Pearl Anderson - Washington state

September 11, 2001

I had been surfing the internet far into the night, so this particular morning, I was sleeping in. Peaceful slumber was shattered when my husband charged into the bedroom and shook me awake.

"Terrorists!!! Terrorists have blown up the World Trade Center!!!!" He was so shook up as to be almost incoherent. "You gotta see's unbelievable! It's awful!"

I fumbled my way into a bathrobe and stumbled out to the livingroom. I don't actually remember sitting down, the images were so horrific, so terrifying. It seemed impossible, what I was watching. People were leaping out windows, massive smoke columns roiled toward the sky, and then the second plane came in to hit the other tower!!!

I didn't want to see this, people were dying. It was a disaster of such huge proportions, my mind simply could not grasp it. I think it was almost two hours later I tore my eyes from the unfolding catastrophe, to get a cup of tea. I felt ill. Breakfast was not an option. The more I saw, the more my stomach seemed to ball up into a tight knot. I would walk away, trying to concentrate on something else, but could not drag my mind from what had happened, and was still happening, three thousand miles away. The distance didn't matter, it could just as well have been over the next hill. Americans were dying. Right here in America. Why?

Little by little, more information was presented, the news of another plane hitting the Pentagon, and a fourth plane down somewhere in Pennsylvania, I believe. There was great confusion as to what had happened on that fourth plane.

I stared in horror at the remains of those tall towers, listening to how many people worked there, how the terrorists had planned and executed this ghastly crime at a time calculated to kill a maximum number of civilians. Why? How could any human do such a thing? I found tears rolling down my face, confused and shattered that people could do this to other people.

The reports came in of portions of buildings collapsing, killing firemen and policemen, paramedics and rescue worker that had rushed in to help. The overwhelming tragedy of this shocked me to my foundations. Visions of survivors, coated with dirt and smoke, being helped to a safer distance, some people being carried out, shocked expressions, wide-eyed disbelief that such a thing could happen, had happened, was still happening. As fires raged, more sections of building fell. It looked like a scene that could have come straight out of hell.

There were so many emotions, so much reaction to this devastating event, I finally had to go off and be alone for a while. I simply could not take any more in. It is my fervent hope to never see such carnage again in my life.

Pearl D. Anderson


I dare not hate, for then,
a journey down a twisted path,
launched in hate, ending in death,
would be my fate.

I dare not hate,while hurting,
that poisoned way is not for me,
slaughtering innocents, no remorse,
this cannot be.

I dare not hate, but you should fear,
for retribution will find you,
no tolerance of such horror
can be allowed.

I dare not hate, even wounded,
this is no lack of purpose,
only a determination to survive,
and never be as you!

This was my final thought - after hearing all the numbers, the means, the reasons, the probable culprits. Yes, we must respond, but with reason, to assure our freedom and security, not with unthinking hate, or knee-jerk stupidity, no better than what has been done to us.