#2523 | Saturday, September 14th 2002
So, where was I on that horrible morning? Were else? School. I was in my video 1 class. It ran from 9-noon, and I got to the college at about 8:40, and was just thinking about what the Wizards' season would be like if Michael Jordan played for them, which is what he was supposed to announce in a press conference that day. Oh how I wish that happened.

Video Class started like every other class. I think that was only the second class, maybe third, so we hadn't really started anything yet. In fact, that day was the day we were to take the GL1's around campus and do an "in-camera edit". Which is just filming in order, so you don't have to edit later.

At about 9:30 or so, my teacher, Jose Tenorio, went to his office to get something for the class. I forget what tho. He was gone longer than we probably thought. and 9:45 or so he got back and said a plane crashed in to the World Trade Center. I instantly thought it was just a cesna or crop duster. Why would I think it was a commerical jumbojet?! So the class continued, he talked to us about how to operate the cameras without breaking them, lol. Hey, the GL1's cost 2300 dollars and the college bought 8 of them.

At about 10:20 we were getting ready to begin our in-camera edits and he went to his office again. When he got back, he said "the towers are gone". I was in total disbelief. Gone?! Those things are huge, weighing 100,000 tons each, at least. They're a marvel to human ingeniunity, like the Pyramids. Yes, I really think that. Did you know that they were designed to sway 3 feet back and forth in the wind?

This girl next to me was in tears. Her fiance was in one of the towers that day, but don't worry, he got out and he's A-Ok. People tried to comfort her tho and she was escused from the assignment, but she did it anyway.

I grabed the camera and started walking around campus, but as soon as I got outside the classroom, the TV's that are hanging from the ceiling every 20 feet or so, were all on CNN. They were showing replays of the planes hitting and smoke billowing from the towers. I wanted to scream, but I am to stoic in public. I wish I did scream, but I did the assignment, then went to the lobby and watched CNN a bit, then went back to the classroom to turn in the cameras and leave.

As I was walking to my car, I was growing increasingly angry. I saw a lady running franctically to her car, I hope she didn't lose someone dear to her. That made me more mad. I got home and my younger brother, who was being homeschooled at the time, had the TV on and said, "Have you heard?" I replied wth, "yes". As soon as I got in front of the TV I just started crying uncontrolably. I then started pacing up and down the house screaming obscenities. For example, "lets nuke the fucking bastards who did this!". No, I do not think that now, but I did then, and I am NOT ashamed. My brother's friends and our cousin came over a few minutes later, becaue our mom had picked them all up, because the schools closed early, and we are the closest to the school of all his friends houses.

I was glued to the tv for at least a week, I recall. What happened was terrible and horrible, but I am over it. You have to be, I think. I don't want to live my life by being angry or sad and depressed all the time. The only other times where I cried like I did that day, were the Oklahoma City bombing (I was 14) and the Columbine School shooting (I was 18)

James C. Boswell | 22 | Maryland

#2480 | Friday, September 13th 2002
On the morning of September 11,2001, i arrived late to work at about 8:45 am...the attacks had just begun & i was hearing about them immediately, but none of us really knew what was going on. i worked at a Christian bookstore, & every morning, before opening the store at 10am, we had a prayer/staff meeting. That morning, our meeting took place a lot sooner.
Those of us who were there went immediately to our Children's area, where we usually met, & got on our knees to pray. Pretty soon after that, someone said the Pentagon had been "bombed", & i froze instantly with panic-my cousin & his wife work there in the Air Force section-i was afraid for them, & just began to pray for their safety, for God to protect them, & cause them to know His love for them...that was the most important thing for me-for them to know that...i felt numb...shock...disbelief...
At this point, we'd heard about the planes hitting the Towers, but it just seemed so surreal, it couldn't be true, & i felt like i was waiting to hear the "real" story. i felt like i was in a dreamworld, & was desperately hoping that it wasn't as serious as it was sounding...
Finally, our Acting Manager, Cindy, went home to get her portable TV, & plugged it in at the front counter...we could not believe our eyes!!!...Dan Rather was broadcasting as we watched the Towers burn, & then eventually collapse...the worst part was watching the people jumping from the windows, & the helplessness i felt watching....i know, as a Christian, i can pray. i know God hears me, & He answers in His own way...but what do you pray at a moment like that?....i felt too frozen to collect a full thought....it was not hard to just stand there, with our eyes glued to the TV....i know at some point, i was in the music section of our store, & a couple of us stood in a circle with some of our customers, & prayed about everything that was going on, for the people who were suffering, & their families & loved ones, for our nation, & our President;we prayed for comfort, mercy, justice, peace, & for God to somehow redeem all of this...one thing we knew: God is still in control, & He's got some purpose in this-there's something good He's gonna do here-something good He's gonna bring out of this!...we didn't know how or what it was supposed to look like...just that it was true...(still is!)....
eventually, we ended up turning the TV off-it was just too much & too overwhelming...we put on some quiet music for the day, & took heed as Cindy continuously made the rounds she'd begun earlier encouraging us to keep praying-it seemed that as the attacks continued, & as we prayed, the damage & the loss of life was lessening-this looked like God's hand moving somehow to stop what was going on to us & so we kept it up, also desperately praying for survivors amongst other things...
Throughout the day, i would wonder if my cousin & his wife were OK, & i remember as i prayed about it, God reassured me they were "out of danger." eventually, i accepted this, as God's omniscient, so, of course He'd know!(& as i found out later on, He was right!)...i did call them, only able to leave a message & tell them that i loved them, that God loved them, please call back, etc....(i heard of them through the "family grapevine" via my cousin's mom-they were too emotionally drained, & overwhelmed, to call everyone themselves....)
Another strange thing occurred as i walked through my day...i felt like i couldn't grieve what was going on...almost like i wasn't allowed to...i kept thinking of a figure i'd heard of from the Old Testament who was not allowed to mourn his wife's death-i felt like him, which angered me! i wanted to cry, & i couldn't! And while Jesus taught us to love & pray for our enemies, which i'm totally all for, there is also a kind of justice that God brings, allows, even demands in situations like this, (which i'm also all for, because there's a time & a place for everything. Ecclesiastes says there is "A time for war, And a time for peace."...it's the mercy of God that we have the kind of President we've got in office at this time, because he's going for it-he's going to get the "bad guys". Who can't get behind that?) i felt so frustratingly angry at the men who used those planes & passengers to make "living bombs"-a regular bomb is bad enough, but in a situation like this, you'd expect it(with terrorism, i mean); what makes it worse is the manner in which it was done...i won't go on, as it's been covered, & it's frustrating still to think about...so my thoughts vacillated a lot between different feelings, emotions, & responses all through the day...And as these thoughts ran through my head, God kept reminding me of the Scripture passage He had given me approximately 1 hour before the attacks began-it was Isaiah 61:1-11:
"'The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the
brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those
who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the
Lord,...
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of
heaviness;
That they may be called trees of
righteousness,
The planting of the Lord,
that He may be glorified.'
And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former
desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations...
i will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my soul shall be joyful in my God;...
For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are
sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness
and praise to spring forth before all the nations." -Isaiah 61:1,2,3-4,10,11
this passage primarily describes the ministry of Jesus while He walked this earth, & the ministry He's passed on to His church, which He Himself conducts through us, & also directly through His Holy Spirit...basically, this is what God does for us, when we let Him..."He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up all their wounds."-Psalm 147:3...i can't pretend to understand why God let this happen, & i'm not going to give some "pat," textbook answer for it; i don't understand this-why DID God let this happen?...i don't know...i just know that He gives us choices-those men who hijacked the planes had a choice, they chose death; but by the same token, those firemen in the Towers had a choice, too, & they chose life....
despite the anger, confusion, & shocked numbness, i had a lot of hope & faith in the God i love that flew up in the face of all of this as well-i felt like i was being called upon by God to rejoice in the hope He gives, in what He would do with this-that He can take something so tragic, & bring forth beauty from the ashes(that's the main thought i have when i think of this...beauty from the ashes...)...while at the same time, acknowledging the loss & pain somehow through my prayers, if not my tears...i've often wondered, & still do, what that's all about...i don't understand why God would have me do such a thing, why i can't seem to cry, even today-it seems like a cruel slap in the face-it's not that the weight of this is lost on me, maybe it hasn't fully hit me yet...on some level, i still feel numb, & this still doesn't feel real to me-every time i see the images on TV, it feels like some horrific movie...maybe that's why it's easier for me to jump to that other side & just, hope....although recently, i saw a photo in a magazine at Wal-Mart that got me started-it was a close-up shot of people hanging out of the windows of one of the Towers-you could see the blood & looks of terror on their faces...somehow, actually seeing the people...it's just different-i stood behind a pillar in the aisle, stifling sobs....i can't even imagine.....

sara | 28 | Maryland

#2469 | Thursday, September 12th 2002
Hi. My name is Nikki and I'm from Baltimore, Maryland. I was at the tanning salon where I work that morning, anticipating another ordinary work day. I turned on MSNBC like I usually do in the mornings just to catch up on the previous day's events. Seeing the first plane crash into the first tower was horrific enough even when my customers and I thought it was a terrible accident. There were 6 or 7 of us in the shop that morning, glued to the TV. When a reporter called from the Pentagon and said he felt the ground shake like there was an explosion nearby, that was when I really started feeling what we were all thinking. My heart was racing, some of us were crying. I live near Martin State Airport which also has a Maryland National Guard Station nearby. A fighter jet, which I can only assume took off from Martin's, flew overhead. We started to fear for our children and were getting conflicting reports on school closings. It was truly the most frightening day of my life. I cried every day for at least 2 weeks after this happened. I felt like I had lost family even though I knew none of the Americans that died that day. I refuse to call any of them victims because they all fought for their lives, those on the planes and those trapped in the towers. They have all given us more than we will ever know
Nikki | 33 | Maryland

#2347 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
i was in the middle of what my school calls snack. my friends mom walked in and was crying. my friend went up to her mom n asked her what was wrong. then my friend came back. at first we said is your mom okay and she just yeah...so then we got it out of her that the towers and pentagon were hit. we all started freaking. it was only about 6 of us who knew. the rest of the cafeteria were happy people smiling and laughing as we sat in silence. a few people came over and asked what was wrong. we only told about 2 of the people who asked. they joined us in grieving. then i thought my dads in sweden, hes going to be stuck there for a long time. and my stepsister lives in ny. then i started to cry..next thing we knew the revron, head, and all the other important ppl of our school got up and rang the bell in the cafeteria and let us all know what happened. it was the worst day of my life, and im sure many others.
Susan | 13 | Maryland

#2290 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I remember being in school and hearing all the rumors about a "jet" had crashed into some building. But I had no idea of the details. I figured it was just a horrible plane crash. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought of it being something of this magnitude. When I entered my Art room my teacher had on the radio listening. Everyone was talking so it was hard to make it out. Than she ran and got a television so we could see exactly what was happening. When I saw this humungous hole in the side of the twin towers it felt as if my jaw hit the floor. I was in such shock, but I still figured someone had just lost control of the plane, I didn`t even think of it being terrorism. A little before fourth period I heard the news that the Pentagon had been hit and that a plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. That was when the news started talking about how this could be terrorism. As I entered my math class (fourth period) my teacher had the television on watching it. Right then I saw the second plane crash into the second tower. Not much later they announced that we would be going home.
I remember my Foods teacher being in tears and just wanting to cry myself. Many people around me were not truly thinking of the magnitude of what had just happened. All they were doing was cheering because we were getting out. That really angered me. I just wanted to go home and make sure that everyone I loved was safe and sound, as well as their loved ones.
I find it sickening that someone can do something like this. And it`s so scary that we cannot protect ourselves against something like this that we thought. My thoughts and prayers are with the families today and everyday.

Nicole | 16 | Maryland

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