#656 | Thursday, January 24th 2002
I go to Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C. I had come in on the bus, wearing my headphones, and bopped along into the law school. People seemed agitated, but it wasn't until I got on the elevator that I took off my headphones and heard a woman telling me, "Isn't it awful?" I was confused. She told me "they bombed the Pentagon." My father works at the Pentagon. I ran to the payphones to call my mother, but there were lines. When I was finally able to call, my mother hadn't heard from my father. When I came out of the phone booth, people were talking about how the World Trade Center had also been hit.
Reen | 23 | District of Columbia

#604 | Thursday, January 3rd 2002
I was in downtown DC with some friends, waiting for the workday to start. My friend Maurice got an urgent page from his cousin, and I let him use my cell phone to call him back, but it wouldn't work. I thought I was just having phone problems, I never would have imagined that all the lines were blocked up with people trying to get in touch with their loved ones. A few minutes later, Maurice somehow got through to his cousin and he told us the news- a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Like so many others I dismissed it as a freak accident. Then word came about the second plane. I thought about all of my friends in New York, and started making a mental list of people I would have to call and check on. Then a homeless man ran into the middle of the street and gave us the news about the Pentagon. He told us all to repent because the world was going to end. I felt like I was standing in the middle of a movie scene. Shortly after that, our boss decided to send us home for the day because they heard they were evacuating the White House. All of my friends walked over an hour home, scared of a bomb on the metro. My hip hurt from a soccer injury, so I took the metro, but it was the longest 15 minutes of my life. By the time I got home, the buildings had already collapsed, and I felt so lost. Months later, the reality of how close I came really hit me. If that plane had not gone down in Pennsylvania, it may have crashed on me. I will be forever grateful for those passengers' courage and God's good will.
Julia | 17 | District of Columbia

#597 | Tuesday, January 1st 2002
I was in Gaza, chatting with a friend, when my phone rang. Another Palestinian friend had deep concern in his voice when he asked if I had family in Washington, DC or New York. I told him I did not, then he asked if I'd seen the news.

"No, what happened?"

Being true to his culture, he was hesitant to tell me the news then apologized for having to tell me. I hung up the phone, turned to apologize to the friend with whom I was chatting, then it rang again.

This caller was weeping, concerned about my family in New York/DC. When I told him I didn't have family there, he was relieved. I used to live 'close' to DC, and that was close enough for him.

After hanging up and trying to apologize again, the phone rang for a third time. This went on for about an hour, the final caller sobbing in fear that I had been on the phone with family in New York/DC.

Then I heard about the 'cheering in the street' video on CNN. How sad... I wish that reporter had been at my home that day to get what real Palestinians are like.

Timothy | 37 | District of Columbia

#469 | Wednesday, December 12th 2001
My name is Racquel K. Kelley and I work for Department of Defense in the Pentagon. I was sitting at my desk in 1D520 when all of a sudden there was a loud BOOM!!!!!!! At first I thought damn they have messed up somewhere cause they were doing renovations in the new corridors. I was pinned against my desk with debris, smoke and fire all around me. I called out to my coworkers but no one answered. Something fell from out of the sky and hit me in the back of my head. I then thought “I GOT TO GO. I CAN’T DIE I JUST HAD BABY!!! I then somehow got free from my desk and dove under my desk. I reached my hand into my cabinet and grabbed my purse. While under my desk, I kicked the back of my desk out and crawled through only to meet with more falling debris, smoke and fire. Two of my coworkers, Janice Jackson and Doug Knickerbocker pulled me out from under the debris. We ran and crawled over bodies, parts of bodies and total destruction until we reached what used to be the E ring and a big hole. There were people on the other side helping us get through. The hole that you saw with the smoke coming out of it on television, that is the hole that we came out of. I was sitting on the grass just staring at the Pentagon still unaware of what had happened. I ended up in the Washington Hospital Center ICU unit with burns on my hands, arms and hair, cuts on my feet and severe smoke inhalation. I was in the hospital for a week and a half; spending four days on a respirator. I was the first Pentagon survivor to go home. It felt strange leaving the hospital and returning home because at the hospital I felt safe, here out in the world I DO NOT!!! I still have nightmares. I do not like loud sudden noises. I watch the planes and helicopters fly overhead hoping they don’t fall on me. Mentally I’m a wreck!!! I cry a lot for friends, coworkers and myself that perished that day. I am still ANGRY, HURT, CONFUSED, and FEARFUL.
Racquel | 32 | District of Columbia

#247 | Sunday, November 11th 2001
I was in my Compuer and Information Systems class, sitting having coffee, and reading my Washington Post waiting for class to start. One of my classmates came in and starrte to complain about the administationa the admin. at the University. We talked for a while and then one of our other classmates came in and asked us if we had heard about the World Trade Center and Pentagon. She said that somethign had happened on the national mall as well. One of my other classmates said that she had heard about it, but it was probbly not big deal. As they starrted talking, I dismissed it as a silly rumor. Afterall, nothing like that could happen in America.

Our prof. came ina starrted to teach. He was half way through computer op systems when one of our clasmates came in with a small tv. We all gathered around and watched the footage of the plane crashign into the trade center. The time was 9.55 am.

My first thoughts were for my co-workers and friends that worked in the Pentagon. In a matter of minutes, a new America had been born

Josh | 21 | District of Columbia

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