#2263 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
At the time, I was living in northern NJ, about 25 minutes from Manhattan. As usual, I got to work about ten minutes late that day. I turned on the radio and a few minutes later the news came on that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I told my co-worker Jose. The radio deejay did not have any other details. We thought it was a small plane, just an accident. We could not figure out how a plane could fly into a building by accident. Then it came on that it was a commercial airline. I called my “significant other” in South Carolina to see if he heard the news (he did not). By this time, everyone at my job was huddled around radios. Then the news that the second tower has been hit by another commercial plane. It sinks in that this is a terrorist attack. People at my job started crying and panicking. One of the owners had an old black and white TV that he put on. What we saw was unbelievable. I felt sick to my stomach. I called my boyfriend again to tell him the latest news. We talked about the fact that this happened about the same time he would be getting off the train if he still worked in Manhattan (he stopped working there in April). Then comes the news about a hijacked plane heading for Washington. I call him again, worried because his father works in the Pentagon. He starts to panic. Both of us were unable to get in touch with his Dad. Our boss decided to let us go home to be with our families. We all said goodbye to one another, unsure of whether we would see each other the next day or not. I immediately went to the daycare center to pick up my two youngest children. My older son remained in school. As soon as I got home, I turned on the news. I watched in horror as the towers collapsed. I cried, hugged my children and called my Grandmother. My boyfriend finally received a call from his father’s friend….he was on the other side of the Pentagon when the plane crashed and was okay. My phone rang non-stop that entire day. My best friend and I reminisced about the time she had an interview with the Port Authority a few years back. I went with her and waited for her in the lobby of the World Trade Center. That had been the only time I had ever been there. For the rest of the day and night, I remained glued to my TV. I was scared. I was sad. I could not even begin to imagine what it would be like to be inside of that building or in one of the hijacked planes. I felt helpless; it seemed like all I could do was cry. I never felt so bad.
In late fall, my sister, my father and I went to visit Ground Zero. We were surprised at how close people were able to get to the scene. It was eerie. It smelled horrible. I could not help but to cry at the sight of what was left of the WTC. What I had been seeing on the TV did not prepare me for what I saw in person. We read all the tributes posted around the area and looked at the memorials to those missing. Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, friends….all missing. It was so sad.
In the past year my life has changed a bit. My children and I moved to SC last December. At first I did not miss the New York area, I was glad to be away from there. I like where I live now, but now I do miss the NJ/NY area. There are great people there. I still talk to my old co-workers frequently. I feel like we share a special bond because of that day.
I offer my deepest sympathy to all the lives that were lost that day. I have the utmost respect for all the men and women who selflessly risked their lives to help others. I am proud to be an American.

Denise | 29 | South Carolina

#2140 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was at work on September 11, when I got the news. I was sitting at my desk, when a co-worker came in and said that a plane had hit the WTC. We turned up the radio only to hear that a second plane had hit. As we listened to the horrifying news, things just got worse.
That night as I drove to my second job, the sky where I live got dark. It was not dark from the sun going down... it was black with death.
The mood just being outside was everchanging. I and many of the other employees were sent home. I went home and turned on the t.v. to find nothing but despair. I was sad...filled with unimaginable grief. I lived thousands of miles away, but yet I felt that I was right there. My fellow Americans, my people were killed. I will never forget that day. God Bless Everyone.

Jennifer | 28 | South Carolina

#1987 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
I remember coming home form taking my 5 year old daughter to school, my husband a Fireman at the time called and asked me to turn on the telivision. Of course as soon as I did so I dropped to my knees in horror. The first plane had just hit the tower, then right before my eyes the second one. I stood there not knowing what to say or what to do. I couldn't for the life of me begin to imagine what was going on. Then when it was announced that it was an act of terrorism, I felt angered. I remember feeling as if I was lost in a room that went on forever. I am only 26, but I knew what was going on. To this day I still shudder, and ask why. My heart goes out so deeply to those who were lost, and those who lost. My patriotism has never been stronger, evn one year later. I truley understand what it means to say I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!! I will forever remember and long for the terrorist to be certain, They didn't break America, all they achieved was unity that can not be matched.
Jennifer | 26 | South Carolina

#1703 | Friday, September 6th 2002
At 8:46 I was sitting in my French class with Ms. Cooley at Irmo High School. We were all oblivious until the end of 5B at 9:45, where we heard whispers of a plane hitting the Pentagon during the class change. (I was thinking of a Cessna.) My next class was ROTC; there, the radio was on. Colonel was on the white board trying to keep tabs on what had happened, a plane hit the Pentagon, two planes into the World Trade Center, one tower collapsed. Then came word of the north tower, the 1 was X'd out for a two. Finally, an hour after the first hit the principal came on and told the story to anyone who hadn't heard already.

Then came lunch and talk of what happened. When another student told me the towers were flat-out gone, I couldn't believe it. I had visited them a little over a month before (August 3, if I recall)--how could they be gone completely?

Finally, at about 12:30 I saw the pictures. The pictures looked like hell on earth, and the interviews and speculation and news bulletins didn't help. When I got home (all extracurriculars were canceled), my family was watching CNN as intently as people watch Survivor or Big Brother. The pictures kept replaying over and over--it was unreal.

Billfred | 16 | South Carolina

#1668 | Thursday, September 5th 2002
When I heard the news I had just arrived at work, I did not want to believe it and I prayed that all those at the WTC would be able to escape unharmed. The entire day was so emotional and sad. We listened to the radio and watched the news on tv late into the night. My family and I will always mourn for those lost at the WTC, the Pentagon and Flight 93. My husband and I are native New Yorkers, we would drive into NY and feel great PRIDE and LOVE for the beautiful skyline of the WTC and the Statue of Liberty. Now I know when we return to visit with our children it will really hit us hard. This has hurt to the core of our being. I do not think we (USA) will ever be the same.
Christina | 34 | South Carolina

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