#1998 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
The early morning hours of darkness blanketed the Seattle skyline at 5:00 a.m. on September 11, 2001. I arose early, uncharacteristically turned on the television set, and started preparing for my workday. My husband was in the Midwest on a business trip, and I was home alone. I noticed an image on the television screen that seemed ridiculous and offensive to me. I thought, "What kind of a crazy movie is this?" I doubled over in pain, when I realized that it was not a created image, but a terrifyingly true, horrific, unimaginable event unfolding before my eyes. I crumpled to the floor of my bedroom when in live time, via television, I saw the second plane hit. Journalists were shouting across the airwaves. Sirens and images of rescue vehicles were roaring to the scene. I telephoned my mother and father sobbing, “Something terrible has just happened in our world.” Together, sharing the pain through the telephone, we watched the horror unfold. When the buildings began to fall, I thought, “My God, how many people are still inside?”

Tears streamed down my face, and tremendous sadness gripped me. I remembered attending a Christmas party at Windows of the World, in 1989. I remembered sharing a Snickers bar with my husband at the observation level of the Twin Towers. I remembered walking on the rooftop on a very windy day, with my sister, husband, and brother-in-law. I remembered a warm fall evening, staring at the New York skyline from the Jersey side, with the Twin Towers looming high above it all, and lit up like guiding beacons.

Seattle is 3,000 miles away from New York, but ever so close in the heart. I attended a special Mass taking place at St. James Cathedral, in Seattle, at noon on that fateful day. It was to honor the dead and comfort the fears and sorrows of the living. I called a cab in order to get there. The driver arrived at my house, and I noticed that he had been crying. This gentle man was from India. He was of the Sikh religion. He had the radio on and we listened to the news as we drove to the Cathedral. We both cried all the way. The traffic was terrible. The ride took more than one hour. Together I mourned with this man, both of us proud Americans devastated by the loss of so many lives. I will never forget him. We arrived at the Cathedral, and he reduced my fare. I told him, “God Bless You.” I worried about his well being after hearing dreadful reports of cab drivers wearing turbans being attacked by the ignorant in the days and weeks that followed.

To mark the anniversary of this terrible day, tomorrow I will attend the Mozart’s Requiem, at Safeco Field in Seattle, as part of the “rolling requiem.” At noon I will attend an interfaith prayer service, where the prayers of Catholics, Protestant, Muslims, and Jews will be joined in the common search for love, peace and understanding.

To the 3,000 souls who have left us, I promise that I will never forget. To their families, I pray that some degree of peace may fill your hearts, and that the love they left with you might carry you through.

Sherri | 41 | Washington

#1790 | Sunday, September 8th 2002
I was in bed. The radio by the bed was on. I heard the dj break in with the news. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I jumped out of bed & ran to the living room. At the time my television had no sound. I turned on the tv then stood there watching the terrible tragedy unfold. I was horrified. Yet at the same instant I was thinking that what my eyes were seeing couldn't possibly be happening. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I thought of all the people who had lost their lives. My heart broke for their family & friends. I said a prayer for the living, the dead, & America.
J. Brookshire | 41 | California

#1757 | Sunday, September 8th 2002
My wife and I were going into work a little earlier than usual (5AM here in Hawaii) when we heard on the radio that a plane had flown into the world trade center. Then a few moments later the announcement that the tower(s) had collapsed...I couldnt believe it...thought maybe it was just overblown news reports...

At the time, no thoughts of terrorism, perhaps just a very bad air disaster...then when I got to work and saw the video footage...

Fear, Anger, and ... being stuck in the middle of the Pacific...helplessness.

Newton K. Koshi | 41 | Hawaii

#1710 | Saturday, September 7th 2002
ON THAT DARK TUESDAY MORNING I WAS ALL ALONE.I ALWAYS WATCH THE TODAY SHOW WITH (KATIE AND MATT)SHOW HOST.AT THAT MOMENT I SAW THE FIRST PLANE HIT THE TOWER I THOUGHT I WAS WATCHING SOMETHING FROM A CLIP IN A MOVIE,WITHIN SECONDS I KNEW IT WAS REAL. AFTER SEEING THE SECOND PLANE I WAS TERRIFIED.I AM IN A STATE OF SHOCK.WE ARE HERE IN MA.TEMPORARILY AND NO ONE BUT ME AND MY HUSBAND ED , WHO WAS AT WORK( HE CAME HOME)THANK GOD.MY FAMILY IS IN W.V.AND S.C.I JUST SAT AND CRIED OUT LOUD.I DIDN'T KNOW IF THIS WAS AN ATTACK ON NEW YORK OR IF IT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO ALL OF AMERICA.I WAS SCARED AND LOST.THEN WHEN I HEARD ABOUT THE PENTAGON AND PENNSYLVANIA I KNEW IT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO THE REST OF US IN AMERICA.MY LIFE FLASHED BEFORE ME.I WAITED ANXIOUSLY. I HAVE NEVER FELT SO MUCH FEAR IN MY LIFE.I PRAYED AND PRAYED THAT THIS WAS NOT REAL.FIRST THE SHOCK THEN THE FEAR AND THEN THE ANGER...I ASK"WHY AMERICA"?WE ARE THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.WE WELCOME ALL OTHER COUNTRIES TO OUR HOME TO LIVE IN PEACE AND FREEDOM.WHY!!? ALMOST A YEAR HAS PASSED AND NOT A DAY GOES BY THAT I DON'T THINK OF THAT TUESDAY.I DON'T TAKE MY FREEDOM FOR GRANTED ANYMORE.I FEEL THAT AS AN AMERICAN WE ALL MUST PROTECT OUR COUNTRY,NOT JUST THE GOVERNMENT AND THE ARMED FORCES AND ECT.WE THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA ALL HAVE A HAND IN PROTECTING THIS GREAT COUNTRY AND" BY GOD", AND FOR OUR FREEDOM,WHICH DOESN'T COME FREE,I PROMISE, TO DO ALL THAT I CAN TO KEEP OLD GLORY ABOVE MY HEAD WAVING, AND TO SEE MOTHER FREEDOM STAND PROUD AND TO HEAR THAT LIBERTY BELL RING.MAY THE EAGLE SOAR THE FREE SKIES AND MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA..PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN...CRYSTAL J. DEEM 9/7/02
CRYSTAL J. DEEM | 41 | West Virginia

#1646 | Monday, September 2nd 2002
I am a law enforcement officer, on September 11th a fellow co-worker and I had made plans to have lunch that day. On the morning of September 11th when the news broke in Sacramento my co-worker called me on the phone and told me to turn on the television. I thought what I was seeing on the television was a war movie and that she was mistaken or perhaps I was on the wrong channel. After realizing what I was seeing was actually occurring in my country, I was in a state of shock. My first impulse was to gather up all members of my family and somehow protect them. As I calmed down I realized I was one of millions of people in the United States that did not know exactly what we should or should not do at that particular period of time.

My co-worker and I agreed that it would be a good idea for her and I to be together to help each other get through this tradegy. Spending that time with her helped me to not focus on me but helped me to think about how I could help others who may be in a worse situation than I was.

I worked several extra hours per week providing special security to areas identified in our jurisdiction as highly potential targets. Knowing that I was fulfilling my duties and responsibilities as a law enforcement officer helped me immensely, knowing I was helping others helped me to cope and stay focused during this difficult period our entire nation was experiencing.

Shaunda C. Davis | 41 | California

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