Weblogs and Personal Stories

Personal accounts, stories, blog posts, weblogs, photos, about the September 11, 2001 attacks - 9/11 attacks to the WTC, World Trade Centers in New York, the Pentagon, Flight 93, and related US terrorist attacks.

Personal Stories From Victims Inside the WTC or Pentagon

These stories are from those who were fortunate enough to escape the World Trade Center or the Pentagon September 11th, 2001. Also included are links to firsthand accounts from Flight 93 passengers as shared from transcripts and personal conversations with loved ones and 911 operators.

  • A college friend survives the attack
    by JD Lasica. Tells about his college friend on the 100th floor of the WTC and how he narrowly escaped.
    [09/12/01 by JD Lasica]
  • Across the Street from the WTC
    This person worked right across from the WTC and was in his office when the first plane crashed into one of the WTC towers. Like others, he’s lucky to be alive and has an incredible story, including stopping to help someone seriously injured (even though his own life was also being threatened).
    [Artie Van Why, New York, N.Y., Advocate.com]
  • Brother, if you don’t mind . . . 
    Tells his story of escaping from World Trade Center Building 7, aftermath, and treatment of Pakastani community since the attack. The author is 21 years old, has a finance degree from Bentley, is Pakastani and Muslim. A compelling story and eye-opener about the discrimination and treatment of this community, too.
    [Usman Farman, author. Link via Silicon Valley.com Special Report]
  • Flight 93 Story
    Excerpt from Let’s Roll! Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage, by Lisa Beamer with Ken Abraham. This is the heart-wrenching but amazingly inspirational story of the passengers on Flight 93 who courageously fought the hijackers before the plane crashed in Pennsylvania 9/11. Their courage and bravery in such a horrific hijacking situation ended up diverting the plane away from its intended target in Washington, D.C. This story provides quotes from several passengers during the hijacking, 911 calls to the ground and calls to loved ones. Incredibly compelling. [9/11/01 Todd Beamer, the passengers of Flight 93, 911 operators, and the passengers' loved ones]
  • Last One Out Alive
    This personal story is all about being trapped in an elevator at the WTC and finally escaping within seconds before the building imploded. Another incredible story by an amazingly brave person.
    [09/11/01 by Chris Briggs Young, Brooklyn, N.Y., Advocate.com]
  • My Story: Stories from the Sept. 11 Tragedy
    An entire website with hundreds of personal stories of September 11th experiences, thoughts, and wishes.
  • Photographer from Hays captures World Trade Center crashes
    Story of the person who shot the famous photos of the 2nd airplane just before it crashed into the WTC and photos afterward.
    [09/22/01, Hays Daily News]
  • Rosary Beads and Sensible Shoes, Walking From the 57th Floor....
    First hand account of escaping the WTC. Very powerful.
    [09/13/01 by Theresa Marino Leone, As told to her first cousin, Roy Peter Clark, Senior Scholar, Poynter Group]
  • SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Story Collection: Workers' Stories: Remembering and Rebuilding
    Growing collection of personal accounts of workers at the World Trade Center and Pentagon who were there when the attacks occurred September 11, 2001. Over 50 stories and growing.
  • Shared Experience: September 11, 2001
    Many personal stories told firsthand by survivors who escaped the WTC.
  • Stories of Loss & Survival
    Audio stories from first hand experiences, much more.
    [09/11/01 - continuing. NPR: America Transformed - The People]
  • Stories of September 11
    Thousands of stories contributed to the September 11 Digital Archive—personal accounts of survival from the World Trade Centers and Pentagon, being nearby and more personal survival stories. As of September 2004, more than 10,000 stories have been contributed.
  • Surviving the WTC Lobby
    Barely escaping with his life, an amazing story of entering the lobby of the WTC just as the first plane hit it.
    [09/11/01 David P. Draigh, New York, N.Y., Advocate.com]
  • The New York skyline, 8:20 a.m., September 11
    He flew into New York and experienced the beautiful New York skyline just moments before the first plane hit one of the WTC towers. Story continues.
    [Harold Levine, New York, N.Y., Advocate.com]
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: The People, Their Stories, Emergency Response
    Personal stories from inside the Pentagon by individuals in the office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; personal stories from office workers at the EOC in the WTC, too. Details how they also volunteered with boats and more to help people get away from Manhattan.
    [09/11/01 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.]
  • World Trade Center Stories
    Email notes of first hand accounts of escaping the towers, the buildings crashing, seeing people leap from the towers, and others who live in NY and watched it all unfold.
    [ 09/11/01 - 9/17/01, compiled by Alex Chaffee, stinky.com]

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Personal Accounts, Weblogs

The listings below include stories of so many who witnessed or were in New York or Washington, D.C. September 11th, many of whom ran for their lives near the WTC or Pentagon. Some of these listings also include numerous stories that include those who escaped the WTC or Pentagon. Other listings are to share stories about where you were and the impact of these events on people’s lives.

  • 911
    by Jeffrey Zeldman. Jeffrey tells of what it’s like being there, living there, trying to breathe, trying to do anything within a normal routine. I won’t give the rest away. Definitely a must read.
    [09/11/01 Jeffrey Zeldman]
  • A Ground Zero Diary: 12 Days of Fire, Fear and Grit
    Heartfelt account, personal story from Ground Zero.
    [09/30/01 by C.J. Chivers, New York Times]
  • Aboard Flight 564
    A tremendous story about what we should all be doing as passengers. Fantastic. Must read this one! Update September 2004: This story in the Washington Times must now be purchased before viewing.
    [09/19/01 20:30 ET, The Washington Times.  Link via jaundiced eye (via Meryl Evans).]
  • Andy’s Chest
    Witnessed the explosions, was right nearby. Lots of links to other friends, too.
    [09/11/01 Andrew Horwitz]
  • BroadwayStars.com weblog
    Chronicles through these days of seeing the towers explode, his feelings and experiences throughout the day and evening, the next day and more. Very heartfelt.
    [James Marino]
  • Counting
    Personal story of a doctor at the scene in the Morgue. Note: this article may not be suitable for young children.
    [09/23/01 New York Times Magazine]
  • Day Four
    Heartfelt, he writes what I’ve been thinking, too, on the same day.
    [09/15/01 Jeffrey Zeldman]
  • Death Downtown
    Tells of his experience that day, experiences with lack of good airport security, more opinions. Good reading.
    [09/12/01 michaelmoore.com]
  • East/West
    Lots of links, info.
    [09/11/01 Choire]
  • 'Fear: Who Cares?' For Alan Beavan
    Personal story about Alan Beavan, who died on UA Flight 93.
    [09/25/01 Michael Edwards, openDemocracy]
  • "firsthand account"
    Only 5 blocks from the WTC 09/11. Another amazing firsthand story of witnessing this, being in the midst of it.
    [09/11/01 by rion.nu]
  • I was there
    A collection of personal stories by people who were either in or right near the WTC towers when they collapsed. Some barely escaped for their lives. Others watched it from safety.
  • IP: Firsthand reports from NYC and Washington DC after attacks
    Email of personal stories of being in NYC and Washington DC September 11th. More archives for following days, too.
    [09/11/01 Interesting-People list archives]
  • Joel on Software
    [09/11/01 Joel Spolsky]
  • Journalists under pressure Covering war, mayhem did not prepare them for horror
    [09/12/01 USA Today]
  • Like An Orb
    First hand account of experience from right when the first plane crashed into the WTC through the first hours and days. Also has excellent narrated photo slide shows during and following the attack, the day after the attack, and photos of the WTC before the attack.
    [09/13/01 George Weld]
  • Manhattan Disaster Stories
    Many personal stories from people near the WTC.
    [09/11/01 The Douglas Kelley Show]
  • Missing Pieces
    Posts of experiences, thoughts, living through the attack and its aftermath. You can write your thoughts here, read others' stories.
    [by Derek Powazek {fray}]
  • New York Blogs and Journal Accounts of the WTC Disaster
    Compilation of links by Rodney Breen, London, UK.
    [09/11/01-ongoing, Rodney Breen, London, UK.]
  • Note from NYC
    Gripping story by Michael Stern, CEO of Information Markets Corp, whose office was a block from the WTC, but he watched it all from his rooftop in Brooklyn.
    [09/14/01 Michael Stern, CEO, Information Markets Corp.]
  • Three Blocks from Ground Zero, A personal account of the South Tower collapse
    [09/11/01 by Paul Bacon]
  • Personal Accounts of September 11, 2001
    Collection of personal stories from news broadcasters about how they personally responded to that day, how their news stations handled it. Interesting.
    [09/11/01 rtnda.com (Radio-Television News Directors Association & Foundation)]
  • Reactions from New Yorkers on the World Trade Center Attack
    [space donated by Allen Plummer]
  • Rossi Rant
    Amazingly wonderful writing about witnessing the towers burning, then imploding, being right in downtown. Life all around, and she includes stories from others, too. She helped cook and feed the volunteers in the days to follow.
    [09/11/01+, Rossi Rant]
  • saranwarp - wrap me up in it
    First hand accounts of watching the WTC attacks from a rooftop in Brooklyn beginning with 9:30 A.M. entry and many throughout the day. The 09/12/01 10:05 A.M. entry has interesting insight and thoughts by this New Yorker who is of American and Arab descent expressing thoughts about the attacks and people’s responses toward Arabs.
    [09/12/01 dori mondon]
  • Sept 11 Journal
    Personal account of being in NY City and watching the towers attacked and collapse. Photos before and after (interesting comparison!), other stories there, too, and links to government officials to contact.
    [09/11/01 by Grace Suh]
  • Stories of Loss & Survival
    Audio stories from first hand experiences, much more.
    [09/11/01 - continuing. NPR: America Transformed - The People]
  • Talk to Me
    Personal story experience in New York Times Magazine
    by Lauren Slater.
    [09/23/01 New York Times]
  • The Fine Line
    by Bob of The Fine Line. A riveting account with amazing photos as he walked to work only to find the world had changed. Lots of photographs (including a thumbnail page), maps of the aftermath, his experience of what happened.

    See also his Six months later... post that provides tremendous perspective on the survivors and what they’re dealing with 6 months after the attacks.
    [09/11/01, 9/12/01, 02/11/02 Bob]
  • The Tin Man
    Jeff reflects on daily life in New York around the WTC, how much of a mainstay it was in his life, how he was there every day, saw it every day, and much more. Another riveting weblog entry about the day’s events.
    [09/12/01 jeff]
  • UltraSparky!
    Witnessed the explosions, was right nearby. Lots of links to other friends, too.
    [09/11/01 Daniel Joseph Rhatigan]
  • War In Sacramento, Or So It Seemed
    The impact of declaring war and the terrorist attacks.
    [09/24/01 Shirley Kaiser, Brainstorms & Raves]
  • Where were you september 11, 2001
    An entire site devoted to sharing personal stories about where you were when the attacks happened. "These are the World’s hearts and thoughts." Wonderful site.
  • World Trade Center Stories
    Email notes of first hand accounts of escaping the towers, the buildings crashing, seeing people leap from the towers, and others who live in NY and watched it all unfold.
    [ 09/11/01 - 9/17/01, compiled by Alex Chaffee, stinky.com]
  • Writing in the Dark
    Personal account stories. New series by Salon.com. So far: Janet Fitch (above [09/21/01]), Rick Moody [09/18/01] and Caroline Knapp [09/20/01].
    [09/21/01 Salon.com]
  • WTC Blog
    As the author states, this is a blog to "help with thoughts and comments and growing pains, post-WTC tragedy."
    [09/16/01 Gina Badalaty]

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