#11 | Saturday, September 15th, 2001
I had just finished drill team practice at my high school. We were sitting in the commons, waiting for our 2nd hour bell to ring. My friend phoned her mom and her mom told her that we were being attacked by planes in NYC. When she ran back to tell us, none of us really understood what she meant. We had so many questions, but we did not understand the enormity of the tragedy because we had not been in a room with a tv. Once we had gone to our respective classes, the tvs were all on and normal classwork was postponed. No one knew what to say- everyone was just so shocked. Later that day and throughout the rest of the week we had to move on with normal work, but we all talked about it every chance we could get. Immediately we made plans to donate blood and/or money. I now drive around Tulsa and see so many flags; I feel so united as a country. I truly am proud to be an American, but let us not forget that most of us came from foreign families long ago. Save your anger for those involved in this act, not for their race and religion. Also, thanks to all other countries for grieving with us. That rocks! God bless America-the land of the free, the home of the brave!
Ashley | 17 | Oklahoma

#12 | Saturday, September 15th, 2001
My stereo went off at 10 30. I was still half asleep, but I heard that someone had crashed a plane into the first building. Since I was still half asleep, it didn't really register. I thought someone had lost control of the plane.
Later when I got up, I don't remember if I heard it on television or heard it on the radio, but all the sudden I knew what had happened. My first concern was if my ex-boyfriend, Laurence, was alright. I figured he was fine because he goes to school over by Central Park. But then I realized that sometimes his school has unexpected days off, and in his free time he liked to go to the towers to look at the city. I called his apartment and his cabin upstate, but couldn't get through.
Later that day my friend came over, and we watched the news the rest of the night. I finally got through to Laurence's apartment and cabin, and left him messages.
The rest of the day went by - I don't remember if it went by slowly or quickly, but the time did pass. I cried and cried, wondering if Laurence was okay. To me, he's still like my boyfriend, minus the sexual talk and the title. It's like he's more than a best friend to me, even more than a boyfriend, so you can imagine how scared I was.
I wasn't only scared about what might have happened to him, but also that something might happen where I live. I live right near the Navy Base and where submarines are built, so I was just waiting for something to happen.
The next day I went out with a friend, and while I was gone, Laurence called and left a message on my answering machine. He was alright, but he said most of his neighboorhood was gone.
After I found out he was alright, I really didn't care anymore about what was going on. I had had enough of it. I went through mourning and worrying, and I was done with it. I was tired of turning on the television and radio, just to see/hear more about what had happened. I just wanted to get back to my normal life. And now that things are calming down, I can see that life will soon be the way it once was.
Rachel Kistler | 18 | Connecticut

#13 | Saturday, September 15th, 2001
I was at school and during second block they told us what had happened.
It was freaky really cause they way the told us. I was getting sick just 5 mins before they told us.. I guess I sensed something was wrong.

I went to Rachel's house and we watched it on TV.. I couldn't really believe it..

I guess I'm not moving to NY anytime soon now...

I'm so sorry that all those people died, even though I can't do anything about it.

I love everyone now.. You never know when they too, might leave this world. I don't hold grudges really.
James Mitchell | 16 | Connecticut

#14 | Saturday, September 15th, 2001
I remember the moment my classmates and I were told of the absolutely wretched act. It was 10:40 a.m., 9-11-01. As I sat in the cold cobalt blue seats in my chemistry classroom,listening attentively to my teacher ramble on about neutrons, electrons, and protons, there came a knock at the door...she paused a moment and meandered over to where our school police officer stood, at that point, concealed from the students just behind the corner of the wan walls, their faded, mint green paint worn over years- the school is practically a historical landmark (complete with bomb shelter, and underground tunnels which lead to it- it was built during the whole Cold War scare). As soon as Mrs. McGuinn was gone from sight, the door nudged steadily shut behind her, the teenagers (of various ages) had, of course, as usual, begun to converse amongst themselves about trivial things (which is how things should be, and I regret to acknowledge, how things are no longer)- for instance- what to have for lunch, the newest objects of affection, the cute new studded zodiac belt at Old Navy, the school's new pride trip,when to copy homework due 4th block, so on and so forth. Near chaos, of course, results when you leave a high school chemistry class unsupervised. All the commotion and racket of wild voices came to an abrupt halt as the door was carefully shifted ajar by the teacher, the conclusion to her quiet conversation with Officer Peterson droned out by the slow, monotonous creaking of the door upon steel hinges. Teens' bodies promptly shifted in their seats to face the front, posture regained, pencils obediently snatched up, poised above paper to continue the notes we'd been previously slaving over, yet our faces held quite an inquisitive countenance, gaze alight with an analytical twinkle, sights cast upon her to scrupulously survey her expression, her body language, for any indication or hint at at least the jest of the dialogue. Our efforts, fortunately, had not been made in vain. Officer Peterson held a knowing smirk about his face, as he said one last thing to Mrs. McGuinn that I was lucky enough to catch: "So if you see anyone, just send them down." This, of course, made me think something along the lines of a disciplinary action- drugs, maybe. A locker check, perhaps. Of course, I was not the only one in the class with any question as to what was happening- the other children, too, wanted to know what this was all about. But all Mrs.McGuinn would say was "They'll make an announcement". She returned quickly to the work we'd been working on. I thought little of the incident. Never in a million years would I have figured America was under Seige. The class begrudgingly returned to taking notes, and we hadn't gotten very far, when the PA system was turned on, and our Principal, Mrs.Griffin's somber voice was heard. Her tone chilled me. "Something...terrible..has happened....America...is under attack by terrorists. The World Trade Center and the Pentagon have been attacked. We will keep you posted as more information is released. Thank-you." I will never forger the way the air hoovered thick with the blanket of abhoring silence. My palms were dry, I'd dropped my pencil as the principal spoke..but now, there was nothing..no voice, no droning humm of the PA system...not one sound...the class sat aloof with incredible awe. The silence didn't last very long. I remember a few kids just sat there, others piped up, and put in their two sense (but if you ask me, it wasn't sense at all!)- "Why do they even BOTHER getting us all worked up about it?! Geeze!" I couldn't believe the audacity of them. I ignored their comments despite my obvious annoyance. All I could think of was how we lived just miles from the biggest Submarine/Naval base in the world, in Groton, CT....Then a million fearful questions were spawned, only to later be answered when I returned home that afternoon to watch the live news coverage.
To this day, I can't ever recall having so great a fear as I did that Tuesday morning. I still, to this day, fear America may have to go to war. I hope this can be settled peacefully, and that whoever committed such atrocities gets what's coming to them.
I want to thank the world for all their compassion, sympathy and support- we'll need every bit we can get.
"United we stand.."
-Abraham Lincoln
Jade Huguenin | 17 | Connecticut

#15 | Sunday, September 16th, 2001
I'm not a morning person. Never have been, never will. I usually walk around for about two hours after waking up with the attitude of a very grumpy bear. It was about 9:50 EST when I stumbled into the computer room and flicked on the computer in an effort to try and wake myself up.

... e-mail, check, move on...

... Reblogger comment boxes, check, move on...

... random web sites, check, move on...

... live journal friends page, check, freeze ....

I don't remember which friend it was on my live journal list, but there in the middle of all the entries, there was one saying that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers with 6 already reported dead and 1000 injured. My groggy eyes began to widen. My initial reaction was, "Oh yeah right, you've GOT to be shitting me." with a roll of the eyes.

I read it again. It sunk in deeper this time. All sleepiness exited my body and my hair on my arms and neck immediately began to stand on end. I don't know if it was adrenaline suddenly rushing through my body, pure fear, or a mixture of both. I suddenly felt as if I was on pins and needles and needed to go vomit.

I tried to bring up the article on yahoo.com about it as well as the one on excite. Neither one seemed to work for some reason. I ran to the TV and flicked on CNN. There, before my eyes were the two WTC towers, smoking and on fire. I got dizzy and sunk down onto my bed. I knew it was no accident then... not two planes, not both towers.

My mother saw the shock on my face as I sunk down onto the bed as she was passing my room. She asked me what was the matter. I told her in a very quiet voice to go turn CNN on the TV in the living room and that the two WTC towers had just been hit by planes. She looked at me oddly and quickly walked out towards the living room. Once she had the TV on and the picture greeted her eyes, she uttered a simple, "Dear Jesus..."

I turned my TV off and headed for the living room to watch on the big screen television with her. We both sat there in utter amazement and horror. If that wasn't enough, they then switched to the coverage of the Pentagon attack. I began to cry. She tapped my arm and told me to go wake my step father. I did. He stumbled out of their bedroom, half awake. When he looked at the TV, he made a noise that was half a grunt, half a sigh, and half shock. He wasn't awake enough yet to muster the motor skills to speak.

I knew I had to get to class and I needed to move it, so I hesitantly pulled myself away from the TV with the information I had absorbed and got ready to go. It was Denny's turn to drive me up to the campus, so we hopped in the van and immediately turned on the radio. While we were in the car, pulling into the gas station, one of the towers collapsed. I can't remember if it was the first or second. Things became a blur. As we pulled into the Penn State Altoona parking lot, they announced that a large plane had gone down in Central Pennsylvania and they weren't sure if it was related or not. Central Pennsylvania, the land I call home. Fear ripped through my gut even more than it had. I blindly walked into my class from there.

All I wanted to do was go watch the news, but there I was, sitting in my religious studies class, trying in vain to listen to the rabbi who teaches the class. No one could really pay attention, nor could he. He dismissed us. The student center was packed around the TV. I didn't want to be around that many people because I knew if I watched, I would cry. I went and found an empty bench along the pond and sat quietly, listening to a CD and just staring out at the water. A preacher walked up to me and thanked me for having a cool spirit and asked me to try and spread it in this time of need. When he walked away, I broke down.

When I finally got to a TV that wasn't jam packed, which was quite hard, I found out that the PA plane had gone down in Somerset County... I've been to Somerset and it's surrounding areas many times. It's a 40 minute or so drive.

My mind began to "what if" itself to death "what if that plane had gone down 10 minutes later? It could have been in my backyard." "what if that plane hadn't have crashed into an empty field, where would it have hit?" I couldn't concentrate whatsoever from that point on. Luckily, my last day of the class was cancelled. I called Mom and she came and got me.

We both cried on the ride back to my house. Sometimes, things just hit way to close to home. This time, it not only did that, but changed me, inside, forever.
Heather Mannion | 18 | Pennsylvania

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