#2507 | Friday, September 13th 2002
I was at the computer when my sister called. She said "Turn on the TV". I told her I would in a second - I was sending a time-sensative online registration for my boyfriend who was in Lucerne at the time. My sister called back and sounded so urgent that I immediately switched on the television and could not believe my eyes. We stayed on the phone with each other, becoming progressively more alarmed as each crash occurred. I heard that buildings downtown were being evacuated so I piled our two violins in the car and drove to the freeway. The roads were jammed and I was petrified a plane would hit right where I was wedged in traffic. Finally I reached my sister's house in the suburbs. She ran out of the house as I pulled up and we hugged in the driveway. I was incredibly worried about my boyfriend flying back home. It was terrible to be apart at such a time. I cried every day until about mid-December. Now it is a year later and my boyfriend (now husband) is in Lucerne again. Watching the replays on TV, it feels like one excruciatingly long day.
Barbara Queen | 35 | Illinois

#2505 | Friday, September 13th 2002
That morning I was at work getting ready to go into a meeting. Someone said a plane had just crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. While I was concerned about the lives of the people in the building, like everyone else, I thought somebody really screwed up. We turned on the televisions to watch the horror. Being the wife of a retired Marine, the one thing that I did think about was the fact that my husband always said that one day, when we'd least expect it, something would happen here. Other countries live with this kind of terror every day and the American people don't have a clue of what it's like because nothing bad ever happens here. He always said we (the United States) wouldn't be ready for it. Just this one time, I wish he would have been wrong.
JoAnne | 45 | Illinois

#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

#2437 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
I had been out of work for some months and as a result was used to sleeping in. About 8:15-8:30 or so (CST, I'm in Chicago, so this was 915-30 NY time) my friend Natasha calls me and wakes me up and says "Dovie you're not going to believe this! Turn on your TV!" I ask which channel, and she says 'any channel!' at which point I realize something major happened since the only time you can say "any channel" is when the president is speaking or the world is falling apart. I sat in front of my TV flipping between a couple channels but staying mostly with Peter Jennings since he was doing the best in coverage. I couldn't take myself away from the screen for hours. I was on the phone with various people at the time. I happened to be on with Natasha again when one of the towers fell, I think the first, and we both just gasped. She had spent several years in NYC and recognized all the places we were seeing on TV. I have several relatives in NYC and fortunately none of them were anywhere near there then. It was just a shocking day. One friend came over after her work let everyone go and we just sat and watched the coverage. There just seemed to be nothing else to do and we were glued to the screen. They closed off the Sears Tower and the Federal buildings downtown as well, afraid that they would be next. It's odd, I still tear up whenever I hear stories about 9/11 but I can't help but search for more and read more and more about it. I've heard so many tales of sorrow regarding it and yet I've heard at least as many inspirational stories and miracles of how people were saved. It really makes you see the hand of God in all of this. I cant write ALL the stories I've heard of but I will relate one of the ones that just blows me away when I think about it. --- In early August there was a helicopter accident apparently over the Grand Canyon. Virtually everyone aboard the copter was killed, including a couple Jewish couples. One of the Jewish men worked at a firm in the WTC and had several Jewish coworkers. It was a terrible tragedy that nobody could understand. When a Jewish person dies, the 30 day mark after the death is a significant day. 30 days after this accident was 9/11. Several of this man's coworkers were not at work yet since they were attending a religious service marking the 30th day, and thus were saved. It was eerie how one man's death a month prior to the attacks had thereby saved countless lives a month later. God's ways are indeed mysterious.----

I could go on forever but I'd better not.

-Dovie

Dovie Gelerinter | 26 | Illinois

#2414 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I remember going to work at 6:00 in the morning, as any other ordinary day. My sister as I later found out was in the hospital delivering her baby. I had intentions of going to see them after I was off of work, but all that changed.

I volunteer for the Winnebago County Sheriff's Emergency Response Team , and I recieved an emergency page. The instructions that came blairing out of the pager that morning really disturbed me. The message was as follows, "All SERT (sheriff's emergency response team) and ESDA (emergency services and disaster agency) members report to the EOC (emergency operations center)IN FULL UNIFORM", now this was a very disturbing page indeed! I am used to going to a Hazardous Material Spill, not this. Wait a minute, what the Hell is going on?

I left work and jumped into my truck, turned on the radio, and heard what was going on that morning. I couldn't believe what I heard. A Misguided plane right??? NO Two planes DON'T make the same mistake!

What a DAY, NIGHT, and DAY again!! I went to Soooo many Anthrax Scares in the County. I put in more hours in one month than I usually put in ONE Year!

However I now had a beautiful nephew, born: 9-11-01. What a day! What a Country! USA BRAVE

Nathan Rowlett | 23 | Illinois

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