September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:My partner and I were having breakfast at a bed and breakfast at the shore when our hostess came in to the room and told us a plane had just hit one of the World Trade Center towers. We, along with our hosts and some other guests, went into the living room and watched in silence and horror, as the events unfolded on TV. It seemed like a bad movie, and I had the urge to stop it and run it backwards. Over and over the planes plowed into the buildings. Over and over the buildings fell down. We heard more and more horrible news. We didn't know when it would end. In the meantime, it was a beautiful sunny day.

We were supposed to be going home to Philadelphia that day, but our host advised us to stay over another night, and we did. All day long we watched and talked with other guests and took long walks on the beach. We had only questions and no answers. I made contact by phone with my daughter and my mother. What could we say? I spoke to people in my office, which happens to be located in a large tower in center city Philadelphia. Although I really did not want to return there, when I learned that my friends were all at work, I knew I would go back. I thought--who will help me with my grief and fear? Will a psychologist come to our department? Then I realized that no one would come and that I, as the manager, would help the others.
The next day, at work, I invited my co-workers to a coffee hour, and we talked for two hours. Everyone had some new information or perspective to share that the others had not thought about or known about. Overall, it was overwhelming. I had to take breaks from hearing about it and thinking about it, just to maintain my sanity. I would have liked to be doing something that would help victims and their families and prevent further horrors from happening.
I was grateful for small miracles like when they found someone alive. I found out that my family and friends were safe, but a friend at work was missing her brother. It was so sad. If there is God, her or she was probably mourning too.
I think there will be some bad events happening by surprise in the future. There is a lot of talk on TV and a lot of people who think they are experts at predicting, but they don't really know. We have to go on with our lives and not live in the fear, but avoid taking unnecessary risks.
I put the American flag outside my apartment for one year after September 11.

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