The Generation that Remembers 9/11: their Stories Hawk Headlines

"I was living on Long Island, an hour outside of the city, and I wanted to do something. I was angry. I wanted somebody to pay for this. The main thing that was overriding the back of my mind was I needed to get that reducing. That night I decided that I was going to go around to all the stores that I could and, with permission from my supervisors at work, I said, I'm going to go and buy up as much as many buckets, respirators and hard hats and the safety glasses and gloves that I could. And I bought a lot of stuff. I had thousands of Home Depot buckets, they actually went in the back of one of the stores and came out with a pallet of so I had a, you know, thousands of buckets and pair every pair of gloves, they had a couple of stores. I just loaded everything up in the truck, I kind of knew they would need that stuff. I called a friend of mine at the gas company in New York City. I said I need a way to get in there. So he gave me a route to get it in. And he said if you if anyone stops you, you know because they're they're looking at everybody you just tell them you're with me, then they'll, they'll let you through . I went through the Brooklyn Bridge. The police were all stopped down there the Brooklyn Bridge and I said I'm with [friend's name] and I I pointed to the back to the truck and they had solid safety gear and they just moved the barricades aside, and they had like, trucks blocking, and they backed the trucks out of the way so I could get through.

I went parked down a Canal Street, they directed me into a spot. Every street had hundreds of bucket loaders on one side of the street. And on the other side of the street with dump trucks. Every street leading down Trade Center, every contractor in the area had brought in their heavy equipment. There were streets that had the giant cranes, with the booms down just parked there waiting, everybody wanted to get in and start looking for survivors and pulling pulling things out of there. I remember the hundreds of firemen running around and policemen and labor guys that worked in the city just building the buildings and working down there pouring concrete and stuff, they were all lined up and they were all ready to go. It was almost like the military, groups of ten guys, one crew, and the crew would get together, it was one group of guys were working on this on a job. They would be together there and I would give them a bucket and I would fill it with safety gear and they would grab it.

It wasn't even a look like not even really like looking at you. Or thanking you it was like it was my job to give them stuff as they walked in, and their job was to go in. They and they put their head down and me and they walked in, you know, the police and the fire department let them in there. So they could start helping them dig stuff out. Another group would come by and I would get them all fitted, and they would go in there. And like I said it was very military like. It feels like you're in a movie or you're not in your own body. That's how it was. I remember when I was leaving, later on that day, and I had nothing more to give. I remember when I got back my boss called me up and he says, 'Well, how was it?' and I said II'll let you in on a few weeks. I can't really describe what what happened down there. What I saw, you know, just the feeling like you were in a you know, like you were at a funeral for thousands of people." - Tom Bunosso (PICTURED RIGHT)

"It was a really nice September day I remember, and we were in Mrs. Fedder's class. Me and my friend Marikate we were goofing around, talking like normal freshmen before class starts. And then we started our lesson plans, and over the intercom there was an announcement made about a plane flying into the twin towers. We had TVs in our classroom, so we were told to tune into the local news stations. We sat and watched the smoke billowing out of the buildings, and a lot of people were upset or crying. It was a big mess of confusion pretty much. The rest of the day, that's all we talked about in school. Then I went home and watched the news and saw people falling out of buildings. And I cried because I felt bad for those people. It was just so terrible." - Daniella Budnick (NOT PICTURED)

“It was Tuesday morning and I was flying from Atlanta to San Antonio, Texas as a First Officer (CoPilot) on an MD88 airplane. We took off and we were about halfway to San Antonio, Texas.

The air traffic control came on and he said they blew up the Twin Towers and they blew up the Pentagon, contact your company. Immediately, I jumped out of my skin as soon as I heard. I grabbed the microphone and asked the operator was it a bomb or something else? He said to contact your company….

The controller comes on and he said, “We're declaring a National State of Emergency, pick the closest airport and get on the ground now!” I've never heard this in my life ever, didn't even know what that meant honestly. The closest airport was Houston, so we immediately headed to Houston and the operator said to “pick up your speed, I don’t care how fast you go, get on the ground.” We had to tell the passengers that we had to divert to the ground immediately.

When we landed we were one of two other airplanes at the time, everything at the Houston Airport was dead silent. Which never happens, it's like New York City going silent you never see that. We got to the gate and the gate agent gets on, they didn’t let anyone off the airplane yet. The agent stepped into the cockpit and tells us then that some airplanes were used to go into the Twin Towers. They then let the passengers off and we, the pilots, were taken to operations and we got to see it first hand on T.V.

At that point, nothings taking off, nothings coming in, were stuck at Houston. We tried to call home and the cell phones weren't working, all the cellphone networks were overloaded. We were stuck in Houston till Friday. Delta then notified us that we were to take off from Houston and we will be one of the first airplanes back to Atlanta. It was the first time ever in US history of declaring a national emergency and clearing all the national airspace, the sky felt erie. When they told us to get on the ground, they meant it, and I've never since heard that request again." - Jason George (PICTURED LEFT)

“I remember I was at work and we first heard that a small airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center. We then found out it was commercial airlines. My company sent everyone home right away.” - Diana Landrigan

I "remember sitting at my desk when I heard about the first plane hitting a building in New York. Instead of bringing my patients to the gym where I would normally treat them, I treated them bedside so we could watch the Today Show live. I still remember which patient’s rooms I was in when the planes hit and the towers collapsed. I was with Mr. Fippen when the first tower came down. I was super freaked out about Brittany, my best friend since childhood, since she was working in Washington DC, and the metro system she took to work stopped at the pentagon. I spent a good chunk of the day confirming she was okay. Since my hospital was relatively close to New York, we were put on alert to prepare for victims in case closer hospitals reached capacity." - Kelly Messina (NOT PICTURED)

Contributions by: Jess Vardon, Lexi Landrigan, Kayleigh Budnick, Abby Messina, and Bella Cybulski