#2270 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was working from home on my computer like any other day when my husband called me and said, "Turn on the tv..." I didn't want to stop what I was doing but he insisted that it was important. When I turned on the tv, the WTC had a gaping hole in the side of the building. Then I watched in horror as the 2nd plane hit the other tower, and the Pentagon was hit, and the plane in PA crashed, and the towers fell. My husband decided to pick up our daughter at day care and come home. At about 11 a.m., we realized that his parents were in NYC and that his father had an interview just two blocks from the WTC. We frantically tried calling their cell phone but could not get through. For about a half hour, we weren't sure about the fate of his parents. Then finally we heard from them. They were just blocks away in a cafe when the planes hit. They were able to make it uptown to my brother-in-law's apartment safely. We spent the rest of the day calling and emailing our friends and relatives to make sure that everyone was okay (we have several friends and family memebers both in NYC and DC). Then for 4 days, we watched the news and wept with the rest of the nation. We grieved for those who weren't so fortunate and thanked G-d that our family was safe.
Jackie | 31 | Pennsylvania

#2168 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I live in Waco, Texas and was working at TSTC (had been there exactly a week) at the time of September 11, 2001, across the street from the airport where President Bush lands when visiting Texas. I got to work at 7:50 a.m. and did what was becoming my routine - turn on my computer, get things lined up on my desk for the day and start answering phones.

As I was doing this, people were asking me if I'd heard what was going on. Someone set up a T.V. in the lobby and everyone gathered around it to watch for any bit of news. I watched in horror as the second tower got hit, then as each fell.

I could NOT believe this was happening. I cried and prayed. To think that someone could be filled with so much hatred towards another country because of religion was, and still is, unfathomable to me.

I realize now more than ever how important my family is to me. I recently remarried and between the two of us, we have 5 children. Most things are normal in our home, but I try not to waste an opportunity to hug my children, give them an impromptu kiss, tell them "I love you", or any of dozens of ways to express how I feel. No one knows how long we have on this planet and I want to try to make every moment count.

I also want my children to know that God was there with all those people who died that day and in the days to come, and those who were left behind. That God doesn't require anyone to kill others in His name to prove their loyalty. He sometimes does things we don't understand or like, but the whys aren't always for us to know until we're face-to-face with him. May God bless each and every one of you.

Bel | 31 | Texas

#2151 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was in Houston, Texas attending a conference. I live in NJ. I remember getting ready to go to my first conference. I got there and suddently beepers and cell phones were vibrating and ringing.
Those with CNN on the pagers got the news right away. I ran to the closes tv to see what was happening. I went crazy, crying, I couldn't hardly breath. I went to my room and started to call everyone I know, fire fighter friends, co-workers, friends, family. I feel so vulnerable. Then the pain just covered me. Until today a year after the attacks I cry and pray for those innocent lives.

Magda | 31 | New Jersey

#2146 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I had taken my children to school when I heard about the first tower being hit, but I thought the radio announcer was playing a joke on everyone sice he always does stupid thinks on the air. So, I went home and took a nap. My sister-in-law woke me up, in hysterics and said "Oh My God! Have you seen the news?"
She and I spent the rest of the day watching the tv until our children returned home from school. When they got home we sat down at the table and discussed the days events and tried to help the kids understand what was going on.
All during the day she and I tried to get in touch with our spouses. Her husband is my brother and my husband works on an Army POST. When we finally got to speak to the two of them and knew they were safe our day was much easier to deal with.

God Bless

Shannon | 31 | Missouri

#2064 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
9/11: I was on the phone talking to a realtor when I suddenly heard her scream.

Moments later she told me that a plane hit the World Trade Center. Of course I didn't believe her - it must have hit the 'radio tower' oh, ok no big deal I thought. I assessed how remote of a possiblity of a plane smacking right into the trade center after take off from Newark Airport.

The realtor corrected me stating that she was watching it on TV. I looked at my watch and realized that my husband had most likely just arrived at the World Trade Center. He would travel on the NJ Path train from Hoboken to the WTC and then walk to work on Wall Street.

Then, my phone went dead. The cable TV connection was down. I had no communications. Everyone in my apartment complex was at work. Where to go what to do? I tried the cell phone. No answer. I assessed the possibilities. I still couldn't imagine what went wrong. The thought of a terrorist attack never crossed my mind - after all they tried years before to bomb the WTC and they did some damage, but to try again would be foolhardy.

I received a call - calls in were working it seemed. It was my brother asking about Daniel - I shivered and tears streamed down - What was going on? I wanted to know. I was told that it was an intentional attack. That a second plane hit. Panicking, I pleaded - DANIEL's AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER!!! I can't reach him! Please try to reach him. I asked my brother to call my husbands family in Arizona and to have them call me.

It seemed like forever until I reached my husband. The phone was staticy. He screamed - oh my god I have to go the building just came down and the dust is comming towards us!

He told me that his company refused to let people back inside. That he had to find shelter.

Our phone connection was cut again.

I didn't hear from my husband for at least an hour.

While all of this was happening I felt helpless & cut off. The only contact I had was a call from my husband's family.

Later I learned that my husband wound up at the American Depository Trust where he was fed - and stuck. With the Staten Island Ferry not running there was no where to go.

I started imagining other attacks, of ways to rescue him. Boat perhaps. Silly me, I ran out of the house to buy a QuickSilver - one of those inflatable
boats that a motor can be attached to. No one, NO ONE around Lake Hopatcong had one for sale.

A call - should I go across the Brooklyn Bridge he asked? NO! I imagined that bridges were an obvious target, and what with all that poisonous smoke - one might die from
inhaling it. Click.

I'd convince someone at the dock in Newport, Jersey City to help me boat on over to rescue my husband I thought. And I took off for Jersey City.

A call from my husband. "The ferry's letting people on" Ok I said where are they taking you? They won't tell us he replied. It's an 'undisclosed location'

So I didn't need a boat afterall. I was on Route 3 now towards NYC. My first glimpse of the billowing smoke
made me gasp. The road was literally empty. The radio blurted out the latest news and reports of road closures - rt 80, rt 3. Army trucks and personnel were everywhere along the highway. I was diverted towards the turnpike. The tollbooth let me turn around & it was there I was stopped trying to move my way through some of those plastic orange cones. "Where are you going an army guy asked." "To rescue my husband I replied". He let me through.

Another call - "They're forcing us onto a bus to an undisclosed location in hoboken" my husband said. What? How unbelievable. How was I to meet him? Some red cross building he said.
At least I knew he was off of that island called Manhattan.

I drove through to the docks in Hoboken where the Spirit of New Jersey takes people on night dinner cruises. It was awash with hundreds of people, army trucks, army people everywhere. I asked them to help me locate my husband.They
had no idea of what I was talking about.

I drove and drove and finally my husband gave me some street off of Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City. The traffic was bumper to bumper. An hour later I found him on some nearby street corner of the undisclosed location. Dusty, his back completely thrown out. I gave him some Orange juice. I kissed him and vowed that we were going to 'get out of there'.

In the days that followed, NJ shops shut down and schools closed. So many people had lost or known someone who lost a loved one. A state of emergency was declared on several roads in New Jersey.

Yet, this is precisely how people went into work. A week or so later ferry's from Hoboken & Jersey City were brought on line to handle commuters.

As days passed we wondered how New Jerseyans would possibly be able to commute to downtown (Wall Street) New York. Hoboken - Penn Station? Forget it - it would be over a 2 hour commute each way probabally more.

I was glued to TV. Anthrax was the new story - and some was found at the central mail clearing house in Trenton New Jersey. I refused to retrieve my mail from the mailbox - it sat there for over 3 weeks. (Luckilly my important bills went to a scanning billpayment center for online payment and not to me). I couldn't function.

My husband went back to work despite my pleading and every day he told me about the latest problem down at Pier 11. A bomb threat, a car crash into the docks.
His commute was indeed 2 hours+.

I myself was subject to a bomb threat after droping my husband off to commute from Exchange Place Jersey City. Merril Lynch evacuated.

I remember driving in the car listening to a radio show where people called in for help in dealing with 9/11 events. The woman caller sobbed how she didn't want her husband to commute to NYC. That she felt defenseless. That she wanted to move but she couldn't afford to. I immediately identified with the woman and felt relieved. Someone identified with my feelings. They were valid.

My husband & I spoke and we agreed that we would leave NYC as soon as he fulfilled his Contract (which was over in October).

October - I decided it was time that I had to admit to myself that 9/11 really happened. I commuted with my husband to NYC and decided to visit the World Trade Center site. I passed the Wall Street Bull - a poster with Bin Ladins picture was on the bulls rear end. An american flag stuck out of each of the bulls ears. Vendors were selling anti-binladin t-shirts.At least a laugh in such tradgedy.

Many blocks surrounding the Wall Trade Center were closed & blocked off. Business were shut down. A Thick film of dust covered the buildings, the glass windows. Smoke was everywhere and most people sported white breathing masks. That was where I paid my tribute. I took a few photos so I'd remember what I'd seen. One could see right into WTC4 (I believe) The desks, each office- cables everywhere. And part of the top of a nearby building looking like more debris was about to fall. Piles were everywhere. Other visitors cried. Army men hurried people along (Security threat).

It wasn't until January when I finally got my husband to end his contract. Family reasons he told his Wall Street Employer. His Manager was there - she knew.

Subsequently, we took a First wedding anniversary cruise in the Carribean. We had to fly to Florida. Security at the Airport was extremely tight. My husband was frisked - our luggage searched.

One month later we applied for a HSMP visa to the UK. We took a trip to visit my husbands family in Arizona. I think this was the end of April. It was a must - it was the first they would see him since 9/11.

Upon reaching Dallas where our flight stopped over, we learned that the plane before us onroute to Dallas had been downed because a person onboard the plane went ballistic. What a close call.

During our stay we learned that our visa had been approved. We picked up our visa at the British Embassy in NYC after returning to New Jersey. What an ecstatic day. We were moving to England!!!!

Two months later and two apartment sales later, we flew to London.

And we're glad we're here.

We've heard over the past year about stories of hundreds of New Yorkers wanting to 'get out' and start a life somewhere else. To some, the greener grass is just that - green grass- trees, traffic free and ambulence sound free sleep. For many, especially Wall Street guys, this requires a complete Career change unless they want to commute from NJ or Connecticut or Long Island (Yeah, space on Long Island right!)

More space. To others, options are not as open. We chose London. I still desire the green space - a nice house with a nice backyard, but that will come when my husband opts out of finance. Or, when we move to Surrey - someday.

Today, 9/11/2002 1:13pm British Time, I am filled with hope and the excitement of new beginnings. Everyone needs a fresh start at various points in their life. 9/11 exposed my desire for a new beginning and hastened my action.

Compared to New Yorkers and New Jerseyans, the British seem much more apathetic of their 'system'. I hope on this day they take a moment to appreciate the opportunities and social support systems that they DO have.

Of course I wish that peoples worldwide should learn to live in peace with one another - but what is Peace?

Simply put - the respect and tolerance of another persons differences - be that religion or lack thereof, looks,
or whatever else you might consider a shortcomming. That been said, the respect must be returned as one should not infringe upon the belief systems (or lack thereof) of others.

When 9/11 happened, the US Newspapers Countrywide reported that people were becomming more religious. Children were now being FORCED to say the pledge of allegiance in school despite the fact that many did not share a belief in the 'god' that was prostheletised by the country - they believed in a different god, many gods, and many - no god at all. To me, the intollerance of others beliefs during this time smacked in the face of everything our country - the USA- was supposed to have stood for.

Freedom. Choice. I don't remember hearing the constitution place *contingencies* upon either of these.

Each of us has a story.
Thank you for reading mine.

From, London UK

Cindy | 31 | United Kingdom

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