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it's your turn

it's your turn

I've been going over in my mind what I want to do with this space tomorrow.

I've decided.

By the time I shut off my computer and go to bed tonight, I will be done with what I set out to do this past week. I will have purged all my memories, said my piece, ranted, raved and poured my heart and soul out until the words have (almost) run dry.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of listening to my own voice. The well is just about dry, anyhow.

I want to hear different voices. I want to hear your voice. And I want to open up this site to you tommorow, to your thoughts and emotions. I'm handing my September 11 post over to you.

What I would like you to do, what I hope you will do, is use the comments (or email if you would like) to answer a few questions. I will take each and every [coherent] response and I will collect all those words and put them here tomorrow and, after, on a its own page. I will keep adding if I have to.

I've had enough of me. I want to know about you. Answer all or none or say something else entirely. One word, one sentence, ten paragraphs, I don't care:

Where were you when it happened? How did you react? What was the rest of your day spent doing? What is your most vivid memory of that day? Of the days that followed?

For the next day, I'm turning this place over to you.

(if anyone knows how I make individual links for each comment, please email me.)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference it's your turn:

» No Ordinary Day from Blogcritics
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I guess I don't have the same problem as you do... I hear voices all the time. During the holidays, they sing carols. How sweet.

Sept 11: I was walking to work... passed by one of my job sites and two ladies were out talking about what had happened. I thought they were joking. I didn't believe that anything like that could possibly be true. The rest of the day was spent watching the news and getting teachers setup so they could watch with their classes. We kept the tv on in our office for days afterwards.

I was here at work, sitting at the computer. I had AIM open and was chatting with my friend D, from New Jersey. She is the one who told me about the first plane. I have to be honest in the fact that I didn't believe her. I knew she wouldn't make something like this up either. It just didn't make any sense.

I went into another room, and turned on the tv. I clicked over to CNN. At first I was just like "What the fuck is going on?" I figured it was just a freak accident. A plane just happened to lost control and that is where it crashed. I thought about golfer Payne Stewart, and what happened to his plane. It was all logical there for a minute. That is when I saw the second plane. All I could utter was "Oh no...thats another plane. OH god no...." I yelled for my boss, as he used to work in the Towers. He is a native New Yorker. The look on his face caused my heart to sink even further.

My reaction was utter shock. It was like a movie. How could this be real? Then, upon realizing that the stuff I had thought was debris falling, was actually people jumping...well, that just made me sick. Literally. I threw up. I was so horrified.

I spent the rest of the day in a fog. I left work early and went over to see my parents. We talked about it all. I then was eager to get home to see Willie. We sat on the couch in each others arms just watching the horror unfold.

I have to say the most vivid memory I have, is that video clip they showed over and over and over again of the first plane hitting. That sound. It will be with me for all of my days.

In the days that followed, I was glued to the tv. I was scared, as I still am. I spent many nights wide awake, thinking. Thinking too much.

Then I reached a point where I had had enough. I needed to get back to some sort of normalcy. Not a day goes by that I don't think about it. I have been mum on the subject pretty much. But reading what others have had to say has a sort of healing effect on me. I will say that it has brought about changes in me that I am not sure I like. I was never for war. Now, I say Bomb the bastards. I know innocents will be killed. But that is war. Weren't innocents killed on Sept. 11?? AND it was intentional. Planned. Well thought out and executed. That is war. I say we take em out. Survival of the fittest. If we don't, then Sept. 11 is NOT the end. It will happen again.

Ok, sorry. I am done. Thanks Michele. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. It has helped me come to terms with my own self.

I will never forget. Ever.

It seems as if a year has passed faster than any other time in my life. At least I will remember my second day on the job at my now present employer. Our company is a software firm catering to TV/Radio stations & Groups...needless to say it was impossible to reach anyone for the week, they were all scrambling and worrying about inventory because of being live for so long without commercial interruption....and I was totally in fear of a plane that flew directly over Pittsburgh (that eventually crashed in Shanksville, Pa) and if my better half/girlfriend was alright on the 31st floor of the building where she works in downtown Pittsburgh, worrying if she was alright, praying she would not fall victim if the terrorists decided to crash the plane into one of the tallest buildings in Pittsburgh rather that in D.C. ...BUT, now I have a grave amount of dismay for the broadcast companies who have sought out "sponsors" for their Sept. 11th programming, and how vendors are amassing in Shanksville, Pa (not too far from me here in Pittsburgh, Pa) to sell hats shirts buttons bumper stickers Twin Tower replicas and everything Flight 93-realted so they can make a buck off of the destruction and death of Sept. 11th....I cannot believe people and corporations are seeking to profit from Sept. 11th....I am horrified to think that someone actually decided to gain from thousands and thousands of people's grief....It chills me when we all cannot stop the bullshit, greed and sensationalism for one minute and be silent tomorrow, remembering the destruction, feeling the pain and honoring the fallen, rather than making change for a $20 or planning TV spots to air pushing products....I wish the world would stop for one minute, that's all, a simple gesture of understanding and compassion. Set aside our contempt and misguided directions, and simply pause. What a wonderful world it would be for one minute on a day that only brings a tear to my eye, and to everyone's hearts.

Sept. 11: I was driving to work and flipping through the radio stations. When I first heard the new - I thought the dj was playing some sort of sick joke. After hearing the news, I was pretty upset - my husband is in the Air Force. I immediately called him to wake him up. My most vivid memory is this hollowness I feel inside my heart. It's not a hollowness that comes from not caring - it is a hollowness that comes from my complete shock that this could ever happen and the sadness that I have for all the people lost that day.

I was in my office on 5th avenue in a meeting. Our company had just moved into new office space and I kept thinking that whoever had chosen the office made a big mistake because it must be right across the street from a fire station. All I heard was sirens throughout the meeting which ran from about 8:45 to 10:00. My client had cancelled a meeting with Cantor Fitzgerald in the WTC for that morning to meet with me since we were unavailable later in the day. Our meeting calendar saved his life.

I came out of the meeting and a colleague of mine said "hey did you hear - a small plane hit the World Trade Center". As a small plane pilot, I thought "great, some idiot has gone and screwed things up for the rest of us, now they're going to close the flight corridor down the Hudson River" that I frequently used.

I then got a call from a friend in London saying "are you ok?" I said "yes, why do you ask". He was the one who told me about the second plane and that the fact that they were not small planes at all. My heart sank. I knew that it was terrorism.

The Rockefeller Center fire marshall then came over the PA and told us to evacuate the building. I was amazed that several of my colleagues had decided to stay in the office. Not me - I ran over to my wife's office and, unable to enter, just walked the 15 blocks home.

My wife's colleagues came over looking for her and we watched the towers collapse on CNN. It never occured to me to go up to the roof of my building to watch live. Finally my wife called and I told her to come home. We all watched CNN until we were both numb and enraged. As we went to the Red Cross on the Upper West Side to try to donate blood, I suggested that we bomb Mecca in retaliation, but was reprimanded by my wife and neighbor for such ridiculous sentiments.

The line at the Red Cross was so long that they told us to come back the next day unless we were O+, which we were not. My wife and I just went to Central Park and walked around for the rest of the afternoon in shock. It was the most beautiful day, weatherwise, that I had ever seen in New York. That night we went out to a bar with friends because we just didn't know what else to do with ourselves. We were sick from the TV coverage of both New York and of Palestinians celebrating the attacks. I had nightmares for days of the 767 hitting the South Tower.

I was going to post this on my blog but decided simply to post a picture of my son there for the next day or so, since it is for his future that we wage this war.

Where was I on 9/11/01? At work, without radio or TV, and with internet news servers overloaded I was relying on my wife's frantic phone calls to relay the news to my office. We were all still trying to work though. It was surreal, as though it wasn't that big of a deal. It wasn't until lunchtime when our boss took everyone in the office out to a local sports bar and every TV there showed us the images that we had yet to see. We had heard that the towers had fallen but none of us had seen them fall yet. The image was like being sucker-punched.

One of my closest friends at work is very religious and at every meal he silently prays before eating. I was always respectful of this when we'd go out to eat. On this day, however, I bowed my head along with him. It wasn't until I opened my eyes that I realized that every person in the restaraunt had stopped talking. The only noise was from the televisions. Every diner had their heads bowed in prayer along with my friend.

That night I returned to an empty hotel room since I was in the process of transferring and my wife and son were still in Atlanta. Numb, I watched TV, crying in a darkened room, remembering, as a child, when I would rest my back against the angled corners of the World Trade Center, look straight up, and watch the building curve out over me. Remembering standing in line for a port-o-potty on July 4, 1986 in front of the World Trade Center before watching the fireworks from Battery Park.

There's a hole in America, where two majestic buildings once stood. It's long past time for Uncle Sam to stand up, dust off his red, white and blue pants, straighten his shoulders and loudly proclaim for all to hear: "Never again. Let's Roll."

I was sitting at me desk when my cousin came over to me and said a plane had hit the Twin Towers. What??? I thought it was a small plane, someone way off course. I work on the 5th floor and went to the lobby window. I could see the towers, and the smoke. Then, without warning I saw the mushroom cloud. What was that? It was the 2nd plane. Now I'm really scared. Then the Pentagon gets hit. Now they say there are 10 planes going to hit various marks. Then the crash in Pennsylvania. Oh my God, we're all going to die. I went back to the windows. From 22 miles away, I could see that people were dying. Are my firefighter cousins ok? Are my friends in the area ok? Then they fell. The dust cloud last for weeks. I looked out the 5th floor window everyday. Every single day to see the tips of the buildings in Manhattan over the trees. I could judge the weather by how clearly I could see them. Then I went home and watched 10 different tv channels. my mom called and said Pete Ganci was missing and no word from our cousins. a little while later she called back and told me. Pete Ganci was dead. My cousins were ok. I cried so hard, so long. I still cry and will for a long time to come. 365 days. 52 weeks. 1 year. Yesterday.

I was celebrating on September 11th. No, hear me out. The day before (one year ago today) I learned that my newborn son, who had been at death's door, was going to get better, was going to make it and probably come out just fine. In fact, I have only vague memories of fire and smoke on TV, but I'll never forget the heart specialist when I came up to him and said (after an EKG) "It looks a little better?" and his genuinely joyful reply, "It looks a LOT better."

The next morning I had just heard something vague from one of the nurses about a crash in New York when I went down to give blood as thanks for my son's deliverance. That was where I saw news footage as one, then another WTC tower collapsed, and the other rumors about a plane aimed at the White House and so on. And I talked with the blood bank folks about the fact that they knew they were about to get really, really busy.

As a result of my son's situation, I spent the week in a kind of disconnect from the rest of the country. Sorry the world's ending, but my baby's okay, so I really can't get too worked up about your problems. Selfish, I know, but something that happens on the instinctive level, far below your ability to control.

It's only now, when I have a happy baby like so many babies who lost parents that day, that I'm back with the rest of you, wondering what might happen to us all next. Having a hard time accepting any argument that doesn't lead to doing everything possible to prevent the next one.

By the way, the heart specialist's name was Dr. Wax. He might be from New York, by his accent; I'm 99% sure he's Jewish. You know, it's not just a matter of giving up terrorism that makes a people worthy of respect. When the Arab world has given as much to its fellow men as all the Jews who have gone into medicine, then it can hold its head up next to Israel.

Sept 11th was the tuesday of my last day of work at AOL. My 6 year tour of duty was up. I had just gone to the cafe with my friend Amber for some breakfast. My friend Charles came out to tell me about a plane going into the WTC. Amber and I gathered our stuff and came back to see coverage of the first plane going into the WTC. I sat there and watched as they showed live the second one. At that moment I knew it wasn't an accident and I headed back to my pod to hook back up my tether. All of the TV's in the call center were on CNN (Duh..) so we all watched in dismay. It was horrible. My parents were in LA trying to get back to Michigan. Needless to say, they didn't get home that day. Thankfully they did another day. The phones were pretty quiet except for a few people in the NY area who were calling to see why their AOL wasn't working. We just told them to turn on the news. I remember calling Jerry (Husband) and telling him I loved him. They let us go home early that day. It was obvious that the USA had been wounded that day and we needed some healing time. The rest of the day was spent trying to find out where and when my parents would be able to get home and sitting glued infront of CNN, numb.

I came back from lunch (London time) to be told that the radio had just announced a light plane had hit the WTC. "That was clumbsy of him" I quipped thinking that by 'hit' she meant he'd clipped it with the tip of his wing or something. But when I got round to my desk a colleague was watching the live ABC webcast and they showed the first impact in tiny grainy footage and I saw the engines under the wings and knew it wasn't a Cesna, it was a passenger plane. It took me another few minutes standing with that crowd of people before I said aloud "That was a passenger plane" and just saying the words added that new dimension of passengers to what we were watching again and again in slow motion.

And then again from a new angle... only it wasn't a new angle, it was another plane. And all the people who had stressed to me how important it was that I find out which tower was hit so they could call their cousins or their friends in the towers, they all dialled international on their cellphones furiously and the rest of the afternoon was spent watching my colleagues, these Americans so far away from home, watch as their country was savaged.

We listened to the announcers talking and talking and talking over the first tower collapse and I wanted to scream at them to shut up, that the pictures spoke for themselves and transcended the need for aimless commentary. The media knew nothing about this and were as wrong-footed as everyone else and yet they desperately tried to keep some semblence of control over the facts, repeating them ad nauseum.

I felt helpless but managed to keep a constant stream of new information coming into the office to the people too distressed to find it themselves.

I was going to post here, but it got too long. So, this is up on my site:


I was at work talking to one of my clients who was still at home. He had the morning news on and heard on the tv that a plane had crashed into the WTC. He told me that he would have to call me back, and hung up. I got online to try to get some news about what was going on, but all the news sites that I knew of were down or busy. One of my co-workers then let everyone in my office know that a jet liner had crashed into one of the towers. We all watched the news slowly break over the internet (since we didn't have access to tv or radio).
We were all in shock. It seemed like something out of a Jerry Bruckhiemer movie... but it wasn't. It was really happening to real people. Some of whom my co-workers knew. At about noon, the president of the company came out and told everyone to turn off the news and get back to work. Most of the sales staff either was unable to sell anything that day, or just disobeyed his order.
My wife's mother is a flight attendent for AA, and we fortuneately knew that she had an international schedule that month, and my wife knew what her flights were supposed to be that week, so we knew that she was not on any of those flights.

I was walking into my Biological Anthropology class as the first tower was being hit, and had absolutely no clue. I was early that day, and anything I would have heard on the radio I missed as I was sitting, waiting for my professor to show up. She showed, and didn't say a word about what had happened at all. I didn't have a clue what had happened in the world until almost an hour later.

After class I mosied down to the History secretary's office so that I could drop off some forms I had to leave with her so I could graduate the following June, and as I entered the office, a professor was discussing what had happened with another secretary. He didn't mention how big a plane it was, and what it had hit, and how bad it was, so I thought it was just another stupid thing that happens in this generally stupid world.

It wasn't until I went out to my car and turned on 640AM News that I found out what had happened in NYC that day. And all I remember saying, as I pulled out of campus, was "Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy SHIT!!"

See, I had been standing at the bottom of those towers exactly one week - to the very minute - before. I was in NYC over the long holiday weekend before school was going to start, seeing the sights and taking in what makes NYC, NYC. That day we stopped to check out the towers, took a whole slew of pictures, wandered inside, and then headed on over to the ferry to Liberty Island to check out the Statue (which, at the time, was open). I took a bunch of pictures of the skyline that day, and the towers from every conveivable angle. I was in awe of them.

I went home a few days later, and on the Friday of that week, I picked up the pictures I had taken from the store. The pictures of the towers that I had were 3 days old before the towers - and too many lives to count - were no more.

I was supposed to go into work that day, but the only thing on my mind as I heard the radio that morning was finding a teevee. My boyfriend's house was fairly close to where I was, so I went there and rang and rang and rang the doorbell a cazillion times until he got himself out of bed. I simply could not let him sleep through all of it.

He opened the door fairly pissed off that I'd woken him up. I grabbed his arm, dragged him to the living room, turned the teevee on to some news station, and said "LOOK. LOOK at what's happening in the world today."

He reacted much the same way I did, except his obscenities went more along the lines of "HOLY FUCK!"

We spent the day glued to the television, in complete bewilderment at it all. We simply could not believe it was happening, that it was real. I kept thinking about the fact that we were just there, I had just seen them - for the first time, even. And now they were gone.

My mother called me not too long after I dragged the boyfriend to the television, and she and I talked about how lucky I, the boyfriend, and all the friends that had been with me in NYC the week before, were. My arms turned to goosebumps at the thought that - had this happened a week earlier, to the minute, I'd have been another casualty. Had we gone a week later, as we'd originally planned, I wouldn't have come home a couple days later. And then I cried. Because if that scared me that much, imagine how the people who lost loved ones that day felt?

In May of this year I went back to NYC, this time with my mother and sister. She had never seen the towers before. We walked down to the site, and I could almost feel this kind of aura surrounding the area... like I could almost feel all the souls of those who had died, exactly where I stood. My mother, sister and I walked in silence, looking at the various memorials that hung everywhere. We signed the Canadian flag that had been left at some point, and left our well wishes and condolences. My mother started really crying at one point as we reached the front of the building that had been serving as a HQ for the clean-up team, and a lady who was manning the door came out from her post and gave my mother this huge hug, and some kleenex. I choked back tears.

Until that point it was almost as if everything that had happened had been a dream. I had seen it all on teevee, in newspapers, books, online. But I was numb. It wasn't until I had felt - in my bones - the lives of those who had been lost, right under my feet, that I was able to finally come to terms with everything that had happened, and find some closure for myself.

I was at my desk in a Federal office building when my sister called me from her office, two blocks from the Capitol Building. She told me that a small plane had hit the WTC. As we were talking I heard my friend running down the hall shouting to turn on the TV. We were all crammed in her office watching events unfolding. I remember my sisters and my dad and I frantically trying to reach my mom, who was on a train scheduled to reach Penn Station at 9:00 AM. In between phone calls, I would run back to the TV. It seemed like all of us knew at least one person in the Twin Towers, and it all seemed impossible that this could be happening against such a beautiful blue sky. There was so much confusion -- we kept hearing that there was a bomb at the State Department, a bomb on the Mall, that a plane had hit the Pentagon. My sister's boss was stuck in traffic right by the Pentagon, and the plane came down right over his car before plunging into the safest place on earth. We watched people jumping from the buildings, which still makes me want to scream with rage and grief. We were wondering how the towers were still standing, and then, they weren't. Right after that, Federal workers were dismissed and eventually I and my sisters ended up at my parents' house, still trying to reach mom and still not really believing what was happening. I made a big pot of spaghetti, because I didn't know what else to do. I remember looking out the kitchen window and wondering whether tanks and soldiers would be marching down the street, and if they came, should we hide in the basement? We finally got in touch with mom. I'm sorry this is so disjointed, it's funny how I remember every instant of that day but nothing flows. It's all jagged edges.

I was in a computer lab in one of the campus buildings. My first class finished early, so I was killing time till my next class. At first, I heard the normal chatter that usually goes on in the lab. Suddenly, a student burst into the lab and said something about planes and the World Trade Center. He didn't yell it. He didn't sound upset. At first I thought, "This must be some sort of joke." There was random chatter about the Pentagon being a ball of flames, the Empire State Building being attacked, the Mall in DC being on fire ... so many different stories all at once. So of course, the first thing I did was try to get the facts. I hit up every major news site I could think of, trying to seperate what was real from what was speculation.

I remember walking past a professor's office on my way to my next and last class of the day. It was then that I caught the first glimpse of the towers crumbling. Horrifying.

As soon as my classes were over, I went back to my apartment, where I spent the rest of the day camped in front of the TV as the news unfolded.

I heard about it in stages. I was walking from the Cemeteries bus stop to the computer shop I worked at. I stopped in the little grocery on Canal to buy my lunch, & the lady at the checkout was going on about airplanes and how we should have nuked Iraq during the Gulf War. Being a regular at that grocery, I knew she leaned way far to the right & assumed that something happened over the No Fly Zones. As I was about to get to work, a guy working on a house told me that a plane had hit a building in New York, or maybe two did. He wasn't sure. I got in to work & asked the office manager/secretary just what in the nine flaming hells was going on. She filled me in on what was known at the time. The twin towers had been hit by airliners. No one knew for sure who was responsible. I pretty much knew then that it was terrorism, and that it had to be Islamic in nature. No domestic group has the mindset to pull a kamakazi attack like that. THen her sister called & said that the Pentagon had been hit & was burning & that all flights were being grounded. We had no radio or TV, so we were limited to getting info from the web, which had pretty much shut down under the strain. I shot e-mails to a friend in NYC & got a reply back that she & her roommate were safe. Her roomie was supposed to be doing tech work setting up for a tradeshow at the WTC, but had been running late. (Near as I can tell, had she been on time, she'd have been above the impact zone of the North Tower... The only tradeshow there that I have been able to find record of was being done at the Windows Of The World on the 110th floor of that building.) Most of the day, we worked more of less like any other, but with more pauses to check e-mail & the news. On the way home, I got lots of hard looks, most likely on account of wearing a full beard. I dropped by the blood center & put my name down to donate when they had an opening. Walked from there to my apartment & shaved. Listened to the President's address on the radio, since I was still hacking away at the beard & didn't want to go to the apartment complex's bar with half a beard. (I don't own a tv...)

I first heard about "a small plane" hitting the the first tower on the radio on my way to work. I called my husband to tell him that some dumbass had accidently hit the World Trade center. By the time I got to work and went through the morning diet coke ritual, the second plane hit. I called my husband and said "another plane has hit the World Trade Center - this is no dumbass accident." There are three local girls close to my age that live in NYC. I spent the majority of the day trying to check on their welfare and staring at the TV in the conference room. We had morbid conversations about whether or not we would jump. Then someone e mailed me a fairly close up picture of people hanging out a window with the fire raging a couple of floors below. Until I saw that picture, I could not wrap my mind around what was happening. I mean, I KNEW, but I just could not fathom the enormity of it. That picture hammered the terror and desperation those people must have felt home to me.

What I remember most in the days that followed is the same mixed feeling of pride and sadness that I felt after the bombing in OKC. So many were lost and so many responded with a giving spirit.

Right after the first tower was hit, a friend IMed to ask if I had heard "the news". Not having heard it, he explained and then I went about checking the news sites. We turned the TV on in the office, and were arguing about whether or not it was intentional when the second tower was hit. Then it was clear it was terror.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. My office is three blocks south of the US Capitol.

When the Pentagon got hit, this became all too real to us. I stepped outside, stood on the front stoop of my office and watched young Capitol Hill staffers stream out towards the subway, as the Capitol was being evacuated. When it was reported that multiple planes had lost contact with air traffic control and an erroneous report of a fire and car bomb at the State Department was put out, our office evacuated.

I remember seeing the streets of Washington flooded with cars and pedestrians. We walked into a liquor store to buy bottled water, and I still remember the sound of our local all-news radio station, WTOP, blaring from cars and inside the store. Buy the time we made it to Union Station, which is home to both Amtrak and the local subway which we call Metro, the Metro had ceased running, as an attack on our rail system was feared.

I proceeded to walk a few more miles to Dupont Circle, where I picked up the train, as it had started running again. Everyone was dead silent on that train. When I got to where I lived in that time--Washington's Van Ness neighborhood, roads were closed and Secret Service agents were everywhere. This is the neighborhood which is home to the Israeli Embassy.

After all the madness of the afternoon, by evening, Washington was a ghost town. I drove to trendy 18th street in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood to meet my mother for dinner and pulled right into a coveted on-street parking space. You never get those on 18th street, but on 9/11 everyone was home and there was an eery calm to the District.

The ensuing days were bad too. My little city of not but ten square miles was absolutely paralyzed by fear. Our airport was closed, our roads were closed, Humvees were on street corners and military personnel stood guard, and Anthrax shut down Congressional offices.

A few days after 9/11 I drove by the Pentagon and saw the wreckage. The mental image is searing to this day.

I was in Hawaii on the first day of my honeymoon on September 11th.

We were in a clothing store and the girl ringing us up asked where we were from, I said Chicago and mentioned my husband was from New York. She looked at me a little funny and asked if I heard what happened... She said a plane ran into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The very thought of a plane just "running into" the Twin Towers AND the Pentagon seemed ridiculous and she didn't elaborate, so we went on our way thinking she was just fooling around with the tourists.

When we got back to the hotel, the security guard stopped us to let us know they were beefing up security because of the terrorist attacks on NYC.

Eric and I just looked at each other like "oh noooo!" and parked the car as quickly as possible and ran to our hotel room. It had been 8 hours since the towers fell, and my heart had never felt heavier.

We spent the next two hours before dinner watching CNN and emailing everyone we knew in the NY area to make sure they were safe.

I was actually on vacation in Jekyll Island Georgia with my wife and 1 year old daughter. I had been awake for a little over an hour, when I happend to turn on the tv in the room. here was this black smoke billowing out of the first tower. Event the reporters didn't know what was going on at the time. I flipped channels from CNBC to CNN to c-Span. The results where the same, noone knew what hapened. My Wife and I sat glued to the tube, and our jaws dropped to see the 2nd plane hit on live television. then I start hearing reports of another plane hitting the pentagon. I was really confused at that point.
needless to say, here I am, 2 days into my vacation at the beach, beautiful day outside, and this happens. We spent the entire day in the hotel room glued to the tv and my laptop.

I was still asleep, being a nightowl....I sleep later than most, as I can set my own work schedule. My husband was home, and had the tv on in the background. When he saw the news about the first plane hitting the WTC, he ran the the bedroom where I was sleeping and burst into the room, saying "You have to get up now, we're under attack. The WTC has been hit!!"

I got immediate chills, and was afraid for my family, who are scattered around the Phila. area. I wanted them there WITH me, safe. It felt like when I was a little kid, and was afraid of being bombed by Russians. I remember looking up whenever a plane flew overhead, wondering if that was the one...the one who'd drop the bomb on us all.

That day brought back, instantly, the fear. I no longer felt safe.

Before I went downstairs to watch this horror on television, I called all my kids, relatives, and friends in New York to be certain they were safe, and to beg them to go home. They were all aware of what had happened, and were on their way out the door, going home. However, it was 2 days before I was informed that my friends in NY were OK. I don't pray much, but that day I prayed. Not just for my friends and relatives....for everyone, all of us. I knew this would change our lives.

I spent the rest of the day sitting in front of the television with my husband, crying, getting SO furious at those 'bastards' who dared to attack us, and talking to my kids on the phone. I think I was in shock, weren't we all?

I've grieved, mourned those who lost their lives. I didn't know the people who died, but I miss them. So many true heroes, good people, lost to us forever.

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is
the quiet voice at
the end of the day

"I will try again tomorrow."

I was at work, and on Yahoo! the headline said "World Trade Center Hit by Plane." I couldn't fucking believe it. We have no radio or TV at the place I was working at the time, and all I had was the Internet, and that came to a crawl. We were bugging out, I was all over the Metafilter thread.

I called my Mom, and as it turned out, my Dad was supposed to be at Windows on the World for that meeting (which no one made it out of). He was running late from his office across the street (the building with the rounded top), and was on his way into the building to the elevator when the plane hit. He turned around and hit the last ferry coming out of the city.

My mom was bugging out becuase the last she heard from him he was leaving, and then the second plane hit and the cell phone went dead (antenna on top of the building).

I was at work, shitting my pants, doing no work at all. I called my fiance (now wife) and told her (she had been in art school all day, had no clue, was in the studio).

I waited until 3:30 to drive home, over the Ben Franklin Bridge from NJ to Philly (which was closed for a while), and I was just about the only car on the road.

I picked up my son from day care and gave him a hug. My dad made it out ok, and my uncle did as well (he was in the WTC building with the rounded top, which is just opening up now).

Thanks for doing this all, Michele. I can hardly keep up with it with school and work and family lately, but it is good to pop in when I can.

I was still asleep when both towers were hit. After waking up, I stumbled to the computer to check my e-mail as usual, finding a message from a friend and next-door neighbor titled "World Trade Center attack". I couldn't manage to get any news sites to load, and not having cable or TV reception worth much at the time, I threw on some clothes and ran next door to watch the coverage. The first report from the Pentagon came in as I walked in the door.

Eventually, we relocated to a bar near campus to watch the coverage with friends. It was interesting watching clueless students who had been in class all morning walk in to find everyone fixated on the TVs.

I had several classes that day, but I didn't attend any. In fact, I can't remember if I went to class at all the rest of the week. It just didn't register in my mind to do so.

I was at home sleeping when it happened. When I woke up, I was watching the Today show as I was getting ready to go to work. I was really stunned and still in disbelief by the time I got to work. We brought in an old tv we had laying around and pretty muched stayed glued to it the whole time. Even at home, the same thing happened, I watched the news the whole time. That lasted a few days. My most vivid memories were of the families of the victims left behind when they had posters and pictures in order to look for them. I cried everytime I saw that.

I was at home.

My father woke me up and said I'd better come watch TV. The first plane had just slammed into the WTC. CNN wasn't even live yet and no one really knew if it was a plane for sure.

I turned to catch the second plane hitting the WTC, and in my opinion the world was changed forever. What could've been an accident, turned into a horrible act of terror.

My day was spent watching the carnage play out and praying for those who lost their lives and for the families of the heroes who rushed in when everyone else was trying to escape.

I walked off the subway at around 8.55, and thought only about the fact that I had just discovered my fly was down the entire subway ride down from 79th. sigh. A beautiful, clear Tuesday, the air crisp, the sky blue, and people running south. Strange. As I crossed Hudson, the sight of smoke in the air caused me to run as well, heading over to Greenwich St. Tower 1 was in flames, a crowd on the corner stood watching in horror. Cell phones down, the building closed, and the Passport/Post Office right next door. I was trying to figure out what to do next when the sound of the second plane and the crowd groaning took over. Fireballs and smoke are all I saw after that plane dissapeared.

The building finally opened, and a group of us ran upstairs to send some emails, call loved ones, etc. Got through to Dad in CA, IM'd Mom in Ct., turned to the South facing offices and in mid sentence watched as Tower 2 fell. The guy in the office next door had been watching people jump through a telescope, and fell sick as the dust cloud arose over lower manhattan.

The boss and I took off, walking north past the hospital, watching as the doctors and nurses stood praying for victims to arive rather than corpses. The walk north to 79th was surreal, the sounds of radios and sirens serving as a background music to the silent symphony of humanity walking away from the tragedy unfolding to the south. Around Lincoln Center, in the midst of a group of tourists, word came that Tower 1 had just followed up the previous collapse with it's own.

The rest of the day was spent bartending, serving the shaken, the lost, the disturbed, listening to stories about how close they had come, checking up to see who made it out and who didn't. Phone calls followed by tears of joy, tears of pain, and stunned silences. The televisions playing the scene over and over and over as we all watched the replays, seeing them every time for the first time. People hoping to do drown their sorrows, lose some memories, fill the gap left by that whole in Battery Park grabbed hold of whatever and whoever came near, couples forming spontaneously, the alcohol never seeming to fulfill it's duty.

And then the firmen started to arrive...

I was awoken by a phone call from a friend of mine back in Pittsburgh. Looking at the caller ID, I remember thinking it was so odd that she would call me this early, since she knew that out on the West Coast, I was 3 hours behind. Then just before I picked up the phone, it dawned on me that she wouldn't call this early unless something bad had happened.

I said hello, and all she said in a flat voice was, "turn on the TV".

As I watched, she began telling me about what happened, and as I stared in disbelief, I saw the second plane hit. Waves of shock went through me.

Suddenly my current situation (depressed, laid-off dotcommer in a new town, in search of a job in a dismally bleak economy) just didn't seem the same anymore.

At home, listening to the radio when the music stopped and the announcer said a plane had hit
the World Trade Center. I turned the TV on. Utter confusion, nobody knew what was going on. The picture was from an helicopter. I started calling people to tell them. While doing that the second plane hit. I became VERY VERY angry, I knew what was going on.

I spent the next 4 days in front of the television, ranting, raving, crying, getting drunk.

My most vivid memory are the people walking around New York over the next few days with pictures of their loved ones, trying to talk with the TV people to show the pictures, hoping against all hope.

I am still crying and I am still VERY VERY angry.

Bloodlust, revenge.

Where was I when it happened?

I guess every generation has one of those moments. An event that crystallises in your memory, shining in the darkness of the dusty archives of things long since forgotten. It lies there, nestling in the shadows, waiting for even the tiniest of lights to be shone in it's direction, and then it shines. Illuminating the memories around it, lighting up that particular time and place.

So where was I? Well, I was at home, just outside Glasgow, ill. I'd been made redundant about two weeks before, and was working my notice period when I got a really bad throat infection. I was at home, feeling miserable, chatting to my friends on irc when one of them said "a plane's just hit the World Trade Centre".

The reaction was instant "wtf?", then a quick flip to an open internet explorer window and without real conscious thought, my fingers typed "news.bbc.co.uk". When I hit enter and the page didn't start to load within 5 seconds, I knew something was up, and I dived for the tv remote control and turned to CNN just in time to see a plane hit the tower.

I thought it was recorded footage.

I was wrong.

A cold, sick feeling started in my stomach as the commentary began to seep into my brain and I realised that I had just watched, live on tv, a plane hit the World Trade Centre.

I aim'd D immediately to ask if he knew anything. He was at work, in London, and frantic for any information to pass on to colleagues of his who were even more frantic for family, friends and colleagues in New York.

My next thought went to who I knew in New York, a good friend of mine, who I've known online for quite a while now, but I realised that although I'd been talking to him online for many months, I didn't know where in NY he lived. I hoped that he was ok, and that he was far enough away not to be directly involved.

I turned back to the tv, switching between CNN, CNBC, BBC News 24 and ITN, trying to make sense of what was happening, keep up to date with what was going on. I started to read blogs, and thought about writing about it myself, but the words wouldn't come. I phoned D every time a new development happened, because they, like the rest of the world, were hammering all the news sites or huddled round a tv, desperate for information.

I spent the rest of the day like that. Talking online, updating those who had come onto IRC and were unable to load any websites and were without access to a TV set. Switching back and forth between news channels, talking to D on the phone. Worrying when they began to evacuate the centre of London.

I have so many vivid memories of that day. The instant I turned on the TV and witnessed the second plane crash. The people falling from the buildings, the towers falling... these images and many, many more are burned into my brain, crystallised.

The most vivid thought that comes back to me, is the deep unease that I watched it all happen. On television. The obvious parallels have been drawn with x number of movies. Life imitating art. Art imitating life. Sometimes the line blurs. That day, the line was all but indistinguishable, until the cold, hard, truth hit.

It wasn't a movie. It wasn't a dramatisation. It wasn't millions of dollars worth of special effects. It was real. It was really happening.

The world changed that day.

where were you when it happened?
i was at work, in dulles, virginia, just five miles from where one of the planes took off from, and just 15 miles or so from the pentagon.

how did you react?
i was panic-stricken. there were few t.v.'s around, but i managed to find one, and i watched in horror as the second plane hit the wtc. i just kept thinking, "oh. my. GOD. how much worse can this get?"

and then the plane hit the pentagon, and i lost it. at the time, my husband worked in d.c. (at georgetown university), the phone lines got all tied up, and i couldn't get through to him.

we knew that the metro was a mess, so i made the decision to drive into d.c. and pick him up. it was more important to me for us to be together, than any thoughts of my personal safety.

so i just got in the car and drove. i kept trying to get through to both him and my parents (who live in california and were absolutely nuts with fear for us). i finally got ahold of my husband and told him to just wait for me. traffic getting into the city was much easier and lighter than it was getting out.

what was the rest of your day spent doing?
after we got out of the city, we came home, went to blockbuster and rented movies, and kind of just hung out. we occassionally watched the news, but after awhile, it got redundant and we could only watch the images so many times before we thought we'd lose it.

what is your most vivid memory of that day?
you can see the pentagon from georgetown, and when i finally got there to pick up my husband, we could see the flames and the smoke.

also, the mass exodus of cars leaving my office, of all of the traffic on the roads, and the serious looks on everyone's faces.

of the days that followed?
i was supposed to fly to california on september 12, and that, of course, got completely scrapped. so i flew exactly a week later. and the whole drive to the airport, i cried and couldn't decide if i could bear to get on a plane or not.

then, while i was in line to check my bags, i kept crying. i was so scared. when i got to the front of the line, i asked the steward if there were bomb-sniffing dogs in the back, making sure the bags were clear.

my flight was only about 50% full, and the captain thanked us for being so brave. when we landed in san francisco (it was a direct flight), we all applauded.

in ways, it seems like life has just picked up and gone on without incident. and in other ways, life has changed forever.

freedom endures.

thank you, michelle.

"Where were you when it happened? How did you react? What was the rest of your day spent doing? What is your most vivid memory of that day? Of the days that followed?"

I was at work when it happened. On the 45th floor of the tallest building in Boston, MA. I was immersed in work, didn't even notice the initial distress of some of my co-workers. A woman in the office across the hall walked out of her office sobbing. She had her purse and her keys, and she just turned off her light and left, still sobbing. My friend Dan, down the hall from my desk, called me to come into his office where we listened to the radio news. A few minutes later, building security announced that they were evacuating and closing the building. At that same moment, the radio annouced that they thought that the Pentagon had also been hit.

As I left the building and made my way to the subway to go home, I was starting to get incredibly worried. I realized that I didn't know if other DC spots were in danger or had also been hit; my brother was working for a US Senator, and I was starting to feel the first glimmer of panic. I then started checking off, in my head, who in NY I needed to check on, who I would need to call to console, who in my family or circle of friends (which include a number of emergency and military personnel) would be called into some sort of duty. I felt like I was suffocating.

As soon as I got home, I was able to get through to my parents in VA, who confirmed my brother and his family were fine, safe and sound. I was unable to get through to any friends in NY until much later that day, but all were well. I logged onto my email and sent emails to all those I knew to let them know that who was accounted for from my end, and to ask for updates on folks I'd not yet been able to contact.

I went to Mass that day. It was strange. My town seemed so sleepy and quiet, like a normal weekday. But the Mass was full. We were scared. Our world had changed, just like that. With no warning. We turned to what gives us comfort and strength. We all did, in our own way.

My most vivid memory is still that woman leaving the office sobbing. It was at that moment that I had the knife-sharp, gut-sure feeling that something horribly wrong had happened. Of the days that followed, it struck me that things seemed so unreal, and, at the same time, hyper-real. For the most part my life has returned to normal. But I don't really see things the way I did before. I don't feel safe like I used to. I feel a current of low-grade, barely detectable anxiety threading through my day most of the time. Sometimes a memory from that day catches me unawares and I choke up.

Your posts inspired me to make a post on my own blog about Sept. 11. I'll answer any of the questions here that I didn't cover, but for the rest, please read it on my site.

Where were you when it happened? How did you react? - see link below

What was the rest of your day spent doing? The rest of the day was spent helping HR keep track of the people who had called in (and those who we hadn't heard from yet). We also talked directly to a number of co-workers and listened to them cry and rant and rave on the phone and tried to help them feel our love and support from 1800 miles away.

What is your most vivid memory of that day? When I heard that people on the top floors were jumping and the plane impacting with the second building.

Of the days that followed? The number of people who were missing. The fact that buildings I thought would always been there were gone.


I live in Seattle. I had a doctor's appointment that day so I was going to go in to work late. I was taking my time watching the TV news on the local NBC affiliate when Mark Mullen, the only anchor with a personality so of course he is gone now, said we have breaking news, a report that a plane has hit the World Trade Center in New York. So they switched to a New York feed and one of the announcers was saying something about this being a terrorist act and I, talking to the TV as I so often do, said, "I think that's just a wee bit premature" because I had not yet grasped the proportions involved and was thinking in terms of a little plant like a Piper or some such, and just a minute or two later the other plane flew into the other tower. And I said, "OK, that's terrorism." Then we heard about the Pentagon and then we kept hearing reports of another possible plane crash in Pennsylvania and how that might be related.

My long-distance service was FUBAR at the moment so I figured I would go to the office before my doctor's appointment to call my sister in DC but when I got downtown, the mayor had asked everyone to go home. I went over to the doctor's office and he told me the Trade Centers had collapsed.

None of this was real to me but I spent the next couple of weeks wanting it to be September 10 again. Then I grew more and more impatient for President Bush to start mixing it up over there. All the while I was thanking God that Mr. Bush had won the election, horrified at the idea of what Al Gore might be doing if he were in charge.

It all seems more real now than it did then, I suppose because we have had time to get used to the idea of it having happened. I cried when I saw more pictures on Little Green Footballs and other pages, when I first read the lyrics to Neil Young's "Let's Roll", when I read Lileks, or Dave Barry's incredibly moving column.

Just the other day, while out walking my dog, I encountered a neighbor and we chatted about this and that which eventually got around to her retirement money disappearing and how she missed Bill Clinton. Naturally I couldn't let that pass but then we got on to the war and she had every excuse in the book about why we shouldn't go after Iraq: we supported all the dictatorships in the past (so I guess we aren't ever supposed to fix that?), we can't start a war (as if the last one in the Gulf was ever finished), and best of all, we should take care of all the starving people in Africa first (such a non sequitur that I could barely think of anything to say). Typical Seattle, very sad. I struggle to remind myself that most of the country doesn't think this way.

I think many things are getting done wrong: homeland (who picked that word? - it sounds so Nazi-fied) (in)security, and many of Mr. Ashcroft's ideas. But it is absolutely time for us to plant our boot firmly in several third-world asses and take care of business. This has dragged on long enough.

I was in bed. It was in the wee hours when it happened - we are some hours ahead of the USA in Australia, but I remember Mum calling me early in the morning and saying breathlessly and tiredly "The WTC towers in America have collapsed." I thought she was kidding and then said "No really, one plane crashed into the building at about 1am...about 9am their time. It looked like an accident, but then Sandra Sully (a late night news reader in Aussie) just exclaimed that another plane hit the other tower..."

Me? "Oh... shit."

On the train on the way to work there were some people crying. At work everyone was dazed and listening to the radio. Then reports came in from our CEO that there were more than 200 Australian employees of our company in the first tower hit.

To date, 10 of those employees have remained missing.

In a moment of complete selfishness I thanked the gods I wasn't there and that none of MY friends were there (7 years chatting online, you form close bonds with those you talk to).

I think when the CEO made that announcement that it hit home, finally, after almost a full day of listening to the radio and hearing others cry. There were tears from many of the girls in the office. I was still in shock. It was amazing just how many people said they thought it was a late night movie - until they saw the news reader.

Today it's 11/9, We're all waiting for the fire engine sirens to go off around the state (Victoria) at 2pm.

I started writing about it last week. 1500 words later, I think I'm done. So it's posted on my site. And it will be all that's posted there by me for the next 36 hours.

Where were you when it happened? At work at Georgetown University. I was already very frazzled from having to euthanize 50 mice for a biology class that morning. I get down to my office and see eight first year students asking if I had a TV and can they use my phone. I had no idea what was going on until they told me.

How did you react? My first thought was "planes don't even fly anywhere near Manhattan!" When we heard about the Pentagon (and the rumors about the Capitol being on fire and a nerve gas unleashed on the blue, red and yellow metro lines) It became the fear of more happening in DC.

What was the rest of your day spent doing?
Trying to help keep students calm (many wanted to use my phone to call family) and hearing every rumor and assuming it was true.

What is your most vivid memory of that day? seeing the second tower get hit on TV. I had found a TV with no sound and was trying to figure out what was going on. I finally tuned the radio to the ABC feed and put the TV on channel seven. I also remember that night. We have an athletic field behind our apartment. Every night I can hear and see planes flying overhead. But that night, it was just creepy not hearing any planes of any type.

Of the days that followed? The dread of more attacks and waiting to hear about friends living in manhattan. Not knowing where friends exactly work and live in NYC, just that they live there.

I remember being at my neighbors house and thinking that it was just an accident and then I realized that it wasn't and woke my fiance`` up so that he could watch and we watched the 2nd plane hit... I am right by a military base here in Florida...Which worried me even more...I called my mom in NY forgetting that she is in "upstate" but I was still worried... since the day that this is happened I have looked at my life so much different and precious...Hug your love ones and hold them close...Thanks Michelle for doing this for everyone...I to will not be posting...

It was 0615HST (1215EDT) when my household learned about it, so we essentially saw tape replay hour after hour after hour. After I grasped the essentials I came back to the office and turned on the box to collect the usual e-mail, listening to the radio (NPR, with no interruptions).

At first the reaction was disbelief, then anger, then empathy. The most vivid memory is probably the second plane hitting the tower.

I just looked back at my records; I somehow did 3.5 billable hours of work that day. I suppose it had a palliative effect.

It's very odd to go through an experience like that, knowing that it all began three hours before you got up that day.

I was at home, in Queens. I was fresh from a shower, ready to hit the polls and then go to school in the East Village. I had the TV tuned to NY1 while I was in the shower, so I was greeted with the sight of the first tower on fire when I came to the living room.

I had a 'net connection open at that point. I never relinquished it (call me a bad person for tying up the phone circuits--I needed it). I kept my friends and family back in Illinois abreast of what was happening. I checked up on my Cooper friends via AIM. There was a lot of...unbelief. Anger and shock.

I curse my small TV screen for shrinking down the magnitude of the tragedy.

I felt helpless. I couldn't do anything, the blood bank in LI was totally backed up. I met a guy, fresh from the financial district, who asked me if he could use my phone. I couldn't even go into the city to help out the Red Cross with communications--I'm an amateur radio operator, but they only wanted hams with handheld radios and I just had the mobile in my car.

After I got tired of the television, I switched to WCBS radio. I just sat at home in a daze.

My most vivid memory, first and foremost (going by what I witnessed firsthand), is the smell. The smell that made its way to 65th Street and points beyond, the smell that lingered long after downtown was reopened for business. I remember the empty streets below 14th Street, seeing perhaps a lone human wearing a mask walk by. I remember the sight after coming back into the city the Sunday following after having spent the weekend at a friend's in Pennsylvania--as the bus descended down the ramp towards the Lincoln Tunnel you could see a great plume of smoke tarnishing an otherwise beautiful night sky. And, of course, the forever-altered skyline.

I was in a programming class. That day, I had forgotten my cell phone at home. I checked my email in the morning, and there was a message from my husband. It said that a plane had hit the world trade center in NY. That it wasn't a hoax or a joke.

It was in the middle of a lecture, and I didn't know quite how to interrupt the class... I started realizing, one brother worked less than a block away from the buildings, another one spent half his life flying from one end of the world to the other for business. I needed to know if they were okay.

I finally broke the news to the class, and I left for the phone booths. I hadn't used my phone card in ages, and it turned out that the company had gone out of business months before. I scrapped nickels and dimes together to call my husband for a quick call on his cell - "I don't have my cell phone. Call my parents, and find out if my brothers are okay. Email me back ASAP".

While I waited for the email, I watched the footage of the plane hitting the building at the receptionist's desk. My heart was in my throat.

I wanted to just get my daughter, go home, hold her and never let her go. It felt like the world was coming to an end.

I was at work in my cube, like everyone else. It was still pretty early here in Dallas, so I was looking at my morning "sites", Dilbert, CNN, et. al.

Then my secretary said "a plane has hit the world trade center". Isn't it amazing how many of us thought the same thing? "oh, a small plane?" I answered. I thought that was lucky, because, as I told my secretary, a B-52 hit the Empire State Building, and it survived.

Then she got another call (I have internet access, she doesn't). Another plane had hit the building. Did we all make the same leap? From "a small plane" to "oh dear god, no"? One plane is an accident, two planes are intentional.

We couldn't get any news. Yahoo and the American news sites were jammed.

So I tried the BBC's site, figuring that fewer yanks would be jamming that one. I was right, I could get some news from that. We learned more and more, and still were all in the dark.

I left work early. My brother-in-law was expecting his first child, and I was supposed to go to the hospital after work.

So, I left the building. Next door, we have a small private school. It was recess and all the kids were playing something like dodgeball. Its one of those private schools where the girls have plaid skirts, a conservative kid's uniform. They were all kicking the ball around. I hoped they didn't know what was going on.

I got to the hospital and got to hold a brand new baby. My in-laws said they'd watch our little boy for a while, so my wife and I went to get something to eat.

As we were leaving this little hospital (its a branch of a larger Dallas hospital), they were lowering the flag to half mast. How many times have you seen that? This or that fairly famous person dies, and they lower the flag. This was different. This wasn't a show of respect for someone in particular, this was the beginning of a grieving.

I started crying.

I've cried over three things in the past 10 years: when I finished my first marathon, when my son was born, and 9/11.

Someday maybe, we'll be buying cars and software from Saudi Arabia.

Hell, my grandparents spent five years shooting at Nazis and the Japanese, only to have their kids buy Volkswagons and cheap transistor radios.

But first, I think there's a swamp that needs draining.

Phone calls in the middle of the night are never good. I was awakened around 4am HST (-6h from Eastern time) by my friend, telling me the Trade Center had been attacked, I was at the window looking for Zeros before I realized he meant New York, and that it wasn't 1941. Afterwards I thought it really strange that, as a 20-something raised on the mainland, I thought of Pearl Harbor instinctively.

I spent that day at home, huddled with a migraine in front of the TV, scared and alone on an island in the middle of the Pacific with all my family and nearly all my friends 2500 miles away.

I remember mail almost stopped arriving, and stores nearly ran out of perishables. For the first time, I suddenly realized the extent of the isolation of the Hawaiian islands. You just couldn't leave if you wanted to- there was no place to go, and no way to get there.

I posted about it but I was at work. I remember someone coming in my supervisor's office and telling us about the first plane. I was terrified. We all left and went up to personnel where a small black & White television was set up.

We all sat looking at the images and I remember thinking, "this isn't real...". Unfortunately, it was.

After the second plane hit, I became even more terrified and started calling family and friends. II'll always remember their reactions and how it affected me. I actually never talk about this but... I called someone who was close to me. I woke 'them' up and told 'them' about the attacks. They woke up and watched tv for awhile and then went to the lake. Their explanation was that it was "pre-planned". I'll never forget how that felt.

Also, I'll never forget my boss' reaction. After about 20 minutes of watching the building, the fire and the chaos... she said, "well, I've got work to do"... and she left. Later I heard her on the phone laughing and cutting up about some guy she went out with.

I'll never understand. So in the midst of it all,
I changed. I'll never feel the same way about anything or anyone. And yet, my feeling don't even compare to pain and suffering of the victims and their families.

I do truly value life, though. And I value the people around me that I love. In that, I always gather strength.

I was in an airplane on the morning of September 11th, 2001.

It was a Tuesday, and I arrived back into Singapore from a short trip to Australia. Mark and I had been to Canberra to visit his family. We got back in the wee small hours and collapsed into bed for a couple of hours, before dragging ourselves off to work.

My 11th of September passed without event, for the most part. I was a little late getting to work. I had breakfast with colleagues. We complained about the the upcoming retrenchment, since the company was in the process of shutting down operations. I wrote a couple of posts about the trip to Canberra, and some silliness about big bellies and a peanut butter diet.

I caught the company bus home at 5.40pm. I was the first one home. I unpacked from the trip, did laundry, made dinner. Andrea and Mark came home. We chatted about the weekend - our trip away, Andrea's activities in our absence. After dinner, we settled into the usual routine - slump in front of the tv, play with the computer.

And so there we were, at 9pm Singapore time, 9am in New York, watching the evening news on Channel News Asia.

A few minutes into the program, there was a short interruption to the news broadcast to say that a light aircraft had hit the World Trade Center. Then scheduled programming resumed. There were few details and no pictures.

I assumed a light aircraft had hit the World Trade Center in Singapore - there's one here too, after all - down at the southern tip of the island.

I returned my attention back to the computer. I was reading Metafilter.

That was when I found out what had really happened. Big plane hit the World Trade Center tower in NYC. Shit. Not just one plane, but two. Two planes had crashed. Shit. Two towers were hit.

There was still no news from Singaporean terrestrial television, so I just kept hitting the refresh button on the browser. Each reload brought more news from people who either had access to live TV, or in some cases, eye witnesses typing from New York. The major news websites were either incredibly slow, or completely inaccessible, due to high traffic.

Finally, after what felt like eons, Singapore television began reporting the news. Pictures of burning buildings. Pictures of people screaming, running, crying, staring up at the sky in horror.

I called my Mum in Austin, to find out where Dad was (in California, thank goodness) and ask her what CNN was saying.

It was about 7.30am in Austin. She hadn't switched on the tv yet. She hadn't heard the news.

Andrea called her sister in New York. It took ages to get through, but in the end she was connected. Relief.

Then another plane crashed, this time into the Pentagon.

I called my friend David, who lives across the road from the Pentagon, and left a message, asking him to let us know he was OK.

We continued to watch the television in silence. We watched and watched and watched.

Nothing made sense, and still things got worse. Buildings collapsed; first the South Tower, then part of the Pentagon, and then the North Tower. Another plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

David called my Mum, to say he was OK. Mum called me to relay the news. Dad called from California. He was OK, but stuck, since all air traffic was grounded. Frankly, I was relieved.

We watched yet more tv, we switched on BBC World Service on the radio, we took turns reading the latest news on Metafilter, soaking up all the information we could gather.

Finally, in the early hours of the morning, we crawled into bed; tired, sad, confused, wondering what the next day would bring.

I was just about to eat my dinner (I am in Indonesia..) when it happened - truly something unbelievable. I had returned from San Francisco a few months earlier and the whole thing was just so overwhelming that I just sat there and stared at the TV.

I kept it on CNN/Fox for the next few days ... called my friends back in the States and lived pretty much in a state of shock for some time.

As it is now a year later ... being in Indonesia is a completely different experience. Sometimes when I see some of the people here, their reactions and feelings ... it gets me so angry. How some people can be so callous and cold - those extremists here encite all sorts of rage inside me that I can only bottle up.

A lot of US embassies across South East Asia are closed until further notice ... I will spend the day quietly at work, thinking of my friends back in the US.

Singapore is 12 hours ahead of New York, so I was home with my then-flatmates, Kristen and Mark, that evening. Kristen was reading MetaFilter and saw a post on a plane hitting the WTC. Nothing was on terrestrial teevee, we checked every channel. It took a while for the stations to start broadcasting the news.

I called my sister in Brooklyn, she works in Manhattan but I didn't know where. She was home and watching the news, she wouldn't head into Manhattan for days, and she spent that day making sure her friends were all right (they were). I called my parents, who were out to dinner with friends, to let them know what happened and that my sister was safe.

We relied on Kristen's laptop and the BBC World Service until Channel newsAsia kicked in with live reports. Kristen's mum in Texas got on the phone with Kristen and kept us updated as best she could. We stayed up late that night, transfixed by the images we saw. When we finally went to bed, I was afraid of what I'd wake up to on September 12.

The images and thoughts of how people more directly affected than me still makes me all teary.

Kristen describes the day very well on her blog.

Mine was really long, so I made it into a post. Hope that's okay.

I'm a college student at the University of Arizona. That morning, I was going in to work. I woke up a little late and dashed into the shower. When I got out, I immediately turned on Fox News, like I always did, and I heard one of the reporters interviewing a man sitting in a car and crying and ranting about people falling out of a building. I sort of tuned it out while I was getting dressed, but then I saw one of the towers on fire. The next thing I know, I heard David Asman of Fox News say another plane had struck, and he said "it must be deliberate," and that's when I knew we were under attack. From that point on, I was just angry. I alternated between tears and rage all day. When I got to work, everyone was silent. It was just so eerie. In one of the labs, someone had turned on a radio, and everyone was going about their work in silence just listening to the radio. Occasionally, people say something like, "this is war," "we're going to get these bastards," and so forth, but then we'd go back to silence. I had to work in a lab by myself, and I just remember not being able to get anything done. I just paced, and cried, and raged. That night, I purposely turned off the TV so that I could study for a test. That was a brief respite. The next day, on the Mall, students had spontaneously placed posters and other messages on a fence around a construction site. Most messages were sad, and called for peace. Some called for vengeance, and others (typical for a college campus) declared that it was America's fault. The only thing I could think to add was Genesis 9:6,

"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man,"

and a line from "God Bless America:"

"God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with a light from above."

I work as an RN in a surgical ICU in Baltimore ... had heard rumours about the WTC but no one had paid much attention. I walked into my patient's room and he was watching CNN. I walked in and was watching for maybe a second when suddenly the second tower was hit.

I guess I realized what was going on cause I screamed and people came running ... I went out in a daze to our Intensivist and asked him if we had a disaster plan- he asked me why? He hadn't even heard the news - I told him about the towers being hit and could see the disbelief in his eyes, he thought I was pulling his leg.

Surgical cases were cancelled, we hurried to get stable people out of the ICU, doctors, nurses, everyone just kept flooding in to watch our TVs ... then we heard about the Pentagon and got ready. I utterly panicked then, as my fiance works at Goddard, I called and got his answering machine and nearly lost it. I called my parents in Canada - my brother was supposed to be in NY for meetings at the WTC, my mother was hysterical. It wasn't till later that we found out that his meetings had been postponed till the next week. My fiance eventually called me back ... but I'll never forget that welling panic ...

Meanwhile, we figured what with being between NY and DC and a surgical ICU with plenty of beds, we'd get clobbered with casualties. We were ready. Nurses started calling in, offering to work whenever they might be needed. We waited. And waited. And waited. And no one came. Nobody survived.

I drove home that night, one of the only cars on the usually-packed I95. It was ghostly, almost deserted and everyone who was there was doing the speed limit. I remember thinking how odd that was ... how the 95 was usually a raceway.

For days afterwards I'd start sobbing at the drop of a hat. The hardest thing was knowing that we had been there to help - and no one came. No one. I wanted to help ... god, I wanted to help save those poor souls lives.

We will not forget.

I was in my dorm room, asleep. I got a phone call that woke me up, light streaming into my room. I lazily let the answering machine pick it up.

I heard the sobbing voice of my friend Elizabeth saying she was downstairs, could she please come up?

I said yeah, hurry, c'mon. Crash on my couch. She told me to flip on CNN.

I turned on the TV and flipped past a lot of special news reports, ignoring what seemed to be something breaking until I got to CNN.

holy. fucking. shit.

Elizabeth burst in : "I think my mom was in the towers! She had a business meeting there this morning!"

I held her, and she left almost as quickly as she came; she had to track down a cellphone from another building on campus and keep trying to call her mom. I sat there on the couch dumbfounded. I watched the wreckage and the story develop. At one point, I heard a resident stir outside near the bathroom door. As her advisor, I grabbed her and said : "everything's changed. come in. you need to see this."

I spent the rest of the day sitting below the dorm, smoking cigarettes, talking to the freshmen I was "trained" to console. We talked about how there was nothing to say about something so --- so. So ghastly. So ridiculous. So frightening.

Where were you when it happened?
At home. I had staggered out of bed and thrown on some clothes. I think it was about 9:30.. Might have been later. I turned on the tv and flipped through the basic stations; saw some footage of the planes hitting and thought "Wow, what a stupid special effect for a movie! How lame!" then the footage changed to some news reporter talking about it. I think that's when it started to sink in; that wasn't movie footage or some cheesy trailer.

How did you react?
Numb, mad, exhausted, fearful. Not in that order.

What was the rest of your day spent doing?

I went and picked up my 2 cousins from their school, waited for their mom to pick them up, waited to hear from family members; contacted friends, left posts on message boards informing some friends that I was okay; checking to see if my online friends were okay.

What is your most vivid memory of that day?
I'm not sure. I think stepping out of the car and squinting as the sun hit my eyes. I even thought "You idiot, why are you buying hamburgers? What if you need that money? What if there's some sort of food shortage?".

Of the days that followed?
Numbness, I avoided the news channels, then made the mistake of watching 2, then I just curled into a fetal position on my bed, closing my eyes and hoping that I wouldn't wake up for a while. I wanted to sleep it off, I wanted to ignore it. Then I realized I couldn't.

maybe not quite what you're looking for, but I already posted something at my site.

My wife called me at home that morning after the
first plane hit and told me to turn on the TV.
I watched for the next 6 hours, switching from
channel to channel, stunned, in disbelief and
sending email updates to my wife at work.

But the horror of the events was made distant
and less real by the endless TV coverage, and the
repetition and speculation and the constant updates.
Perhaps I'm jaded by the experience of seeing
the piles of bodies from Vietnam and Cambodia,
that I worry that many more people than the
initial 3000 will die if our President decides
to attack Iraq. I think we are on the brink of
starting World War 3, and possibly a nuclear
holocaust because our President seeks to finish
a job that his father left undone, INSTEAD of
going after the Saudi terrorists that caused
the events of 9/11. I pray that Congress has
the wisdom to stop Bush and his warmongers before
they attack a man who will have nothing to lose
by releasing bio or chemical or nuclear weapons
on humanity. Then, 3000 will seem insignificant
compared to the millions who could die, or if
the planet becomes uninhabitable.

I hope this does not offend...I was thinking about what a victim of 9/11 might say if he or she could post a thought here:

I was in a tower when it hit. I was killed. The details are not important. 

What is important is that you all continue to love what you have and to remember that the best way to remember those that lost their lives because of simply being Americans is to be a difference-making American yourself. Love others, help the poor, do random acts of kindness, pick up those around you that are in despair, ask for help when you need it, be a friend, hug your loved ones as much as possible and above all relish your freedom and that you live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. For if you forget who you are, what you are free to do with your life, and that your options are unlimited, if you forget that and decide to live in fear instead, or in continual sadness or in an anger that makes you live your life perpetually pointing fingers and trying to find blame and revenge you will miss your greatest opportunity and that is to be the best at whatever it is YOU choose to do with your life. 

And if this all gets too politicized or commercialized or desensitized or used by others for whatever selfish reasons they choose, just remember that you don't have to choose to follow that, that you are free, and that you, because of your freedom, and because you are a country of good people, can choose to do something better in memory of me and those like me that had to senselessly die in this tragedy.

I paid a price for living in the land of the free, just as those that bravely tried to rescue me did as well. It was painfully final in one sense but in another our memory can be forever drawn upon in times that you need to feel courage, freedom, or motivation to make a difference on that day instead of just risking letting another day slip by and taking it all for granted. You are blessed to be in the land of the free and the home of the brave. You should use that freedom and that endless source of courageousness to try to live your dreams. Do it for us, because we no longer can and do it for you because you still have the opportunity to live the American dream.

To me, that is what the term "never forget" will always mean.

You know, I don't even think I've told this to Todd (my husband), but I haven't worn the same outfit I was wearing on 9-11 when I got the news since. It's buried deep in the back of my closet. I can't bear to ever think about being the exact same way I was that day again...

I started off 9/11 just like most people. I got up, got ready for work, headed out the door. The maintenance guy from the apartment was talking to someone as I passed and asked her, "Did you hear they are attacking the Pentagon?" I thought to myself that I must have misunderstood him. My drive to work is only about 5 minutes long, so I didn't bother to turn on the radio.

I got to the office and went right to the conference room - a client was supposed to be there for a meeting. The room was empty. I started to go to find the boss that was running the meeting, when he came around the corner. I asked, "Was the meeting cancelled?" He said yes, that she didn't want to leave her office with everything that was going on. "What? Why?" He said, "Oh my God, you haven't heard?" I followed him back to his office as he told me about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. There was a TV in his office, and we all stood there and watched. That's where I was standing when the towers collapsed.

I have read all of the "Left Behind" books. I was convinced that it was the beginning of the end. I'm not sure what I believe about the tribulation and the end times, but I won't deny that I was scared.

One of my co-workers was from New York. Her brother lives in Manhattan and it was his birthday. She couldn't get through to him on the phone. She finally got ahold of him and her dad and was assured that everything was ok.

I had two former co-workers that had moved to New York. One was only 18 and already had a wife & a kid. We were all on IM, trying to get in touch with him. His office was far from the WTC, and he was fine too.

Chelsey called me. They were evacuating downtown Houston & she had 15 minutes to leave her building - the tallest in downtown. She wanted to tell me that she loved me. She is truly a special friend.

I spent the rest of the day reading blogs. Post after post. I left every once in awhile to check on CNN, but you can only watch those clips so many times. Back I would go to the blogs. More blogs. I wrote a lot of posts, and most of the links are still active. You can read my posts from 9/11 here and my posts for the full week here. My most vivid memory of that day & the days that followed are the first hand accounts of what I read in blogs. I wrote it all out back then. I still remember what a beautiful day it was here in Houston, the sky was such a crisp blue. And when I forced myself to leave the office to go get food, I remember turning on my CD player and hearing Fire and Rain by James Taylor. To this day it makes me cry.

Please remember those who lost their lives that day. It was a war that they didn't choose to fight, and it was hatred that killed them. Many heros that we will never know, and some that saved others and lived to tell about it themselves, stepped up to the plate. I can only hope to be as strong and brave as they were.

My heart goes out to those whose families were directly touched by the events of that day. I mourn for the innocence lost, for children that should have never seen such a tragedy. I feel sorry for those in other lands who have to live with constant threats of terrorism.

Take a moment to tell the people that you love that you care. Smile a little wider, be a little kinder.

Don't hate. Seek peace. Find love.

I was up a little before eight that day (uncharacteristically early for me). I had lots of little pointless errands to run and I wanted to get an early start. It was almost 8:30 and I was halfway out the door when the phone rang and I was debating whether or not I should answer it. I decided that I should have just kept going as I tripped over a stray shoe trying to get to the phone before the machine picked up.

It was my mother calling from work to ask for her brothers’ phone numbers, as she had left her phone book at home. “She sounds funny,” I thought to myself, but I wasn’t really paying attention so I read her the numbers. Then she asked for her sisters’ numbers as well. “Since when do you need all of their numbers at once?” I said. Then I realized that the funny sound in her voice was panic. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “A plane has crashed into one of the twin towers” she said, “and I don’t know where our family is!”
To explain: my mother grew up in New York with two sisters and five brothers.
Four of the five brothers are either electricians or contractors that work in the immediate area of the WTC. The fifth brother works at the pentagon (though we didn’t know how relevant that would become at the time). So she was trying to get in touch with all of them to find out if everything was ok. Everything did turn out ok for us luckily and I wish I could have said the same for so many others.

I hung up the phone, my errands forgotten, and turned on the TV. As I sat staring at the whole in the building all I could say was “No Way! NO. FREAKING. WAY!” I shook my head in disbelief as the second plane came into view. I remember thinking, “hey…there’s another plane…it better turn cuz that building is in the way.”
Then it crashed. Then I saw people jumping out of the building. Then I lost it. I started to cry. I got on the phone (still in my hand from talking to my mom) and called one of my friends. As soon as he picked up I said, “Did you see it? Another plane crashed. They’re dying…. THEY’RE DYING! All those people are trapped. They’re jumping out to get away. What did they do?!? They Can’t Do This!” I’m still crying at this point and hear the guy on the other end of the line say “Are you ok? Who is this?!?”

I then realized that in a rush I had dialed the wrong number and I was now crying at a stranger on the phone. I apologized and I tried to explain but all I could do was cry. He said it was ok and that he understood and he was watching it too. And then…we just stayed on the phone. For an hour. Watching the news together. Commenting every now and then about what we saw. Eventually I said I had to try and get in touch with my family and I apologized again profusely for the mistake. He said it was fine and that maybe we both needed it. I told him that I hoped with all my heart that his family was safe and he said the same to me and then we hung up.

There isn’t a day I don’t think about him and I regret that I never got his name and I have no idea what his phone number was (because it was an accident in the first place). But I still truly hope he and his family are alright.

.::.I said it yesterday but I was listening to a song that morning before I found out and its been in the back of my mind everyday since then.::.

Modest Mouse – Shit Luck

This plane is definitely crashing
This boat is obviously sinking
This building is totally burning down
And my heart has slowly dried up.

I was on my train -- the LIRR -- freaking out because I'd missed the one I'd wanted and was running late. I was curled up, napping, in a sound sleep when I was woken by the sound of a woman's sobs. She sobbed louder, and louder, with people trying unsuccessfully to calm her: "I don't want to go in! I don't want to go into the city! I don't want to go!"

She told us why. Someone had called her on her cell phone and told her a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. The woman worked there.

The news spread like wildfire throughout the car. Cell phones whipped out, dialed, disbelief across every face. I called my husband. "Is this real?" Yes. All too real.

He kept repeating "Holy shit," over and over...

Closer to the city, people started staring anxiously out the windows. Searching anxiously. And then -- people racing to one side of the train -- the Twin Towers, the World Trade Center, smoke visible from miles away, smoke pouring out of the tops, smoke in that gray line straight across the horizon.

We've all seen those pictures by now.

More news, now, over the phones, people speaking aloud so all could hear: Pentagon's been hit, planes are missing, they've evacuated buildings, they've...they've...

We've lost a Tower. One of the Towers has collapsed.

And then: We've lost them both.

My train was halted as we were about to go through the tunnel from Long Island to Manhattan. We were turned back, denied entry to the city. And as we chug back to the nearest station, we saw...
nothing there at all but smoke.

The buildings were gone. We'd just seen them, and then they were gone, and everyone with them.

The days after were crazy; I went into work that Thursday (two days after). There were police everywhere, bomb-sniffing dogs everywhere, and all you could hear were sirens. All day, you heard the sirens. There were 96 evacuations, the day I went back to work -- Penn Station, the Empire State, and so on. All were false alarms. That Friday, we started hearing the fighter planes.

Between that Thursday and Friday, the "missing" posters went up everywhere...while the calls for blood donations became fewer and fewer.

:: shaking head through tears ::

I posted too - here's the part about my experiences of that day: (I'm from the UK, so it happened at lunchtime here. My wife Gina is American)
"This is our generation's JFK shooting, we'll remember where we were when it happened for the rest of our lives. I was at work, and had just come back from lunch. An e-mail went round about 'a plane crash' as in such event we have to pull the signpost advertising at the bottom of news pages. Even when we heard the plane had hit the World Trade Centre, it could only be a tragic accident. Then the second one hit... The TVs were on all afternoon, playing those now so familiar scenes over and over. We saw one tower collapse, then the other. The Pentagon was hit, there were rumours of planes all over the US circling Washington, Chicago... I walked back to the car at the end of my shift, noticed security guards searching the car parks under the building, saw the planes on their way to and from Heathrow in a different light all of a sudden. When I got back to the car, I tuned the radio to a news station - I didn't want to hear XFM on that day, and I didn't turn it back for a few days. Back home in the flat, the TV was on to see the same scenes replayed over and over and over... No-one close to Gina was directly affected, although her mother lives three miles from Disneyland, another rumoured target, and the husband of a friend of hers works in the Pentagon, but was off that day. But she still mourned the loss of her fellow countrymen and women, and on the spur of the moment took the Friday off work to attend the memorial service at St Pauls. That Sunday we both went to the American Embassy to sign the books of condolence. It somehow didn't feel enough."

Here's the link.

Nobody calls me at eight in the morning. If you wake me up, I’ll be cranky. If I’m already awake, you can bet I’m also already cranky. Few things make my cranky self happier than inflicting my crankiness on whoever is on the other side of the line.

The phone here stays pretty quiet before lunchtime.

I was lying in that restless half-sleep before you become fully conscious. If there was any kind of wakeful thought going on in that addled brain, it was the same internal discussion I have with myself every morning: Did I remember to set the coffee maker last night, or am I going to have to do it now? Maybe I’ll just grab a Coke.

Then the goddamn phone rang. So much for coffee.


“Turn on the TV,” Mom said. “They flew a plane into the World Trade Center.”

What? Huh? Oh, shit.

I put on my robe and stumbled into the guest bedroom. I won’t keep a TV in my bedroom, but guests deserve better. Turned on the TV to Fox News. Bunch of smoke, low to the ground. Ears haven’t yet wrapped around what the announcer is saying. Chaos – Wait, I know those windows.

Mom, that’s the Pentagon.

“I know, they hit that, too.”

Oh, shit.

Pause. Stare at the smoke more. Start talking again.

Oh, shit – we’re at war.

Is it a civil war? Did the Oklahoma bomber assholes do this? That crazy guy who blew up our ship? Iraq? Who the hell did this? And. . . oh, god. I just told the bank to wire a bunch of money to the diamond people for Melissa’s engagement ring.

We’re at war with an unknown someone, and all I can think of is I can’t get some jewelry.

Cameras cut back to New York. Oh, god, people are jumping. Oh god. There’s so much smoke and flame, you can barely see the Towers at all.

Mom, is the other Tower even there? I can’t see it. Did it fall? Is it there?

“Oh shit, I think it fell. I can’t see it, I think it fell.”

Oh god, the dust coming up.

I have to call Melissa at work. I’ll call you back soon.

Run downstairs to the living room and turn on TV to Fox. Grab a Coke. Grab phone. Call Melissa.

Honey, you’re OK?

“I’m fine. I’m shaky.”

You watching the news at work?

“No. I mean, yes, but we have a radio.”

I want to ask her to marry me right there on the phone. Bad form. Instead I say, Don’t go home after work. Come here, please. Please come here instead.

“Of course.”

Talking to Mom again. Nothing but questions, no answers. The second tower falls. Somebody says that 10,000 people might be dead. I hang up the phone and retch.

I need more news, more information, a calming voice, something. I run to Wal-Mart and buy a little TV to go next to the computer in the basement. No cable outlet down there, so another run out to Radio Shack for a doohickey that will send my cable signal through the phone line.

There are few cars on the roads. Faces are grim, serious, despite the perfect late summer weather. Strangers look at each other and nod, wanting to show understanding, but afraid to show tears.

Back home, I get the new TV set up. Fox and the Web and some guy named InstaPundit. Nobody knows what’s going on. The President looks shaken up. Thank god for Rudy. He’s on TV, biting his lip and wiping tears, but he’s keeping himself, his administration, and his city together.

Time passes, I’m back in the living room in front of the big TV, maybe trying to eat something. Melissa walks in, so it must be after five now. She’s not 18 inches past the front door before our arms are around each other.

Phone rings. It’s Mom. Melissa sits on the sofa, watching the news. I’m standing, talking to Mom, watching the woman who doesn’t yet know she’s going to be my bride. Then her face changes. “Oh my god,” she says, suddenly trembling.

Mom, I have to go – Melissa hasn’t seen the video.

Mom understands. She’s good like that.


I’m down on the sofa, holding her again, as we watch the towers collapse again. And again. Try as I might, there are some things I can’t protect her from. I don’t know what to do with that discovery.

She has her own worries. Her dad is in Saudi. Both her brothers are young enough, rash enough, and raised well enough to rush out and join the Army or something.

I wonder now how long it will take for the engagement ring to arrive.

We both worry what will happen next.

We hope the President doesn’t go and nuke somebody, but we don’t hope too hard.

There might have been a pizza. Can’t remember.

Melissa goes home.

I crawl into the guest bed, and try to sleep with the news on – a new routine lasting for months. Except for weekends with my girl, I become a stranger to my own bed.

Life goes on, gets better. The War sees setbacks and victories. I don’t have to sleep to the news anymore.

Thanks to fellow bloggers, readers, family, and my bride, I don't worry, get morose, or wallow in pity.

But I still dread the phone at eight A.M.

Driving to work early, listening to NPR. The commentary was on something banal, then interrupted by news, obviously someone not completely inbriefed, who gave only brief info. This was almost an hour, I think, after the first plane hit, so I went to AM, where the news was more updated.
Called my wife, told her I loved her. Called my folks, told them I loved them.
My firm at the time was one in the WTC that lost over 300 people. As the news filtered in from NY, the atmosphere changed from shock, to grim quiet, to grief - many of the long-timers knew a lot of people there. The financial and IT sections where there, so everything went down...work continued but eventually slowed to a crawl.
My own feelings were shock, anger, white hot rage, impotence, intense need to do something.

Driving home I was astounded and outraged by NPR commentary, including an impromptu interview of their own Daniel Schur, who clearly fell back on his own biases, reflexively putting blame on the Administration, talking in blame-America-first tones of plummy outrage. Never will listen to NPR again.

I monitor computer systems for Fedex. From midnight till noon, since there is not a whole lot to do (unless problems arise) we surf the net, trying to stay awake. We knew about it as soon as the news services picked it up....almost immediately. Everyone was stunned, of course. It was the general consensus that the pilot must have been an idiot....how could you run a plane into the middle of New York? Then the second plane hit. "Man, we're at war!" someone said. The room was quiet, too quiet. For the rest of my shift, hardly a word was spoken. No idle chatter, no sports scores, just periodic whispers of "Anything new?"
At noon I went home turned on the T.V. and watched it till after midnight. Switching channels, looking for any new information to try to make sense of it all. I saw Bush's speech and although I was no fan of his then and am not today, I loved the man. I had forgotten about that. But on that day, he really was "THE PRESIDENT" and we were all "AMERICANS" like we had never been before.
I think about it now, and I'm sad and angry and amazed all over again. Sad that such a thing could happen. Angry that anyone could want it to happen. Amazed. Amazed, because I had been there one sunny day, so long ago and stood in the place where a man could touch the sky and look out on forever. I stood on the top, with the wind in my face and looked at the city and the sky and the sea and I felt a thing that I can't even name, but it was wonderful. Now it's gone.
Today, on the first anniversary, I'm going to go home, after work, and remember. Remember the horrible thing that happened and the changes we've all been through. But most of all I'm going to remember that I'm an American. And that means something special.

I was at work, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, when my cousin Kelli from Syosset, Long Island, NY sent me an instant message stating that a plane hit the tower. I went to my bosses office and he turned on the tv and we started watching the news. Then the second plane hit the other tower and by now his office was filled with 20-25 employees.

We moved the tv into the conference room and stared blankly at the screen trying to take it all in... to try and process what exactly did we just witness...

Then the Pentagon got hit... then the plane went down in Shanksville - 80 miles east of Pittsburgh - 60 miles west of Harrisburg, where we are... Basically, we were surrounded by these horrific attacks.

I was numb most of the day, walking around in a state of shock.

Later that evening, I heard from my other cousin Kim, in NY that Steve [her husband] had a cousin who is missing at the WTC. Mike Ragusa. He was never found...

May they all Rest IN Peace...

I was at work in London when the news came in. Brief one-liners on the BBC tickertape across my PC screen. I read the first: "plane crash in New York" and went out for a late lunch. Came back - another one line BBC message about a second plane. Then a third, then a fourth. Total nightmare. I heard they had evacuated Canary Wharf in Docklands.All the banks had closed, too. So it seemed a good time to leave my 11 storey government building. In the bus on the way to the station everyone was talking, trying to share information, especially trying to help US tourists.A day I'll never forget.

It hit me this morning. One year ago, I was driving on the interstate, late for work, as usual, when I heard the news on the radio. I got to work, and everyone was standing around in the cafeterias looking at the tv's, watching the footage they played over and over. No one was talking. It was like that all day.

The thing that hit me this morning, was that once again, I was rushing around, late for work, as usual, when the moment of silence started on the radio. I was in almost the same place as last year.

It just hit me that even though sometimes it seems like so much has changed...not much has.

Thanks for this thought space. It's really a great idea.

I wasn't working at the time and I woke up just in time to see the second plane hit. I hadn't even absorbed all of the information of what had originally happened before I saw that plane rip through the side of the building. I have chills right now thinking about it. I immediately called my best friend and couldn't get through. I remember thinking it was the end of the world. I remember crying. I remember the silence in the sky. And how the sun somehow looked different as it cast down in the late afternoon sky as I sat out on the porch, collecting my thoughts after being glued to the tv for what seemed like an eternity. It was the first time I understood what it meant to be an American. The first time I was old enough to be affected by the tragedy. I'll never forget the images of the plane hitting. I'll never forget that silence of sitting outside that day. I'll never forget the way the sun hit that day and how that day felt.

I didn't lose anyone that day. In that regard I consider myself lucky. But I had an ache for all the people that didn't get to hug or tell their loved ones goodbye. To all of those who didn't know that this would be their last day on earth. To all of those children who will never get to see their parents again. I'm sorry for all of those people who had to live their last remaining moments frightened or in pain. I can only imagine.

I went to visit ground zero last spring. Sort of a cathartic thing for me. A closure. I didn't bring a camera, I just stood there and cried.

Name any day of the year and I’d say that the chances are high that I can’t tell you any detail about what I did or where I was.
There is one day that I remember so clear, that at times, I can’t believe its been a year.

I was working the 11a-8p shift, so when the radio alarm went off at 9:04 I thought, “That’s a sick fucking joke to play.” And hit the snooze button, hoping that in 6 minutes, some trite pop song would be playing and there would be hordes of angry callers saying, “Its not right to scare people like that!”.
On one count I was right, that “Fill me In” song was one, which, up to the moment was slightly tolerable.
Then, about a minute into the song, the station broke in to say that a second plane had hit the tower. (For the record, I can't listen to that song anymore)
I was stunned.
From the announcers voice, I knew this wasn’t any type of prank, no matter how much I wished it was.
I was numb in the shower.
Former is from NYC so he was in more of a daze then I.
We drove into work, silent, listening to the radio, hoping that something would change.
Pulling into the garage, we heard about a collapse.
“It’s just the top right?” I said.
“Yeah, that’s what it sounds like.”
“I mean, the whole thing can’t fall down can it?”
“No, it has to be just the top.”
Parked the car, walked into the office.
There was a TV on in the back room, and you could hear the fear in the casters voices.
Then we found out, it wasn’t just the top.
I sat at my desk, the daze deepening.
I felt like I kept driving around a car accident… I knew that I should be working, shouldn’t keep looking at msn and watching airplanes going into buildings, but I couldn’t stop.
It had to be fake. It wasn’t happening. It had to be some bad nightmare, where in a few minutes, the radio would come on and I’d hear mindless drivel about the announcers kids.
The phones were quiet that day.
I had to call a tech in PA, near the field, and the woman was warbley, “I think we’re going to go home early today. Yeah, we’re going to go home now.” She said, monotone, robotic.
My parents were in Michigan, visiting my mom’s parents.
I finally got through on the cell phone, leaving a tearful, croaky message of, “Just wanted to let you know I love you.”

I sit here at my desk with so many emotions and uncertainty. I sit here and try to function as any other day but in the background someone has set up a tv and it continues to relive that day. That day that will be forever etched in everyone's memory. That day that brought us out of our naive narrow minds to think that nothing that tragic could or would happen to us. How does one function with normalty while hearing in the background of thousands of lives lost, destroyed and painfully changed forever by the act of hateful evil people? The tears are burning hot my throat is hurts from the pain of keeping them in my heart wants to burst but at the same time the anger still sits so near to the surface at the outrage of it all. If there is a god may he make them pay for the evilness and pain that has been caused.
Today is no normal day and it's senseless to pretend it is. My heart will grieve today for those who have lost.

I remember emailing some with you the day before about the Banned Books Project, and then following your family's loss in the death of one of the firemen that was your Godfather?

a quiet day today for me and mine...

I'm at home working at the kitchen table, the television on as always. CNN is saying a plane has crashed into WTC, they think a commuter. Oh. Pilot had a heart attack I think. A SECOND plane??!! Fuck. I start surfing. Somewhere in the part of my world that isn't completely sucked up by this I feel a thud. Too caught up to pay much attention. What the hell is with all the sirens? An explosion at the Pentagon and possibly the State Department. War. We are at war. I run outside and see thick black smoke rising. Dear God, I almost forgot. Bob is on the Hill. Phones are overwhelmed. Fox news banner. Something about DC Police advising that another plane is headed for Washington. Bob is on the Hill. Bob is on the Hill. Bob is on the Hill. I am on my knees. THE PHONE IS RINGING. A friend in downtown DC, using the FTC (federal telephone system) is patching Bob thru from his cell. He's out. Took the beltway in the reverse direction to avoid the evacuation crush. On no. A plane is down in Pennsylvania. Was that the one? Did they have to shoot it down? Those poor bastards. The south tower falls. As the north tower falls Bob walks in. We're home together watching as thousands of people are realizing the people they are waiting for will never walk in the door again.

Timmy and I were living in Tucson, AZ, and it was rare that I was even home with him that day. My Dad was in the last throes of life after an illness that had kept the family in a state of harried grief and exaustion for months already, and I had been spending most of my time at my folks house. But, it was important for me to be home with Timmy on September 11; it was his birthday, and it was important that we spend this little bit of time together.

The phone rang early, I don't know what time it was - Early here in the southwest. It was Timmy's mom, wishing him a happy birthday and asking if he'd seen the news. We hadn't - there was no TV at the apartment. She told us about the first plane, and in the blearyness of morning none of it registered. I remember him heading off to work near the University, and in confusion, I turned on the radio.

The reports came too quickly to even make sense of at first, but I couldn't budge, sitting on the little couch in our tiny living room with my head in my hands and listening to the madness through the static of the radio. I couldn't fathom, even with the reports, what this disaster really looked like. I scribbled incoherant notes in the back of my journal: all financial markets closed. w trade center 9am e, # 2, 9am e, terrorist, capitol & white house, crashes pentagon 10am e, all airports shut down. And below all that in tiny letters, 'here, we're at war, and me, only a poet.'

Soon, the calls began to come. Local friends and family, Timmy's family from outside of Boston, all calling tearfully, just to touch base, just to hear those cherished voices. It was only a shred of comfort in the hours that were darkest for everyone. Timmy called from work where they had a little TV and filled me in on what he could. He was stunned.

My sister Kaycee came knocking on my door, and after hugs and cigarettes, we tried to get ahold of ourselves. We swooped up all of our things and went to get the newspapers. We got all that we could, all the special editions with their fat, terrible, black headlines. We listened to the radio, full of mixed messages of peace and war spilling from the grief-stricken masses. We went to Target, of all places, to pick up a few things for Timmy's birthday. We didn't want it to go unrecognized. It would be too easy to let it get lost in the dispair of the events at hand. Target was a ghost town. A Red Cross RV sat in the empty parking lot, and we gave them all the money we could spare. All the blood donation centers were packed. It felt disconnected, like there realy was nothing that we could do. We took our little haul of presents home, and Timmy was there, sitting on the couch with the little TV from work. He was pale, and fixated on the news. Someone had called in a threat to the Indian food restaraunt above the bike shop where he worked and they evacuated the whole building due to the blatant ignorance of some idiot thinking he was being a patriot.

We held onto each other through that birthday of his and cried. I couldn't account what he felt, I can only assume it was remotely the same as me, as everyone. I felt so lost, like another cosmic kick in the ass was knocking the wind out of me. I could hardly comprehend any of it. After a lifetime of relative peace, suddenly, everyone was dying.

We were fixated on the news. For days. Weeks. We kept every paper, every relevant headline until madness dwindled and the country got back on it's collective feet. I don't think we watched anything but CNN for weeks. I wrote the lyrics to Bob Dylan's 'Masters of War' in the book I had recieved for the 1000 Journals Project, where I lamented over the tragedies of the days before. I found myself crying in the doctor's office waiting room once, waiting for Kaycee, when all that was on the TV was the mass funeral that happened days later. And while it wasn't the only thing that I would grieve in 2001, it was a magnificent contender in the dreadful darkness of the year.

I wept then and I weep now, for all the individual hearts that feel like mine does, that recall the dispair with such chilling clarity that tears can't help but come. Now, a year from the fact, as we each individually try to stage a recovery, so much of that truth has been lost in the commercialisim and hype that our nation is so known for. While so many people try to shake the population with the "Never Forget" theme, all I can think of is how anyone could possibly forget. I just don't want to forget the realisim of it, the true, sobbing emotion of it, and the brief moments when nobody cared who was black or white or catholic or wiccan or gay or bi or straight. People just cared if you were okay, if the people you loved were okay, if your heart was ever going to mend.

Those are the things that I am never going to forget.

A year ago today when the attacks on the World Trade Center occured, I was still sleeping. I had a big second interview that afternoon and since I had been unemployed dotcommer for six months, I was really anxious about it. Steven was taking the day off to play golf, so he was home as well. The phone rang at like 9:00 and it was my mother. She said something about a plane and a building, but I was tired and told her to let me sleep since I had that interview in the afternoon. She called back a little later and said two planes had hit the World Trade Center. She sounded so strange; her voice was really flat. I rolled over and told Steven and he went downstairs to see what had happened. He said something like, "Oh my God," and then I distinctly remember him saying, "It looks like Manhatten is on fire." I got out of bed at that and came downstairs and sat on the couch and was horrified. I had forgotten about the time change and I remember that I thought the buildings were full of people and I was sure that like 10,000 or 15,000 people had just died. I called my friend Trish, who worked in downtown Houston across from the federal building at the time, to see if she was still at work. I didn't get her, so I called our friend Jeanna and she said that Trish had already left. I remember calling Christine, but not what we talked about. I remember checking on my interview to see if we were still going to have it (we did; it went really well, but I ended up with an interview at 4 Guys a few days later and took it instead). The thing I remember most about that time period is sitting at my computer and reading blogs and crying endlessly. I swear I remember all of Michele's posts at this time word for word. I remember the letter from Suzanne's friend where he talked about watching two people jump off the WTC together. They held hands the whole way down. I remember how I wanted Steven next to me constantly; how I was scared to let him go for too long.

Steven has a friend, Mohammed, who he grew up with in Dubai who works near the WTC. We tried calling him and kept getting his voicemail. We worried about him for days until he called us back. He had been in Pakistan when the attacks happened. Thankfully, he and his family were fine. I wonder how many people he knew who died. I have never been able to ask him.

I started work nine days later and that night, while Steven was at poker, our lights went out. It was dead silent in our condo complex with no noise anywhere. I was lying in the floor, trying to read by candle light, when a plane flew overhead. From where I was lying I could see it approaching through the top of our french doors and it seemed so loud. It scared me and I always think of how shell-shocked I felt, though I lived no where near New York.

This whole time period always comes to me in images. The missing posters carpeting walls. The man, his tie flapping behind him, running from the building collapsing. The two black ladies hold each other and crying, one with her head upon the other's breast like a small child. The people waving signs that said things like, "Heros!," "Thank you!," "God Bless You!" and cheering for the rescue workers as they left the site. The spontaneous memorials that cropped up all over the world. The pictures of people hanging out of the buildings. The dust that covered empty streets. The Flash tribute that played Enya's "Only Time" three or four times that made my heart hurt so much I couldn't breathe.

I remember how much I wanted to stop watching the media footage over and over again. How it was killing me to read a story of someone who was looking for someone else, who was clutching a picture and showing it to anyone and everyone, hoping against hope to find them. I wanted to quit reading the stories from bloggers in New York, but I couldn't. All I could think was that if people had to have that happen to them and their loved ones, the least I could do was listen to their stories.

Things have changed so much and in other ways, stayed the same. I've lived within fifteen minutes of Houston's biggest airport my whole life. I've seen countless numbers of planes, but I notice every one of them. They changed the flight patterns and while going to yoga yesterday, planes flew directly overhead, very low, while I sat at a red light. It made me feel anxious. I've always been a worrier, but I have been feeling more and more anxious as September approaches. Now that it's here, some of the general anxiety has disappated, but I still feel worried over things. I want the world to be a better place, but some times it feels so hopeless. It feels like bad things are inevitable and it's only a matter of time before we all kill each other. I try to focus on the good things like the stories of people that rescued others and died trying to help total strangers. The stories of people who were saved because a stranger helped them. How I couldn't even give blood that day because the blood banks had so many volunteers. How small children made sandwiches for the rescue workers and put little notes in them that said, "I love you." How, for a little while, it seemed that we could unite in a way that we never would have been able to. I hope and I pray that they are the true face of humanity and that tomorrow will always be a better day.

Thank you, Michele, for letting us get all of this off our chests.

I stood getting ready for work. The news was on, as usual. They said a plane flew into the WTC. I thought it was a small plane, an accident, misnavigation. Then I thought it was a protestor, one of those wacky kids who go to geneva to protest. I thought that flying a plane into the trade center was a little fanatical, but I know those guys can get carried away. I went on about my business getting dressed.

Then, my S.O. call from the other room. He said another plane hit. I ran into the room and saw a replay of that collision. I sat down.

I knew these were no hippie kids, no fanatical enviromentalist, no person with heart.

I called my mother. She said she'd heard something but thought it was an accident. At that moment they annouced a plane had crashed in to the Pentagon. No Mom, this is no accident. We hung up. I called into work and told them I wouldn't be in. They were all crowded around a single TV.

I spent the day glued to the television. I was in shock. I didn't cry. I didn't move. I was paralyzed.

Today, one year later, I have shead many tears. I have felt unity, pride, anger, and sorrow. I am inspired by many and hopeful for our future.

I can still remember the sense of disbelief - we didn't have access to a TV in the office, so I patched in to NPR over the web and spent the rest of the day listening to the feed fade in and out, straining to hear. I felt numb and scared, and didn't really understand until much later (several hours) because I hadn't seen pictures that the towers were dust - I simply couldn't conceive that they were completely gone. And then I saw, and I couldn't stop looking. The scale was so big, and the destruction so huge that I said to myself "if this can happen, anything can."

I’d gotten up about an hour earlier for work so I could put gas in my wife’s car before heading out. We lived in an apartment back then, and our manager was this sweet old lady who always got up bright and early to check up on things and what not. So I happened to run into her as she was walking out the front door. She brightened my day every time I saw her, so I never hesitated to greet her every chance I got. That morning was no exception.

“Hey Ruby. Top of the mornin’ to ya.”

“Oooooh boy. Arentcha glad you don’t live in New York?”

(confused) “Whaddaya mean?”

(surprised) “Whaddaya mean? Haven’t you watched the news? It’s all over the news! Two planes collided in mid-air, and there was a bomb, and the buildings exploded...oh it’s a big mess.”

“Two planes collided in mid-air??? And at the same time there was a bomb?? What?”

“Oh I dunno. But it’s all over the news. I think New York’s been declared a disaster area.”

I walked to my car, confused at the odd coincidence of it all. How could two planes collide in the air over New York and a big bomb explode in a building at the same time? What are the chances of that happening? I began to doubt her story. Maybe she didn’t understand the broadcast.

I made my way down Gage Avenue as the sun began to peek over the horizon. I decided to tune to my favorite news station, 980 AM, to get a clearer story. The radio crackled to life, and I heard someone reporting live from New York. This was the first sentence I heard him say:

“I’m standing here, where the World Trade Center should be, and I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe these two massive towers are just not there anymore. It’s just completely flat. They’re gone. They’re gone.”

My jaw must’ve dropped to the dirty grey car floor mat underneath my sneakers as I yelled out loud, “HOLY SHIT!” The next few minutes were a blur, since I pumped that gas as fast as I could and rushed back home. I ran inside and hit that remote, our big TV humming to life and showing the devastation. I yelled at my fiancé, who was still asleep.

“Babe! BABE! Holy shit, some terrorists ran some planes into the World Trade Center!”

She stirred to life, that typical grumpy waking that people get when startled rudely out of a dreamy sleep.

“What? (grumble) Planes? (cough) What the hell are you talking about? The World Trade Center?”

“Yes! (Eyes glued to the screen as the clip of the second plane repeats...and repeats...I stand there, motionless) Ohhhh shit. Ohhhh my god.”

I went lightheaded as I imagined the horror of being in that plane, or being in that office where it hit...I imagined even a split-second of the immense pain of burning jet fuel and winced. I pictured myself looking out the plane window and seeing New York rush below me, the tower ahead. I wondered what I would’ve done.

My fiancé dragged herself to the living room and joined me, and we both watched, in disbelief. All they did was play those clips of the impacts over and over. It was sadistic. Different angles, different videos, the same horror.

I was going to be late to work, so I had to leave. I had my eyes on the screen all the way until I closed the front door to the apartment, and drove to work in a daze. That morning, I think every single driver on the street had their radios tuned to the news. At the stoplights, I’d look over at the drivers around me, and all of them had the longest, bereaved faces. We were all shaking our heads in sadness. Some of us were crying. We tried to avoid making eye contact with one another, but when we did, we knew exactly what we were thinking, through that safety glass. It was the weightiest, widespread sorrow I’d ever experienced.

There was that same, uncertain, weighty feeling at work, as every office I passed blared internet radio news from cheap computer speakers, the words “World Trade Center” and “terrorists” echoing repeatedly down the halls. I walked into one of my co-worker’s office and sighed. I didn’t have to say anything like “Did you watch the news?” Coz everyone was watching the news. Nobody was working. I leaned on her doorjamb and said...

“You know what? We’re going to war. Bigtime.”

We must’ve maxed out our bandwidth that day, coz everyone was streaming the devastation even though our director prohibited streaming audio/video. Man it didn’t matter. He was streaming too. How could one work that day? None of us worked. We just stayed glued to our seats, ears to the speakers, checking the website updates, watching the videos. What were we doing? I guess I had to keep on seeing it, trying to comprehend the incredibility. Trying to understand. Trying to believe that there were survivors. Trying to find some condolence to it all. Maybe the planes were empty. They were cargo planes filled with candy and clothes. Maybe the World Trade Center was closed for renovations. Maybe they all had some big corporate picnic and it was empty. Maybe people just didn’t show up to work. They all got lazy and said, you know what, I’m spending time with the wife and kids today. Don’t tell anyone you saw me.


There were thousands of people in there, people who showed up to work that day like every day.

There were people flying home to loving arms.

And in one, terrifying and crushing blow, they were all obliterated.


Geez, I thought. This whole thing was planned to extreme perfection.
They knew our strongest point was also our weakest. And they hit it hard. Real hard. It was the ultimate insult, the ultimate “fuck you” to American society and democracy. To demolish our steel heart of commerce, with our own winged symbols of freedom and technological prowess, and slaughter thousands of hard-working, prosperous American citizens of any race, creed or color. In one bold, swift maneuver.

I shuddered at the thought – thousands of miles away were throngs of people in mass celebration and flag-waving, while here in the U.S., thousands of people lay crushed under tons of debris, and the only flag waving here was the tattered and torn one, which would later become the ultimate symbol of pain and survival.

After eight hours of floating in fear and contemplation, one small incident changed what would’ve been the dreariest day in my life. Driving home from work that day, I saw the first person to fly the flag. He had a pick-up truck with a mount in the bed, in which he stuck the mast. The flag was huge; dwarfing the truck, it waved alone, proudly and defiant in the pre-dusk breeze. It was almost like he was leading a procession, as we all followed, behind him. Nobody wanted to pass him up. Everyone wanted to see that flag.

There was something that assured me as I lost myself in the undulating stars and stripes. I looked around me, and what were once the longest and most grief-stricken faces in traffic, were now ones with a small glimmer of hope in those watered eyes. Mouths were firmer, hearts beat stronger, and when we made eye contact, we knew exactly what we were thinking.

Sure, you hurt us.
But we’re gonna get you back.

I was sitting in an oncology ward, waiting for my chemotherapy. I was sorry for myself: why was it happening to me?

In the infusion area, there were TV sets on to help pass the time (sessions can be seven hours on the IV drip) and keep your mind off things. Suddenly CNN changed to live downdown NYCity. Next, another plane went slam while we watched. The doctors and nurses stopped and watched with us. After a few minutes, the doctor in charge that morning had ordered all our blood pressures checked. He was afraid of the stress...

All of us - those who would survive and those who later didn't - were silent, tearful and thoughtful. Things fell into perspective.

As bad as it was for each of us, we have seen something infinitely more terrible. Mass murder.

I was working in Crystal City, just south of the Pentagon, when the first plane hit the WTC. I was actually laughing at a joke when a colleague came into the room, saying somebody had hacked the CNN site. We all descended on his desk. Then we started to get Denial of Service Errors on all of the news sites. This was real. I went downstairs to have a cigarette, that's when the smell hit me. Something was burning. I knew there was something wrong. Then I walked out onto the sidewalk, and saw the black cloud rising from the Pentagon. This was really real. I ran upstairs and told my co-workers; then a few minutes later, we felt a boom, a secondary I suppose, but at the time, we thought a bomb had gone off in DC. We all ran down the firestairs and outside. Ever look over your shoulder at every car horn, every siren? That's what I did for the next week. By luck and the grace of god, I didn't loose anyone I knew. The time for sadness and grief is long over. Grief and Sadness are noble, but recovering from them and doing something about their cause is Heroic. That is why we, as a Nation, need to dry our eyes and clench our fists. We have a right to be angry about what happened. We have a right to expect the government to protect us better. And we have EVERY right to go after the fanatics who did this to us. One thought before I go. We lost the WTC, a symbol of America's wealth and financial muscle. New York's new symbolic buildings? The Empire State building and the Statue of Liberty. Both symbols of Faith and perseverance in trying times and circumstances. Read up on their histories. I think they're fitting landmarks for this new page in our history. Remember what made us strong. It's always been there, waiting to be rediscovered. I can't think of a better time than now.

Thank you for providing the space for people to say what they need to say. I think that for many of us, there is a need to share, especially today. I've been reading your blog for quite some time now and have been reading your thoughts on 9-11 with great interest. I didn't think today was going to be much different than any other day for me. I was wrong. My emotions are at skin level today and every single occurance today brings tears to my eyes. How can I not remember exactly where I was and what I was doing one year ago today? Today has brought back so many surreal dreamlike memories. It's like another life, another planet, another world.
Michele, thank you for sharing yourself and for allowing me the forum to say as much as I can muster today.

Where were you when it happened? I was asleep, since I was (am still) unemployed. The phone rang. I saw it was my mum and looked at the time. I thought it was rude of my mum to be calling so early so I let the answering machine get it and attempted to go back to sleep. But I couldn't fall back asleep and within a couple minutes I was checking my message. All my mum said was "Turn on the TV". Her voice sounded weird. She was whispering but there was something more to it than that. I went to the TV and turned it on just in time to see the second plane hit. I couldn't believe it. I just stood there in front of the TV, unable to move. Shortly afterwards my boyfriend called me and told me not to go into the city (I live near Boston) because most of the buildings were being evacuated.
As soon as I was able to move, I started up my computer and went online. I spent most of the rest of the morning online in chatrooms with people I usually talk to discussing what was going on. I felt ill. I didn't eat anything that day. I don't think I even had my usual coffee. I had enough adrenline in my system that I didn't need it. I remember the news showing people trying to save themselves by jumping out the windows of the buildings before they fell. Those images haunt me and will continue to haunt me. The state of mind these people had to be in to even think that jumping god knows how many stories would save them...I can't even imagine.
My apartment was under one of the flight patterns for Logan Airport and it eerie silence of the skies was creepy. Then almost even more scary was the noise of the military planes circling the skies. Every hour or so I would hear them flying over my apartment...which gave a reassurance of protection but also at the same time worry and fear that they needed to be there.
For weeks after the event I was a media junkie. Not having anywhere to be, I stayed glued to the TV. It got to the point where I couldn't watch any of it anymore. Every personal story of people looking for their loved ones made me sob. I didn't have cable TV, and the only channel not showing anything on the attacks was PBS.
A couple days later, we held a candle light vigil in town. It was somber and we sang and random people came and joined us on the sidewalk.
Personally I didn't lose anyone, but friends of mine knew people who died that day. My thoughts and wishes are with them and all the others who are remembering their loved ones today.

I posted mine on my blog.

Being a state department brat I have literally spent more of my life overseas than in the US. I was in Germany that day at work everyone had left and I was the last one in the office finishing up a project when one of my colleagues called to let me know that a plane had hit the world trade center. It's ironic when you live abroad you live with the possibility of terrorism everyday, although the last decade had seen a dramatic drop in activity in Europe it didn't even enter my mind that it could be terrorism. That happened overseas not in my country. Do you want to know what I thought when the truth came out? I thought this is the end of them...Americans would suffer through attacks out of the country and I don't mean to be cruel just practical. It was upsetting about the embassy bombings but it wasn't personal it was too abstract this was personal. Funny I may have spent alot of time overseas but I got it, I understood then at that moment what it meant to be American. It's all rolled up in notions of kin, family and home represented in all those who made a stand that day that is what we are and no one can take that from us. So without sounding to much of a sap on September 11, 2001 in the midst of the single biggest tragedy of my generation I found out what it really meant to be an American and I was proud of it and my country…so the grieving will continue but more importantly we will continue and that is what I will remember.

I was in english class.
I remember people walking in and saying that a plane had crashed in New York City, but noone really seemed to know what was going on.
We sat there and waited for classes to start.
My teacher was late.
When he finally came through the doors, he told us that a commercial plane had been crashed into one of the WTC towers, and that if anyone needed to make any phone calls, they could go down to the office.
It seemed so far away, I mean, I live in Canada...
But people went downstairs.
Someone's uncle was working there, someone else's aunt.
My best friend's dad was supposed to be there for a meeting.

No one knew quite what was happening, and it's still all confused in my mind. I can't get around the whys...

The look on my friends' faces will stay with me forever.

I was sleeping late, we both were, we were on an odd schedule at the time - the phone rang and I answered it, confused since it was before what we considered the "reasonable" hour to call (after Noon) - it was one of our closest friends on the phone and all she said was, "I think you may want to turn on the news."

It was obvious that she was in tears....

I spent the rest of the day feeling those tears in my heart... I still do.

I was working as a temp. in an engineering office in Ashland, Virginia. Ashland is about 1.5 hours from Washington, D.C. At first, we just had radio coverage. I remember not understanding what was happening. A plane hit one of the towers? How could that happen? One of the women in the office had a small black and white t.v. I mean SMALL. A dozen of us crowded around it and tried to make sense of the fuzzy pictures. Shock was so thick that you could smell it. There were tears shed. During the day, the drama unfolded and no one had words. The office was eerily quiet with only muffled radio sounds remotely faint. I had a deadline that day. I stayed at work until about 9:00 p.m. I remember driving back to the Suburban Lodge where I was residing during this assignment. It was totally black outside. In a state of shock. And fearful of death for the first time. And so deeply saddened. Today, I am in a permanent position in Richmond, VA. But still so deeply saddened. 9-11 changed my life forever.

I was working as a temp. in an engineering office in Ashland, Virginia. Ashland is about 1.5 hours from Washington, D.C. At first, we just had radio coverage. I remember not understanding what was happening. A plane hit one of the towers? How could that happen? One of the women in the office had a small black and white t.v. I mean SMALL. A dozen of us crowded around it and tried to make sense of the fuzzy pictures. Shock was so thick that you could smell it. There were tears shed. During the day, the drama unfolded and no one had words. The office was eerily quiet with only muffled radio sounds remotely faint. I had a deadline that day. I stayed at work until about 9:00 p.m. I remember driving back to the Suburban Lodge where I was residing during this assignment. It was totally black outside. In a state of shock. And fearful of death for the first time. And so deeply saddened. Today, I am in a permanent position in Richmond, VA. But still so deeply saddened. 9-11 changed my life forever.

My husband burst through the door in full battle array. I was asleep, in a tired dream. He said something about "attack". I wiped my eyes, and rolled over. Then, the words drifted up through my ears. "A-t-t-a-c-k". I must still be dreaming... The words were coming in my ears so slowly. Then it hit me and I awoke.

I don't have anyone that I lost. I don't know anyone near the tragedies, but I sit today and I cry. I cry so hard my head throbs my heart aches and I sob and I weep and I let the tears flow and it hurts. And I don't think I have a right to cry, but the tears keep coming. It could have been my friend, my father, my husband, my lover, my daughter there. So I cry. And I hurt.

I had just quit my job the week before and was enjoying the post-quitting, pre-new-job sleeping in. For some reason, I couldn't sleep that day -- I was up at about 5:00 or 5:30 am, AZ time. I decided to try to make myself sleepy by watching some tv.
I turned on the tv and saw right after the first plane had hit. I assumed it had been some freak plane accident. Then the second plane. Then the rest...
My dad is a paramedic in Elizabeth, NJ (north NJ, near NY). I started frantically calling him, seeing where he was & if he was ok when the first tower fell. I knew that his squad would have been sent up there. He finally calls: he's ok, they're on the way to the scene, he'll call me back.
Go talk to my fiance at work about what has happened. The third plane crashed in Pittsburgh. His sister is in Pittsburgh. We're in Arizona all of this is happening where people we love are & there is nothing we can do about it.
Most of my day is spent crying, dazed. I didn't know anyone in the towers, but I have lots of family and friends who are either cops, firefighters, or paramedics.
Fast forward to the night. My dad calls. They've been on call all day. They've watched the surrounding buildings burn, collapse. They've waited for the casualties...there really aren't any, other than cuts, abrasions, respiratory problems. A paramedic friend of his was called to the towers after the planes hit. He was there when the towers collapsed. He didn't make it out.
Today, listening to the real-time replay was almost harder. It's almost like watching a movie and yelling at the screen: "Get out of there! Can't you see it's going to come down?!?" and not being able to do anything. And it's not a movie.
I figured today would be like any other day, but I can't lift the sad daze I'm once again feeling.

I was still asleep when my husband called from work to tell me not one but two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. I watched in disbelief as the towers smoked, was on the phone with my mother when Tower 1 fell. I felt like my head had come free and was floating above my shoulders, there was no way I could be seeing what I was seeing. Then the second tower fell and I wept.

I thank every god ever known to man that I had no knowledge that people were jumping that day...it would have been the end of me.

I spent the rest of day glued to the television and the computer, voraciously hunting for news, something newer than what was currently being regurgitated, hugging my children and making sure they had a great day...had no knowledge of the horror and grief I was feeling. The time will come when they can know what happened. But not for a while.

I'd like to thank everyone for their remembrances...the one television in our house that has been on today has deliberately been tuned to Cartoon Network and I have seen nothing of the memorials. But reading your stories and your memories has been strangely comforting. And, I think, a fitting memorial to those we lost.

I don't turn on the news in the morning, and I opted for the CD player in the car on my way to work so I had no clue there was anything wrong in the world that day. I had to take a step back as I walked into the office and was nearly mobbed by my co-workers.
The day before I had been at Logan Airport, trying to rearrange flight plans due to a cancellation in my itinerary. The last message I'd left with my boss was that I was going to try to get home that night, but if I didn't make it, not to worry, I'd catch an early flight the next day.
Our world may have collapsed a bit last year, but I can't help the guilty pleasure from the calls, visits and e-mails from friends, family and clients that were asking over my well-being.
I, too had to make a dozen calls to the east coast to be sure everyone who could be accounted for was, and I wonder if anyone else got that warm little sensation from knowing others really do want you to be ok.

When it happened I was in my office with the radio on. I wasn't really listening and it took a while for the information to sink in. I rightaway went online and tried to get more info there. The news sites hadn't evne picked up on it yet and when they did they were swamped and loading very slowly. Everybody in my office sat around my desk and listened to the radio. Later we went downstairs to an eatery with TVs. That's where I saw the towers collapse.

I was just shocked. It seemed too unbelievable and all I could think of was that I wanted to go home and get my son out of school and be with him. I was scared a plane would hit downtown DC, where I worked. I was relieved when my boss sent us home. When I heard that the trains weren't running I rightaway tried to find a cab but a woman that recongized me from the metro asked me if I wanted to drive with her. I drove home with her and it took us 2 hours. I raced home, got my car and went to get my son from school.

I watched TV for he rest of the day, listened to the radio. I felt numb. I wrote in my journal and talked to online friends and just felt strange/shocked/hurt/scared.

THe faces on the street are what I remember most, the people walking around in disbelief. You could see the pain and fear in their eyes and faces. It was strangely quiet out there even though EVERYBODY was on the street.

Downtown DC was never this silent except for the days after the attack. It was over a month before you heard a laugh in the cafeteria. Everybody seemed to whisper.

I woke up, got dressed, kissed my sleeping lover on her hip, and went downstairs to find my mother sitting in her underwear on her bed, staring at the tv. On the TV was a picture of the first tower, seemingly on fire. I said, "Hi Mom, what are you watching." She turned to me, her eyes all glassy with tears and said, "Have you seen this? The World Trade Center was just hit by an airplane." I said, "What?" We sat down in the living room together and held hands, trying to make sense out of what the TV was showing, what the newscasters were blurting out.

And then the tower fell down.

I knew there were firefighters in those towers. I knew policemen had run in there. EMTs and paramedics. I knew there had to be thousands of people inside that tower. And yet, there it was, falling to earth, live and in color. Another plane crash. The other tower fell. Screaming, I remember a lot of screaming coming from my TV as people were dying on the other side of the country. I woke up Angel. She came downstairs and watched as tears ran down her face. My mom blinked at the TV, realizing that one of her best friends worked in that tower, and that her cousin...a firefighter...might have just met his death right there in front of her.

I said, "Are we at war?"

No one knew yet what was going on. The TV said something about the Pentagon. More people were dead. Another plane crash.

I don't know why I went to work that day. My Mom went to work too. I drove home for lunch, and found the streets of Las Vegas in silence. Angel and I ate soup together, holding hands and just glad that we were still alive, we were still together. Later, when I was driving home after work, I saw people in other cars crying. We were all in mouring together in the five o clock rush hour.

Mom came home, and told us she couldn't get a hold of her friend. Couldn't get word about any of her family back east. Later we found out the friends had been in Florida, for a wedding. Her cousin, however.. we later learned had died in the collapse of the first tower.

Days afterward we walked around in disbelief. I found myself crying for no reason, I mean.. no immediate reason. Anger. Horror. Shock.

KD encouraged me to go ahead and post a bit here, I hope you'll forgive that it's after the fact.

After watching the Towers get hit on television I got in my car to go to work. That was New York, there was no reason not to go to the office. The Towers hadn't fallen yet and I had no idea what was to come. Traffic was light, it was the tail end of rush hour, and most people were in the office or at home in front of the TVs I guess.

A few minutes later I was on the access road by the Pentagon, driving along and trying to find news - any news - on the radio. A plane was making it's desent to National Airport - that my mind told me anyway. It made no sense though, it was very nearly down on the road with us. It roared past and straight into the Pentagon. I still have no visual memories of the impact. I called my boss and told him "a helicopter or something hit the Pentagon."

Then the smoke started pouring out of the building. The air was so thick with smoke and jetfuel I didn't think I could breath. The car filled with smoke. Sirens from all directions. MPs evacuating the area.

I didn't get home til 4 or 5 I think. I reeked of jet fuel all day. I smelled that jet fuel long after the debris was cleared, I smelled it for weeks and weeks after, every day when I passed within 100s of yards of the crashsite on my way home.

Neighbors died on that flight. Neighbors died in the building, at work that day. I didn't know that at the time, only later.

I still drive past the site. Everyday, somedays twice a day. It's rebuilt now, amazingly enough.

Neuropsychological Functions: Alertness Prosody Memory
Receptive Prosody
Expressive Prosody
Long-Term Memory
Short-Term Interference Memory
Short-Term Input Memory
Short-Term Retrieval Memory

Sensorimotor Auditory Tactile Visual Motor
Auditory Input
Auditory Discrimination
Tactile Input
Visual Input
Visual Discrimination
Visual-spatial Construction
Motor Quality
Motor Writing

Speech Academic Abilities Cognitive Problem Solving
Speech Production

Organic Emotions Laterality Treatment Problems
Left-Right Confusion
Left-Brain Controlled Balance
Right-Brain Controlled Balance
Left Hemisphere
Right Hemisphere
Neuropsychological Status
Peripheral Damage
Awareness of Deficits
Socially Appropriate Comments
Frustration Tolerance

Neuropsychological Functions: Alertness Prosody Memory
Receptive Prosody
Expressive Prosody
Long-Term Memory
Short-Term Interference Memory
Short-Term Input Memory
Short-Term Retrieval Memory

Sensorimotor Auditory Tactile Visual Motor
Auditory Input
Auditory Discrimination
Tactile Input
Visual Input
Visual Discrimination
Visual-spatial Construction
Motor Quality
Motor Writing

Speech Academic Abilities Cognitive Problem Solving
Speech Production

Organic Emotions Laterality Treatment Problems
Left-Right Confusion
Left-Brain Controlled Balance
Right-Brain Controlled Balance
Left Hemisphere
Right Hemisphere
Neuropsychological Status
Peripheral Damage
Awareness of Deficits
Socially Appropriate Comments
Frustration Tolerance

This site contains information relating to advanced satellite surveillance and "harassment" technologies which are made available to covert government agencies and organised crime syndicates.
Mr Paul Baird
Fax(Primary): +612 4733 3249
Fax(Alternate): +612 8838 2333
Ph: +612 9635 0752
NB: The satellites are not available to law enforcement agencies. Instead they protect illegal operators (like drug traders and corporate criminals) who in fact spy on law enforcers, lobbyists etc. They also facilitate remote, non-consensual human experimentation by the US military, the CIA and so on. In fact when asked who was centrally responsible - the military, defence contractors, the agencies, the media, or the mafia - one senior AFP executive replied: "Well, they all have access don't they". They can watch
They can listen



(Corrupt "Businessmen" /
Oppressive Government Agencies /
Media "Invaders")

(Source - US Congress Office of Technology Assessment)

Electronic Eavesdropping Technology
- (Audio Surveillance)
Radiating devices & receivers (e.g. miniature radio & ultrasonic transmitters)
Non-radiating devices (eg wired surveillance systems including phone taps and concealed microphones)
Tape recorders
Laser-facilitated listening devices, rifle mikes and other "remote " equipment (incl. satellites)

N.B. Even phones can be made "hot on the hook" i.e. turned into microphones when not in use.

Optical/Imaging Technology
- (Visual Surveillance)

Photographic techniques (incl. zoom lens and infra red cameras)
Television (e.g. closed circuit)
Night vision devices (e.g. image intensifiers)
Satellite based viewing (up to and including the monitoring of writings as they are written; indoors)
Aircraft facilitated viewing

Computers & Related Technologies
- (Data Surveillance)

Microcomputers - decentralisation of machines and distributed processing
Computer networks
Software (eg. expert systems)
Pattern recognition systems
Voice Activated & thought activated computers (incl. "remote" equipment)

N.B. In many countries the military operates tracking stations; assisting the giant American National Security Agency. The NSA covertly monitors every call, fax, e-mail, telex and computer data message. The relevant computers search for key words/phrases. Anything/anyone of interest is drawn to the attention of agency operatives. This can lead to a large scale personal surveillance operation by the NSA or other agencies; like the CIA and their criminal connections. The current system is called ECHELON.

Sensor Technology

Magnetic sensors
Seismic sensors
Infra red sensors
Strain sensors
Electromagnetic sensors (incl. brain wave sensors)

Other Devices and Technologies

CB radios
Vehicle location systems (incl. satellite tracking)
Machine readable magnetic strips
Voice stress analysers
Laser interception devices
Cellular radio
Anti personnel weapons - sonic and phasar weapons as well as psychotronic weapons; which target the nervous system. (These have been trialed in riot control in France etc)
Scalar wave weapons - (scalar waves emanate naturally from living organisms and the earth itself).
Infrasound weapons - inducing various forms of illness from remote sources (Also used on dissidents in France)
Neurophones and similar (more advanced) technologies - Satellite or ground based. These can deliver aural harassment via microwaves or lasers aimed at the target.
Visual harassment laser systems. These deliver blurred vision, holographs and so on to disorientate the target and/or experiment; victims' reactions being monitored to study how best to "control" targets.
Brain wave monitors/analysers (remote sensing). These newer technologies actually allow the target's thoughts to be interpreted.

"Over the horizon" technologies - These facilitate ground-based methods of harassment (eg The Alaskan HAARP project which bounces signals off the ionosphere).

N.B. There are literally hundreds of ways of tracking the earth's inhabitants which are available to corrupt agency officials and their criminal contacts (e.g. the mafia). The last seven are examples of devices used to covertly menace political targets who do not have a public profile. Most can be satellite based and anyone can be targeted provided they have neither influence nor contacts in public life. Government secrecy provisions help to prevent public disclosures regarding these technologies. However, there is more than an element of corruption / complicity evident amongst politicians, journalists and other public figures who are aware of what goes on. Others are afraid to interfere.
Further Information

It is evident that countless people (world wide) have already lodged complaints about the following technologies. They are available to government agencies, defense contractors and "organised" crime figures.

The Neurophone
US Patent # 3,393,279. July 16th, 1968
US Patent # 3,647,970. March 7th, 1972
The Neurophone was developed by Dr Patrick Flanagan in 1958. It's a device that converts sound to electrical impulses. In its original form electrodes were placed on the skin but with defence department developments, the signals can be delivered via satellite. They then travel the nervous system directly to the brain (bypassing normal hearing mechanisms). Dr Flanagan's "3D holographic sound system" can place sounds in any location as perceived by the targeted / tortured listener. This allows for a variety of deceptions for gullible victims.

Today, the CIA (etc) use satellites and ground - based equipment to deliver verbal threats, deafening noise and propaganda; using neurophone technology. Anything from TV's/radio's appearing to operate when switched off through to "Voices from God" and encounters with "telepathic" aliens are all cons using neurophone technologies to torment, deceive and (most importantly) discredit agency/criminal targets. Naturally, the system can mimic anyone's voice and automatic computer translations (into any language) are incorporated.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that people like David Koresh, Martin Bryant and others could have been programmed then remotely triggered (or tricked) using harrassment technologies like the neurophone. (Although most of the targets are intelligent and law-abiding). For example, John Lennon's killer, Mark Chapman, reportedly heard voices before and after silencing the agency-hounded peace advocate. "God" apparently told him to confess verbally.

To explain why others physically moving into the path of the laser (or whatever) do not pick up the signals, please note the following "possibilities"... a) Kirlean photography may be an ancillary system so it's attuned to the targets personal energy field (their unique EM waves).
b) The magnetite in our brains can act as a detectable fingerprint.
c)Equally each of us has a unique bioelectrical resonance frequency in our brains. EMF Brain stimulation may be encoded so that pulsating EM signals sent to the targets brain cause audio-visual effects which only the target experiences. This, to me, is the best explanation.
d) The individuals "vibrational pattern" could be used as a signal filter like a radio receiving only the sound modulating the frequency of the station it's tuned to.
e) The monitors simply adjust the volume downwards when you're in a position where the signal could hit someone else's body. Even if they heard it (briefly) they'd attribute it to another voice in the crowd etc.

As with the final proof, the definitive answer lies in the actual blueprints; secreted in the bowels of the Pentagon or some similar facility. Nonetheless, there is no report of ANY intercepted neurophone signals. If it wasn't so effective it would not have been used to facilitate silent communications between U.S. government agents/military personnel.

Psycho-Acoustic Projector
U.S. patent #3,566,347, (23/2/71)
A device/weapon which can actually deafen the target.

Silent Subliminal Messages
US Patent # 5,159,703. October 27th, 1992
Inventor - Dr Oliver M. Lowery
Non aural carriers in extreme audio frequency ranges are amplified or modulated with the desired material and propagated acoustically for direct inducement into the brain. This is an excellent method of influencing people without their knowledge. An alert reader would recognise how this could create coincidences and stir up conflict; especially if what's fed to one person corresponds with what's gathered (via surveillance) from another. It can also help to create coincidences of the sort the media creates (through surveillance feedback) only in reverse... where the subjects are fed information prior to the event (eg. a news story) and coerced into believing they are psychic.

Patented devices known to facilitate subliminal message delivery are too numerous to list. However, examples include: - Auditory subliminal message system and method. U.S. patent #4395600, Rene Lundy and David Tyler, 26/7/83. A system to mix messages into background music (ala the subliminal transmissions used in some U.S. department stores to prevent shoplifting or boost sales).
- Subliminal message generator. U.S. patent #5,270,800, Robert Sweet, 14/12/93. To be used with TV, cable TV and computers. (A visual medium).
- Superimposing method and apparatus useful for subliminal messages. U.S. patent #5,134,484, Joseph Wilson, 28/7/92. Relates to video signals. The subliminal data can be from a prerecorded or live signal.
And yes... the entertainment industry can use such technologies to boost sales of CD's, movie tickets etc. As intimated earlier, the criminals involved not only operate in media/political circles, they seek total control of everything. In time they may win due to suppression of information and their terrorist tactics.

N.B Sound can also be induced by radiating the head with microwaves. One unpublished application was the Gulf War but, more times than not, the targets are mostly innocent/oppressed civilians trying to exercise their basic rights to free speech in so-called western democracies.

Methods and Systems of Altering Consciousness
US Patent # 5,123,844. June 23rd, 1992
US Patent # 5,289,438. February 22nd, 1994
These systems stimulate the brain with different frequencies and wave forms to alter the subject's state of consciousness.

Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) monitoring/interference is one of the most insidious and secretive of all methods used by the agencies.

N.B. Similarly, EEG cloning feeds back the results of EMF monitoring in an attempt to induce emotional responses (e.g. fear, anger, even sleep etc.).

This could possibly work on certain members of a crowd or audience....again this could facilitate scams etc.

Notably the Alaskan HAARP project (featuring the B.J.Eastland patented technology - U.S. patent #4,686,605, 11/4/87 - "Method and Apparatus for altering a region in the Earth's atmosphere, ionosphere or magnetosphere". AND others) also facilitates experiments in the disruption of human mental processes. It's the largest, most versatile radio frequency radiation transmitter in the world also allowing experimentation in weather "modification", wireless, electrical power beaming and communications "disruption". Its systems like this which could one day see attempts made to brainwash/control entire populations. And that is just as feasible as a wholesale nuclear holocaust.

Microwave Weapons
"A hearing system" U.S. patent #4,877,027, 31/10/89. Wayne Brunker.
"A hearing device" U.S. patent #4,858,612, 22/8/89. Philip L.Stocklin.

Eg. The latter involves microwaves aimed at the auditory cortex. A mike turns the sounds to electrical signals which are treated so as to provide multi frequency microwaves which are applied to the brain area. Whatever sound the mike picks up (like a voice) is relayed to the target.

The first known experiment with microwaved voices was conducted by Sharp and Grove in the early 70's. However, the Defence Intelligence Agency and ARPA (The Advanced Research Projects Agency) are principally to blame for the abuse of such technologies since. eg Project Pandora etc. The CIA's Langley Research Centre as well as an army of "mad" scientists working in Energy/Defence department labs across the U.S. are also responsible.

As with the NASA Apollo program, many of those originally involved were ex Nazi or Russian Cold war scientists (even WWII Japanese) recruited, regardless of their earlier crimes, to commit more crimes, this time for the U.S.A.

It's worth noting the reported experiments carried out in bygone days included The MKULTRA (mind control)/LSD experiments, germ and nuclear fallout testing (on military and civilian personnel), electro-shock treatment on institutional victims and so on. The U.S. Energy and Justice departments are now involved in such programs so the U.S. can escape violation of international defence/agency treaties. That's also why the "D" for "defence" was dropped from DARPA.

In any event, once a technology is labelled "Top secret-classified" they can use it any way they like on anyone. God Bless America.

Brain Wave Monitors / Analysers
Lawrence Pinneo, a neurophysiologist and electronic engineer working for Stanford Research Institute (a military contractor) is the first "known" pioneer in this field.
In 1974 he developed a computer system which correlated brain waves on an electroencephalograph with specific commands.

(Currently under secrecy provisions; "Classified")
In 1994, the brain wave patterns of 40 subjects were officially correlated with both spoken words and silent thought. This was achieved by a neurophysiologist, Dr Donald York, and a speech pathologist, Dr Thomas Jensen, from the University of Missouri. They clearly identified 27 words / syllables in specific brain wave patterns and produced a computer program with a brain wave vocabulary.

It does not take much thinking to realise that the US agencies have access to a perfected version of this technology. In fact the relevant computers have a vocabulary in excess of 60,000 words and cover most languages.

So, using lasers / satellites and high-powered computers the agencies have now gained the ability to decipher human thoughts - and from a considerable distance (instantaneously).

How is it done?
The magnetic field around the head is scanned as you are satellite tracked. The results are then fed back to the relevant computers. Monitors then use the information to conduct a "conversation" where audible neurophone input is "applied" to the victim.

Human thought operates at 5,000 bits/sec but satellites and various forms of biotelemetry can deliver those thoughts to supercomputers in Maryland, U.S.A, Israel, etc which have a speed of 20 BILLION bits/sec each. These, even today, monitor millions of people simultaneously. Eventually they will monitor almost everyone...worse than any Orwellian "Big Brother" nightmare you could possibly imagine, only it will be a reality. Yet our world leaders, who know this, do nothing.

Usually the targets are aware their brain waves are being monitored because of the accompanying neurophone feedback. In other words, the computer repeats (echoes) your own thoughts and then the human monitors comment or respond verbally. Both are facilitated by the neurophone.

NB Whilst the live/human comments are individualistic and unrelated to the victims own thought processes oftentimes the artificial intelligence involved will parrot standard phrases. These are triggered by your thoughts while the human monitors remain silent or absent.

To comprehend how terrible such a thorough invasion of privacy can be - imagine being quizzed on your past as you lie in bed. You eventually fall off to sleep, having personal or "induced" dreams, only to wake to the monitors commenting / ridiculing your subconscious thoughts (dreams).

If the ability to "brain scan" individuals expands from the million or so currently under scrutiny to include ALL inhabitants of the planet (as per the Echelon surveillance system which already monitors ALL private/commercial telecommunications) then no-one will ever be able to even think about expressing an opinion contrary to those forced on us by the New World Order. There will literally be no intellectual property that cannot be stolen, no writing that cannot be censored, no thought that cannot be suppressed (by the most oppressive/invasive means).

The combined use of these technologies enables remote torture and interrogation. (Memories are triggered by neurophone questioning and the brain wave analysers deliver the answers). Any nebulous arguments about US national security and the need for classified research on human subjects speak for themselves. (The writer has a copy of a White House internal memo, signed by Bill Clinton on these matters).

Remember that in the past CIA mind control experiments have involved LSD as well as electro-shock treatment.

The MK Ultra (Mind Control) program itself is infamous as are the instances where implants have been detected by X-Ray etc. Also there are those experimented on under the the cover of 'Alien visits'. Today, Neurophone and mind reading technologies are at the forefront of similar programs. In many ways these new technologies are an even more sinister means of conducting illegal human experiments.

Colonel John Alexander, advising head of NATO'S non-lethal weapon initiative, is the main proponent of these technologies. He favours all manner of devices which can, from a distance, induce illnesses, read minds and covertly harass innocent targets. If he could he would implant a microchip in each newborn child and initiate a mind control programme designed to brainwash the entire planet or at least those not fully in tune with their New World Order. Even to entertain such a thought is criminally insane yet he has said such things in public. In fact Scientific American magazine and the major Scandinavian newspaper, Helsingen Sanomat, have suggested all people will be implanted with a DNA microchip in the future. E.g Prince William has already been implanted (for "location" purposes?) while some U.S Military/Agency personnel, including NASA astronauts, have been implanted so as to study their thoughts/emotions etc. Think of the possibilities for robotics and cloning in the future.

Remember, these technologies (developed for times of war / terrorism) are (post cold war) being used today on lobbyists, intellectual dissenters and peaceful activists; to discredit and silence them. (So much for democracy.) Notably different methods are often used on different victims within a certain area (city) so as to avoid providing a pattern for investigators to observe. This also provides a cross section of political targets for their experimental programs.

It is also noteworthy that some of the victims are ex-agency / military personnel who have rebelled or tried to blow the whistle on corrupt practices within these organisations. Some of these report that not only have the thoughts and emotions of millions of targets been catalogued by military/intelligence agencies but all such agencies have political/mafia/media links due to both infiltration and association. Many of the actual monitors/harassers are also recruited from the worst possible sources.

These people also report that experiments in controlling voters by these remote methods were tried in Haiti, Bosnia etc AND that in 1994, the U.S D.O.D proposed using such technology on all individuals opposing their views(and competitors etc).

N.B. These technologies are invariably used in conjuction with satellite (audio / visual) surveillance; creating the effect of an electronic POW concentration camp. Mental rape is only one of the many crimes committed in this mobile environment. E.g scientists, writers, political/military leaders etc can have their intellectual property stolen at the source. Without doubt the computers store and analyse the intelligence gathered by surveillance/harassment technologies. Their vast memories allow detailed studies of how the human mind works so as to learn how to influence and/or control people. Duplicating these processes for robotics and other artificial intelligence purposes is another sinister goal.

The US and other world governments are guilty of fostering gross human rights abuses by using these methods. Their covert operators can now do their worst without fear of detection. The cost is justified by the control gained and the experimental results achieved. Of course, (as with the space program and military expenditures in general) the funds used could be better spent solving real problems like hunger, disease, poverty and crime.


Agencies such as the CIA, ASIS and ASIO should be accountable to appropriately selected committees etc.
Military units, like Australia's DSD, should not have the right to access satellite (or other) technologies to spy on or harass law-abiding citizens; especially in their own country. Equally they should not assist foreign governments with 'Big Brother' systems like Echelon, except where assisting with law enforcement activities (which they do not).
Federal Police should be able to access oscillating scanners and EEG machines like SQUID (Superconductor Quantum Interface Detector) through the defence department or appropriate facilities. These can detect the relevant frequencies and this provides proof.
There needs to be a United Nations Satellite Committee to oversee developments in satellite technology from a humanitarian perspective.

UN weapons inspectors should include non-lethal weapons and satellite weaponry on their checklists.

The International Criminal Court should deny veto rights to the US government. The threat of class actions against US government departments may then lead to the end of these atrocities.
On a positive note...

(i) Pres. Clinton has issued a memo promising greater protection for human subjects of classified research. (The memos very existence is an admission of guilt).

(ii) Sen. John Glenn introduced a bill (22/1/97) called The Human Research Subject Protection Act. (And he'd know how necessary that is).

(iii) The European Parliament recently passed resolutions calling for a world convention to ban all weapons used for human experimentation/manipulation. (see Resolution on the environment security and foreign policy A4 - 0005/99, Jan 28th, 1999.EP1159). The European Parliament also called for a convention introducing a global ban on any weaponry enabling manipulation of human beings. The International Committee of the Red Cross also expressed its concerns in July '94.

However these are only promises recognising the problem. None have yet bore fruit. The use of most "non-lethal" weapons contravenes the spirit of all privacy laws and criminal codes as well as every relevant code and convention in play internationally; including The Declaration of Human Rights. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Geneva Convention and The Nuremberg Code. The perpetrators are guilty of crimes against humanity. Those supporting them are engaging in class warfare of the worst kind.


Illegal Experimentation on Humans
Proof of Anti Personnel Technologies
Developed through Illegal Experimentation on Human Targets
By Paul Baird
Exposure. Vol5. No4. 1998.
These technologies were tested (involuntarily) on civilian personnel using remote satellite tracking and over-the-horizon technologies. Today they are also used by covert government agencies to oppress political targets. (It is a strong possibility that they are also "available" to certain defence contractors and organised crime figures.)

It's a matter of US Congressional record that in the 50's and 60's the CIA conducted behaviour or mind control experiments using LSD etc. on innocent victims. Only the most naive would claim that the "control" testing stopped…they merely changed their methods and focus. The world also knows that US radiation experiments yielded tens of thousands of victims; vindicated, though rarely compensated. Indications are that the latest round of weapons testing will produce even more victims. Tens of thousands worldwide have already lodged complaints. The truth must be faced and publicised!!!

The Neurophone: U.S. Patent #3,393,279.
July 16th, 1968. Inventor - Dr Patrick Flanagan (Invented 1958).
Description: A device that converts sound to electrical impulses; allowing information to be transmitted to the brain by means of radio waves directed at any part of the body (skin). In other words, recorded or live messages, noise, music can be directed at an individual and, through the nerves, the signal will be carried (involuntarily) to the brain, bypassing the inner ear, the cochlea, and the 8th cranial nerve.
Purpose: Practically, the Neurophone could be used to communicate with the deaf but, more often, it is used to terrorise political/military targets. The tracked individuals hear recorded/live threats, propaganda etc, which those around them do not hear (delivered mainly via satellite laser). This harasses and discredits the targets; especially if the problem is communicated to those unaware of the relevant technologies.

Advanced Neurophone: U.S. Patent #3,647,970.
March 7th, 1972. Inventor - Dr Patrick Flanagan. (Invented 1967).
Description: This Neurophone incorporates an electronic circuit duplicating the encoding of the Cochlea and 8th cranial nerve themselves. The NSA placed a secrecy order on this development for over 5 years because of the military applications of the technology. Further Neurophone advances include the development of the time recognition processor, improved memory applications and the advances in satellites incorporating neurophone technologies.
Purpose: As Above

Psycho - Acoustic Projector; U.S. Patent #3,566,347.
February 23rd, 1971.
Description: A high directional beam, radiated from a number of transducers and modulated by a speech, code, or noise beat signal. It may take the form of a radiator mounted on a vehicle, aircraft or satellite.
Purpose: To produce aural/psychological disturbances and partial deafness.

Methods & Systems for Altering Consciousness :

U.S. Patent #5,123,899. June 23rd, 1992.
Description: A system for stimulating the brain to exhibit specific brain wave rhythms and thereby altering the subjects' state of consciousness.
U.S. Patent #5,289,438. February 22nd, 1994.
Description: A system for the simultaneous application of multiple stimuli (usually aural) with different frequencies and waveforms.
Purpose: To disorientate/manipulate a target.
Silent Subliminal Messages: U.S. Patent #5,159,703.
October 27th, 1992. Inventor - Dr Oliver M. Lowry.
Description: A communication system in which non aural carriers (in the very low or high audio frequency range or the ultrasonic frequency spectrum) are amplified or frequency modulated with the desired "intelligence", and propagated acoustically or vibrationally for inducement directly into the brain. This can be done "live" or recorded/stored on magnetic, mechanical or optical media for delayed/repeated transmission to the target. Sound can also be induced by radiating the head with microwaves (in the range 100 to 10,000 mhz) that are modulated with a waveform consisting of frequency modulated bursts.
Purpose: To instruct or pass messages; in theory. In reality it's used to torment political/military targets. (One unpublicised application was the Gulf War)

Brainwave Scanners/Programs: First program developed in 1994 by Dr. Donald York & Dr. Thomas Jensen.
Description: A personal scanning and tracking system involving the monitoring of an individuals EMF via remote means; eg. Satellite. The results are fed to thought activated computers that possess a complete brainwave vocabulary.
Purpose: Practically, communication with stroke victims and brain-activated control of modern jets are two applications. However, more often, it is used to mentally rape a civilian target; their thoughts being referenced immediately and/or recorded for future use.
Note: In conjunction with Neurophone technology, this is a mechanism for remote interrogation/torture via satellite.

EEG Cloning:
Description: A system whereby the target's EMF is monitored remotely and EEG results fed back to them (or others) to mimic emotional patterns; eg. Fear, anger etc.
Purpose: To induce emotional/psychological responses. For example, the feedback of Delta waves may induce drowsiness since these are familiar when in deep sleep.

This entire bracket of weapons was referred to by L.Brezhnev in 1978 when he told US President J.Carter that there should be a unilateral ban on certain secret weapons "more frightful than the mind of man has ever conceived". And clearly there are many others that we are yet to learn about; including advanced forms of infrasound weapons that can induce organ damage/illness from remote sources (esp.satellites).
What's needed includes the following:

A UN Satellite committee and non-lethal weapons inspectors.
An International Criminal Court prepared to handle class actions brought by the victims.
A growth in public awareness regarding the testing of experimental technologies.
Finally, it may also be worth noting the comments of one senior investigator from NASA'S Inspector Generals Office. Having conceded the existence of such technologies and commenting on the evil uses to which they are put he advised: "I suggest you pray".

Mind Control: Neurophone www.nettimakako/mind/neurop.htm
www.mk.net/mcf/resrc-hm.htm #3 Lee Books
The military use of electromagnetic,and mind control technology, Armen Victoria (PO Box 99, Westport District Office, Nottingham, N.G.8 3NT UK)
Technologies | Surveillance | Surveillance Results | Case Study | References

Copyright P. Baird, 1998-2002
Last updated July 2001
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