#1248 | Friday, May 3rd 2002
On 9/11/01, I was not at the World Trade Center, but home wishing I were there to do something...to help...to do anything. As a young girl growing up in downtown Manhattan, I watched those majestic towers being built. I had been in and through those towers numerous times, as recently as two weeks before the attacks.
As the rescue effort went forward, I cried many tears. My old neighborhood lost many people, and some family relatives were hit particularly hard, attending two funerals a day there for a time.
I am grateful to our veterans, for I see now some of what they went through, so that we may enjoy our freedoms. I pray for our leaders, that they may maintain their strength in this war. May this never, ever, ever happen again.

Phyllis | 49 | New York

#1182 | Sunday, April 14th 2002
Our alarm goes off at 5:22 am Alaska time. I got up to let the cat out and wandered back into the bedroom to get my clothes before showering. My husband stays in bed until about 6 am when the second alarm goes off, but the radio continues to talk and sing to him while he dozes.

When I walked back into the bedroom at about 5:30, Jim asked me if I'd heard about the World Trade Center. I asked him, "What'd they do? Bomb it again?" He said he wasn't sure since he was half asleep when he heard that "something" had happened. I got into the shower and proceeded with my routine since I had the radio on in the bathroom and knew I'd hear it whenever they mentioned it again. And . . . mention it they did!

Jim was up by 5:45 am that day and sitting in front of the TV upstairs with a cup of coffee. I went up as soon as I was dressed . . . in total disbelief! He had watched the second plane hit . . . and we both watched the first tower fall and then the second.

To say we were both pretty rattled is putting it very mildly. We were in shock and couldn't believe something so horrible could happen in our country.

We went to work that morning and every day following - Jim to his job as assistant city attorney, and me to one of two local public schools as a speech-language pathologist.

I knew the kids at school would be affected, and . . . they were. Since we live in Juneau and have thousands of tourists in town every summer between mid-April and late September, some of the school kids were terrified! When said quickly, ?tourist? and ?terrorist? can sound similar, and we had several children who were afraid to go outside for recess or anything else. They were afraid the ?tourists/terrorists? would get them.

Inside, I just cried . . . for the kids . . . for those who died . . . for the survivors . . . for all ethnic peoples . . . for all of us, because the acts were so incredibly senseless. I can?t even imagine the hatred others harbor against us.

I still cry inside. It feels like there?s a pit in my heart when I think about all this even now. All I can equate it to is the ?duck and cover? drills we would have at school when I was a child. I knew we were practicing for something terrible that could happen, but . . . I was too young to realize what was happening in our nation. I do remember the feeling of nervousness and agitation that was created by an unknown terror. The biggest difference is that I?m an adult now . . . and I?m well aware of the ramifications of these terrible events.

We in Juneau weren?t as affected as many across our nation. But . . . we had more than a few tense moments since all air traffic was grounded . . . as was all shipping. Nothing could come in . . . nothing could leave. It was so eerily quiet to hear nothing in the air but birds in a community that is landlocked by an ice field on one side and the Inside Passage on the other. We are totally dependent on both air and water traffic for all our goods and always have planes flying.

Tourist season was essentially over . . . three weeks early. And . . . it hasn't yet begun for this year.

No national sports . . . baseball and football took a week off. Every player sported a flag on his uniform the following week. Not only was the national anthem sung, but at the seventh inning stretch "God Bless America" was sung and broadcast at every game . . . and I?d sing along in my living room or car. Just typing this brings tears to my eyes still.

Many local people immediately put out flags and other patriotic colors. Flags and other patriotic things weren't available for purchase locally for many weeks. I think it was January before I could finally purchase a flag to fly. It gives me inspiration daily when I watch it waving in the breeze on one of our driveway light poles.

I find myself singing "God Bless America" aloud or to myself quite often.

A local teenager who visited the fire station in New York that lost so many firefighters began making and selling flag pins (for donations) . . . and sent all the money to that precinct. She and her family were there the week prior to the disaster. The pins are still available for purchase.

A woman in Skagway, AK asked me in late March where I got the beautiful flag pin that was on my shirt. She didn't want to copy the idea but was touched by my story and wanted pins for herself and others.

I thank the National Guardsmen and women at the security stations in the airports when I fly. I think it's a mistake that they will soon be decommisioned and removed from the airports without the trained personnel available to replace them.

I thank the airport security people for wanding me, searching my bags and asking me to remove my shoes. I appreciate the extra measures they are taking.

The first Seattle Mariner's baseball game I watched in early April showed the singing of "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch. I wish they were still broadcasting it during each game. (The baseball season is only 14 days old.)

What do I want? World peace . . . but I don?t think I?ll live to see it. I want safety for all . . . enough food for everyone . . . acceptance for everyone regardless his or her race, religion or color. I want love and not hatred . . . no violence.

I'm a dreamer. And, I believe in God . . . and liberty and justice for all . . . Amen.

Dixie | 49 | Alaska

#1176 | Friday, April 12th 2002
On Sept 11 in San Diego,I got up late and didn't have time to watch the morning news or turn on my computer.

I hurried to my car, started it and as I was paused to let the car warm up, I heard the news on the radio. First, I thought it was a very bad joke and as I drove off, I realized it was for REAL.

I should have turned right around and stayed home. I felt sick in my stomach all day long. I would have felt better being home in the safety of familiar surroundings, watching the events unfold on the TV.

that night I longed for the company of my girlfriend, just being with her made me feel better. Knowing that we were both alive, for at least this one day together comforted me. Both of us not knowing if an attack would happen in our town the next day or the next moment.

Paul | 49 | California

#1084 | Wednesday, March 20th 2002
I was getting breakfast ready for our youngest child and my husband said to check out the tv program "right now". The first plane had hit and all we saw was chaos. My little girl wanted to know what was happening. What do you tell a 12 yr. old? Her world is changing before your eyes. The next plane crashed, then the Pentagon plane crashed. We wondered what was the next target...should we stay home from work? Should we take our girl to school? We decided to try to have a normal day and see what happened next. Before I drove away from her school, she gave me a hug, something she never had done before...it's not cool at 12, you know. We watched the news all day, and when the 4th plane went down in a field, we still wondered what was next. I remember beginning to hate the Muslims, watching them laugh in the streets, on later news casts. I didn't want to hate them at all. I hate not feeling safe, I hate not feeling that my family is safe.
garrbev | 49 | United States

#999 | Wednesday, March 13th 2002
I was sound asleep on Tuesday morning when I was awakened by a phone call from my husband. He was calling me from the road on his way to an interview in Palo Alto. He excitedly told me to go turn on the TV ; "...a plane has hit the WTC!" He said he'd be home asap that his interview had been cancelled as the person he was scheduled to meet with had a son who was working at the WTC. I was shocked and horrified by the sights and sounds on the TV. I watched as the second plane hit and felt glued to the TV. I finally dragged myself away long enough to shower and go to work. At work we all crowded around a radio unsure if we should stay or go home. All we wanted to do was be with our loved ones. I'm a child therapist and I kept thinking about the effect of the coverage on children and teens. In the past 6 mos. we've had a huge increase in suicidal teens in our clinic. My life often feels divided between before and after thoughts. I can sympathize with their anxiety; the world as we knew it has been forever changed. Anything is possible.
Doris | 49 | California

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