New York Magazine

  9-11 in Photos
  WTC: 1973-2001
  Memorable Letters
  Exclusive Survey
  1 Year in Photos
    The Families' Fight
    4 Widows' Stories
    Giuliani's Year
    Awful Numbers
  Events & Tributes
    Sept. 11, 2002
    The Finalists: 9 Plans
    7 Eminent Architects
  Your WTC Proposals
  6 Initial Proposals

(2nd of 2 pages of reactions)  

I remember being on rounds in the cardiac critical care unit and hearing the nurses all gasp when the 2nd plane hit. I had never heard that emotion expressed in a voice before; it was terror and fear and disbelief, all in a 3 second sound. It was amazing that i could realize the gravity of the situation without hearing any words or seeing any pictures. — Anonymous, the Bronx

I thought the person who was screaming it in the middle of the street was just some psycho homeless person who had lost their mind. — Jeri B., Staten Island

I saw it on a television set and thought the two buildings were two smokestacks and was wondering why everyone in the deli was watching this. —Anonymous, Manhattan

I came up out of the J, M, Z station in front of the New York Stock Exchange in the split second after the boom of the plane crash, confusing the shake of the impact with the roar of the subway. I saw shiny debris coming out of the sky, and in the moment before I registered the fear on people's faces, I thought there was a ticker tape parade. —Courtney F., Brooklyn

I thought it was an accident -- a mechanical error or perhaps pilot error. I thought someone is going to be in big trouble for this -- they may have killed a hundred people. At that moment, killing a hundred people was more tragedy than I could fathom. Andrea H., Manhattan

I thought it was an over reaction....I kept trying to get my son to school.... changed trains, backtracked, etc. finally arrived at Wall Street and saw the towers.... burning. Walked to the school, realized at that moment that I couldn't leave him there... started home, got caught in the subway at Wall Street... took shelter in a hair salon at that station, and walked home across the Brooklyn Bridge, empty and tired, with a boy on my shoulders... Anonymous, Brooklyn

I thought they were talking about an incident in another country. Kelly M., Manhattan

A homeless man told me what happened, including that it was terrorists who flew their planes into the towers, but I didn't believe him. I thought it was an accident. When I heard the buildings actually fell, I tried to figure out all the ways people could have escaped. (PS: I am one of those people that actually believed a firefighter skied down the building as it fell). Lisa, Brooklyn

I first saw it on CNN in an Irish bar in Florence, Italy. I saw the images, but everything was in Italian. I couldn't understand what was happening. I was the only person in the bar from New York and broke out in semi-hysterics. Felt very estranged. Rachelle, Manhattan

I first saw a picture on the CNN website, and thought it was a practical joke on the Onion. Anonymous, Brooklyn

Tower one hit: It's an accident. Tower two hit: It's an attack. Jeanette, Manhattan

Tears just started to run down my face as I sat in my car - I knew. In 1993, I was working on Wall Street as a sales assistant for Gabriele Huelglin & Cashman (part of Tucker Anthony), and I had just walked out of the WTC with my office friend, Deidre, and we were headed back to the office from our lunch hour. All the memories of THAT day -- the eerie stillness right after the noise (which at first we didn't know what had happened - it was so fast) , the ashes that looked like snow came flooding back. As soon as the news broke I said to myself "oh no, they came back to finish 1993." Carla Z., Philadelphia