#2236 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
Just a few days before 9/11, my friends and I were attacked in our car, coming home from a restaurant. The attackers were looking for someone to torment (maybe an initiation of some sort). They threw cement bricks through our windshield. We were scared to death, but only had scratches. I lived through that violent experience, and was thousands of miles from NYC, DC, and Pennsylvania on 9/11, yet the September 11th attacks scared me more. I grieve for the victims' families. A year later it's still too much to bear.

The morning of 9/11 we were in shock over the 2 planes hitting the WTC. When the Pentagon was hit, I called my boyfriend who was at work and to this day, I can't believe I uttered the words, "they hit the Pentagon." I didn't know anything about a "they"! I just knew, like everyone else, that something terrible was happening. Coming from a military family, I envisioned the scene in the Pentagon; our country's leaders taught to react quickly and under pressure, but what shock they must have been in. My Mom sometimes works at the Pentagon, and I called to make sure this wasn't one of those days. She waited anxiously until late that night to hear from her best friend, who was not injured, but her office destroyed. In March of 2002 we visited DC and she gave my boyfriend and I a private tour of the Pentagon late on a Sunday night. There were so many messages from school children posted on the walls; it was heart-breaking. But, we never felt so proud.

The US may not always do everything justly in terms of foreign affairs, but I believe that we really do try to make this a better world. I get sick watching clips of our "enemies" rejoicing over these attacks. We would never respond that way to the loss of life.

Amy | 30 | Washington

#2057 | Wednesday, September 11th 2002
... I was on my way to college... a pitstop on my road to my own life. I went to bed late that night on 9/10. I ended up waking up late as usuall 10:30ish pacific time.. no one had thought to wake me. I walked out with a smile on my face and prepared to start a new day. I found myself looking across a room of my family infront of the tv. My Grandmother was in tears, and at a loss for words, save for "how could this happen". My father stared wordlessly at the tv, and I stood there, and felt nothing but numbness, disbelief. Still a year later it hasent sunk in. Todays media has us desensitized to this sort of thing. So I guess as a sophmore in college now... I am waiting to wake up for my freshman year, in a world where this didnt happen.
Nathan | 19 | Washington

#2003 | Tuesday, September 10th 2002
Being only 13 kind of made September 11th a different experience. I live in the Seattle area, I knew of the Twin Towers, and not much else. When I was getting ready to go to school Sept. 11th of my 8th grade year, I didn't really know what was going on. My Dad drove home after leaving for work a half hour earlier to tell us to turn on the TV because all the lines were tied up. All he said was " A plane hit one of the WTC's." I didn't know what was going on, only that it was serious. On the bus, we listened to the news, and a few people talked about it, but most of the stories were about the night before's football game. Not until I got to school did I really realize what an effect it had on people and the actual seriousness of it. My teachers were all antsy and answered our questions the best they could. Everybody was on cell phones trying to reach loved ones. I remember in 1st period, orchestra, one of the students came in and said, "they're gone! They both collapsed!" Two beautiful towers of such massive size, gone.
This summer, I visited NYC. After seeing ground zero, I now feel that it's not just a hole in the ground across the country. It's a resting place for thousands of innocent lives who had families, friends and such wonderful lives of which most weren't even half way over. I now wish I could go back to that day and know what an affect it would have on people today! My prayers go out to all those who lost loved ones in this tragic event and the people who worked to rescue those lost. I will wave my flag remembering those who were lost in 9-11.

Andrea | 14 | Washington

#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

#1778 | Sunday, September 8th 2002
I was at home on September 11th 2001. I had been up until around 3:00 that morning so I didn't get up until 1:30 and thought I was going to lose it when I turned on the TV. I was glued to the tv the rest of the day and only left long enough to go pick up a special edition of the local newspaper and pick up a ribbon. I wanted to donate blood but I don't weigh enough.

I put a tape in the VCR starting with the President's speech that night and kept it going through the local news. I have also kept the newspapers for the week after the attacks and have bought just about every book I can find that has been written on it. I figure that this is history and one day any kids that I have will be doing a report on it.

I remember thinking that half the people who did this should be strapped in a remote controlled plane that was going to be destroyed anyway, and the other half strapped inside a building that was going to be demolished so that they would see exactly what they put those thousands of people through. Then I realized that all that would be doing is giving them what they want.

I still find myself wondering sometimes why God allowed this to happen. I know that He didn't cause it though and that in the end, these evil doers will be punished for thier deeds. If you look back there have been more people turning to God so He really had turned what the enemy meant for evil and turned it to good, but I still find myself thinking there must have been another way that wouldn't have caused so many lives.

This year I'm having some friends over on the 11th for a Pot Luck. I figure that we should have some fun on the anniversary of that horrible day to show the terrorists that they haven't won. Although I do think that the entire area at ground zero should be a park/memorial and that September 11th should be a national holiday to remember those who lost their live on that fateful day. I'm just beginning to ramble now so I'll quit but it is nice to have a place like this where we can all come together and remember.

Marcia | 25 | Washington

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