Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Where were you on 9/11?
It was my Senior year of Highschool. School had only been in session for about a week (in New York you start school shortly after labor day, I know some of you guys down south start in August)
We were all still adjusting to our schedules and new faces.
It was 1st period of the day, my social media class.
We had a TV in the classroom but it wasn't hooked up to any cable, it just kinda chilled there for when the teacher brought in movies for us to watch.
Another teacher runs into our classroom and says "something is happening in NYC!"
No one knew what was going on, our teacher told all 20 something of us to file into the history class next door where the teacher had a radio for us to listen to.
When I walked in the history teacher was crying. At this point I was still unsure why.
Thats when we heard the news. That a commercial plane had hit one of the twin towers.
At this point terrorism didn't even cross anyone's minds. We were thinking the benefit of the doubt and possibly assumed the pilot perhaps suffered some kind of medical injury that caused him to loose control of the plane.
Then it happened, the 2nd plane hit the towers.
The history teacher busts into more sobs, her husband was currently a NYC fireman and didn't know if he was dead or alive.
At this point they told the students if anyone had any family who was in the city and needed to get in touch with them to go to the front office.
I remember running out of that history teacher's room and passing other kids who were in tears concerned for their parents who were working in Manhattan or currently flying the east coast.
I was looking for my little cousin Kellie who was a freshman at the time. We lived next door to one another, she's 3 years younger than me so for a short while we're both in the same building at the same time.
I knew she had gym, so I bust into the locker rooms like a crazy woman and start saying "Kellie?? Kellie????"
My uncle (her dad) worked in the city at Rockefeller plaza (for those of you who are unfamiliar its where the giant christmas tree goes up every year) at this point she knew something was going on in the city but didn't know the full extent of it since she was in gym class and all of this was just going down with in the past 45 minutes.
She told me that he either just came home for the day or that he was off, I can't remember now but I just remember her telling me he wasn't there.
Again, she had no idea why I was so frantic, I just told her that I didn't fully understand what was happening yet but there were 2 commercial planes that hit the twin towers. I then told her that there is currently no way into the city and out of the city.
Soon after that our building was on lock down. None of us were allowed outside since we didn't know if they would attempt to do anything on Long Island.
Parents were able to pick up students early. Everyone just kind of ignored their schedules for the day and we just aimlessly walked around the hallways like zombies.
I don't remember how I got home that day, perhaps they let us out early or perhaps we used the bus, but I just remember this weird smell in the air. I had never smelled anything like that before. We were getting some of the wind from the city. It just smelled like something was burning.
When I finally got home I found my mom down stairs fixated on the TV. In New York a lot of our cable channels were not available due to the twin towers (I think some of the antennas might have been on the building themselves) so we were only able to get a few networks. The news coverage still haunts me. For weeks it was only about what happened that day, there were no sitcoms and no other programs shown for a very long time.
You saw people holding up printed photos of their loved ones asking if anyone has seen them. There were fences and walls covered in hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of photos of missing people.
At one point they even stopped traffic on the bridges going in and out of the city for fear that a terrorist might put a bomb on a truck, leave it there, and have it take out a bridge.
I just remember feeling really unsafe for a very long time. Shortly after 9.11 there was a lot of other stuff happening too. There was anthrax scares, there was talks of biochemical attacks on the trains in and out of the city.
I didn't want to go anywhere, and I hated feeling that way. I didn't want *them* to get the best of me.
I remember you couldn't walk 2 feet with out seeing an American flag pop up somewhere. There were being hung from the windows of houses and the antennas of cars.
We will never let them crush our spirits. To all of those who lost their lives today you are never ever forgotten. For those of you who knew someone on one of the planes, in one of those buildings, or in the pentagon you are also in our hearts and minds today.
Posted by Leonora at 9:07 AM