#151 | Monday, September 24th 2001
I grew up in DC, but I'm currently living in Dallas, TX. On September 11, 2001, I was making a sandwich when my roommate called me into her bedroom, where she had just turned on the news. The Pentagon was burning. The World Trade Center looked like a bad special effect. The two of us stood there, with our hands clapped over our mouths, unable to even fathom what was going on. We could only utter quiet statements of, "oh my God". I couldn't even tear myself away from the TV to go call my friends and family who had worked in both buildings. I'm still waiting to hear from some of them... Our third roommate, Kat, stumbled in a few minutes later, curious as to what was going on. The three of us were glued to the small television in Beth's bedroom, even though the larger TV was only one room away. We couldn't break ourselves away from the barrage of media. Kat turned to me and asked if I had gotten ahold of my parents. I ran out of the room and picked up the phone. No good. I tried another number. No good. All the phone lines were choked with people trying to contact their loved ones. I called my girlfriend, Trixie, in North Carolina, and we swapped pieces of news that we'd heard as she watched MSNBC and I flipped between CNN and ABC's affiliate in Dallas--news Channel 8. I called home again, and then I heard my mom's voice. I wasn't worried about my parents. Neither of them work in the Pentagon or anywhere near it, but it was so good to hear the voice from someone at home. It was so good to -know- that they were safe. Some of my friends' mothers and father were not so lucky. Some of my friends were not so lucky.

Jessica | 21 | Texas

#126 | Friday, September 21st 2001
My girlfriend and I awoke extra early that morning (around 8am est) and decided we had enough time before class to grab breakfast at the local bakery. Our bakery is about 2 blocks from the fishing pier, which happens to overlook the NYC skyline. We had gone there too many times to count... day, night, rain, shine... the view was always magnificant. When we arrived at the pier that morning all was calm. The sky was clear, the view even clearer. We admired the twin towers and actually spoke about how beautiful they looked that morning; nothing but blue sky surrounded them (sometimes early in the morning the tops were surrounded by fog, but on that particular morning they were as luminous as ever). Neither of us knew that would be the last time we'd have that view. After what seemed like hours of gazing we walked up to the bakery. Inside we purchased pastries, chatted for a bit, and left a few minutes later, only to enter a completely different world.

The pier was suddenly packed with people and in the distance we could see smoke. We ran towards the water to find out what had happened. A boating accident perhaps? Not quite. Apparently a plane had hit one of the towers. That in itself was a terrifying thought, but I think we both assumed they would put out the fire, patch up the building, and all would be well. Nothing could have prepared us for the scene we were to witness a few moments later: a second plane was flying directly into the other tower. The crowd of people gasped, then got quiet as everyone wondered what was going on. "Surely that couldn't be real" we all thought. Perhaps a movie was being filmed on location and from our angle it just LOOKED like the twin towers were ablaze. Shortly thereafter all our hopes were put to rest as police officers arrived at the pier to control was what becoming a very large crowd. Word of what was happening spread quickly as people driving by parked along the water with their radios turned up. It all started to sink in. This wasn't a movie.

Moments later the first building fell. Along with it fell most of the people on the pier, dropping to their knees choked with tears. It wasn't long after that that the 2nd building fell. At that point it looked as if the whole island of Manhattan was swallowed by an enormous cloud of smoke. Not a single building could be seen, just a rising cloud unlike anything any of us had ever seen before. When some of the smoke finally cleared neither of the twin towers could be seen. It didn't seem possible, but they were gone. Word began to spread amongst the crowd that the Pentagon had also been attacked, and that other hijacked planes were en route to other locations throughout the country. My girlfriend and I decided that we had better head home because it might not be safe to be outside (and because we had already witnessed more destruction in those 2 hours than anyone should ever have to see in a lifetime).

Nowadays when we go to the pier there is a giant hole in the skyline where the towers once stood. Blank-faced people gather there daily to weep and share stories. The people of this country have become one giant family, bound by not only the terror that we all witnessed, but also the inability to believe that the two towers so tall and strong that once stood there in the distance were reduced to dust on a perfect, sunny morning.

Mike | 21 | New Jersey

#108 | Thursday, September 20th 2001
I was awaken by the phone at about 9:30am Denver time (11:30am NY time). My boyfriend got a call from a friend telling us to turn on the TV. We were in total shock, I remember saying that the world was ending. How could this happen in a country like ours? Then I saw it was terrorists; I knew we had enemies, but not to this magnitude. Why would somebody do this to all those innocent people.

I tried to think if I had family or friends in NY or D.C., but I couldn’t think strait. Even though I couldn’t think if I had a friend or family there, I felt the pain of everyone who lost someone. I felt like I had lost a part of me, a part of my freedom.

That day, September 11th, 2001 will be remembered. I hope that all the families that were devastated by this tragedy will one day find peace.

Kelly | 21 | Colorado

#101 | Wednesday, September 19th 2001
Sitting at work getting ready to head home I got a call from a co-worker. He said" 2 planes just hit the WTC". And told me that I should drive over to other office and watch the TV. Thinking that it was 2 small light aircraft I thought that it was going to be a small item. once I found out that it was 2 767's I became numb. I could not belive that something like this could happen. I mean who would do such a thing. That whole day I dont think I left the TV. Im still a bit numb, and now knowing the world will never be the same. Now may thoughts are spend wondering how big is this war going to be, and will I have to fight.
Josh | 21 | Washington

#98 | Wednesday, September 19th 2001
I was coming out a courthouse in Kettering, ohio. I was upset thaat iI had to obtain a lawyer and the money I was going to spend to do so. I felt sick that I was so concerned about something so small when I found out what happened. It really put a lot of things into perspective for me.
chris | 21 | Ohio

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