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Accounts from Five People

I had worked the night shift and was asleep when it happened. I found out around 3 PM when I phoned my aunt who told me. I cried.

The one story that really got me was one lady with long blond hair who had a baby on the way and her husband was a firefighter. He had gone in to save someone else when the building collapsed.

Brandi Cook, age 20

I was driving back from Winchester, VA. I always listen to FM, but on September 11, I listened to AM. At first when I heard the broadcast about the attacks, I thought I was listening to a radio play (since it was AM). Then Dan Rather started speaking about the World trade Center being destroyed and I thought, "Oh My God! This is real!" Tears came to my eyes as I listened to the attacks both in New York and Washington. I couldn't get home quickly enough. I sat glued in front of the TV watching the broadcast over and over and trying to make it sink in that this had happened to us.

Norma Clark, age 50

I was driving to my brother-in-law's place on River Road. I heard the news that there was a plane crash in New York. They were saying the plane crashed into the World Trade Center. But I didn't think much more about it.

I worked on my brother-in-law's place for about four hours. There was no electricity there. Then I heard on the radio as I was going back home about everything that had happened.

Dan Rotruck, age 47

I was at home watching TV when it interrupted the program to say a plane had hit the twin towers. For a second I thought it was an accident- until the second plane hit. I turned the videotape on to show my husband when he came home and saw the second plane hit. It was awful. I felt heavy in my chest thinking of all the people in that building and their families. Then they announced the Pentagon--then the plane in Pennsylvania. They thought it had been heading to do damage.

When it all became clear I had a whole lot of anger mixed with that sadness. I cried when I saw it and when I tried to explain to my kids and then for a long time afterward whenever I thought about it. I cried for the survivors, the victims, their families, all of it.

Vanessa Whetzel, age 40

On 9/11, I was on my way to Dulles airport to board a plane for Minneapolis. where a national conference of deaf senior citizens was to be held. Upon arriving at the airport, I was informed that no planes were flying that day. When I got back home, received many phone calls from others checking to see if I was on a plane or home!

anonymous, age 68

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