Story Time: The Day The World Changed
September 11th, 2001 changed America. Some compared it to the Kennedy assassination because so many of us knew exactly what we were doing and what was going on when it happened. I shared this story in a moment through Twitter years ago and in comment replies. Now that I have this platform, my website, I figured I could share a better recollection of my memory here.
I was in Home Economics at one of the many desks with my classmates when the announcement over the speaker system stated that students would be allowed to go home early today because there had been an attack on American soil. For the students that would not leave early, some bus routes would be still be running to take those of us that didn’t leave could get home. Many of my classmates either left because they drove or had their parents pick them up, but for me, I ended up staying.
The hallways were the weirdest mixture of silence interrupted with crying I’d ever experienced. Girls students were crying, and male students were talking about signing up for services as soon as they could. I learned that one of my classmates had a father that worked in Tower 1. I understood her shaking and tears better than and felt bad for what she was going through. Another girl was crying because she was dating a boy that had signed up for the military recently and he was “going to be gone now.”
The class I had after Home Economics was Math. It was there I got to see what was going on. The teacher had the news playing on a TV in the corner. The news was reporting on the first plane hit, but when I saw a second one hit, I yelled, “A second one just hit!” My teacher whipped around getting on to me until he finally heard them announcing how the second one had just hit. He was getting on to me for lying and explaining it was just one plane until he listened to them on the TV explaining the second plane. He was distraught, and I sat back down in my seat.
The rest of the day seemed like a blur. The bus ride home was silent. The walk home was silent. I didn’t have any television at home, so it was days before I learned another plane had hit the Pentagon and another had crashed in Pennsylvania. All I had learned was about the towers being hit.
Many things changed, but for me, day to day slow got back to normal. Talk of joining the services faded. Girls stopped crying. Talk turned from the news to dances, dating, football, and the usual high school conversations.
I never saw the girl who was crying about her father. Time to time, I wonder whatever happened to her. If the father made it out. I never heard anything on if that one student’s boyfriend was deployed or not. I learned that many of my classmates joined the service. I also think about a student that had graduated the year before. She was going to NYU when she graduated. She wanted to go into fashion, if I remember correctly.
Over the years, like many others, I watched the documentaries and felt for those who lost loved ones. I also feel for those that are still struggling to this day with how that event changed their lives.
Over the years, I met someone online that lived there during the event. He shared his story with me, but I never pushed the topic. He spoke of the debris being on everyone, walking home like everyone else over the bridge, and how it still bothered him at the time we spoke. One moment he was doing his job, heard a rumbling, and the next seeing a cloud take over the street in front of the building through the glass windows.
I do not want this Story Time to be full of conspiracy theories or arguing. This was meant for me to merely share a memory from my life. Any comments are of theories and arguing will be deleted.