A/N: First off, let me please make it clear that I have no grudges against the Muslim faith. I understand that the religion as a whole did not commit this crime, just a few insane people. And whether you believe 9/11 was a conspiracy or not is up to you. My mom thinks it's a conspiracy while my dad doesn't, so I'm open to both options. Either way, this event was horrible and not something to be made light of.

Screams filled Alfred's ears as dust and smoke coated his lungs, blocking out his airway - stopping his breath. He couldn't breathe. He was going to die. This was his end. The burning pain in his chest was like a fire consuming him whole. A raging fire in the darkness that wanted nothing but to destroy him, the Big Satan.

A loud beeping was heard, startling Alfred awake and out of the nightmare. He panted slightly as he looked around his room, making sure that there were no metal beams and smoke. Sweat dripped from his forehead as he gently rubbed his side, a dull pain radiating through him.

The beeping continued as Alfred looked to the side of his bed, his alarm commanding him to get up. With a heavy sigh, he crawled out of bed and got ready for this tiring day. Alfred had a routine for this day, every year for eighteen years now. And today would be no different from any other.

"Mr. Jones, so glad you able to come so soon," An executive said with his grateful smile as he walked next to Alfred. Alfred almost wanted to chuckle at the fake gratitude; the man was only happy that he would no longer have to do any of the work. They walked up to the top offices where Alfred would be working, Alfred nodding to some of the workers they passed.

"We've had some problems with a few of the imports and no one knows what to do with them."

Alfred rolled his eyes as he stepped into his large office, "Alright, I'll see what I can do."

The executive smiled and nodded as he started walking away, going back to the elevators. Alfred shook his head as he sat at his desk and looked at the papers with a sigh. There was a mountain here...

His boss told him to come here today because work was starting to back up and hurting the stocks or something. He shouldn't have, but Alfred started drowning out his boss after he heard about the paperwork he'd have to do. Why couldn't he send someone else instead? There were already so many things Alfred had to do. Like the World Meeting tomorrow, the other countries would start arriving in New York today and he promised them last week that he'd show them around.

He picked up his phone as he called England to let everyone know that they were on their own until tonight. A sigh left him as he listened to the ringing of the phone; he had really wanted to go out with the other countries during his one free day...

Alfred started going through the paperwork after the call, his glasses resting on the desk as he read over the problems. This wasn't in his job description... This was way below his pay grade. And yet here he was, slaving over more paperwork that he really didn't need. Just lovely.

He couldn't even go to breakfast with the cute brunette that he met at a coffee shop last week, he had to cancel on her and he was really irked now because of that. He had been looking forward to that breakfast for so long-

Alfred felt the pain in his head before anything else, a sharp twinge right at the front of his skull that knocked him back in his chair with how sudden it hit. But once the shock of that passed, he felt his office shaking, barely noticing that the power had gone out. Placing a hand on his head, he stood up and stumbled his way to the door.

People were confused, most of them standing and looking around as if their answer lied with each other. But then someone screamed, pointing to one of the many windows on the wall.

Blackness covered the outside as if someone had painted over the windows; dark clouds billowing upward in an ominous fashion. A knot formed in Alfred's stomach as he watched the clouds roll up, his mind frantic over the fact that they were much too dark to be actual clouds. But if they weren't clouds then it was smoke, and smoke was not something he wanted to see.

He ran back into his office, opening the curtains and looking down. He couldn't see too well, but there was definitely a fire below him. Fear started to build within him, but it wasn't his own fear... it was the fear of his people around him.

But after he was able to control the fear in him, the pain started to appear. Alfred nearly fell to his knees at the amount he felt.

What was happening?

"Mr. Jones!" A secretary ran into his office, her hair slightly frizzed from her panic. "We need to evacuate the building! We have to get out now!"

The man nodded as he slowly started to make his way out of his office, glancing around to see that most of the people were ignoring the orders of their superiors and looking out the windows at the smoke.

"Mr. Jones," The secretary called again, tugging impatiently on his arm.

"You go," He said, slipping from her hold and moving to the others, "I'll round everyone up to leave."

"But, sir...!"


Alfred didn't look back to see if she listened to him as he moved to the windows, grabbing people by their arms and pulling them away while barking orders. They seemed to snap out of their daze by his shouting, most of them running to the exits.

Alfred put his suit on slowly, making sure to take his time as he tied his tie and slipped his shoes on. He looked at himself in the mirror as he took a deep breath. It was time to leave.

He never took his car when he remembered this day, he wanted to feel closer to his people and walking was the best way to do that. As he walked, he could feel people mourning for their loved ones lost from the attacks. It wasn't many now, but it was still enough for his chest to clench tightly with the grief. The grief he felt from the young adults teens were the worst because they're the ones that lost their parents to the attacks, and that kind of emotional trauma was wrecking him.

There were times when the emotions of the others became too much for him, times when he felt like he was drowning in the sorrow of those around him, and his superiors told him to forget this day so many times... but he couldn't. Not even if he tried, America could never forget what he had gone through.

It took him over an hour of walking, but Alfred eventually made it.

Ground Zero.

The 9-11 memorial.

So many people were gathered there, crying over their lost loved ones. The emotions were so thick... He could barely move from it, but he pushed through nonetheless. He needed to. He couldn't explain why, but he just had to get to that one spot between the two... holes. The desperate need inside of him wouldn't allow for him to be in any other spot.

One thing they all noticed was that the shaking they had felt earlier was a plane crashing into their Tower, taking out the floors from 99 to 93. Meaning that they were trapped with no way to get down... Fear gripped his chest, and this time America wasn't sure if he was feeling it from the people around him, or his own.

The quiet mutterings in the room suddenly broken as someone screamed.

Alfred fell to the ground this time, gripping his chest. He looked up just as the smoke cleared in time to see a large commercial plane fly directly into the South Tower.

Watching it happen made the pain in his head so much worse, his skull felt like it would split in two and it took everything in his power not to scream out. Why did a plane just fly into the South Tower? Was that what happened to the floors below him? What was going on?

They all watched through the windows as the South Tower shook and groaned under the collision, everyone waiting with baited breath if it would fall.

It seemed like they watched that tower for hours before any of them could even take a single breath.

"What are we supposed to do?" One of the office girls asked, tears streaming down her face as she held onto the arm of one of the older secretaries. America hadn't talked with her much, but she was a sweet girl that had just gotten engaged. She even invited him to her wedding.

"They'll send the Fire Department to come get us," The secretary, Linda, reassured, though her shaking hands gave away her own fear. Karen was one of the kindest ladies America had ever met; she always made sure that he had eaten properly and would give him homemade lunches when he didn't have time to get his own.

The large room of offices and cubicles were filled with the same thing; people that America had talked with a few times and befriended, all of them shaking in fear. It hurt him to see the people he cared about so scared. He was the hero! He was supposed to protect them! But what could he possibly do in a situation like this?

An idea hit him suddenly, causing him to dig in his pockets and pull out his cellphone. He hardly ever used it, and almost left it home this morning. But now, he's never been more grateful to have this small thing...

"Hey," America called out, gaining the attention of everyone, "I have a cell phone! If anyone wants to call their family, we can all take turns!"

The majority of the people in the room gathered around him, the ones who didn't were pulling out their own phones. It took some time for everyone to make their calls, some having trouble sharing with the others to the point where America had to step in.

It was nearly 9:40am when everyone had their turn before America suddenly let out a yell of pain, grabbing his chest once again. He could hear the people around him calling out, but he paid them no mind. The burning pain in his chest was taking up too much of his attention... DC was attacked. Somewhere in DC, something big happened... As far as he could tell, America was still alive. You weren't supposed to feel pain when dead, so that was some kind of reassurance.

He forced the pain down as he looked around at the worried faces surrounding him, holding his hand out for his phone that was discarded on a nearby desk. One of the men grabbed it and handed it to him, America staring at the blurry numbers before starting to type in Canada's cell phone number.

It rang twice before he answered.

"Hello? America, is that you?"

"What is happening out there?" America, out of character-ly, skipped the greeting. "Was DC attacked? And what happened with the Towers?"

"Two planes were flown into the North and South Tower, I don't know anything about DC- wait... Wait something's coming on the News now."

America could barely hear the news anchor talking on the other side of the phone, a small gasp leaving Canada's mouth - along with a few others in the background.

"The Pentagon... A plane just crashed into the Pentagon... America, what's happening?"

"That's what I want to know... But I think I already do."


"What else?" America let out a bitter chuckle as he forced himself into a sitting position on the floor next to a desk. It had been quite a while since he'd dealt with terrorists... And never something on this big of a scale. It scared him. How many were dead? How many were going to die?

"America," Canada started again, "Where are you? Germany and Prussia went to the White House earlier since you said you had to work, but you weren't there and we're all at your penthouse now. We can send someone to come pick you up."

"Well... You may have some trouble with that." Another humorless chuckle left America as he glanced around at the people in the building with him. "I'm currently a few floors above a plane crash."

It was silent for a while, America was pretty sure that his brother had stopped breathing. He could hear the voices of the other countries asking what was wrong before Canada's shaky voice came back.

"Which... Which one?"

"The North Tower. The stairway is blocked because of the crash, so we're stuck and can't get out yet. But I'm sure things will get fixed up soon."

Canada passed the news around to whoever was in the room, the outcry that followed nearly had America pull his phone away from his ear. The phone was passed around to the other countries, America having to reassure them all before he had to hang up. Others still needed to make calls, and America had already taken up a lot of time with the countries. There was nothing that they could do after all, there was no way that the first responders would let them anywhere near the towers...

When America reached his spot exactly in the middle of where the two towers once stood, he allowed himself a moment of peace. He closed his eyes and drew a deep breath, remembering the faces of all the people he had once worked with in the buildings. He remembered their favorite foods, the way they talked, how they dressed, and who they loved. So many people... but he remembered them all.

Once he was done remembering them, he opened his eyes and looked at the people surrounding the memorials. First at the North Tower, then to the South Tower. There were many people there, and from his spot he could see them all. There were three types of people when it came to the 9/11 Memorial. Some of the people were like him, participating in this tradition every year. Some of the people were new, having something special about this year and coming to visit for the first time. The last though... were the ones that weren't there, having moved on with their lives and put the grief behind them. America didn't blame them; how could he fault someone for wanting to be happy?

He could always pick that final type out from the crowd. They were the ones that stared blankly into the water below, gripping tightly onto some kind of memoir of their loved one. Sometimes that memoir would be left behind on the name, other times it was taken back home and put in a box in the back of a closet. Forgotten.

That's why America kept coming back every year. Because every year was someone else's last trip, and another person was forgotten. America would remember them though... He had to. Because these people weren't heroes or well known, and if their loved ones forgot them then they would truly be dead.

His eyes wandered over to where Linda's name was on the memorial, seeing the area around it void of her family. Her son had stopped visiting two years ago, her daughter just last year. They both had kids of their own now as well, having taken the small children with them a few times...

Sometimes, America could still taste Linda's homemade pastries she would pack in his lunch. He'd found some places that sold near identical recipes to hers, but it was never quite right...

Things had settled down for a while - as much as they could, anyway. The headache had dulled out for America, though the burning in his chest still remained. It wouldn't be for long, though. It had been nearly an hour since the first plane hit, and he couldn't be sure, but there was a feeling in his gut that told America all of this was far from over.

And as if he had just jinxed himself, everything had started shaking. The pain in his head grew more and more with each passing second until a loud crashing noise started from outside, clouds of smoke and debris floating into the air. The nearly deafening noise lasted only for a few seconds, the shaking continuing long after that. But America could hardly pay attention to it, barely even noticing the head-splitting migraine he was having. His eyes were glued to the windows. The windows that once showed where the South Tower stood were empty now, the clouds of dust parting just long enough for him to see that the building was no longer there.

"It's down..." He muttered, gaining the attention of the people around him. "The South Tower is down."

That caused panic to swell inside of the room, the people screaming and crying and pure hysteria to course through them all. All of it was magnified in America, he really struggled to keep his head clear and calm as the people around him ran to the windows. The pain in his head helped a bit with distracting him...

When he heard glass shattering, however, he brought his full attention on the people in the building with him.

One of the men had thrown a chair through the window, America barely opening his eyes in time to see the man jump out right after the chair. Two others followed after him.

"No!" America pushed himself up, stumbling over to the broken window to try and stop the others that had started to jump as well. He didn't make it though, as a stab of pain hit him in the shoulder. He didn't know what that was, but it still took his strength away and forced him to lean against another desk. He could only call out helplessly to the people that all jumped.

The young fiance that invited him to her wedding was by the window and trying to stop some of the people, and America saw what was going to happen before it did. As she grabbed onto the arm of one of the jumpers and tried to pull him back, the force of his sprint to the window caught her off guard and made her lose her balance. She was still holding his arm as he jumped, her body hitting the side of the broken window and being dragged out with him.

To make matters worse, now that the window was broken, smoke was coming in so thick that it was stealing their oxygen. People were already starting to cough and hack and America had to do something fast.

"Everyone!" He called, "Get to the lower floor now!"

He had to repeat himself a few times before everyone started to move. Linda and a few others helping America move with them. The floors below didn't have that much more luck than them though, as other people had been jumping before as well and let smoke in through there too. Their only option was to continue upward...

America stood at the base of the stairs to make sure that they all followed to the upper floors when a flare of pain radiated through his chest, taking the last of his strength and sending him to his knees.

Things became hazy after that; the stress on his body coupled with the extreme emotions his people were feeling was just too much for him. He could barely remember the feel of someone carrying him upstairs with the others, but by the time he opened his eyes he was already laying in a corner of the room.

"Mr. Jones," Linda smiled in relief at him, kneeling next to him. "I'm so glad you're awake now."

As America was about to respond with a weak smile of his own, he suddenly came to the conclusion that he picked the wrong time to wake up.

What felt like an earthquake started to shake the building, but much stronger than before. Everyone immediately knew what was happening, screams of terror filling the air again as everything shook and rattled around them.

Then they were falling.

Trapped inside his head, America could still feel the smoke and dust filling his lungs and stopping his airflow. He could still feel the weightlessness as the building collapsed under him, and the corner of the desk that hit his head and knocked him out. He remembered the scorching pain throughout his entire body as he woke up in a daze, hoping it was all just a bad dream. The terror when he realized that he was pinned beneath the building with dead bodies surrounding him, and that even with his super-powered strength he couldn't move.

America honestly had no idea how long he was down there, it could have been minutes or hours or days... His mind had been too far gone to really care about time. All he knew was that he was alone and in pain.

When he had finally been found however long later, it had been revealed that he was impaled on one of the metal beams. The humans had absolutely no idea how he was still alive through all of this, especially with the amount of smoke and debris he inhaled. But his fellow countries had found him in the hospital soon after and made sure to get one of the government certified doctors for him.

It was all such a nightmare... One that America could never escape from.

Three blond heads made their way through the crowd, causing a small smile to tug at America's lips. This time of year was a constant nightmare that he would be forever trapped in, but his family was always there to make sure that he was never alone again.




"If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate." -Sandy Dahl (Wife of Flight 93 pilot, Jason Dahl)

"You can be sure that the American Spirit will prevail over this tragedy." -Colin Powell (Former United States National Security Advisor and retired 4 star General)

"We will remember every rescuer who died in honor, we will remember every family that lives in grief, we will remember..." -George W. Bush (Former US President)

"Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11." -Barrak Obama (Former US President)

"What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we've never met." -David Levithan (New York Times Best Selling Author)

"It was the worst day we've ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us." -Sen. John Kerry

"Our enemies made the mistake that America's enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness." -George W. Bush

"The attacks of September 11th were meant to break our spirit. But instead, we emerged stronger and more unified." -Mayor Rudolf Giuliani (Mayor of New York during attacks)

"We have a duty to devote at least a small portion of our daily lives to ensuring that neither America nor the world ever forgets September 11th." -Sen. Bill Frist

"Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory." -Deuteronomy 20:3-4

"I will never forget seeing what hate can destroy... I will never forget seeing what love can heal." -Steve Maraboli (public speaker)

A/N: 4010 words in one day... That's a new record for me. But it's nearly midnight now and I don't have time to proofread/too tired. If you see any mistakes, please comment them and I'll get back to change it all soon!

I was almost 3 years old when the towers fell, and I have the faintest memory of walking into the living room and seeing my mom crying at the TV. I don't know if that was 9/11 or not, but that's what I associate it with.

Never Forget