#1683 | Friday, September 6th 2002
That morning I was in our computer room (third bedroom) exercising. I’m on disability from the state of Michigan, where I worked as a secretary for 22 years. I always watch TV at this time of morning, when the Today Show broke the news that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. As with most, I assumed it was an accident. I called my husband into the room to see it. He was not at work that day. Then the second plane hit and as with ALL, knew it was no accident. The phone rang. It was my sister-in-law in Michigan. She was sobbing. Her younger daughter, 8 months pregnant with the first grandchild, worked right across the street from the World Trade Center, the Federal Building. I knew my niece worked in NY, but did not know the exact location. I panicked, but tried to clam her Mom. Her Dad, my brother & my only living immediate family member, and the ‘ love’ of my life, was golfing and oblivious to the severity of the situation. My husband wanted to go out and I tried for a while, but had to go to bed with a migraine. Family members phoned me throughout the day to find out about my niece and I kept in touch with my sister-in-law. Her niece, who worked nearby, was with her by then. We didn’t know whether my niece, the baby, or her husband were alive all day. It was excruciating. Since I have no children, I’ve always considered my brother and sister-in-law’s two daughters mine also. This niece was the baby and especially dear to me. Around 4 pm we heard that she was safe and in Brooklyn, where she had ran, pregnant remember, to see her doctor and spend the night with friends. It wasn’t until 6 pm that we heard the my nephew was safe also and had made it home to NJ from Wall Street. It was the most exciting news I believe I’ve heard in all my life. If you want to read her story, see mm NJ.
Carol | 57 | Florida

#1665 | Thursday, September 5th 2002
I was born 9/11/45, shortly after WWII ended. Nothing of huge importance seemed to have occurred on my birth date – something that nagged at me through the next 56 years. (Be careful what you wish for.)
On 9/11/01 I was at work in St. Petersburg Florida, trying to ignore my increased age when I heard someone say a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers. I imagined a small plane, a Cessna, perhaps flown by an errant pilot. A moment later I heard that the second plane had hit. I knew immediately that this was an intentional terrorist attack. I sat in horror with the rest of the world as the terrible events unfolded.
I have always loved my flag and have flown it proudly – especially during trying times such as the Gulf War.
It means much more to me now. I feel a certain kinship with others on the roads who have chosen to display our flag on their vehicles. Along with the deeply ingrained love of my country and my flag there is now a strong sense of defiance for those who would attempt to disrupt our freedom and our democracy. Don’t even try it.
I wrote the following poem for Aunt, a nephew, and myself who share birthdays on 9/11:

Conversations with God and Publix
(For Patrick, Sr. Marcy and me)

Part I. Conversation with God
Please, Sir, may I change my date of birth?
No, not the years
I've earned them - every one - for what it's worth
Just the date
Formerly inconspicuous, unobtrusive
Typed anonymously into the 254th square of my DayMinder ® calendar.
No war began or ended on that day
No Magna Charta signed
No pilgrim landed
No mention in the dusty tomes of history
Just the beginnings of three familial lives
Brought forth in consecutive generations
By couples seeking warmth and love on a December's night
But now
It doesn't seem right to celebrate a day
When towers burned like candles on a cake
And sacred ashes frosted the streets and
Seared the lungs and disbelieving eyes
Of those who prayed
That they could make a wish
And blow out those candles
And stop the fall of metal, glass and flesh
That wrapped those unexpected gifts to God
I understand
I know You must not undo what has been done
And anyway
To change a date
Is not the healing answer to the question
Instead we will stand strong and resilient
(The common American denominators)
And celebrate life
On a day so tragically marred by senseless destruction

Part II. Conversation with Publix:
“What colors shall I frost this cake for you?”
“Please, Sir, make it red and white and blue”.

© Cynthia Ann Conciatu, 2002

Cynthia | 57 | Florida

#1199 | Monday, April 22nd 2002
I was getting ready for work and was passing the TV set when I thought I saw an airplane crash into a building. Of course, as we all knew later, that's exactly what I saw.

My main concern upon hearing the reports of TV newspersons was that my son was supposed to be in the air at that very time - he was departing from Florida on his way home to Arizona.

For hours I tried in vain to reach the residence from which he had departed and was unable to reach anyone to let me know if his plane had actually taken off prior to the crashes.

When I finally reached them two hours later, I was told that his flight was scheduled to depart just as the news was coming in about the second plane crash and the airport was closed down and his flight cancelled until further notice. At first I was terribly relieved, but then felt guilty because so many others would not be as lucky.

Connie | 57 | Arizona

#1061 | Monday, March 18th 2002
Where was I September 11, 2001

Our company was in the process of installing wildlife plants along a creek and near a roadside to become habitat for birds and other forms of wildlife.We have been working with a local golf course to make their facility part of The National Audubon Society's Cooperative Sanctuary Program.

Paul Sagherian,Jr.

Paul | 57 | Connecticut

#1059 | Monday, March 18th 2002
I’m retired, and don’t get up until about 10:00AM (California time). I was on my computer around 10:30, when I saw an obscure notice that the Mayor of San Francisco had locked down the City. Thinking it might have been an earthquake, I went to the web page for the San Francisco Chronicle. When I saw the headline that the Twin Towers in New York had both collapsed, I thought that some hacker must have gotten into the web site. Then I turned on my TV. I spent most of the next week glued to the TV and reading the e-mails that were forwarded from around the world.

I remember being so inspired by the acts of courage and compassion by the people in New York. One e-mail told about a black gangsta kid helping an elderly white man. The response from the rest of the world was so moving. I heard that a pet grooming business near Ground Zero was not only keeping the pets safe that were already there, it was accepting other pets and at no charge.

At first, it looked like this might be the event that put an end to the violence between Israel and Palestine and other places around the world, but sadly that has not happened. If anything it’s gotten worse.

I hope that the US will do more than just wage war on the terrorists. Until the terrible poverty that so much of the world lives in is eased, there will continue to be resentment towards the US which terrorists can and will exploit.

Robin | 57 | California

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