#2501 | Friday, September 13th 2002
To Ms. Grace,
Your comments are disturbing, but understandable as you are young and have much to learn.
Remembering the victims of this horrific attack is most fitting and appropriate. We should never forget the thousands of innocents who perished in such a ghastly and obscene way. We are not "giving in" as you so put it by watching the memorials on television and honoring the people who died on that day. The terrorists perceive Americans as self centered, souless infidels. What they are seeing is that we are united, compassionate, and feel deeply for our neighbors. Those neighbors who gave their lives for complete strangers in those burning buildings. The passengers of Flight 93 who brought down a plane instead of having it hit the Capital and kill hundreds or perhaps thousands more people. I am sure you will see this more clearly when you mature.

Where was I on that awful day? I had just dropped my son off at school as he had missed his bus. I came home and flipped on the television set to watch the news with a cup of caffeine before my work day started. At first I saw the gaping, flaming hole in one of the WTC towers. Minutes later another plane plowed into the other tower. It then sunk in that we were indeed under an attack of terrorists. I went to get my husband and both of us stared in shock at what was unfolding on live television in front of us. When the Pentagon was hit, we both became very fearful. I wondered what to do. Should I
call the school where my son was? Should I drive down there and bring him home?

I decided that the school would chain call if they decided to dismiss early. I stayed by the phone, with the television on. I called my mother to tell her to turn on her TV. I told her I loved her. I called my brothers and told them the same thing.

We witnessed the news reports of flight 93. We saw the towers crash down. We saw the devastation, the fear and the pain. My husband and I cried together that day. We got out the US flag that has been in storage for years. Funny how we never seemed to find the time to put it up before. I made a box full of red, white and blue bows and hung them on telephone poles, street signs and mailboxes on a 2 mile stretch down our street. We prayed a lot that day.

The bus dropped off our boy at the regular time that day and we hugged him like he's never been hugged before. We asked him if he was told what had happened and he said yes, the classes were told. He was only 6 at the time. Sad that a 6 yr old has to deal with knowing true evil in the world.

The next day we gathered boxes of food and dropped them off at the Fireman's trailer to be delivered to Manhattan the next day. It was the least we could do. Our son drew a picture thanking FDNY and placed it in the box.

For weeks we kept the news on when our child was not around the house. Sleep came in patches. We felt shell shocked and could only imagine what the victims and the families were going through.

After a year the pain of this is still with us. We wonder if it will ever completely go away. Somehow I doubt it.

C. Bergen | 41 | Connecticut

#2455 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I had just woke up and was going downstairs to the living room to read the Chicago Tribune like I did every day. My wife gave me a cup of coffee and then said to turn on the "Today Show" because something had happened in New York City. A moment later I saw the 2nd airliner smash into Tower 2 and knew immediately that it had to be a terrorist act. I was dumbstruck -- I could not believe that I had just seen hundreds of people die a horrible death while I was in my pajamas on the couch drinking coffee. I immediately got up, ran back upstairs and got on the computer to send e-mails to a couple of friends in NYC and especially my brother, an Army intelligence officer who worked at the US Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia. It turned out everyone was all right but my brother said the security at the embassy was incredible -- complete with machine-gun toting guards and tanks in the street. One of my NYC friends worked on the 12th floor of Tower 1 but was on her way to New Jersey that morning. Then I went back down, sat on the couch, and literally did not stop watching television for the next 12 hours. It was like looking at a crash on the highway -- you didn't want to look, you knew you shouldn't look, and yet somehow you had to look. I was filled with despair and a deep anger at the same time. I was out of work at the time and feeling pretty sorry for myself, but suddenly had a terrible reminder that I was really a very lucky person, all things considered.
Rusty | 41 | Illinois

#2440 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I went into the kitchen to make lunch for my older (9-year-old) son. I turned on the TV news - which I NEVER do (my other son was 3; who can watch the news with children in the house?) - and saw what I thought was a clip from a movie. I suddenly realized, as I saw the second plane hit, that it truly was real - and more horrifying than could be believed. I started to cry. I started to scream. I grabbed my son and held him, just held him, for the longest time, crying, so glad that we were safe. (I told my son yesterday, on the first anniversary of 9/11, "That's why I don't make your lunch any more. Bad things happen when I do.")

I called my Dad to see if he had heard; he was reading, having breakfast, and had not yet had the TV on that day. At first he thought I was joking, but my crying clued him in. "They say we're under attack, Dad," I sobbed. "They say a plane went into the Pentagon, too."

I had made it almost all the way to work that day when the second tower fell. I started crying, and couldn't stop for a long, long time. I still avoid TV news, preferring to learn it on CNN.com and newspaper websites. In the car, I listen only to music, never news.

There are people who never will be born because of what happened. Whole generations of scientists and composers and more who never will know the wonders of life on this planet because their forebears were ruthlessly murdered, assassinated. People I will never know suffer horribly - and will forever. People my sons will never meet will never be born.

KMB in Kansas City | 41 | Missouri

#2432 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I was actually sitting in my hairdressers on the afternoon of September 11 2001 when a woman came in and said she had heard on her car radio that a plane had hit the Twin Towers in New York. I presumed it was a small bi-plane that had had an accident. When I returned home an hour later and saw my husband's face as he was watching the news on TV, I knew something awful had happened. The children soon came home from school and joined us in disbelief at what they were seeing on the screen. We sat there for hours just watching, crying, not able to comprehend how 'humans' could do this to other humans. I did not lose a loved one in this tragedy - but I feel as though I have. We will never forget.
Sue Hay | 41 | United Kingdom

#2012 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I FEEL THAT THE BEST WAY FOR AMERICANS TO SHOW PATRIOTISM,IS TO STOP BEING SO HYPOCRITICAL, BEING VERY SAD AND CHANGING OUR WAYS WHEN WE ARE UNDER ATTACK BY SOMEONE, WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO TREAT OUR OWN, IF YOU ARE STILL A CLOSET DOOR RACIST, HOW DID SEPT.11TH HAVE ANY EFFECT ON YOU!!!!! WE NEED TO STOP SAYING GOD BLESS AMERICA, GOD LOVES EVERYONE, WE ARE TOO HIGH ON OURSELVES, JUST LIKE WITH ALL THE CROOKED UNDER HANDED THINGS GOING ON WITH WALL STREET, FROM MARTHA STEWART TO ENRON, WHAT MAKES US FEEL THAT GOD IS SO MUCH IN FAVOR OF OUR FOOLISH BEHAVIOR, WE ARE AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN A PHONY, LYING AND DECEITFUL NATION, THROWING ROCKS AND HIDING OUR HANDS, PRETENDING TO BE FOR ALL PEOPLE, WE FEEL,JUST LIKE OUR CATHOLIC PRIEST, WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT, AND GOD THINKS ITS OK, WRONG, WE LOVE OUR GOOD FORMER MAYOR OF NEWYORK, TO SOME FOOLS HE'S A HERO. LETS STOP LYING TO OTHER NATIONS, ACTING LIKE WE ARE UNITED!!!!!
JACK JOHNSON | 41 | Missouri

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