#2154 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I was working and writing an email to my brother when someone in the office said that one of the towers had been hit by a plane. We all ran into the kitchen where there was a TV and just stared in disbelief. Then we saw the 2nd plane and then later the tower collapsed and we were all in shock.

Today, I remember all who fell and those they leave behind. God Bless you.

Shirley (and Eric) Reul

Shirley | 37 | Florida

#2130 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I commute to work 1.5 hours to Trenton NJ (centrall New Jersey) from Manhattan NYC... my wife and I both live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Our apartment faces south, and although we are safely miles away from the WTC, we had to close our windows to keep out the smoke which smelled of jet fuel.

From our window - months later - we could also clearly see the the "tribute to light" in the distance as well.

* * *

On 911 I was at work buying breakfast when I heard from a cafeteria worker that "a plane had hit the WTC"... I responded that it was "probably a small plane"... she was adamant that it was a passenger jetliner.

I went upstairs and co-workers turned on the radio... we heard that a second plane had hit and that it was a terrorist act... I called my wife, at home who was just rising for a later shift at work (she is a physician).

I told her there was a terrorist attack on the WTC... she couldn't believe it... after confirmed that we were both ok, we both tried to call our families to let them know.

I then heard that a pland had hit the Pentagon, and I couldn't hep but thinking not only "what's next?" but that "this is WAR"

My wifes very worried family called from Europe.. by then broadcasting horrible pictures of the WTC... as my wife spoke to her sister overseas in Prague.

I then heard a coworker say to me "the towers are collapsing"... all I could say was "oh my god... oh my god... my god"

My wife was speaking to her sister and turned to the TV to notice she could onyl see one tower ... she cried out to her "where is the other one... I can't see it... is it behind the smoke??... then - with her sister still ont eh phone - she watched in disbelief as the remaining tower collapsed.

With the phone lines being overloaded, we could not reach each other the rest of the day.

A bomb scare forced an evacuation of our building, but all trains and busses to NYC were stopped... I was stranded in Trenton.

A friend and co-worker offered to let me stay with his family until service was restored... at his home - with his daughter innocently playing in the background and vying for our attention -we watched the towers fall for the first time.

Later that day, my wife was able to call me on my cell phone... she is doctor as had rushed to the hospital to see if she could help.

I asked her what she saw... she said it was "very quiet" and after a too long pause continued with "I guess there were not many survivors".

That evening, after finally getting a train home to NYC, as my wife and I watched those horrible events unfold, we held each other in tears at the thought of the thousands who senslessy were so brutally murdered.

My wife also both remembered that only the day before, she had flown back from visiting her family in Europe for three weeks. After I picked her up at the airport we both thought Sept 11 would just be a "normal" Tuesday.

We know life will never be so "normal" gain... but we resolve to never let the terrorists win... by continuing to live our lives as before, albeit more alert and mindfull of our surroundings.

Like innocent children, we learned that day that there really IS evil in the world, but this is STILL our beloved country, our home, and that we need to show that we can learn to live in this dangerous world as so many before us have.

We vow not to let terrorists take away our lives.

JS and RKS
Upper West Side of Manattan, NYC







JS | 37 | New York

#2116 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
My name is Tamara Towndrow and I live in Norwich, NY. On 9/11 I was getting ready to go to my class on the Binghamton University. The phone rang my sister called and told me a plane had hit the "towers"! At first I was at a lost and then turned my tv on. My husband hurt me gasping for air and ran into the room! All I could say is no this didn't happen and then all of a sudden the second tower was hit. I still had the phone in my hand and I realized that my sister was crying just has hard as I was. I was shocked. After I calmed down enough I went and picked up all three of my sons from their schools and brought them home. My husband and I began to try to explain what had happened. It was the mmost devasting thing to happen to our family. I am orginally from down near New York City and could remember the many occasions when I went into the "city" for different things. And I am having a very hard time dealing with the New York City's skyline without the "towers." It always brings tears to my eyes. And because of the tragic event in American history, I view the world a little bit different now. Oh I always told my children I love them and give them hugs and kisses but now I make sure I have plenty of free time for all those special occasions.
Tamara Towndrow | 37 | New York

#2043 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
I shall never forget September 11th . I was intent on getting back to work after my lunchbreak , when an SMS message from abroad on my cellphone alerted me : " Plane crashed into World Trade Center, New York. Watch CNN " . Just as I tuned in onto the world's largest news network , I was in time to see the airframe of American Airlines flight 175 disappear into the South Tower's interior , and I realised that what millions of people were watching all around the world was not caused by some fatal accident but actually by a well devised terrorist plan , hellbent in massacreing thousands of defenseless civilians in less than two hours . It was the start of one of humanity's darkest days since the Cuban missile crises. Whilst another two flying aircraft-bombs crashed into the Pentagon and into the fields of Shanksville , Pittsburgh ( Pennsylvania ) the defense and anti-terrorism establishments all over the world went into action to prevent new catastrophic attacks: if "the big American Giant" had been struck so hard, it was very clear that no nation in the world could - in those hours - call itself a safe haven . I felt a feeling of diarmed impotence as I witnessed bewildered the images on TV , realising that those " dots " which I saw falling from the WTC weren 't debris but desperate human beings , seeking salvation in that leap of a couple of hundred metres from the flames inside the building . From the other end of the earth , I was seeing these persons dieing , and all I could do was to pray that the rescuers could at least save as many lives as possible . The thought never crossed my mind that two such large steel and concrete giants would not have remain erect , I simply couldn 't think it possible . I was numbed frozen stiff when I saw the first tower crumble , and then the second . My thoughts went to those still inside the buildings , to their rescuers , and to those who had left their homes that clear morning - having said their goodbyes to their loved ones ( or even without having had the chance to do so either ) - who suddenly disappeared in that dust cloud , never returning home . All these folks projects , hopes and dreams were shattered in a few minutes by an act of decided violence . After the shock and the sadness , there comes the anger , the hate . I prayed that the same rage and violence would strike those who had devised and supported this extermination of human life , and I believe that I can speak for all the Corpi d' Úlite.net staff here by stating that , in the following months when we heard of the thousands of terrorists and Taliban fighters buried alive in their own bunkers or cuts to ribbons by the Coalition forces , we didn 't bat an eyelid . It was a no win situation in that if they won, we 'd loose, and viceversa . Although the death of our enemies would not have brought back those lost on that tragic day ( as a matter of fact , none of the enemies' lives lost is worth even half of any of those lost on September 11th ) , it would be a clear signal that the West was not prepared to be erased away by a bunch of barbarians . I lay in that moment on my couch , still incredilous before such horror , and thinking that the consequences of what I was seeing could have more serious consequences had our American allies , wisely , awaited the opportune moment to break the spines of those responsible . In the following days and months , we gradually started to get to know more on some of the victims . There were two firemen, a father and son duo , burried allive under the rubble of one tower, and for whom one street has been named in New York .The employee who returned to the WTC after the aircarft impact , sure that the two giants would have stayed erect . The engaged couple who jumped into thin air holding each others hands . The father searching for his own kids . The mothers who would never again embrace them . And added to all this tragedy, the heroic and moving sacrifice of United Airles flight 93 , who sacrificed their lives in a last desperate attempt in regaining control of their hijacked aircraft . The aircraft later crashed in the outskirts of Pittsburgh . It seems that the passengers had surprisingly overcome the hijackers controlling the aircraft in a hand to hand fight ; however they failed to save their own lives in the process . But with their courage they avoided another fourth catastrophe from happening in Washington . Someone once wrote " Times of Teror are Times of Heroism ". It causes much thought that this tragedy , which has struck the world so hard on September 11th , has been able to teach us something we weren 't yet aware of on the greatness of the human spirit . When one thinks of the passengers onboard flight 93 , of those firefighters , defying that selfpreservation subconsciousness , pushed only by that infinite sense of duty and altruism - they didn 't spare a second thought to hurtle themselves to render a service in the twin towers . As others were escaping down through the stair wells , they were going up to help . A race against time and death . They may have saved many from death , but not themselves .

MAY THEIR SOULS REST IN PEACE

Webmaster Corpi d' Úlite. | 37 | Italy

#1974 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
My daughter missed the school bus on September 11, 2001, so I had to drive her in to school. Since her first class was P.E. I was in no rush. We sat in the car talking with a CD playing in the background. At 8:55 a.m. my daughter got out of the car and went to class. As I drove away, I turned on the radio and Peter Jennings was on the air. I thought, what's going on, where's our local news guys. Then I heard what had just happened. It was like I was in a dream for a moment. I called my husband at work to let him know what had happened. By the time I got to Walmart and picked up a few things, another plane had hit the Pentagon. When I got home, I picked up my baby and began rocking her and I was glad I was so far away from it all. A few hours later, my daughter got home from school and said, "Mom do you know what song was playing on the CD before I got out of the car?" "The Next Five Minutes" by Steven Curtis Chapman (the jist of the song is the next five minutes may be your last five minutes).
Caroline Miller | 37 | Florida

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