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The September 11 Digital Archive

Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Smithsonian “September 11:
Bearing Witness to History”

     Story of September 11
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Contributed by: Teresa
Contributor's location on 9/11: Raleigh NC
Contributed on: 3 October 2004

How did you witness history on September 11th?

It was September 11, 2001. My four year old son and I were watching television when a news bulletin came over the screen. There was chaos everywhere. People running for their lives as dust particles came from one of our World Trade Centers. I couldn't believe my eyes. The United States was under attack. My son just looked at the television and said, "Wow", as another plane came crashing into the other World Trade Center. Fear was in my eyes as I ran outside to look toward the sky. Our home was right over aviation to RDU Airport. There was a silence in the air that I had never witnessed since my residency there. All planes in the US had been landed. Still in denial, I returned inside my home to watch more on the news. Then all of a sudden, there were two more crashes. One at the Pentagon and another in Pennsyvania. All my security levels had disappeared. I had never been so scared in all my life. And then as the news was broadcasting the event, the first Trade Center hit came crashing to the ground. People in New York City were frantic. Rescue members, ambulances, and firemen were there to rescue as many as they could. There were people who could not escape that were hanging out the windows and jumping to their deaths. The heat from the fully fueled aircrafts was so tremendous that it melted the Trade Center support structure which brought the Trade Center crashing the a sand castle. Over 3,000 innnocent people were killed that day and our security forces and our President responded accordingly. To prevent more attacks, the airplanes were landed and Homeland Security was established. 15 out of 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia and the Muslims still do not understand why Americans do not trust them. I am not accusing all Muslims, I'm just saying that we are a little wiery of them now.

Has your life changed because of September 11, 2001?

I went back to school and will be graduating December 18th, 2004 with an Information Systems degree and plan on to continue my education farther. It has gave an interest at helping my government as much as I can with the security of our Nation and for my children. I have a continued an interest in the search for Osama bin Ladin and the Reform that Saudi Arabia is taking to make sure that the right teachings of Islam are being taught in their schools. America sees these attacks as a "call for help" from the scholars and young Saudis men alike. I have been talking with female activist in the Kingdom and are making suggestions that would help assist the men in Saudi Arabia that does not go against the Islam beliefs and customs. To my discovery, Saudi men have been translating the Islam to benefit their needs and cover their insecurities just like Osama bin Ladin. Youth Groups for the children, better environmental issues such as sewage running in the streets, Parks and Recreational Centers. Women being able to participate in the Elections. Women being allowed to Work. All these things will take some of the pressure off the men if they would let their women work and help. That is what women are good at. HELPING OUT! It is also comforting that the government has realized these issue too and with the surplus that they have made with the increase in Oil Prices, instead of building another Palace for the Kings and Princes, it is time to fix the problems that are making the citizens living there so miserable. Reform is necessary. Reform is Good.

What do you think should be remembered about September 11th?

The "fear" that overwhelmed my existance on that day and the fact that I must do everything in my power to make sure something like that does not ever happen again and to love your neighbors because everyone needs help and understanding.

Did you fly an American flag after the events of September 11th?

Yes I do!

Cite as: Teresa, Smithsonian Story #6846, The September 11 Digital Archive, 3 October 2004, <>.
Archival Information: 343 words, 1840 characters

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