#238 | Tuesday, November 6th 2001
i can remember it all too clearly to be healthy. I was sleeping on the couch in my dorm room, the tv was off. It was about 10am, I turned on the tv, and saw what looked to be a huge dust cloud hanging over NYC. My family lives there, and I have been around there alot, so, I was like, "Wow, a dust cloud in NYC, kinda wierd...." Suddenly, I heard a banging at my door. My Ex-girlfriend runs into the room, crying... I turned to her and said, "Whats wrong?" She looks at me with tears welling up in her eyes, and screams, "THEY HIT US!" I turned back to the tv just in time to have the image of the second tower collapsing into the all too familiar city-scape of home. She and I ran out of the room, and began calling. Calling anyone we could get in contact with. As details came pouring in, I heard that 4 more plains were in the air. Although this was unfounded, I got everyone that I could into my car, and drove out to my friends house outside of the city. Ever since then, my life has taken new shape. I can't really describe it, but nothing is, nor will it ever be the same anymore.
I can't get the images out of my head. All this descruction over books and a piece of land. Why must it be so senseless? D.C. has never been the same as before. We like to pretend that it is, because the pentagon is not in the heart of the city. But now and that the terrorists are using letters instead of planes.... somehow, nothing is safe anymore. I hope some good will come out of all of this. I cried myself to sleep for days, I couldn't close my eyes on that day because everytime that I did, everything played back.
Now, in this period of recovery and rebuilding, we must try to find our way once again. One last thought. I have never been a fan of war or violence. Not surprisingly, I not only agree with the attacks on afganistan, If osoma ever admits that he had something to do with all of this, then i will join any military force that I can, and I will jump in every single cave until we find him. I will not rest until justice has been served.
I have no hatred for muslims. I have hatred for those who wish to express their religious beliefs and mantras with the blood of thousands. Thos who wish to make a point by killing the innocent. Those who wish to do harm, simply because of how we are not getting along with them. I will never think of sept. eleventh the same way again. I will never see New York the same way again. And there are those who will never see the light of day ever again.
if there is one thing that we should all strive for, it is that this nation never forget when at it's darkest hour, it was capable of almost uniting the world for the first time in history. All because of 19 guys with box cutters and plane tickets.

Casey | 20 | District of Columbia

#157 | Tuesday, September 25th 2001
The Day of Destruction.
11 September 2001 - 4:01 p.m.
"On a quiet day, the kind that makes you think you are happy to be alive...you know the kind: it is sunny, not to hot, you caught all the trains, and busses, and got to work on time. You settled down to one of the best cups of coffee you have had in a long time.
Then the sky started falling. Who said it could never happen???"

I have been trying to get online for 6 hours now. Two of my homes have been attacked.

If I had gotten on earlier, I thought it may be the last entry I may have ever written.

At 9:02 AM, I got in my car to move it into my driveway. I got in later than expected last night [drinking] and needed to go pick up a b-day gift for a co-worker. I decided to go in late this morning to do it. Today is his birthday.

I heard the DJ say something about Kamikazee planes flying into the World Trade Center. 8 blocks from where my father works (in a windowless building no less...that you can see in the press coverage).

I ran inside to see it on TV. I called my friend here in DC, who is from NY. We cried. I got off the line to try my dad. No calls would go through. "All Circuts are now busy!" Little did I know he was trying to call me and the operator message was something to the effect of a tornado knocked the lines down (long time since they last changed that one, no?)

I got nervous so went to pee. ***BAM!***. I nearly shit my pants. A huge kabloom! I finished and went outside. There was my neighbor with the dog that broke his back a while ago, throwing shit into her car trunk. I lit a smoke.

She yelled across the street at me, "the Pentagon has been hit [we live in Pentagon City...3 minutes away], I know about this stuff [she worked in the Pentagon on Chemical Weapons], get out...leave the house." She then drove off with doggie, who was oblivious that the US was under attack.

I finally got in touch with my dad. He is fine. I immediately grew less tense. I filled him in on what neighbor said. He said call out of work and not to move. If anything go into *new* downstairs neighbor's apartment [our basement].

Neighbor drove back and told me that she heard on the CB radio that there was another plane 20 miles away. unidentified. Coming full speed. I had 10 minutes...

I called work in that I could not get off my block. I went back outside and saw bellows of smoke. Sirens blaring. My boss said not to worry. I called a friend in the Press Office who was hysterical as well. She said they were letting all non-essential workers home. 20 minutes later, all Federal employees were sent home.

I called another friend who I just drove back up to NY, knowing she would be worried. While on the phone with her, 3 people approached me, charred and coughing. They were Pentagon employees. They were going to the "Pack up and GO!" neighbor's house. I said she was gone already. I asked if they needed anything. I hung up the phone, and handed it over. They were shaken. 2 women and one gentleman (a major). Their cell phones were dead. It took about 4 tries to get through anywhere. I offered them water. And asprin. And beer and cigarettes. They were took it all. They were stranded. The Metro closed down, there were no cabs.

They kept calling me their savior. And told me I have a free tour of the Pentagon whenever I wanted. They left 2 hours later, when they heard buses were running to another Metro area. I gave them all my number and told them to call me when they got in. Val Denise and David. I will never forget the three strangers I let into my house. Who I helped and who helped me. They all got home safely.

My dad called a total of 20+ times. My phone kept ringing. Friends in NY-- crying. My relatives, as few as there are. More so my father. Nervous about me. Still [even now at 4P] stuck in his windowless building. Stranded.

I got in touch with my girlfriend. I had first left message. I don't remember the time. Then she called. I knew she was nervous but I assured her I was fine. As did the 3 of the Pentagonees. I told her to go to class and not to worry.

She called back to let me know school was closing, classes were cancelled, and that she was coming over. I figured it best, as anything going away (south) from DC was packed. Coming in (north) was not too bad. Aside from all these streets being closed around me. I am glad she did come...and got here safely

I may not even get home, a trip I planned for a month. Even if I did, I would not see the Twin Towers anymore. The place I went on my first real date. The second tallest buildings in the U.S. The World Trade Center, no longer standing. Thousands of innocent people. Going to work. Like every other day. Except it's not. It is the last day they would get to work.

People may have died at the Pentagon. I can look out the window and still see the smoke.

I am watching TV...ABC News. Grim, very Grim. Horrifying.

Two of my homes were destroyed today. I am just glad everyone I know is ok, as selfish as it is.

Thousands dead....for no reason at all.

jenne1017 | 24 | District of Columbia

#154 | Monday, September 24th 2001
I was at School at the Corcoran......one block from the White House when we were evacuated under word of the secret Service. We were told that there was a plane on its way to the White House and we should all go home....too bad my home is an appartment highrise in Downtown DC....close to the white house. Later that night I went to the Pentagon to see it for myself..... It still doesn't seem real....
nicole | 21 | District of Columbia

#134 | Saturday, September 22nd 2001
I thought it would be a normal day. Woke up, raced to work, poured some coffee, and sat down to start my day. Only I couldn’t. I couldn’t concentrate to save my life, neither could the woman who sits with me, or the woman across the hall from us. It was just impossible. Everyone has those days.

I was checking out the yahoo clubs that I’m in, and one of the headlines on my start page said “Plane Crashes Into World Trade Center.” I figured it was an accident, and tried to click on the headline, but it wouldn’t load. Big news, I wasn’t surprised that it wouldn’t load. But one of the messages in the club said for everyone to turn on the news. The first thing I thought was, it’s the federal government, we don’t have TVs. I was wondering what was going on, when a fourth woman who couldn’t concentrate came in the office. “I was just down in Conferencing, two planes just crashed into the World Trade Center.”

That was the end of security for me.

For the rest of the morning, we had two radios and a coworker on the phone watching CNN at home giving us information. Rumors, true stuff, we got everything. Car bomb at the State Department (not true). Bomb on the helipad of the Pentagon, which soon turned into helicopter crash, which ended up being the plane that was crashed. Airports closing, the President en route from Florida, the Capitol and White House being evacuated. I knew we’d be the next to be evacuated, so I started packing up my shit and called a friend to pick me up. More rumors start flying – the Beltway is closed, another plane was crashed, the Capitol has been blown up.

That was the beginning of terror for me.

My friends pick me up and we head back to my house, listening to the radio the whole time. Walk in the house, pour a few stiff rum and cokes. Turn on the news and wait for something else to happen – it’s noon by this time, but only 9ish on the West coast. My friends leave, and I turn on the radio as well. I turn to my favorite station, which is also a CBS affiliate, and turn on the CBS news. Every once in a while, the radio switches to a CBS feed, and the TV and radio are synchronized - the only things that made sense all day. All afternoon I have both TV and radio on, and by 8 I’ve had enough of both. I just want out. I head to the bar with a friend, where they have news on every single TV in the room. Choke down a sandwich and another rum and coke, then leave.

That was the beginning of sleeplessness for me.

Tuesday the 11th of September was the first day of the rest of my life. Washington DC, my beloved hometown, was on high alert. The military was in Delta. For the first time in my life, I was afraid to leave my house. It’s not like I haven’t experienced war before. I remember Bosnia, I remember Desert Storm and Panama. I just haven’t experienced it in my back yard.

Jenny | 23 | District of Columbia

#133 | Saturday, September 22nd 2001
I had an 8 o'clock class that morning - a freshman class, and I'm a junior, a class I should have taken long ago, a class I don't want to be taking now. I sat in class tired, in a bad mood, and staring the clock as the minutes ticked by - it seemed like an eternity. Once class was finally over - at 9:15 - I walked to the computer lab to check my email, while considering the rest of my day - a 12:30 class, a 2 o'clock, and a 3:30 pm, none of which I was in the mood to go to. Sitting in the lab, my friend from home sent me an instant message saying simply, "OH MY GOD." "What?" I responded, not in the mood for some drama I would have to pretend to care about. "You mean you don't know?" "Don't know what?" I responded, thinking I had missed the newest juicy gossip about one of our friends. "The Trade Center was bombed, and I think the National Mall is on fire; they're also saying the White House is a target." My heart sank.. The National Mall? The White House? I live four blocks from the White House, how could my city be on fire? There were a lot of rumors going around then; maybe none of them as bad as the truth. I went home to find my roommate glued to the tv, "have you heard?!" she exclaimed, "your dad called, but our phones are being weird, cell phones are out..do you think they'll cancel classes?" We really had no idea how big everything really was or what was going to happen. We sat there watching tv and watching our generation lose its innocence as the buildings I had visited only months before began to collapse...
Erin | 20 | District of Columbia

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