#64 | Tuesday, September 18th 2001
I was across the river, on the 11th floor of a building overlooking the WTC. More at http://www.tnl.net/newsletter/2001/wtcbombing.asp
Tristan | 30 | New York

#58 | Monday, September 17th 2001
All of our teachers told us that this was an event we'd remember for the rest of our lives-like the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

I was in fourth period gym class. It was an orientation day, and we were all huddled close in the bleachers talking with one another, I was wearing a Lucky Charms shirt and jeans, when that all-too familiar voice of our principle came on the speakers. We were expecting a message that would be irrelevant to us, something about Geology Club, or some other crazy club. His monotone-voice told us plain and simple; that there had been a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. I was shocked, but it had not quite settled in to me just what had happened. I could hear girls worrying about war, since we live in upstate new york, a ton of oh my god, oh no's, and immediately thinking it was something like the oklahoma city bombings. The bell rung, and i remember uneasily walking down the bleachers and to my locker to global studies. When I got there the lights were already dimmed and our santa-clausesque teacher had CNN on the tv, and was serious. It was so out of the ordinary that he was serious, but then again, so was this. I sat down in my seat, and my eyes were glued to the screen. I saw the pictures of the WTC, up in smoke. I heard the voice of Tom Brokaw, saying what had happened. I just looked at the screen with a blank stare, but i was in awe. I couldn't just comprehend what was happening. Then, i saw the first pictures of the Pentagon, immediately worrying about my sisters who lived around Washington DC. All of a sudden, i was incredibly scared.

I got home, and the door was opened for me and my mom asked me if i knew. I threw my backpack aside and watched the TV, just..i couldn't believe what was going on. And i guess, i sort of didn't. It wasn't until later that night when i had been online and saw people throwing themselves out of buildings, women crying and telling reporters what had happened, and the people asking others if they had seen this man or woman, i finally realized what had happened.

The same thoughts haven't left my head since then..mine or anybody's. Everyone was feeling weak, tired and sick at school, and still does.

For almost all of my life, I never understood patriotism--why we all had to care so much. But after these recent events, I finally do.

Maeve | 14 | New York

#57 | Monday, September 17th 2001
I was reading The New York Times on the web and nursing my first cup of coffee, the only person in the Niagara Falls bureau of The Buffalo News.

A circulation assistant came running in from the newspaper warehouse out back and turned on the TV. Rude, I thought, usually you'd ask first.

He flipped channels until his eyes confirmed what his ears couldn't believe. "A plane just smashed into the World Trade Center!" he yelped.

CNN was showing the smoking hole.

Holy shit, I said. Not exactly words for history, but there you go. A couple more people came in, and we were standing in an incredulous knot around the TV, trading guesses on whether it was an accident or something worse.

Then the second tower blossomed jet fuel like some apocalyptic poppy. Terrorists in America, I thought. I was in awe of the production values of the atrocity. I caught myself admiring its ingenuity and was ashamed.

There were shots of people running through debris as cops with rags over their mouths waved them on. I thought of all the international news TV clips I'd ever seen, the dazed staggering across blasted urban battlefields, and I remember thinking something like "Now we'll know how it feels."

Someone was flipping channels and I hooted when Dan Rather took a moment to caution viewers that there were no confirmed casualties. After the first tower collapsed I didn't hoot any more. The second tower collapsed to a chorus of "Oh my God"s.

CNN cut to a scene of Palestinian kids dancing and cheering outside their Lebanese refugee camp.

"What are they doing?" the young female circulation clerk asked, genuinely puzzled. "Do they have something against us?"

In that moment, I have never felt more helpless.

Andrew | 35 | New York

#53 | Monday, September 17th 2001
I was standing outside of the Family Court in Queens, NY. Other students in my law school class and I were waiting for our professors to arrive and lead us on a tour of the court. A man ran down the steps proclaiming, "They just bombed the World Trade Center! They smashed right into it!" He looked wildly at everyone standing on the steps. Mothers trying to calm their children and smoke cigarettes before their court appearances did not appear to welcome this "crazy" man's exclamations.

I immediately dialed the number of a former supervisor who I knew to work in Building Seven of the WTC (later collapsing as well). I got no answer. Suddenly, other students began to dial the phone numbers of friends and family and lovers who worked in the buildings or the area.

My professors arrived and seemed disappointed that the class would not see the court on a "normal" day. They lead us to the metal detectors (customary procedure) and within two minutes, we were told that no courts would be in session. Soon after, a police officer in riot gear addressed the waiting room:

"Attention everyone! We are now evacuating the court house. Everybody move!"

So, we did.

Buffy | 24 | New York

#44 | Monday, September 17th 2001
I was on my way to college and heard things on the radio. I did not know the extent of it, but knew I would call my parents and tell them to turn on the TV.

I arrived to discovered people on their cell phones calling people, and everyone was saying there was an accident. I called my parents from a pay phone and thought I would now go off to class.

I passed the Student Lounge which is always near empty, but this day it was so filled with people, that everyone had to lean on each other to see what was in the corner ... the college TV which was now pumping in CNN. From there I saw everything, Tower 1 smoking, and soon Tower 2 would be hit. When I saw part of one of the towers fall, I felt the need to fall to my knees, but prayed silently in my head, instead.

My heart was in my throat. I grew shaky and almost numb. I knew I had to go to the Student Services Office and get a counselor in there. Once the counselor was present, I left the Student Lounge, knowing I was seeing too much for me to handle. I was afraid if I was obviously afraid or acted in such a way it would effect the students around me.

Days have passed and sometimes I feel numb, like I can go back to normalcy. I rented videos to watch since most of my TV channels are down, I have continued to go to school. Everyday I see more flags and candles. I am proud that people can stand together to face this tragedy. Often I feel guilty that I feel so emotionally weak. I felt I could do nothing but hide in my room, that I was so emotional I could do nothing. I was wrong ... everyday I focus on helping those around me, even if it is with a hug, or just listening to them talk. I feel everyone can do something. Hug someone, donate money even if it is spare change, it all adds up.

God Bless the Victims of Sept. 11, 2001. May those who were left behind find love, support and peace while accepting hugs and blessings.

Grey | 23 | New York

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