Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Caught in the Crossfire



This comment area is closed to new submissions. Visit to continue the conversation about this film.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Fort Collins, CO
i was 7 at the time so i dont recall every thing. but what i do recall is whatching cartoon befor school. untill my mom came down stairs and changed the chanel to the new where it showed the burning the time i didnt know what was going on. all i knew was my mother was criying about something and that there was a flaming building. it wasnt un till school that are teachers and some kid told us what had happend. i remember that we had a school wide moment of siclence for all the people whio had died in the fire.


It was 2001 September 11th, It was a normal day of school for me. I was in Catholic school at teh time. We were learning about religion in second grade.A teacher comes running in and yells the Twin Towers in New York have been hit. My teacher ran to the tv and turned on teh News. At that time I had no idea what teh towers were or what they represented. My class watched as smoke and ash smoldered the two towers. School was cancelled after half the day. My dad picked me up from school with a serious face look in his eye. When i got home i took my backpack off and set it down. I took a step and looked to my left at my mom she was balling her eyes out. The tv had the two buildings burning and smoking. I couldn't believe whaqt i just saw.

Long Beach, CA

I was seven years old when this tragic event occured. I woke up and it was like ten thirty in the afternoon. I walked into my parents room and asked my mother why she hadn't woken me up for school. My mom was crying and told me to leave the room. I glanced at the t.v and saw a building up in flames. I thought they were watching a movie. She screamed at me again to get out of the room and I went over to my cousins house and spent the day with him. I didn't really know what was going on at the time,

Hali Lewis
Fort Collins, CO

On September 11, 2001 I was in second grade when i heard about the twin towers. at the time i really didnt understand what was happening until my teacher turned on the tv. She wasn't supposed to turn it on but she insisted that we knew what was going on. All that I understood was that the buildings were on fire and that there was lots of smoke. Later that night my parents spent an hour explaining what had happened and that I would never forget that day. I still feel really sad inside when i think of it, i can never forget what horrible tragedy happened that day.


I remember that school was cancelled the day of the twin towers attack. Watching it on TV was horrible but I know that seeing it in person must have been the worst day of your life. I don't remember watching it when the first tower was attacked but i saw when the second one hit. Even though I was only in second grade the collapse of the towers brought me to tears. My whole family was sitting in our living room watching it on TV and we were all devestated by what we saw. None of my family members or relatives were killed, but this event in history will stay with me and my whole family for the rest of my life.

Jeanette Davis

I was in 3rd grade the day i heard about the World Trade Centers. Everyone was in shock so all the students were allowed to go home from school. My dad picked me up and once we arrived home he turned on the TV and updated me on what i was watching on the screen. Seeing that i was a young child at the time, i didn't know what to think. I just knew something was wrong

Connor Trumble

I was in 2nd grade The only part i remember was going up stairs looking at the tv and seeing a burning building. Not knowing it was the news I was tieing me sneakers when I watched the 2nd plane hit. And all the screems on the tv i saw it was live and ran and got my dad in the room and he told me what was really going on.


I remember I was in class at the time. I was nine years old and I saw my teacher run from the room in tears. Another teacher came in and turned on the news. She briefly explained to us what was going on and told us that pur teacher's father was there and they were unsure of if he was okay or not. The rest of the day was the class just watching the news and the teachers trying to lighten the mood and make sure everyone was okay. I didn't understand the full extent of everything that had happened until I was around 12.


I was only in 2nd grade but I can still remember the day this tragic event occord. I remember walking into my house after school with my little sister and my mom asked us if we heard what happened. We sayed no so she turned on the tv for us. The 7 year old I was, I thought this newsreport was just some action movie. But my mom went on to further explain that a two planes had actually been driven into these towers. It would take years from then for me to fully understand the effects of this event.

Fort Collins, CO

I was only in second grade and I remember clearly just going to school like any normal day. My teacher pulled the whole class to the front of the room and asked if any of us new the event that just took place in new york. Most of the kids said no and then I remember this one girl saying the twin towers got attacked. My teacher started to tear up a little. I really didnt know what to think or how devastating this event actually was. Then she turned on the news and we all saw the planes crash into the towers. Everyone was totally silent.

Kyle Wray
Fort Collins, CO

I don't remember much because I was in second or third grade, but I remember seeing the teacher crying when we see the towers burning. I just remember knowing that something bad had happened, but not fully understanding what happened for a couple of years.


I was in 3rd grade. I lived in a community right outside of new york city where nearly 100% of families had at least one parent who worked in the city. Every grade in my school had at least 2 families who lost someone in the attacks, some many more. My dad worked in the first tower. The moment the plane hit, he was supposed to be there. But he decided to skip work and surprise my mom for her birthday. We were pulled out of school immediately. No one would tell us what was happening. My mom picked us up, crying hysterically. But when we got home, there was my dad sitting on the couch, watching the towers fall on TV. Till this day, 9 years later, my mother refuses to celebrate her birthday because of the horrorible events on that day. But every 9/11, we give thanks that that day is, indeed, her birthday.


I remember like it was yesterday, 9/11 happened.i was going to beattie elementry and i was in the second grade and i just got out side for recess after lunch ended and i was haveing a good time like everything was normal like all the other days. when it was time to come in from resess, we noticed the teachers standing around the radio listening to what happened and i remember the looks on the teacher's facies like they were horrified and after when we got in, they turned it off. about 20 minuts after that, the front office called me down and i saw my mom there and there were othere parents there too and they came to get their kids too and later that night my mom told me what happened and i just broke down into tears. i remember asking: why did this happen to us, what did we do to deserve this?

Fort Collins, CO

september 11 was a terrible day, not only in the US but all over the world. i am an American citizen, but born and raised in Caracas,Venezuela. i actually remember i told my parents that i felt something wrong was going to happen since i felt completely out of place..while i was sitting at home i heard my dad call me in to the living room and told me that if i was prepared to see what was happening in the US and i remeber i was really scared before that, but i was brave enough to sit myslef down and take a look of what was turning in to reality. My dad and I were the only ones in the house while that tragic event happened. although i was only 8 it has affected my life since. i believe there are incredible people in this world and i really look up to them. Those are the NYPD and the firefighters. 9/11 will always be a part of me.


First thing I remembered was that I walked into my mom's room and she was just standing there dumbfounded. I asked her what happened, and she said that a plane "accidently" crashed into one of the twin towers. We both thought it was an accident so we thought nothing of it.

When I got to school, I saw my teacher who was all pale. Since her class was full of second graders she really didn't explain anything except that another plane had crashed into the Twin Towers and that America was in danger.

I personally didn't know what was going on. But all of the classes gathered around in the pod (the center where all the classes meet) and we just talked more about what happened earlier.

Though, the attack had never effected me until around I was in 8th grade and the history teacher showed us a movie baout what had happen. Before all the other teachers would take a moment of silence.


I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was seven years old and it was one of the first weeks that I was in second grade. At the time I was living in Summit, New Jersey, and pretty much every single kid's mom or dad worked in the city, including my own.

I remember the moment that my school principal walked in the door of my classroom and asked, extremely serious, "Do any of your parents work in the World Trade Center?" I remember looking at the calendar on the wall. The little number 11 is still imprinted in my memory. I never realized how monumental that day would become.

Although my own father was away on business at the time, it was an incredible stroke of luck. He did not work in the towers, but it could just as easily have been his own building. I am so lucky that this did not affect me as devastatingly as it could have. My best friend's father worked extremely close by, and by an incredible stroke of luck he forgot his keys, missed his train, and survived. Think what could have happened otherwise.

There was one boy in my grade whose father did pass away that day. I remember watching an episode of 60 Minutes that showed the boy's family, showed him making a teddy bear out of one of his father's old shirts. I can't even imagine what that must have been like for him.

Fort Collins, CO

Tough I was only seven at the time what I remember still haunts my dreams. My teacher decided to brake the rule and watch TV all day to listen for update and call her son. I still feel the hands I was holdiing at the time as the second tower was hit and the treas rolling down my face as they fell knowing that so many people were dying or already dead. And watching the little dots aginst the sliver bluiding falling at increasing speed and knowing it wasn't good.

Adam Petty
Fort Collins, CO

I was eight years old on September 11, 2001. I remember walking into daycare that morning, just like it was any other day. Only, on that particular morning, we weren't watching cartoons, we were watching the news. It took awhile for me to understand what was going on. At first, I can only remember being scared but excited by the footage of the explosions. However, it didn't take long to come to terms with the grave magnitude of what was happening. All I can say about the mood in that house was sheer panic. All of the kids were dead silent, but our daycare lady was screaming and crying. We didn't know what to do, so we just stayed calm and tried to figure out just exactly what was going on. We knew that someone had crashed two planes into the towers. We understood that ALOT of people were dying. And I think there was a part within us all that knew we were living a day that we would remember every detail of for the rest of our lives. We were finally shipped off to school about an hour later than normal, and the mood there can only be described as chaos. Everyone seemed to have a different story about what had happened, but one thing was consistant; the buildings collapsed. The rest of that day, everyone seemed to move in slow motion. People grew progressively silent throughout the day. The impact that day had on each and every one of us, on our Nation, and in our history will forever remain. We will never forget what happened on that early September morning.

Fort Collins, CO

When I woke up on September 11th 2001 the first tower had already been hit. My mom had the news on and I only caught a glimpse before we had to leave for school. I was 7 years old. I didn't know what "terrorists" or the world trade centers were, but I did know that this was terrible. Thousands of people were dying, and wether you knew them or not it was heartwrenching. My blood chilled and I was quiet. I had no idea why or how it had happened. When I arived at school time seemed slowed. In class our teacher was told not to let us see the news but she told us about the towers and how many people were in danger. She was scared and unsure of what to think. Rewatching the footage feels as if it is happening as I watch and I feel the deaths of the thousands on my heart

Fort Collins, CO

From what I remember about 9/11 I was in third grade, I was 9 years old, I was sitting in gym class. The class had just started and we were waiting to be told what to do, and our teachers were in their office then they came out and basically we got to do whatever we wanted. I don't think i really knew what was happening til I got home and we watched the news the rest of the day. At the time I knew that something bad had happened and my parents told why and then we soon realized it was a terrorist attack. Today i'm 18 years old and i think that many people especially kids my age or younger need to watch the videos, people need to remember what happened that day. I think we should watch the videos of that day every year and the news channels should too.

Lindsey Weaver
Fort Collins, CO

On September 11th, 2001 I was sitting in my second grade classroom. My teacher turned on the television and the rest of the day was a blur. My parents picked me up from school and the news was on all night, and all of the following nights. My initial reaction was fear and sadness was soon to follow. I was shocked for a long time, and to this day, I am shocked. Personally it affected me because of this immense realization that was introduced to me at such a young age. When you're young, you're care-free and tend not to notice the big news, but this was different than any kind of news I had ever heard, than I have ever heard. I had to grow up a little bit at the age of 7, I had to realize the tradjedy of the situation and I had to support those around me. 9/11 will always be apart of my life, playing the role as the scariest thing I have seen.

Megan Frank
Loveland, CO

September 11th, 2001. I was a 2nd grader getting ready to go to school. I was brushing my hair and putting on my "hay is for horses" t-shirt when my mom ran upstairs and told me and my sister to come downstairs. She brought us into our TV room and all over our television were flames and huge black clouds of smoke. We watched for over an hour as the city of New York was completelty devastated. My mom decided that we should go to school and she was going to call her cousin and her cousin's husband that lived in Manhattan. At my elementary school, our class sat in silence in front of the TV and continued watching the news. Our principal came around to every single classroom that day and spoke to the students about the tradgedy. We watched an interview with George W. Bush and left the news on all day. I remember that no one went out to recess that day, we all continued to sit in silence until the final bell rang. I came home to hear even more about this tragedy and hear about people that my parents h ad known who had died in the buildings. I heard all about friends and their relatives who died and got trapped under debris and found multiple days later. The not knowing of if they would be okay tore those families apart. The day of 9/11 was the most memorable day of my life. I don't remember much from when I was younger than that, or much from the rest of my young years, but this day will stick with me forever.

Jake Ross
Fort Collins, CO

I remember waking up, to my mom shaking me awake. "You need to come see this." Taking my arm and walking me into her room. I sat down on the edge of the bed. Listening to my mom talk on the phone, I watched in live time the 2nd plane hitting the south tower. At the age, I didn't know what was going on. I kept asking myself why would someone do this. Then going to school, I was scared out of my mind, wondering if this is going to happen to my school. Now on this day, seeing this, gives me anger. I remeber watching the news in school, just wondering what will happen next. This event, and witnessing it with my own eyes, Has encouraged me to join the United States Army.

Lucas Gray
Gilbert, AZ

On the day of September 11 2001 I was in Gilbert Arizona geting ready to go to school and the first plaine hit and we stoped and watched the news. We didnt know how that happend and wondered if it was an accendent. Then we started calling our Uncles Cell phone and wondering were he was. He worked there on bussiness and we were wondindering were he was.Lucky he was on a bussniess trip away from New York City. Just as we found out that information the second plaine hit. we all stood there and Wonder what happend and who would do this. Then Presitent Bush addressed the Nation and told us it was a terriorst act.And couple hours later the News caster reported that there was another plaine crashed into the pentagn. That day we all stood around the televison and watch how America took this devistaion and how we tried everything we could to get through this.

Bronson Ring
Fort Collins, CO

I remember waking up and thinking i was late for school. Because it was later then usual, and mom usually woke me up. I then remember getting dressed really fast and running up stairs. Then i asked my mom if i was going to school or not. She then said "I dont think so", and then she directed my attention to the t.v.


I lived in Staten Island. I was in first grade when this happened. I was sitting in class; learning English. Then, I was called for dismissal. I thought 'Why am I being dismissed?'. I walked to the office, mom standing there; crying. We waited for my older sister and we left. I had no clue what was going on. But, my sister did. She didn't tell. My mother drove us home and then heard that the schools will be bombed next. She got us back in the car and needed to get my other sister and cousins. I remember seeing the smoke, covering over the house of where I used to live. I was still confused on what was happening. We got two out of three cousins until we saw Vinny running down the street, yelling. We picked him up and drove home. We all stayed downstairs, watching TV. Kate & me where playing dolls. My mother told us my dad wasn't coming home because of the highway being closed off. He wasn't coming home until tomorrow. That's when I started to freak out. The schools weren't bombed. I was still confused o n what was going on. My dad came home the next day. My mom told us all what happened.

Still, I remember how nervous and confused I was. What the smoke looked like a evil dark black that wanted to be the sky. I'm lucky that none of my family members worked in the Twin Towers. My mom's friends husband was in there. He was a police man. He died. Even though I didn't know him, I still cry when September 11 hits.

I remember it was on the TV for the next two weeks. Replaying the first plane hitting, then the second. Then, people jumping out the buildings risking their lifes. I watch everything about 9/11 when it's on.

I was young, I was confused, I had no clue what was going on and why it happened. But, now I do.

The part where I walked out of the house, seeing the dark dark black smoke, rushing into the car, scared. I remember watching people jumping out of the buildings; killing themselfs.

I remember it like it was yesterday.


I was in third grade when it happened. So i was quite young. I remember everything about that day. I was suppose to get my braces on that day and i was so excited. I was waiting to get out of school early when all of a sudden we were told on the intercom to turn on our tv's to a news station. It was strange. Seeing the planes being crashed into the buildings like that. I remember my friend crying because her aunt worked in the wtc. It just seemed unreal and being only 8, i really could not fully grasp the concept. Moments after we watched some of the footage i was called down to the office. My mom came to pick me. then we went to my brothers school and picked him up. My mom was scared and wanted us to be home together. I remember going up to my room that day. and i actually prayed to god and drew him a picture and asked him to help them from stopping the planes from crashing. I was crying all day. My hearts go out to the families and the people that died in the attacks. It is quite a cruel thing that happened and no one deserves that pain. I am sad to say that when i hear a plane go over my house i get incredibly scared and have a miny panic attack. It iss awlays a small reminder of what happened on that sad day.


I was in 1st grade when it happened. One by one, kids were being picked out of the classroom. Our teacher was pulled out of the room, and we could hear her sobbing. Teachers were hugging each other, and all we could do is sit and wonder why. My dad came to pick me up, and there were 3 kids left in the classroom. The tornado sirens started to go off as we walked out of the school building. I asked my dad why everyone was being taken out of school, and he groped for the right words. "Some buildings collapsed in New York... a lot of people left work already, so I came to pick you up because we got out early." and we were silent for the rest of the ride home. When we got home, I was really confused- my parents wouldn't let me play my video games, read a book, or play with my toys. They wouldn't let me go in the other room and watch cartoons; all they would let me do is sit and watch the news. We went back to school the next day, and had a memorial, but nobody would tell why we were praying for 'those lost'.

Karina G.
Queens, New York

The Day That Changed My Life Forever!

I was in 5Th grade we lived in Queens with my family and grandparents.My grandma worked in the 2ND tower 98Th floor for some marketing thing But every morning she took classes in the 1st tower for some required entrepreneur thing. I didn't go to school that day i had the chicken pox and my mom always dropped off food for my grandma every morning because my Nana said food was too expensive inside so my mom took me to go with her to drop off food.A day i will never forget.As we were walking it was a normal day everyone rushing to get to work or get some breakfast..just normal for new yorkers.We went inside the 2ND tower but first you had to get through security to get into the 3rd floor they were strict.We passed and went on we reached the 42ND floor were it was the cafeteria.People eating some with laptops and others talking.Many business people they looked so smart and nerdy lol.Suddenly everyone got up from there chairs and started to look outside my mom was t alking on a pay phone they had inside I got up and went to go look too there's fire someone said!!! Some guy inside said he had seen a plane crash and another fella responded Your dumb no way!!!

The news came up and it was true a plane had crash we were scared so many of us started to grab our things and get out.My mom was frozen in shock she started to cry and i knew why... my grandma was up there.I held on to my mom's leg and started making excuses ''Maybe she's out maybe she was coming already'' I was too young to know. She called family members and got even more sentimental.At exactly 9:05 there was an explosion and the news said the 2ND tower were we were at had been hit my mom grabbed me and stared to run with others..People crying people scared shocked,furious so many feelings.We started to run and run people coming back up and other's trying to get out it was a confusion going on we reached to the 12Th floor were we had to jump kind of like a slide looking thing we did without even thinking we did. My mom still with me held on the lunch box for grandma....We reached outside people running other's crying screaming what an experience...A day i will never forget.My Nana meant the world to us.A strong women who looked out for our future who was there regardless of anything a lovable person.I miss you Mama you meant so much to me.I hope some day i get the opportunity to see you and tell you how much i missed you..How much difference you made in my life.Love you R.I.P. Nereyda Bonilla

Janice Brooks
London, England

Tuesday September 11th 2001

I arrived in the office early as Gil Scharf; the CEO of Euro Brokers, and my boss, was in London and I needed to fax over the previous day’s New York reports to him. It was a glorious day, I had been up at six running, cooling down by walking through Battery Park. I left for work relaxed and happy at about 7.20am. I was at my desk by 7.30am, had breakfast – sent the first fax, was working on getting the second set of figures for him, and had a wire transfer going through to CIBC. I remember picking up the telephone to dial London, and I heard a loud bang…my pc screen flickered, the lights flashed on and off, and I saw paper and dust floating through the office window opposite where I sat - it was like an American ‘ticker tape’ parade, as the paper swirled and danced in the air. I ran around the corner to see Brian Clark, who told me not to panic, that it was probably a construction explosion, and that he would investigate. I went back to my desk, sat down, and then I heard a mans voice shout ‘‘Everybody Out”…(I was later to find out that it was Bob Twohig from our Convertible Bond desk) I remember walking along the corridor, seeing Mary Paterno and telling her that I was going to leave…I then remember seeing Walter Dulski and telling him the same thing. I then went back to my desk to collect my bag. As I was about to leave, I hesitated and decided to call London to tell Gil what was happening. Kerry Stewart; the London receptionist, couldn’t find him, so I asked to speak to Robin Clark; the Managing Director of the London office, and until recently my boss, and I remember vividly my conversation with him: J: Rob, something’s happening next door, we’re all okay, but we’re leaving.

R: Something’s happening next door?!?!?!?!? Fucking hell Janice, a plane’s gone into the building - get the fuck out of there!!!!

The urgency in his voice made me move…I don’t remember saying goodbye nor putting down the phone, I just grabbed my bag and ran. I ran right and into the small bond dealing area where I saw Brian Clark, Dan Smith and Domenick Mircovich. As I ran I told them what Robin had said, I vaguely remember smelling what I now know to be airline fuel as I ran, and asking if I should stay or go…Brian told me that whatever I was doing that I needed to stay away from the windows, I remember Dan turning, walking towards me and smiling…I didn’t even stop to talk to him - I just kept running. I left the dealing area and ran into the main corridor, still not knowing what I was going to do. The first person I saw was Steve Chucknick - he and Jose Marrero were standing at the crossroads in the corridor, Steve said “come on Janice – down you go”. The decision to stay or go was taken away from me with those few words, and he herded me into the fire escape staircase. The staircase was already full with people coming down from above, it was a steady pace, but people were chatting, joking and relaxed. A chap from Euro Brokers had entered the staircase just before me, but three girls separated us, he kept looking back, but as the stairs kept turning I struggled to keep him in sight. I knew that I needed to be with someone I at least vaguely recognized, so I asked the girls if I could squeeze in. I felt happier being with someone from the same company, although I didn’t know who he was. I was wearing some ridiculously high clip-cloppy shoes, and he suggested that it would be quicker if I took them off, so I put them in my bag, and continued down in bare feet. When we got down to the 72nd floor, there was an announcement from the building security. They assured us that our building was secure, that the emergency services had requested they not evacuate our building as the space on the plaza was being used as an emergency medial center for those being evacuated from One World Trade. The announcement went on to say that we should take a note of which floor we were on, go back into the building at the nearest reentry point, and make our way back to our own offices. Our nearest was the 70th floor. We carried on down two more flights, and entered back into the building on the 70th floor…we followed the crowd, walking into and through the offices of Morgan Stanley, and into their lift lobby. There was a further announcement whilst we were walking, repeating again that our building was secure, and that the lifts would start to work again momentarily. When we got to the lift lobby there were already about ten people there, I was still with this chap I didn’t know, but now we had caught up with some other people from Euro Brokers who I did know, in particular – Paul Gilby (Daisy), and Robert Coll (Woody). Daisy is English, and I remember saying to him that I hoped this type of thing didn’t happen too often…”every eight years” I remember him saying, and I knew that he was referring to the bomb attack in 1993, when his dealing area was on the 31st floor of One World Trade Center. We waited for about three minutes, the lifts did not come back on, and a suggestion went up that we should start walking…Daisy and Woody turned and left very quickly…I tried to keep up, and remember calling to Daisy to wait for me…he called back “hurry up, old woman” and then turned into the staircase. I never saw him again. I stayed with this unknown chap, and now several others I knew to be from Euro Brokers, but again I didn’t know who they were - we walked into the staircase which was still full of people walking down…we tried to walk up, and I remember a girl asking me where I was going. I told her that we had been assured that our building was secure so we were heading back to our office. She carried on walking down. We waited for probably a minute or so, for the staircase to clear, and then we started on our way back up. There were now about seven of us. After walking for about ten minutes, we left the staircase and walked into a connecting corridor. I was about five steps into the corridor when I felt a dull thud, the building shook for about five seconds, and I fell back against the wall, I also remember the ceiling coming down behind me, and smoke or dust filling the air, and I remember a man with a white shirt running back and forth. He tried both the door that we had just come through and the door up in front of us…both were blocked with fallen debris and rubble. Then I heard a woman’s blood curdling, high pitch scream, and I remember a man’s voice shouting for help and some frantic banging. We all moved further into the corridor to see where the noise was coming from, we could hear crying and shouting from the other side of the up door, so, led by the man with the white shirt, we cleared the rubble, and pushed and pulled on the door until it opened. About six shocked and dazed people came through…all were bloody and the women were crying. The first woman had blood all over her arm, which was cut, almost neatly, from her shoulder to her elbow, I remember seeing the bone, and her skin just flapping around…one of the guys took his t-shirt off and wrapped it around her arm, tying it in a knot under her arm pit, she also had a wounded foot, glass in her hair, and cuts on her face. She was with a man who had cuts all over his arms. One man had a cut across the back of his neck, and the back of his t-shirt was soaked with blood. Another man had a blood-splattered shirt and had huge pieces of glass in his chest, which the others were pulling out. One of the men said that he had heard a loud hissing sound, looked up and saw a huge fireball coming towards them from the direction of the other building, and that the windows were all blown in on them as they ran back to the door. My initial thought was that Tower One had fallen on us. The last person to come through was another woman who had long dark hair. She had cuts all over her face, and had one eye full of blood…this was the woman who was screaming…she was saying that she couldn’t see, and was waving her arms frantically in the air…someone gave her a bottle of water, she washed her face, and the blood in her eye was from a deep gash on her forehead, which had dribbled down. When she shook her hair, glass showered everyone. We all then moved towards the down side of the corridor, to the door that we had originally came through. This door was now blocked with rubble and the buckled wire ceiling grid that had fallen down. Together we moved all the concrete and plaster and the man with the white shirt eventually pulled the door open, as he looked down he said that the stairs were gone, and all that he could see was smoke and darkness. …almost magically there was another door…flush with the wall, and the same colour…one that I had walked straight past and never even noticed…again, the doorway was blocked…the men all pulled back the rubble, and we opened the door…just a little at first, as something was blocking it from the other side. The man with the white shirt squeezed through…he then pushed from the other side, as the men on our side pulled…(the man with the white shirt I was later to find out was Peter Rogers, who works on our Caps desk). The door was then open enough for us to get through. I remember going through sideways…and feeling with my bare feet to find a hold…there was a huge plank of ceiling that had fallen, and that I eventually walked onto. There was one lady behind me, the same lady who was in the corridor when we heard the screaming, and she was coughing loudly. Then lastly was the man from Euro Brokers, who made sure that everyone was through before he left. He came through, and then we all set off down the stairs…the lady with the arm and the bad foot was in front of me, with the other lady with the cough behind me. (I was later told that three other people from Euro Brokers were in the corridor with us: Steve Hudson, Mario Lopez-Lena and Greta Mayans, all from our Mexico desk. I do recall seeing Steve Hudson – but I did’nt know at the time who he was). We entered a well-lit staircase, which was littered with pieces of ceiling, wire, plaster and concrete. Plastic coke bottles had exploded, and there was a broken pipe gushing water down the stairs, which mixed with the coke made them very slippery… the woman in front of me was sliding all over the place. It was very dusty, I remember coughing, and my feet feeling sticky and wet. After about six flights of stairs, the debris cleared, and the staircase was deathly quiet. All that I could hear were people coughing, and the woman with the long hair still crying. As we were walking down, the man from Euro Brokers was constantly running back and forth between the people at the front, and me and the coughing lady at the back. He kept telling us to stay focused, watch where we were walking, to hold on to the handrail and to keep moving. I remember the woman behind me crying, and coughing even louder, she told me that she had asthma, and she had to keep stopping to take deep breaths. The woman in front, with the arm, keep saying over and over again that she w as moving house on Friday, she was crying and saying that she would not be able to help her husband with a bad arm. Her left foot was bleeding badly and I saw that she only had half a shoe on. Each step she took left a bloody footprint, I remember looking down at my left foot and seeing blood oozing through my bare toes as I stepped behind her. I remember a sheer panic sweeping over me, and a scream building in my throat, until I heard a voice in my head telling me to calm down, everything was going to be okay, that it was not my blood, and that I needed to focus and listen to the man from Euro Brokers. I stopped dead a few flights later when I saw blood on my shirt, it was on the front and on my left sleeve, not much, but still it shocked me. I remember pulling my shirt from my body and mouthing to this still unknown man “I’ve got blood on my shirt” I kept repeating it again and again, standing dead-still. He put his arms around me, told me that it was okay, but that we really needed to keep moving. I remember starting to cry, and stopping again a few flights later and saying “I don’t even know your name”. His name was Bob Mahon. We carried on down – we never saw anyone else until we were on about the 8th floor - when we saw three firemen walking up…they seemed to look us over, probably noting that there were walking wounded amongst us, but otherwise that we were okay, and then they carried on up without saying a word. With about ten flights to go, the lady in front of me stopped, started crying loudly and started shaking uncontrollably, her foot was hurting, clearly she was having trouble walking. She said that she couldn’t go on, that she needed to rest, that we were to leave her, and to send help when we finally got to the plaza level…Bob said no, and without much fuss at all – he gave her a piggy back, down - I don’t know, eight, ten, twelve flights of stairs – he carried her right to the bottom. At concourse level it was a tad chaotic, and we were directed by Port Authority workers past Cosmetics Plus, towards the Path Terminal, then across by Sabarro’s around past Nine West and then up the escalator by Torneau, all the shops were locked and empty. There was a steady stream of Firemen and Police officers going back into the building as we were leaving. We left the World Trade Center by Borders book shop, and came up onto Liberty Street, opposite the Millennium Hotel – at that point the lady with the arm, and the man who had stayed with her all the time were taken to the emergency medical center which had been set up on the Plaza…the last I saw, she was being led away by a paramedic. As I watched her leaving, a policeman stopped us at the top of the stairs and told us to “keep your heads down, don’t look up, don’t look back”. Bob grabbed my hand, and we took off running. As we ran I remember seeing a woman standing there, coffee in one hand, Krispy Kreme donut in the other looking up at the building in a total trance. I wanted to grab her…shake her, and tell her to run. We crossed the road, and ran towards a policeman who was waving frantically at us, we ran past the Church into Vesey Street, and kept running until we came to the mouth of the Brooklyn Bridge. Lower Manhattan was clearly being evacuated, and the emergency services were directing everyone over the Bridge into Brooklyn. Bob asked me where I lived, I told him Battery Park, and so we made a plan to start walking across the crowds to my apartment. He asked me what time it was…it was 9.43am.

Then for the first time I looked up at the World Trade Center… I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, where our floor should have been there was a huge gaping hole, and I could see smoke and flames… I could taste sick in my mouth as a wave of nausea swept over me, and I stood in a trance…just like the Krispy Kreme woman, and I started to cry. I cried all the way home. I walked barefoot through the streets holding Bob’s hand and crying. He was wonderful, he kept me moving, and kept me calm. People were looking at us, someone pointed at me and said – “look that girl has blood on her shirt”. I cried even harder. The streets were full… and instead of leaving Lower Manhattan people were all just milling around, not knowing what to do, there were Police and Emergency Service officers everywhere, directing people, and still moving them towards the Brooklyn Bridge. We were still walking against the crowds, but eventually, we crossed the West Side Highway, and walked into my apartment block. The park opposite was full of people just standing around in small groups talking and looking up at the Towers in shock and awe. My apartment was on Rector Place in Battery Park, Bob came in, tried to call his wife – the lines were constantly busy, so he gave me a hug, told me that I was safe inside, and that I should try to relax. Then he left. Once he had gone. I just kept trying to call London. After about ten minutes I was able to get through and I spoke to Gil. He asked me if I was okay, where I was, who I was with, and who I last saw on the floor. For the first time, I thought about who I had last seen...I told him about Brian, Dan and Domenick, and that it was Steve and Jose who had herded me into the staircase. I told him about Bob, that he was okay, but that he had left and was going to try to get home to New Jersey. The line was disconnected after about three minutes. I kept trying and eventually got through again. This time I spoke to Robin, and then to my best friend Jill Whitfield. She later told me that I was hysterical, which was strange… I thought that under the circumstances, I was quite calm. I then tried to call my family and friends in Florida, and Ray, who was looking after my dog; Sidney, in upstate New York. I remember talking to him, and again the line being cut. Each time I finally got through to anyone the line was disconnected after a few minutes. When the first tower fell, I heard the rumble a long time before I saw anything. I thought that it was another plane, and I remember screaming and ducking and waiting for the inevitable crunching sound. There was a small flurry of dust and I saw paper swirling around outside my window. The telly stayed on, and everything in the apartment continued to work. I was still trying to call my friends, the lines were either constantly engaged, or just ringing, and then going to a voice recording saying that my call could not be connected at that time. Then I heard the same rumbling sound that I had heard before - this one was much louder…I was on the telephone to a friend in Houston, and the line went dead, the telly flickered off, I felt the building move, the crockery in the dish washer began to rattle, the windows were vibrating and making a humming sound, and as I looked up I saw darkness creeping around my building. I watched in a trance as the billowing cloud seemed to move in slow motion as one by one my windows were blacked out. It was as if there was someone on the roof unwinding a heavy roll of carpet…until eventually it was pitch black inside, and I could not even see my hand in front of my face, I remember sitting down and crying…I sat on the sofa rocking back and forth, and I thought that I was going to die. I was so frightened. I was going to die, and I was alone. I will never forget that feeling. Even now, in my dreams I see this girl sitting alone in the dark rocking back and forth and crying, thinking that she is going to die. The humming and rattling stopped first as the building seemed to shudder and come to a rest. I remember being shocked into action, and getting up racing to find a torch, trying the telephone, turning the telly on and off, the lights…nothing was working, and I had no water…I ran into my bedroom to get my sports radio, and I just sat in the dark crying and listening to the news. After a while the black turned to gray, then to light gray and then to just swirling paper and dust. I remember standing up and looking out at the Statue of Liberty in the harbour – one side of my apartment looked like a picture-perfect summers day, the other side was chaos and people were dying. I was shocked out of my daze by the telephone ringing, the only thing in my apartment to spring back into life, it was Sylvia Connors who was calling me looking for her husband Kevin. Whilst I was in London, Kevin stayed at the apartment, and still had the keys…she was hoping that somehow he would make his way back to Battery Park, and just turn up on my doorstep, I was to speak to her at least three more times during the coming hours. Then I heard a commotion in the hallway outside my apartment…someone calling for help – I opened the door to a cloud of black dust, and called out for them to walk towards the light…out of the darkness came firstly a young girl, and then a young man. She had been in the lift, which opened at my floor, as she got off – the dust cloud came up the lift shaft. He was from an apartment on my floor, which was nearest to the World Trade Center – he had glass in his hair, and cuts to his face and arms – but was shocked more than anything else. He was looking out of his window as the second tower began to fall, and as he tried to close the window it smashed and fell in on him. We cleaned him up, putting plasters on his hands and arms, and then sat, alternatively trying the telephone – but mostly getting the voice recording. The girl had a call on her mobile phone, one of her friends was at Pier 11, and there were ferries leaving for New Jersey, so she left almost immediately. She lived on the 19th floor, so was first going up to her apartment to collect some belongings. I gave her my telephone number and told her to call if she needed any help. I never heard from her again. After an hour or so, I went with the man back to his apartment – there was dust and glass everywhere, all the windows on one side of his apartment had blown in, and his belongings on that side were scattered all over the place. He collected some clothes, and decided to make his way to Greenwich Village where his office was and where most of his friends lived. I went back to my apartment and decided that I needed a plan. After I got through, I had been leaving messages for Eileen McMahon; the Euro Brokers New York Personnel Director, and finally she called me. She had heard my messages, so knew that I was safe, but had trouble getting through to me. The train she was on had been terminated at City Hall, and she had come up onto the street about ten minutes before the plane hit our building. After walking for over an hour she eventually found a Queens bound bus, which took her almost to the top of her road. I can’t remember if she invited me, or I invited myself…but a plan was hatched that I would make my way to her place if the power did not come back on in my apartment. The plan was set that I would have to leave my apartment by 5.15pm, in order to get to her before it started to get dark. So I busied myself packing a small bag. I tried to contact the house management, there was no answer at the reception desk of the building, so randomly calling – I finally got an answer from the on-site dry cleaners…who actually told me that they were based at the far side of Battery Park – he said that my building had been evacuated about three hours before, and that I should think about leaving…I told him that I hoped that the power would come back on, and that I could stay – he told me it wouldn’t happen, that the whole area had no electricity, gas or water. I told him that it was pitch black in the hallway outside my apartment, he told me to get into the fire exit, and make my way to the ground floor. He asked if I had a torch…I did have, but it seemed to only flicker on when it wanted to…I told him that I had a candle – he told me not to use the candle as he had been told that there were underground gas explosions – I told him that I would open the door and see if I could smell gas – he told me that by then it would be too late!! He wished me well, and said that he was just leaving and was going to try to get to New Jersey by ferry. I did not have a mobile phone, so knew that once I left the apartment that I would not be able to get into contact with anyone – I remember feeling very vulnerable, especially not knowing where to go…every subway train that I had ever taken had been from The World Trade Center, so I really didn’t know where to start. Eileen told me to head to Canal Street, but again, the only time I had walked to Canal Street had been via The World Trade Center. I remember sitting and hoping that the power would come back on. It never did. I walked out into the hall, opened the fire exit door, and as I could not smell gas I knew that it would be safe for me to use a candle. So at 5.15pm, and after one final heartbreaking conversation with Sylvia, I left my apartment to head to Canal Street, in the hope of getting a train to Queens. I had two bags, my sports radio, and a scrappy piece of paper with Eileen’s a ddress and phone number. As I locked my apartment, my bags strapped across me, and balancing a candle, I made my way to the fire exit…the door opened easy, but it was pitch black inside and echoey…I called out several times, but with no answer, I then started to walk down…when the door made a heavy clunk behind me – I started to cry. I stood in the dark with my candle, my legs were like jelly, and my heart was beating so hard…I was ankle deep in dust and paper and coming down those 17 floors was so much harder than coming down the 84 floors in the World Trade Center. I finally got to the bottom, but when I tried to open the door…I couldn’t, it was blocked with dust and paper, and what looked like pieces of cardboard. I turned to put the candle down, and as I did it blew out, I was in total darkness…my heart stopped, and again I felt a wave of panic sweep over me …but this time there was no Bob to help me, and I knew that I had to do it myself…so I started to kick all the paper and dust out of the way, and kept pulling on the door. After what seemed a lifetime, but in reality was probably only a minute or two, I was finally able to pull it open, and was blinded by a flash of sunlight…the reception area was deserted, one of the huge picture windows was smashed, and there was dust, paper and glass everywhere. As I pushed the front doors open, I waded out into almost knee high dust and rubble – the park opposite was totally dust covered, and I was the only person around…I shouted out several times, but no one answered…it looked much like I image it would after a nuclear explosion, and it was so so quiet …it was really spooky, nothing…no traffic, no ferry horns, not even a bird. I would never have known that a city with a reputation for being so loud, could be so deathly quiet. I stood for a few moments looking around, and then I started towards the Brooklyn Bridge, going wide of the way we came before, as the road Bob and I had walked down was now covered in building parts, and I could see cars flipped on their sides. After walking for about ten minutes two firemen walked up to me and asked me if I was alright, I told them that I needed to get to Canal Street, and they waved me in the general direction…but each road I tried to walk down was either blocked by rubble, or by police and firemen. I walked for at least two hours, and knew that I was in the Canal Street area by the Asian supermarkets and shops, but could not find anyone who spoke English…then – almost out of the gloom – I heard a very commanding voice say “this way everyone” and I looked around to see three girls and a guy following the man with the booming voice…I quickly tagged on, and the girls fell in beside me asking questions…they could see that I was upset, and when I saw them looking at my bloody shirt – I explained, the best I could, what had happened to me…by the time I had finished I was in tears, and I remember giving the booming voiced man the piece of paper with Eileen’s address on, and told him that I needed to get to Canal Street station. They were heading that way, and he said that I should stay with them. They would look after me. When we got to the station, I just let them take charge…someone gave me a ticket and then I was on a train…the booming voiced man still had my piece of paper and was writing down where I should go, and which lines I had to change onto – each time he wrote something down…someone would shout out that the line was closed and come up with an alternative – I still have the piece of paper, it looks like it has been through the wars, discoloured and tatty, but with the vital address I needed to get to Eileen’s, and the trains I needed to take. Two of the girls got off one stop before me at 33rd Street. Then it came to Grand Central – the stop where I had to get off…the booming man leaned out of the train pointed down the platform, and told me to follow the directions for the number 7 train, which would take me to Queens. Another man got out at the same stop, and told him t hat he would look after me. He took my arm and just led me…he took me to the platform that I needed, and waited until the train came in. I was aware of him talking to the conductor, and I got on. The conductor came out of his cab, made some people move, and had me sit down. He talked to me the whole way, and also started talking to two ladies that were sitting opposite, one of the ladies was getting off where I needed to change, and the conductor instructed her to take me to the R train. I remember walking up two flights of stairs, before being on the right platform. She put me on the train with the conductors cab, and as before, she spoke to him before putting me on. The conductor came out of his cab, talked to me for the rest of the journey and put me off at 63rd/Rego Park. I called Eileen from a petrol station just outside the subway, and she came to meet me. It was 8.55pm, a normal 45 minute journey had taken me nearly four hours. I cried when I saw her. Her niece Elaine, Elaine’s husband Rob, and their daughter Ciara were there, and I remember feeling very detached, as we sat watching telly and eating pizza. I don’t remember much about anything else that night…I do remember spending about an hour in the shower washing the dirt and dust away…and I remember looking at myself in the mirror and knowing that my life would never be the same again. I was aware of Eileen talking to Roger Schwed; the Euro Brokers legal counsel, on the telephone, and him telling her that 80 people were still missing, which I couldn’t understand, and I know that she said that we would go to the help-desk, which was being set up at Michael Scharf’s office on Madison Avenue, the following day. I think that I spoke to my Aunt, and my Dad, but I am not really sure…it is the only time that I can’t remember clearly what happened…everything else is so vivid and has stayed with me – this alone I am vague on.

I don’t remember what time I went into bed…but I remember looking at the clock and seeing 3am blinking at me – I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing the flames and smoke coming from our floor, and that billowing black cloud moving slowly around my apartment. I woke exhausted.

Wednesday September 12th 2001

We arrived at Michael Scharf’s office at about 11.30am on Wednesday September 12th. Already at the help-desk were Sue Sullivan, Roger Schwed and Steve Vigliotti, together with Debbie Leible, who works for Michael Scharf. Sue, Roger and Steve had been there since the day before at about 11.00am, so had worked through the night, together with Walter Danielsson – who had left about ten minutes before we arrived. I remember Sue giving me the piece of paper with the names of the people who were still missing. Looking down at the list…with each name I saw a face, and recalled a conversation; some of them I had seen the morning before in the kitchen, others I had made plans to go out with later that week…I saw Dan’s name, Domenick’s, Steve’s and Jose’s - of the last five people I saw on our floor, four were missing…also included in the list I saw Kevin Connors name, and I thought of my conversations with Sylvia the day before, and I remembered how, with each call and the passing hours, her voice became more and more desperate, and I felt particularly sad…all these people were missing, and I didn’t understand. Overnight the list had come down from 80 people to 60. Our main job was to answer the telephones, and give out what sketchy information we had. Eileen and I arrived at the help desk at 11.30am, and did not leave until 2.30pm the following day, and the telephones were ringing all night. The calls were heartbreaking. Desperate voices, all hoping for some good news…and in so many cases, we had nothing to say…


I was put on administrative leave because I requested a representative be with me during a meeting. I was forced to go to another school, but my teaching position was taken away, and told to observe classes at another school. Even though my evaluations were excellent from my old school and test scores were the highest that wasn't good enough. I would love for someone to contact me about my story. Jacqueline Smith

John Guerra
Tampa, FL

I suppose the biggest memory that I have of 9/11 is that I was somehow lucky to not be in NY that week. I was to travel with a friend of mine from Cleveland to NYC to help her get adjusted as I had lived in NY for 7 years and "knew' the best ways to get around, etc. Something prevented me from going that week. I had already missed the first bombing attempt by approximatly 10 minutes when I did live in NY. Eventually I connected with my friend who did go to NY and came to find out that she had been safe and was actually stuck on the Verazzano Narrows bridge at the time watching the whole thing unfold. Missing the event, missing being in NYC, that is about the most vivid thing that I can recall outside of sitting in my living rooom watching what unfolded in disbelief.

Fenton, MI

I was in the 5th grade when it happened. I was sitting in my class when the principle came on the P.A. system and told all the teachers to come down to the office immediatly. We all thought that it was like...some stupid meeting. But it wasn't. The teachers didn't come back till after recess. You could tell some of them had been crying because their eyes were all red and puffy. They didn't tell us what had happened until the end of the day. This one boy named David was laughing about it because he thought that is was like...a little plane. Not a big plane. So the rest of us started laughing. It wasn't until I got home from school that day that I was the severity of the situation. My parents had the t.v. on in our family room and their eyes were glued to it. I remember sitting on the couch dumdfounded as I watched building's fall and people running. It was horrible. It soon became to much and I went outside to the barn where we have our horses. I remember jumping on my horse bareback and riding around our property just crying my eyes out.

I still had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that somewhere in New York City, thousands of people were dying and there was nothing to do to stop it. Last year me and a bunch of my friends went to NYC for 5 days. We visited the World Trade Center Site. It was sad. There was just like...a giant hole in the middle of the city where 2 great structures use to be. It was really creepy. To know that thousands of people died right where I was standing. My friend Taylor started crying. I'm now a seinor in High School and will always remember that horrible day. When thousands of people lost their lives and there was nothing to do to stop it.

Sam Hannagan
New Zealand

On the day the attacks occured, being in New Zealand it was September 12, mum came in to wake me up for school. I was in Form 1 (6th Grade). It was about 7.45 and she said that they said on the radio that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. We thought it had to be a joke, didn't help that the radio station was known for pulling jokes. But anyway we went and turned on the TV and sure enough it had... i remember seeing the second plane hitting the other tower. Mum then sent us off to school, I didn't want to go. The day was strange enough i don't remember actually learning anything that day all i knew was we had an American relief teacher whose sister was in Manhatten. But the image i remember most clearly from that day is rescue workers putting up the American Flag on the Pentagon. I think about that day and remeber how horrific it was, but i also looked and saw how it unified most of the world. The last time a cried was for the Firefighters of New York and their families. 9/11 touched the world.


I was in eleventh grade when this happened. I remember it was a school day, and I suddenly woke up to my mom shaking me hard by the shoulders. She was saying, "Diana, Diana, wake up, the twin towers are gone!" I sat up straight and froze right there. I rememberd that my auntie lived just a few blocks away from the towers. We ran down and turned on the news.Every single channel in the T.V. had Breaking News, Live. Even the shows with cartoons had it. We called my aunt to see if she was okay. Thankfully, she was at her sister in laws house. The whole day at school everybody was quiet, there were no lessons, all tvs were on. Most of the students loved ones were in danger. No one talked, not even the class clowns. the teachers were crying. we went homeearly that day. and everybody spent the day calling loved ones in New York, or watching the news. That was the most horriffic day ofmy life, and it still will be otherwise.


The morning of September 11th 2001 was an absolute nightmare that would unfold without anybody having any idea with what was happening. At the time I was working on the 74th floor with Morgan Stanley in the South Tower. My usual report time was 9:00am. But that whole week I stayed at the office late and went in early, to work on a presentation for my company. I was looking forward to a promotion, obviously that didn't happen.

My alarm went off that morning at 7:30am. I hopped in the shower as usual, did my hair, and my makeup. Quickly checked my home e-mail and headed out to work. It was a beautiful day! The most beautiful! I couldn't believe it, the forecasters predicted for rain. I stopped and chatted with the doorman for a couple of minutes, and headed for the subway. As I arrived at the WTC subway station, I quickly ran over to a little shop on the other side of the street and grabbed a bagel with cream cheese & a large coffee. I remember it like yesterday... It was about 8:30


Heres my story. On sept 11th i was sleeping upstairs and i got up it was probably around 9am. My mom and i were going to TX for my sister's birthday we were leaving the 12th the next day we were packed all ready to go. I came downstairs and my mom had the tv on and i saw what was going on i could not believe my eyes. My mom called my sister and told her that we weren't coming and my mom told my sister to turn on the tv and that is why we couldnt come. I just sat on the sofa in total disbelief that this is happening. I wasn't awake when the first plane hit. I was awake for the second plane that hit the world trade center. My mom and i didnt say one word for like 20 mins or so. We were both in shock. Then the first tower that got hit came down, that's when i realized that so many people lost their lives and then the second tower came down all i could do was think about how many lives will be affected by this tragedy.


I was in 5th grade when 9-11 took place. It was confusing for me, because to be honest, I had never even heard of the World Trade Centers before. We were walking through the hall when the news got out, and a lot of people were in a state of shock. By the time I got home, One of the towers was still standing, while the other was in ruins. I sat in front of the TV, as I looked on. Everything looked as if it was a horrible scene from a movie. But it was real. I was so confused, and I didn't understand what exactly was going on. I can remember to this day what my father told me: "America is under attack. The world will never be the same." Not long after, my mother told me that my sister was supposed to be in the Second Tower; however, her plane flight was canceled the day before due to weather related issues. Because of that, I am very thankful; however, at the same time I feel sorrow for the thousands who were lost, and the millions who were affected by the great loss.

Post 9-11: After 9-11,

I had a new perspective of the world around me. America went to war, and, honestly, we no longer felt like we were invincible. I had a new perspective on life. I now feel that we should enjoy every moment we have together, with the ones we care about; because we never know when their lives may be stolen away. After 9-11 America was changed forever. I was changed forever.

Heather Smith
Philadelphia, PA
My best friend is an Indian woman who has been living in the United States for seven years. She received her Masters degree here in the US. She is an intelligent, caring, law-abiding individual who holds an advanced Master's degree in pediatric physical therapy. She has recently been denied renewal of her work visa for no good reason at all. They made it literally impossible for her to meet the stringent qualifications by demanding that she take a test of spoken English by a date before which the test was even offered. In other words, her deadline to take the test was May 6, but the test is not offered until June 3rd. They denied her an extension to have time to take the test. And now her visa has expired and she is no longer eligible to work. The test itself was an insult, as she has better English speaking and writing skills than most American's, but to demand it be taken by a date before which it is even offered is blatantly unjust, and I believe a discriminatory action that is a result of the 9/11 attacks and the stricter rules on immigration. It is not fair to scrutinize this woman. Her credentials are valid, her intentions only for the good of others. All of her dreams are now lost and she must leave this country and return to India. She'll leave her friends, her job and the community that she has given so much to in the past seven years. It's a shame, it's unjust, and it should be illegal, because she has done nothing wrong. I am outraged and I wanted to share this story. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity.

Queens, NY
It truly is a pity, that innocent people have to suffer. But who is to justify ? It is really comforting to know that people care, even people who weren't directly affected. I am glad to know that PBS tried and showed sympathy and gratitude. As a native and citizen of New York, it is really sad to see my neighbors in agony. But may Jah bless.

During that time i was in public school but afterwards i transfered into an islamic school. I am half arab and half hispanic but not that many people knew that.Especially when i had my head scarf on ,because in my school it is required.I did not think people would act the way they did. i thought everyone would be united but i was wrong. One day coming back from school i was walking to the train station and i was hit in the face with a "snow ball" of ice. I was so shocked and upset that young kids would do that to a young girl, like myself.I started to cry because it had got into my eyes, but I was yelling at them at the same time. I guess they realized what they had done was wrong becasue they said we didnt mean to hurt you that bad.People, this is a time to fight against those against us, not amongst ourselves. Think Bout it.

New York City
September 11, 2001 began as any day would. The day before, I was stressed because of an injury I had sustained playing soccer the day before. I had one of my front teeths knocked out, and seriously needed some help. I took a day off from school, and began surfing channels. Every channel began showing some live footage of the twin towers, and with some smoke and debris. I thought it was joke, but too my surprise wasn't. It was clear, that America had faced a serious attack, and I stared at the television screen motionless. That era, America faced alot of hectic events, but none compares to this.

9/11 was very tough for lots of people. I think the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" applies in this case, only a little different "don't judge a person by their race." Some Arabs or Muslims, which ever you prefer to call them, were responsible for what happened, but not all of them. Some just want to live like normal people, but America is embarrising. We discreminate, and judge as if we don't make mistakes ourselves. If I were Arab I sure wouldn't move here!

I see many examples of hate crimes listed here. They must not be ignored. I abhor hate crimes, regardless of their source. Yet, for all of these bad things happening to good people, many more **good** things are happening. Neighbor helping neighbor, and stranger helping stranger. Please, don't embitter yourselves to the good in people.

We live in a world full of diversity. This diversity could and should enrich our lives. Yet, in some cases, people fear and distrust it...and each other. It is what people do that is important. Not in whose name they do it. I wouldn't judge all peoples by the actions of one, or some. Each person is an indiviual and should be treated as such. I appreciate what has been done here and hope to see more of it in the future. Reading over what I have typed here, it sounds trite, and worthy of a fairy tale. I hope it isn't.

Roy Halliday
I'll bet President Bush enjoyed swapping fighter pilot stories from his days at the Texas National Guard with the pilots of the Abraham Lincoln. Oh, sorry I forgot, he has no stories, the President failed to show up for duty. At least we can be thankful that he didn't give his address in flight gear.

I would like to point out that Arab-Americans were not the only ones caught in the crossfire. As Indians we have brown skins too & we faced a lot of racism post 9/11. Fortunately nothing as serious as other Indians & brown-skinned non-Arabs have faced according to your web-sites.

We dont hate Arab Americans I Don't and my B-day was on that day. I think that people should say + things about others

bob swanson
monterey TN
Recently seven Iraq's were denied visas using false Grenada passports. IF they had obtained the visas, been exposed to smallpox, flown to Miami and then on seperate planes to LA, Seattle, Chicago, NYC, Washington DC, Dallas and Detroit, what would the result have been? Would that have not been an "invasion" of the USA by Iraq?

Elsa Adamson
Kudos to PBS for having the courage to show the other side of this issue. I was moved by the story of the Palestinian pastor and my only wish is that PBS would run the documentary by Tom Hayes - People and The Land - for a closer look at the plight of the Palestinians. It is available on the web, and it is an eye-opener. Again, Bravo PBS! Thank you!

John Tenney
Shocking to say the least...Im a pretty patriotic American but now that Ive heard of all these hate crimes It makes me realize how little we have evolved since say the Japanese-American prison camp days......I have to say when I read these stories ABOUT this scum It makes me ashamed to be an American (Irish too)!!!! Shame on all hate crime perpetrators...there Is noone more UNAmerican than you!!!

Just by chance, I caught the last of "Caught in the Crossfire" while I was switching channels. I personally am interested in what Arab-Americans are experiencing...their opinion Americans, they should be given equal time, and that does not seem to be happening. They feel, they suffer and they have needs just like all other Americans...we, as fellow Americans, should want to learn more about their stuggles as well, as their accomplishments...that is what being Americans is all about...united we all stand.

Fort Lee, NJ
when i heard about this program, i was amazed. i thought the topic was a great idea for a documentary. it is something that we all have been thinking about (in our own ways) but no one has really said anything about it objectively. i felt that this film did that. my problem is, i didn't think it was very well done, from a documentary stand point. yes, it showed these arab-americans, i would say objectively, but as a film, it wasn't all that interesting, and i felt that strange segments were chosen to be included. basically, it is nothing i would choose to watch again, for the message got across--things are tougher than before--but i could not cling to it as a film. i guess i was just disapointed.

Dear PBS,
A belated congratulations for having supported production of the documentary "Caught in the Crossfire". I don't know how many people saw it but I hope it can be shown again and made available to community groups as well. I was particularly moved by the seemingly impossible situation the reporter found herself in, being attacked from all sides, and by the suffering of the pastor - here and in the Middle East. We hear about these kinds of dilemmas a lot from the Israeli side, so seeing this from the perspective of your team (Jewish no less!) was very special.
Carl Schieren
Rockville, MD

A great film indeed. It demonstrated how a community could be judged by the horrible acts of few. When people are emotionally vulnerable, as a rest of such horrific acts, as the ones that took place on September 11, it seems that people tend to stereotype. They tend to cast a view about an ethnic community based on such facts as their race origin and color, forgetting the principles that this country was based on and the American constitution. People tend to forget that after emigrating to this country we all view ourselves as Americans. I also like to point out that certain groups in the media tend to take advantage of such events to shape the views of people, especially those who are not educated about the raised subject. Also the observer can detect a certain bias in the media, which tend to have different set of rules for different people (double standards). Case in point when Timothy MaCveay blew up the federal building in Oklahoma, the media did not label him as a Christ ian terrorist or judged all Christians as terrorist.

Media should deal with these circumstances in an ethical manner; otherwise it will lose its credibility over time. Media has an ethical responsibility, especially in tough times, and its role should be to bring people together and assist in the healing process. It is not the media's role to manipulate the image of communities.

The reality is that in every society, community and country, there are the good and bad. We as Americans should not fall in the trap of stereotyping and judging people based on their race, color, and ethnic background, otherwise this will turn out to be a different America than the one we all dreamt about living in.

hello to you
you are doing rong for many people
you should lern the facts more maby.

Yasmin Hamidi
Clifton, NJ
Thank you for airing such an insightful and touching program. "Caught in the Crossfire" filled a void in television programming that is often unsympathetic to the plight of Arab Americans or the complexities that color their lives. It humanized a segment of the American population that has been particularly vulnerable since Sept. 11 and is often unfairly portrayed as "anti-American" or violent. Arab-Americans are hard-working people trying to make a decent life for themselves and their families, just like anyone else. It was refreshing to see three distinct ways in which Arab-Americans are contributing to American society.

new york, NY
I wanted to thank you for such an informative program, i really enoyed it. keep up the good work.

I thought the film was done very well and held my interest throughout the entire film. The selection of three different people to follow also added to the excellent presentation.

I felt that there was a glaring omission by not asking the three characters how they felt about the horrific event of 9/11. I was left wondering what each of them would have said. However that may not have been the purpose of the film, but I still felt it should have been reflected in the film. Well done, an excellent piece of work.

Seth Johnson
I think that "Caught in the Crossfire" is an important view of the difficulties Arab American's go through in every day life. It's great that these filmmakers could take the time to go beyond just the impact of 9/11 and show where these immigrants came from and some of the difficulties they face being raised in different cultures.

Besides the difficult lives they face from growing up afraid of police, unable to aspire in a profession due to being a woman, and living in a region where every day terror has caused so many injustices, they now have to face bigoted views from their fellow American's who believe that the color of ones skin and the way they dress defines who they are. We have seen this unfair reaction time and time again over history. I only hope that a film like Caught in the Crossfire will help some people to see that American immigrants of all colors can be wonderful people and should be treated as such.

It's wonderful that PBS has presented a great reminder that the horrific events have gravely affected all of us in unfathomable ways.

kayal, Joe
Great. Finally, a well balanced presantation.

Cindy Kaplan Rooney
Montclair, New Jersey
One of the most important things a film can do is to make people think and begin a dialogue. The powerful stories in Caught in the Crossfire do that and more. We see how world events impact 3 people's lives. We have to look at this and understand this if we are to come together in peace. I hope PBS will continue to air this film and others like it.

Magdy Mahmoud
Upper Montclair, NJ
I am so greatful to you guys because of this film. It is a wonderful truth telling film. Please keep the good work.

C Dornell
Not an immigrant but grateful to PBS for showing a story I wouldn't have seen anywhere else since 9-11-02. Nice job.

I am an Arab American. I watched this show with my kids who are first generation Americans. We teach our kids tolerence and acceptance of other people regardless of their ethnicity. Some comments have disturbed me & I will pray for these people to learn acceptance rather than hate. America is a melting pot of various colors and races. we learn from poeple who are different from us. America is a democratic nation & as its citizens, we all should be more tolerent of others & be able to accept other views.Thanks PBS for this wonderful show.

Joseph J. Thomasberger
Orange, NJ
I am a second generation descendent of Eastern European grandparents. I was deeply touched by your production, "Caught in the Crossfire." I appreciate your effort to bring the story of the "Arab" immigrant in these trying times and am able to relate to it from stories that my parents and grandparents told me when I was a young boy. Please keep up the good work.

Malcolm Bell
Weston, VT
I was distressed to hear that the ADL is calling the program "a diatribe against Israel." As you well know, it wasn't that at all. The ADL is a wonderful and sadly necessary group, but in recent months they have been a bit paranoid about saying stuff is anit-Israel or anti-Semitic that just isn't. The result threatens to be censorship of innocuous comment or fair criticism. ADL views deserve to be considered, but please stick to your own good judgment,and be assured that you did right to broadcast this fine and insightful program.

Caitlin Hughes
Washington DC
I found "Caught in the Crossfire" to be a very engaging presentation -- slices of lives I otherwise would not have been privy to. Documentaries like this one are critical for expanding our understanding of one another -- our neighbors & coworkers, people in the grocery store or on a bus. I appreciated the snapshots offered by this film. Though the film captured only a small segment in time for each of the subjects, this was a time of great conflict and personal struggle for each person and their families. They, like all of us, were pulled out of our daily routines and thrust into the turmoil of world events in diverse ways. I saw this as a presentation on aspects of the human experience and reflected on the pain we inflict on one another, and the joys we can bring when we reach out to help. Each viewer will see this program in a different light, colored by their own experiences and beliefs. Those with narrow views will view the film narrowly. This film demonstrated that you cannot provide "balance" in programming for there are many many more than two sides to this story. My thanks to PBS for airing this program.

Raymond Campini
I would like to commend PBS on airing such an insightful program. The Palestinian American voice has been snuffed out by mass media, and needs to be heard more than ever--especially as anti-Arabism has spread in the U.S. since 911. Thanks for clearing misconceptions and giving Palestinians a human voice.

This program was one of the most courageous programs that shed some light on these events. I hope that other news agencies follow the steps of PBS and enlighten us, the American veiwers. Best regards and keep the great work

Williams Cole
Brooklyn, NY
It makes me sad that the ADL has called parts of this program a "diatribe against Israel." Minister Khader El-Yateem's commitment to his community is obvious and his connection to, and experiences in, Palestine are inextricably linked to his experiences in post 9/11 America. It seems that the ADL took issue with this only because he shyly mentions his horrible experiences with the IDF and watches news broadcasts that show the Israeli army invading his home town. Sure, it's a war but if the ADF is not willing to admit that what the Minister describes does actually happen in Palestine they are creating dialogue on a plane that is very far from their stated objective of fighting against bigotry and extremism. Please, let us try to understand what people are going through and not create even more of an atmosphere of censorship!

Christopher Leadbeater
The programme was very good. It makes a very pleasant change for US media to be honest about the abuse of Palestinians. There is always a lot of Zionist pressure seeking the shameful truth to be distorted.

Esmihan Mosad
Brooklyn New York
Thank You very much PBS for shedding some light on the struggles the Arab and Muslims went through and still go through since 9/11. I applaud those three Americans (YES AMERICANS EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ARAB) for coming up and sharing their stories. As, for the other feedback stories threatening to boycott PBS for portraying that story- FOR WHAT!! That is what Arabs go through every day! The news broadcast that was being shown in the reverends home is REAL NEWS. Not some doctored news show like we see here in America. PBS was right to show the other piont of view and will hopefully continue to do so and maintain its reputation for original and real journalism. What was shown is the truth what was going on back in the MIDDLE EAST. For JOSH BROTON of SIOX FALLS- PALESTINE IS NOT AN IMAGINARY LINE, IT IS A COUNTRY AND WILL ALWAYS BE. For the people who says Isreal has a right to defend its country of course I agree 100% --- which is what the Palestinian FREEDOM FIGHTERS are doing. American media portrays the Arabs as terrorists and meanwhile supports the weapons of mass destruction to the "victims" (Isrealis.) What, are the rocks that orphaned Palestinian kids are throwing at the men with sniper rifles and huge tanks (paid for by the American tax payers money thank you very much)deadly? Are they the terrorists? I wish the fighting will stop but common sense, look at the death toll and the starving families, widowed mothers, fatherless kids in Palestine and then tell me who are the REAL terrorists.

Many thanks for your airing of the excellent film, "Caught in the Crossfire." I found it to be very informative and thought-provoking and found the perspectives portrayed in the film refreshing, especially since these voices have so often been left out of the picture by the American media. It is programming like this that sets PBS above the networks and cable news programs. PBS has once again set the standard for high quality programming through its airing of this film and I commend you for making this extremely worthwhile piece available to your audiences.
Yours sincerely,
Asli Bali

Lubna Miller
I just wanted to say what a wonderful film it was. It's important that all voices and views be heard, very illuminating ! Keep up the good work.

I just want to state that I thought the program on Arab Americans was very well done important and fairly representative of the problems facing Arab Americans. As a Jewish American, I am very concerned about the negative reactions of many other Americans towards our Arab citizens and was glad to see this program reflecting their views.

Ziad Mansouri
New York, NY
Thank you for airing a show that covers the Arab American perspective in this post September 11 world we all share. It was informative and poignant, especially as I'm an Arab American and Muslim dealing with the same issues as your subjects. Well done!

Dear PBS
Thank you for showing Caught in the Crossfire on Wednesday night. It was so true to life and captures the hopes and fears of a part of the American people that rarely gets heard. It is so important to show America in all its diversity so that Americans can remembers what is truly great about this country. The timing - a week before the 1st anniversary of the horrors of Sept 11th - was particularly important. Thank you again for showing it.

Frank Bamberger
Brooklyn, NY
I am writing as a religious Jew, a Zionist, and with family in Israel. I am committed to Israel and its well being. I�ve listened twice, and very carefully to last Wednesday�s �Caught in the Crossfire� on WNET, and I�ve read the critical reviews in the New York Times and on I consider the program an outstanding and significant work that reveals more intimately and revealingly than anything else I�ve seen or read (and I�ve read and listened to a lot) what�s going on with Arab-Americans in our midst. We need such shreds of truth, and highly commend PBS (of which I am a long-time financial supporter) for airing the program. While I believe I understand where the notion that the program is anti-Israel is coming from, I consider it completely uncalled for.

After watching the program and reading the reviews on this website, I see now that America has a greater heart than the great heart that I originally perceived.

I am of no religious faith but I have faith in my fellow man and I recognize pain in the faces of the oppressed people everywhere I saw it again tonight in the eyes of the people in this program. I say it in the eyes of the old father who saw his town church destroyed by the Sharon democracy rockets.

I think the only way to fight terrorism is not to throw money at the army and some machine with bells at the airport, but investigate the causes and effects of terrorism. We may not like some of the answers but there will never be a resolution until we face them and alter policies that serve not one nation but all.

I say this because having observed European and Canadian news sources I see that there would not have been a Khomeini in Iran if we did not support the oppressive dictatorship of the shah of Iran. The re would not have been larger than life Saddam Hussein if we did not aid him with intelligence and chemical weapons to invade Iran and his own citizens. There would not be the Taliban if we did not arm anyone who called themselves a freedom fighter fighting our cold war and then walk away from the Destruction after the Soviets left. Etc etc etc

I do not see myself as a citizen of THE SUPER POWER, I see myself as a citizen of a nation amongst nations and that is SUPER enough for me. Peace.

I have heard that considerable pressure is being placed on PBS for its airing of the Caught in the Crossfire documentary due to accusations that it is a "diatribe against Israel."

I am a Jewish American woman who loves Israel. I saw the documentary and in no way considered it a "diatribe against Israel." I am sorry to say that some people feel that any criticism of Israel is anti-semitic or anti-Israel. This is a view that I strongly oppose. Am I un-American for criticizing my own government? Don't I have the right to express concern about human rights violations in other countries?

I believe in democracy; fair criticism of our leadership or another country is part of the philosophy upon which our country was founded. Comments made in the film are of the Arab American perspective. Why are Americans afraid of hearing this perspective?

If some people are upset by this film, they have the right to debate the accuracy of statements made but they do not have the right to exert pressure simply because they disagree with the perspective. That is simply UN-AMERICAN!

joseph d. policano
east hampton, new york
I saw the Caught in a Crossfire show and thought it was wonderful. How rare to see on American TV a sympathetic portrait of Arab-Americans. PBS knows by now (or should know) that any portrayal of Arabs that doesn't show them as bomb throwing fanatics is always denounced by the Israeli lobby and threats are always made against the medium.Stick to your guns. You broadcast an honest bit of journalism. JD Policano

Michelle Haddad
Paterson, NJ
Thank you for showing this movie on PBS. I found it quite interesting and informative on the lives of those 3 individualas after the September 11th events. I also admire PBS's commitment to broadcast a variety of educational programs that offer differing points of views. Your viewers can only benefit from this continued commitment.

Thanks again. I really enjoyed the movie.

Thank you very much for a well documented film. It was refreshing to see that American media can open its doors to the stories of Palestinian-Americans. I am a Christian Palestinian-American, with both my father and uncle serving in the US army. I am ashamed as well angry to see how this country does not recognize the loyalty of its Arab citizens to this country. I am hoping and praying for a new day with which Palestinians, and all Arabs can see their day of justice. Long live Palestine.

I was surprised to hear that the Anti-Defamation League found something to be against in this film. I feel that the film shows the actual needs and feelings of the three people and their families as they traversed the narrow and uneducated waters of the US populace. Any time an ethnic group is identified as such, there are many things that are either misunderstood, misidentified or neglected by other groups. I found nothing in this film that couldn't be put on another group, a family from Ecuador or Nepal should be able to see their parallels.

Murad Nayal M.D. Ph.D.
New York, NY
Dear PBS,
As a long time PBS listener and supporter I would like to thank you for once again providing informative, sophisticated and much needed programming often unavailable from other media outlets. As an Arab-American, I have enjoyed watching 'Caught in the crossfire' which I thought helped illuminate aspects of Arab-Americans' experiences post 9/11 and did that substansively and fairly. All the best and keep up the good work.

Jad Nehme
New York NY
I am writing to highly commend you on the piece "Caught in the Crossfire, Arab Americans in War Time". I found the historical perspective fair and the personal stories captivating. I have followed the US coverage of the middle east since college, and I had grown very discouraged to see a fair and courageous program on television about the region. I came to rely on foreign news such as the BBC and radio shows such as N.P.R for news and analysis. I was very happy to learn there still are independent and intelligent channels and I will make sure to watch P.B.S from now on.
Jad Nehme

H. Nasser
Brooklyn NY
Thank You PBS! Thank you for showing how torn the Arab comunity is. We are caught in the "crossfire". As an Arab-Muslim who was born and raised in the U.S, I feel like an "outsider" who doesn't belong or fit in. I am raising my children to be proud of their heritage and who they are, and to stand up for what they believe in. No one should have to explain or give an excuse for who they are. When I walk in the street with my children wearing my veil, I make sure I stand tall and proud. I applaud the efforts of PBS to make others understand that the Arab community was devastated by the tragedy that happened in 9/11. We are suffering just as everyone else. We are not like the evil people who committed the horrible act. I am also pleased to read the wonderful comments that many of the viewers left who saw the film for what it really was,to show the effects in the Arab community after 9/11. I have become a memebr of PBS because of this film. Thanks again, and keep it up.

Diane Chehab
Brooklyn, NY
Dear PBS:
I most appreciated the program. It seems that the Anti-Diffamation League thinks the program was anti-Israel. There was so little about israel in the program! Only the tribulations of Father Khodr (who, by the way, is a member of The Dialogue Group, where Jews, Christians and Muslims come together to discuss their feelings about all Israel-Palestine related issues)- these are not invented tribulations, it is real life. Are we supposed to hide this real life? Are we to choose which life is to be shown, and which should not be shown? Again, thanks, as well as for all the other fine programs about the Middle East conflict.


The Story The People Their Homelands Arab Americans After 9/11: Stories The Filmmakers Resources Broadcast