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A Journal Entry: September 11, 2001

September 5, 2011

Part of my thought this week is to remember what lead to that day, but also what happened and where we are now, at least from my perspective. Below is what I had written in my diary that day. A sophomore in college, a beautiful September day where the only thing I had on my to-do list was to call and wish my Dad a happy 49th birthday. I re-typed exactly what I wrote and made no edits, except to use Gail’s pen name of Gail instead of her real name… any of you who know me, know who I lived with sophomore year. I REALLY wanted to make edits, because there were some things not written well, but I refrained. It is interesting to re-read that volume, it was full of so many things that happened… the first summer home after college and adjusting to being in the North again, the loss of our friend Ian from high school, classes and settling into sophomore year. The entry before this one talked about how much fun the weekend was and what fun Gail and I were having with our friends… it gave no inkling of what was to come, of how the world we knew as innocent little college students was about to be upended. But I guess none of us really knew what was going to come…. So here is some insight into my sophomore brain on that sad day…. I wrote this that day, but mostly in the evening, so probably between 8pm and midnight, so we knew slightly more information that we had at 11am or 1pm or even 6pm… it was such a chaotic day. 

Tuesday, September 11th, 2001

9/11/01 (911)

Terror Tuesday

Dear Diary,

This is another day that will live in infamy. Oh my God. We’ve been attacked. The USA has been attacked by terrorists. Two hijacked jetliners crashed into the World Trade Center Buildings. There were gaping holes in them with all kinds of black smoke and fire. About an hour after each were hit- they fell. The 110 stories of both buildings collapsed at separate times, just collapsed one floor on top of floor.


There are 50,000 people who also work there. There is no estimate yet on the number of collapsed or injured.

Then another hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon. Our center of federal security and defense! This is insane! How did this happen? All of the channels- TV & radio- have the news on. Even MTV, TBS, TNT, TLC… it is all news.

Oh my God!

In the hijacking of four planes, 266 people were killed. Two American Airlines and two United. How appropriate that they use US named ones. The fourth plane crashed north of Pittsburgh. I think it might have been headed to Chicago. Some say it might have been aiming for another Washington area site. All were flights bound for the west coast, so they were full of fuel. Those SOBs planned this out. Oh my God!!

President Bush was in Sarasota Florida, reading to school children when he found out. He has been flown to Louisiana and then to Nebraska. It isn’t safe to send the President to D.C. the first family and all of the other important people have been moved to secure locations.

How did this happen? How did hijackers manage to get on these planes? Why did someone do this to us? What did we do?

Planes have been grounded all across the nation. People are giving blood everywhere.

A third building in NYC has just collapsed from the fire and flying stuff damage. 60 stories tall.

They think Osama bin Laden is behind it. He was behind the USS Cole, ’93 WTC, Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings. He is a Saudi Arabian terrorist who is a millionaire, religious fanatic. He is being harbored in Afghanistan, or so it is thought. He will pay. We will not stand for this act of terrorism. Nor will we stand for countries who harbor terrorists. We will have pay back.

Wall Street has been closed. The US Border has been closed everywhere. Major League Baseball have been suspended. All military bases and personnel have been put on high alert.

I woke up this morning to my alarm clock going off and the radio talking about the World Trade Center. In the back of my head I was thinking, “ why are they talking about something that happened back in 1993?” When it went off for the second time I heard something a plane into it. I jumped up and turned the TV on. CBS and Peter Jennings were reporting what had happened. I was shocked. I just stood there and watched. I called Dad at work, I wanted to wish him a happy birthday. What a birthday. I talked with him again this evening. He is so upset. Completely shaken.

Oh my God!

I ran over to see if Christine knew- she did. I took the quickest shower of my life, so I could get back to the TV. I got dressed and watched the tv. Around 10:30am I watched the second tower fall to the ground. LIVE! “Oh my God!” That was basically all I kept saying. I will forever remember standing there in front of the TV in my white tank top, getting ready to fasten my black and white wrap skirt. Christine came in and we stood there and watched.

Oh my God!!!

Gail came in after that. Her teacher made her class leave- she didn’t really know what had happened. She had this shocked look on her face as she came in and stood by me and just watched. Her keys left in door her backpack holding it open where she had dropped it in a daze when I said “ I just watched the world trade center fall down.”

I went to GINT 360 after that. I wanted to hear what Dr. Fowler had to say about what was happening. He wasn’t there, but I think that had been pre-planned because of our substitute. The class was abuzz with what had happened. We had a sub- the former Governor of South Carolina and former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. His name was John C. West. For the first forty-five minutes he talked about what he knew of the Bin Laden family. It was interesting. After he talked about that, I couldn’t stand it anymore and I ran back to my room. I joined Gail in Christine and Ginny’s room with them to watch the news some more. Gail was very upset because she Todd called and he might have to go to Charlotte and go somewhere. Then we went to grab lunchand came back to watch more of NBC.

At least 200 firemen and policemen have been lost in the rubble. They did just find two police officers in the rubble! ALIVE! Good!

Bush made a speech at 1pm and 8:30pm. We will not take this. We will survive and go on. People will pay for this!

We’ve left our room to drive to Circle K and get a special edition of The State. Then we went ro get gas b/c prices are going to skyrocket. Then we went to Todd’s for forty-five minutes. There we watched more news. Senator Hillary Clinton gave an interview, as did former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. They gave great interviews, supported Bush, and said many things that Americans were desperate to hear. Then a lot of Senate and House of Rep members gave a press conference. They all (all parties) stood together in one place in the face of this nightmare. Then they broke into “God Bless America.”

So many people are dead. The US is going through a wake up call about our defenses. This is a turning page in the history of America.

We are War. War with Terrorism.

This will develop literally into a war. There will be retaliation and there will be soldiers going off to fight for us.  Oh my God! This is such a different time period. So much has changed from the last major war.

Oh my God!!

I’ve got to try and sleep. This has been an awful day. Dear God, please watch over us and protect us.


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