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All our lives were changed forever on September 11, 2001. Everyone was touched one way or another. Some of us lost loved one, others knew someone who lost a loved one, and many others experienced a profound impact in a variety of ways.

We believe stories and testimonies (true accounts of past events) offer support to other people and help us reflect fully on challenges of the past. Visit the 9-11 10th Year Anniversary Blog and read the stories of others and share your 9/11 story with others. Stories that are posted there will be reviewed and some of them will be presented and profiled here for more people to draw inspiration and encouragement from.

 

We all have our stories from 9/11 - What is your story? Tell us at the Anniversary Blog.

Featured Stories - From the Anniversary Blog

"Was an EMT that responded - longest day of my life. Every time I see a low flying (airplane) I always watch it till it disappears. RIP Yamel Merino and all others lost on that horrible day." - Jaime D. on August 15, 2011.

"I went down in tears and realized it was true what I had heard on the radio. I looked at my husband and hugged him realizing that my husband will go into the war that was going to take place. My husband was in the National Guard at the time. I knew that this attack was calling for a war. Luckily, my husband didn't go into war, but he was activated to go to Fort Polk, LA to maintain security at that base since that unit at Fort Polk did get activated to go into war...Before the 9/11 attacks, news that happened in the United States or around the world really didn't get my attention, but after 9/11, I matured and began getting more involved in what happened here in our country and the world." - Mirna M. on August 17, 2011.

"I immediately rushed to my son's middle school. It happened to be at the end of the Dulles Airport Runway with the runway ending guardrail in plain sight. The Principal let me take my son home but did not want to alarm the children because she didn't know if some of the parents would not be alive to be at home if she dismissed school early. I gathered my children around me and eventually my son went over to a chalkboard in our kitchen and wrote, "God Bless America." He was 12 years old, a South Korean born, adopted child who became an American citizen when he was one year old. His heart was broken. I still have that chalkboard in my kitchen in the Chicago suburbs and it still has the same words on it from that morning which have never been touched." - Mickey B. on August 18, 2011.

"On 9/11 I was in 6th grade and I walked into class and thought something was wrong, but just didn't know what it was. The teacher of my class and the other two teachers that taught sixth grade at this school were outside talking. Finally, after about 30 minutes she comes in and tells us the news that the North tower had been hit. I fell to my knees because about 3 years earlier my cousin had joined the United States Marine Corps. If you are reading this and you see a veteran from any era, thank them and do it sincerely." - CT Chambless on August 23, 2011.

"I remember that I was driving to work, listening and laughing at two of my favorite radio personalities, 'Rick and Bubba', in Birmingham, Alabama. I remember precisely where I was on the interstate when I heard Rick say that he was getting an announcement that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers. When I reached my office, my secretary already had the TV on, showing the first horrific views of the towers in flames. I will never forget that feeling. My first thought was to pray for those in the planes and the buildings, for by now we knew it was probably a terrorist attack. There was such a feeling of loss, but it was later, after the buildings had just fallen that I was watching as the smoke was still too dense to see anything, and a cameraman showed the first shots of the debris...at first it was silent, then I began to hear the locators the firemen wore, beeping uselessly under the rubble...my heart literally broke. I never want to have to hear such a thing again." - Becki M. on August 24, 2011.

"I was waiting to go in for gallbladder surgery. I was all hooked up to the IV's and just waiting for my operation time. Someone came in and turned the TV on saying one of the twin towers had been hit by a plane. At first I thought it was an accident. That was bad enough, but when it came out that it was deliberate that was unfathomable. I was devastated to put it mildly. Elective surgeries were then cancelled. I will never forget that day." - Diane P. on August 25, 2011.


"On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001 we were flying from Chicago to Providence Rhode Island on Southwest flight 418. While in flight we were informed of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center taking place at that very moment. As it turned out ours was the last flight accounted for as the tragic events of that day unfolded. Our flight was diverted & landed safely in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the midst of massive confusion as to what happened next, we were 'saved' when our SW pilot fronted the bill for all of us SW passengers to catch a train to Midway Field in Chicago. This pilot actually put everyone's Amtrak ticket on his personal credit card! SW had been attempting to re-establish their connections but when we arrived at MDW there was massive confusion & frustration. Rumors spread that bombs were planted at airports. No planes were flying. Thousands were stranded, tired & confused. Suddenly the crowd broke out singing The Star Spangled Banner! A wave of calm, courage & profound sense of coming together enveloped us then & continues even now. In retrospect, this was a pivotal moment in which the people of America & the people of the world came together!

 

We are America!

We are the World!

We will survive & we will thrive!"

 

Mooresongs on August 25, 2011. (Watch the video of the crowd breaking out and singing The Star Spangled Banner on the Blog).

 

My Friend for Three Days (An extract)

 

"This is my wife. She worked on the 101st floor of the south tower. I had heard that there were a lot of people who made it out from floors that high so do you think she did?"
First thing that came to mind was where the hell is my shrink friend. What can I say to this guy that is appropriate and at the same time carefully protecting an extremely delicate psyche? I told him that if other people made it out from that high up there could be hope for her. He then told me he would do anything else I wanted if it were to move him closer to finding her.
"This is all I am allowed to do and I can assure you she is recorded and listed as missing. From here someone else takes over helping to look for her. I hope you can understand this but I want you to know she is the most beautiful young woman I have seen a photograph of today and I will keep her face in my head."
"Really? You know, I don't have anyone to help me but you said you would, right?"
The look on this kid's face and the smiling face one of adoration and fear and of that beautiful young bride is planted forever in my brain.
"Sure," I said.
"You and I and all of these volunteers are going to keep looking for her. We have to have hope, right?"
"Yeah man we have to hope right? Hey you know you're gonna be my friend okay? Cause I need you to be is that okay?"
"Sure!" I told him knowing instinctually thinking that this may be the one positive thing he may hear all day. I was beyond moved and honored. The walk home that night, from the first turn of the corner I began seeing the young bride's flyer posted everywhere it could be stuck. On lamp posts, bus stop benches, you can pretty much get the idea. They were collaged with hundreds more like her flyer but she followed me home and back again the next day to remind me that she was loved and missed by one hell of a guy who while on the verge of a complete nervous breakdown may have to realistically accept that she is gone. Not longer than one hour after starting the days processing did I call for my next person in line and it was my friend." Read the rest of this inspiration story...

Terrior on August 28, 2011.


 

"I remember 9/11 vividly. It was my first day to volunteer in my son's kindergarten classroom. He didn't want to ride with Mommy though, he still wanted to ride the bus. So as I sat in my truck watching the bus drive away, I listened to the first announcements of the attacks. We live in Tucson, Arizona and at first they kept saying Boston. But as the story unfolded it got clearer. By the time I reached the school, my son's teacher had her television on and we watched in horror until the school bell rang. My mom was at home with my daughter and I tried desperately to reach her and tell her to turn on the television. For the longest time, my son would ask why the bad guys wanted to fly into the buildings. As the years have progressed (he's now a sophomore in high school), he has learned more about the terrorists and why they do what they do.

 

On January 8, 2011 we had a tragedy in Tucson. Several people lost their lives in a mass shooting. One special little girl, Christina-Taylor Green died that day. She was born on 9/11/01. Her life began on a very tragic day for our country and ended on a very tragic day for our city. Her brother now goes to my daughter's school. I did not know anyone who died that day, but feel so strongly about it just as countless other do. I know that I am far removed from what happened, but know that if I had been there, I would have wanted to do anything I could to help everyone involved. God does bless our country each and every day. We don't always have the perfect rainbow and he gives us unexpected circumstances, but the plan for us is in his hands. God Bless THE USA. God bless all those who lost loved ones in 9/11. I will continue to pray for them all." Read the full story on the Blog...

Nora F. on August 30, 2011.

"I was in sixth grade working on my spelling list. The school had new telephones in the classrooms, and a teacher from another school in the district called to tell my teacher that terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center in New York. We lived in Kewanee, IL, and I doubt any of us knew about the Trade Center before. We didn't even know what a terrorist was. At first, it meant we could not play outside. As time went on, we began to realize that the whole world was changed. I am so glad that my teacher, Mrs. York was very calm. She didn't hide the facts, but presented them at our level. She helped us work through the challenges we faced then and the ones we would face. My generation is at an odd place where we remember being children in a simpler world, but we came of age in a totally different world. I'm thankful for the men and women who work so hard to defend the world." - Rebecca I. on August 31, 2011.

"I was six years old. My first memory of that day was walking up and not feeling like going to school, but not knowing why. I ended up going to school late which made my mother even later for work. I sat at my desk trying to listen to my teacher Miss Flowets in the first grade classroom when our principal came over the intercom and said, 'We all have to go over to church right now, two planes flew into the world trade center.' My first thought was where is this building, and my teacher told me it was in the city. Then I thought okay my father is okay, he's a mailman in Brooklyn. Then I had a panic attack because my mother worked in the city. As I sat in church I cried so bad and tried to think really hard where my mother worked. Before I knew it my mother came into the church. She told me she never got into the city, her bus turned around on the highway. It wasn't until a few years later that if my mother left home on time her bus would've drove right by the twin towers because she worked two blocks away. I am sixteen years old. To this day I think anyone with a book bag on the subway is suspicious and I find my self starring at airplanes to make sure they fly safely past me. September 11, 2001 changed my life forever. Although I did not lose any loved ones I know several who did. That day taught me that people didn't really like America. I still can't fathom what those terrorists were thinking. How can a human being destroy lives and live with themselves. Al queda will fall and some people might feel at ease, but for the families that lost a loved one nothing could ever change that. On September 11, 2011 I will be praying for safety, thank God for his blessings and live life the fullest cause it could be taken in a blink of an eye." - Brendan M. on September 2, 2011.

"I was on duty at the Pentagon on 9-11-2001. I was a Federal Police Officer and God saved my life on that sad day. If I had been eating breakfast instead on the Mall Plaza talking with my daughter about the twin towers, I could have been killed on that sad day." - Wayne G. on September 2, 2011.


"As I watched the 1st plane fly into the World Trade Center, I was afraid that my son-in-law would be among the victims. On the morning of 9-11-2001, my son-in-law, Chris Ward, an employee of the NYNJ Port Authority, with an office on the 67th floor, was to attend a breakfast meeting at 'Windows on the World' at the World Trade Center. He would arrive late because my grandson John had missed his school bus, so Chris and John took the subway to PS199.

 

 Chris arrived at the WTC just after the first attack on that terrible day, and it would be days before he was able to return home to his family. He had lost many coworkers and friends. Chris Ward, now the Executive Director of the NYNJ Port Authority, has been overseeing the building of One World Trade Center. He will be among the dignitaries at the 10-year anniversary ceremony. And grandson John, a high school senior, will be driving himself to school." - Joan C. on September 2, 2011.

"On September 11, 2001 I was in my office on the 23rd floor of tower 2. We heard the explosion when the first plane hit tower 1. After many calls to the lobby we were told to go back to work that a small plane hit tower 1. Our company president told us to all go down to the lobby and then we will see what is going on. The majority of the employees headed for the stairs to walk down the 23 floors. I had had knee surgery and was walking with a cane so I headed to the elevator. I was lucky in that it came right away and I got right down to the lobby. After a short time in the lobby we were told to evacuate the building as another plane was heading towards us. As I left the building I heard a loud noise, looked up and saw the plane go into my building. All we could do was run with debris hitting us from all sides. A short time later I was walking down Wall Street when I turned around and saw tower 2 come down. I was in bad shape for many months as I had lost several friends that day and could not even watch the news without crying." - Michael G. on September 3, 2011.

"We started our yearly camping trip to the Adirondacks on 9-10-2011. We camped at a remote site at Horseshoe Lake. That Monday eve was calm, clear and the sky was full of stars and planes. We couldn't count the number of flashing red & green navigation lights crossing the sky. Tuesday morning 9-11-11 brought a beautiful
red sunrise. That evening there were no planes, just stars. We wondered about that for a while but being out in the woods, away from civilization, you don't dwell on those kind of things. When we came out of the woods on Friday we noticed American flags on many cars we passed. We wondered about that also. The first town we arrived at was Long Lake, NY. There were many newspapers on display and a notice for a Service for the Victims of 9-11. We had no idea that the world we came back to had changed forever." - G&D on September 4, 2011.

"I was scheduled to meet my Navy Recruiter that day to start the process of reporting to boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Station on the 12th. I remember waking up that morning thinking that I didn't have to leave, that I could still back out if I wanted. I was debating this issue throughout my shower and while making sure I had all my things packed and ready to go. I turned on the TV knowing that would be the last time I did so for a while and it was all over the news... every channel. One tower on fire and no one knew what happened. I called to my mom, who was already fighting every emotion imaginable, to turn her TV on. Then... the second plane hit. I looked at her and said 'I am not sure if I'm going to be leaving today or not, let's call the recruiter'. I called my recruiters office and the line was busy so we went ahead and drove out to his office. When we walked through the door he looked up and the look on his face said it all. He said I was not leaving that day, they had all been ordered to go home to family, and he would call me with the date I was going to leave. We got home an hour later and there was a message saying I needed to meet him the next day to head to MEPS in Indianapolis. I ended up reporting to great lakes on the 13th and I couldn't be happier I did. To this day I will never forget what happened but I will also never forget the look in my Recruiters eyes when I walked through that door. It is as ingrained into my mind as the image of the second plan hitting, or the sight of the towers collapsing. I had joined the military at a time of peace and I was now leaving for boot camp at a time of war." - Shannon on September 5, 2011.

"I had been working for Continental Express at the Rochester airport for about 8 months. I was taking my 79 year old mother in law back to Florida the morning of September 11th. We left Rochester on the 6 am flight for Newark and arrived a little after 7:30 am. Mom needed a cane so it took a while to walk to Gate 96 for our next flight to West Palm Beach (this was the last gate of the concourse and faced NYC). Mom had to go to the bathroom, so I walked over to the large window and was looking at the Twin Towers. Then I noticed, what initially I thought was exhaust from a large air conditioning unit on the roof, a white gas emanating from the roof of one of the Towers. It soon was evident to me that this was smoke.

 

There was a TV on, at the gate and I could hear that a plane had hit the Tower, but I thought probably a small one (as has happened to the Empire State Bldg). Mom came back from the bathroom and we and others gathered at the window to watch, what was now, for sure, was a lot of smoke. After some time, we saw a HUGE explosion. Frightening as it was, because of the glass and distance, there was no sound, so it all was surreal. The gate agent told me our flight would be delayed and they would allow Mom and I to go downstairs and wait where the Newark employees go. I walked back to Mom, as she was talking to a tall man, in his fourties, and I looked out the window and saw the second tower collapse. I said to the man, 'I thought I just saw that tower fall, but I know that couldn't happen.' The man said 'No, that's exactly what you saw!'" Read the rest of the story on the Blog... - Steve K. on September 8, 2011.

"I will never forget that day or the days after. I live close to the airport & it's very eerie not to hear a plane in the sky. I just got home from working all night @ FedEx. I was told to wake up that an airplane just hit one of the Twin Towers. I said ,'WOW,' that's horrible. A few minutes later another plane had hit the other tower. I then called my sister who works for the Federal government here in Indy, to tell her something is going on, that she needs to leave & go home. I couldn't get a hold of her because she was taking one of her best friends home due to the fact a plane had just hit the Pentagon. Lieutenant General Timothy J. Maude was killed at the Pentagon that morning. Lieutenant General Timothy J. Maude was a great guy who was loved very much & who is missed every day. God Bless Lieutenant General Maude & his family." - Stephanie P. on September 9, 2011.

"I was sitting in bed watching Good Morning America when they started talking about the plane that had hit the World Trade Center and speculating it was an accident. Then, while watching the screen, the other plane hit the second building. It took my breath away and I remember shaking my head and thinking this cannot be true. I had friends in New York City and one, I knew, worked downtown near the WTC. I tried for hours before being able to reach them to make sure they were alright. I watched as the events progressed and burst into tears as I watched the first, then second tower fall. I KNEW firefighters died. Having been a volunteer firefighter myself, I knew we go in as others run out. I cried for all that was lost in those moments." - Nickie Y. on September 10, 2011.

 

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