
Tracy | 31 | United Kingdom

#2435 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I was at work on that day. I had dropped off my son at daycare like any other day. I got to work and when the first plane hit I heard someone say that there had been an accident in New York that a plane had hit one of the towers. Then no one really said too much more about it. Then I heard someone say that the TV was set up in the conference room and that another plane had deliberately been flown into the second tower. We all watched in horror and amazement. I never saw my fellow associates show so much emotion. Everyone was crying and then we heard about the other two flights that had crashed. Everyone at my work was frantically trying to call family members and friends that they knew in those locations. The phone lines were all full and no one could call out or get calls in. My worked closed early that day so everyone could get home in case something else happened. We work near the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Willow Grove, PA so we didn't know what type of threats there may be.

I went to pick up my son, don't remember getting him, or driving home. The whole area was just stunned. I got home and tried to call my family members and couldn't even call out. I was stranded at home with no way to call anyone. I was crying as I watched in horror on the news. My son was watching his movies (he was almost 2 at the time) and thankfully had no idea what was going on. Someday in the future he will be told about that fateful day.

We didn't know anyone who perished in that horrendous event, but send out prayers to all victims, family members, and authority figures. This is a day that will never be forgotten.

I am writing on the one year anniversary and still am quite frightened of many things even today. This event has definitely made a negative impact on my life and I hope someday the images will stop appearing in my head and I can make some sort of peace with it. Being 31 years old I think this is the first really big event that has made this sort of impact on me - especially hitting so close to home and seeing all those innocent people who lost their lives in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.

May God Bless America and hope this useless and nonsense fighting stops. Pray for Peace!!!!

Nicole | 31 | Pennsylvania

#2400 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
The morning of September Eleventh, I was scheduled to be on a military base doing some computer consulting work. There was a problem with a power transformer, though, so I was sent back to the office about the time that the first plane hit.

When I heard that a plane had run into the World Trade Center, I laughed, thinking it was a Cessna or something. Then a second plane hit, then rumors about a "bomb at the Pentagon." I watched in disbelief as the towers fell, thinking we must have been watching special effects or something. It made me, former Airborne Infantry, cry in front of my peers.

You need to understand exactly how much I hate New York -- been there twice and never want to go back. Don't like the (typical) New Yorkers who have moved to the South, etc. It didn't matter on September 11th though -- I, like the rest of the country, was a New Yorker that day.

It's odd how it affected me. I knew no-one who died. I'd never been to the towers. I can't stand the city. But it was all my wife could to to keep me from re-enlisting and volunteering for OCS, knowing how rare good Infantry officers are.

I'm still emotional about it. I hate the way our country has responded, and the power-grabs we've been seeing in the last year. I hate the rubber-stamp patriotism that I see everywhere, but I guess my definition of "patriotism" is different than that of the typical SUV owner who feels compelled to put a sticker on his/her car.

I guess all I do know is that I'm not the same as I was a year and a day ago. I don't think I ever will be.

DZ | 31 | Georgia

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