September 13, 2001    





What were your thoughts when you first saw the images of the World Trade Center on Tuesday?


Stickman, 27

I couln't believe that the image on my tv was of the US. Stuff like that doesn't happen in America.

Stephanie, 25

i saw the video of the plane crashing into the building in history class on tuesday. on a little black and white out of focus tv. it seemed so unreal. i couldnt believe it was actually happening. even today when i see all the damage and the rubble of the buildings it doesnt seem right at all. then tuesday nite i was watching tv and i saw a person jump from the world trade center....i dont even want to think about that and the emotions and feelings of insecurity and endangerment he mustve felt to do something like that. i dont even want to think about it.

Karen2, 15
, MA   USA

"God help me...that's my home."

Fisch, 46
, CT   USA

Lots of people are dead, and war is beginning

Melodi, 19
, OH   USA

I had heard about the events for an hour before I saw the footage. An Av guy came into our class and told us. The Prof never showed up, so the class was canceled. So I drove home listening to Howard Stern and imagining the worst. When I got home and flicked on CNN I was dumbstruck.

Jaden, 21
Brampton, Ontario  CANADA

There were lots of thoughts and emotions. It seemed surreal to me and when the reality of it sunk in, I felt sorrow and despair, as well as some amount of anger and at the same time sympathy towards anyone who has such a disregard for human life.

Angela, 16
Bella Vista

I was speechless.

Alias Irrelevante

"That really HAPPENED? I thought those people were talking about a simulation in a class."

Karen, 21

hmmmm. . . .My first thought. . my first actual words, I believe, were "HOLY SHIT". Then I went into the bathroom tried to take a dump and cried for about five minutes. . .. . It seemed completely surreal. . .like a beautifully orchestrated scene from a Jerry Bruckeimer movie. . Armageddon or Independence Day(wasn't it Independence Day where all the hippies stood on top of the Twin Towers waiting for the aliens before they zapped it to bits?(I know the evil aliens got the White House)). . . .

mothmc, 37
Los Angeles

"Oh my God. Where's Margo?"

Laura, 36
, MA   USA

I don't watch television. The glimpses I've had of the WTC disaster have provoked memories of stage sets and special effects. I understand that a number of people under 21 are having trouble believing that the tragedy is really, real changing the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Disaster flicks and video games are not particularly good preparation for unpalatable reality.

Jill, 60

First plane hits WTC2 - what a terrible accident
2nd plane heading for WTC1 and hits - oh my God these were planned. It’s a coordinated attack
Pentagon - initially reported as a fire - must be a fluke or spontaneous reaction
Pentagon - also hit by a plan - unease is building
Plane crash in PA - oh my God, what next
WTC1 collapses - I can't even believe my eyes
WTC2 collapses - my mind is unable to even wrap itself around the idea of the idea of the WTC no longer being there - how can that be possible? 
Fear of what comes next including a possible US overreaction grips me
I wonder if the folks I know in NYC and DC are OK - they are
Learn that friend in Boston has had a stroke (weird timing - she's only 28 years old) )and my attention moves away from the these incomprehensible images.
Continuing bouts of emotion, tears and sadness
Later in the week - amazing how all of this is like my father dying two months ago

Felicia, 35

My first reaction wasn't expressed in thoughts, but in emotions: shock, horror, fear for friends and for the country as a whole, sympathy for the victims and their families. After that, I wondered what would come next and endeavored to figure out who had done this and why they had such hatred.

Jane, 60
West Linn
, OR   USA

I had no thoughts i was too busy wanting to vomit.

Talia, 24

I didn't see any images until Wednesday (no TV or newspapers yet) and by that time, I knew the whole ugly story. When I saw them, tears came to my eyes and all I could think was "All those people."

Reba, 51+
Silver Spring

I don't really remember, I think it was just disbelief that something like this could actually happen.

Dianne, 16
Ontario  CANADA


Eric, 19
Beverly Hills

That shit looks like it's right out of Hollywood. Two days later it's still hard to beleive.

A-Dog, 18

Shock, sorrow, anger, fear, numbness, profound sadness, grief...

age unknown, parts unknown

This is not happening. It didn't start setting in until yesterday, Wednesday evening, that thousands of lives have been forever altered... until then, it was a very distant, remote type of tragedy--I was too scared of its potential consequences to be saddened.

Johanna, 18

that things would get worse before they got better...i was more awestruck than anything..i really didn't know what to think. i was scared though...i thought there was going to be WW3, i don't think that anymore. i know there'll be a war, well i think there will be, but i don't think it'll be WW3, at least i hope not! but i give my deepest sympathy's to everyone involved. this is the worst thing that has ever and will ever occur in my lifetime.

Mandi, 16
Lake City
, MN   USA

I will never in my life forget walking into the student commons at school Tuesday morning. I looked at the TV and saw the smoke billowing from the Twin Towers. I had to ask someone what happened since I was so completely confused. Then, suddenly, the first tower collapsed, then the other went down. I don't even know how to articulate how I felt at that moment. Shock, I guess...I don't know.

Jennifer, 19

It was like a movie, so many American films are based on worst case senario, except this one didn't have a Bruce Willis to save the day. The images of people hanging out of the windows is what changed the atmosphere for me, because I knew that I was watching dead people as the tower had already collapsed, it was new film but past news, very surreal, very alienating.


My first thoughts were omg this is a movie. It did not seem real to me. I was very shocked. After I got over the initial shock I was crying. It was so sad to see part of our country being destroyed.

Heather, 15

A mixture of extreme sadness and fear! The sadness is only human, but the fear comes from the thought of where you are and what's near you that might be next on their list. I found out about it at work and the next thought was...oh my, we have a huge NAFAC facility right in this town! Nothing more happened, thank goodness, but I know fear still runs high in many places around the country!! Please keep everyone in your hearts in this, our country's greatest time of need! Keep strong America!!!

Tracy, 24
Ocean City

When I first saw the fires on tv Tuesday morning, I thought it was a plane crash and began to pray for the victims and families. When I learned it was an act of terrorism, I wondered how this could happen in America?


I couldn't believe it was happening for a long time. When I saw the towers collapse I got a lump in my throat and a wave of fear spread over me. The BBC keep using the video of the second plane crashing into the second tower in their news bulletins, and it upsets me greatly. I can't bear the thought of all the people on board that plane knowing they were going to die like that - it's so disturbing.

Shanna, 16
Cardiff  ENGLAND

This is going to sound pretty bad...but I wasn't paying any attention at all. There was a TV on in the room I was in, but no sound. I just looked over and saw this awesome explosion. I guess my very first thought was, "Cool!" After I figured out what was happening, I thought that if the US wouldn't stick its nose into other people's business, we probably wouldn't have problems like this.

Kristin, 20

I did not think something like this could happen in America. It was horrible.


I thought their was a fire in the WTC but as I watched the second plane I thought it was some kind of accident till I heard that it was terrorist's. I could not believe that this happened in America. What a eye opener. My heart goes to those families that lost loved ones and to the rescuer's.  God Bless Them All. Maybe the people in America won't take their freedom for granted anymore.

Marci, 56
, OH   USA

Yesterday / Tomorrow