That day was such a weird day. It almost even seems like a dream, although I know it was real. That’s the scary part- it was real.
As I walked into third period Chorus, my teacher seemed very distressed. She snapped at us to sit down and watch the television. She said that the World Trade Center had been attacked, and so had the Pentagon. Attacked- such a foreign word to me, to all Americans, that it must have been a joke.
But for the next hour, as all of us watched the terror unfolding live before our eyes, we discovered that the carnage couldn’t have been more of a reality. Craning our necks to see the television, we heard the voice of a reporter describing what she saw inside a public school near the Twin Towers. There was no loud talking today, no laughing, and no smiling. And amidst the tears and soft whispers going on around me, I heard my teacher go “Oh my God”, and we turned to see one of the towers begin to collapse.
Soon we heard that a plane had crashed in Pennsylvania, but it hadn’t hit anything. My friend was saying that since it seemed that they were heading South- whoever “they” may be, we didn’t know yet-, they would hit us next. There were rumors about the Mall of America in Minnesota being bombed, and a car bomb in front of the State Department in Washington, DC.
Students were being sent to the counselors’ office right and left, and panic seemed to ensue as we continued to watch, seeing the second tower come down, knowing that all of the people in that monstrous, grand building were dying. We didn’t know what was happening, who had committed these horrendous crimes, and what they were planning to do next. All the security that I had felt only fifty minutes before had collapsed with the towers, and now seemed to be lying in the rubble of what would soon be known as “Ground Zero”.
The bell rang, and it was a terribly surreal feeling to be walking through the halls like usual, but knowing that something horrific and shocking had happened, something that had changed the lives of all the people walking around me. My friend was talking about her aunts who live on Long Island- she hoped they were okay, and she was so nervous. I remember saying, “I will be so mad if anyone is laughing about this.”
We got to fourth period Health, and our teacher said that America had been very, very lucky up until now. This happens every day in other parts of the world, he reminded us, and we are just getting a taste of what they experience. Instead of having class, we went back down to the Chorus room to watch the television. I couldn’t stand it. After asking permission, I fled to the counselors’ office.
As I walked in, I heard teachers talking. One said that Israeli troops had surrounded Jerusalem and would not let anyone get out, in case the people responsible were from there. My heart filled up, knowing that other nations were willing to help us; maybe some good will come out of this terrible thing, I thought.
I was ushered into the meeting room where a few other girls from my class were, with one of the counselors. Some were crying, and I can’t really remember exactly what I did in there. If I spoke, or if I just sat there, it’s gone. But afterwards, the counselor led me into her office, privately.
I told her about how scary this situation was, and how I was nervous about more attacks coming. She said that her husband had told her that all airplanes had been grounded and that the only aircrafts in the sky at the moment were those of the Air Force. While that made me feel a little more comfortable, I was still very uneasy. We talked through all of fourth period, which made me relieved, since I hardly wanted to go back to that television that had brought me so much fear.
My fifth period teacher was in the office when I came out, and we walked to her class together. Ironically, this was the day that we took our test on the American government.
During lunch, people kept being called out of the cafeteria to be checked out by their parents. The security guards had their walkie-talkies and I remember thinking that they were going to announce another attack or something. Inside this room, everything seemed fine, but outside, in our world, everything was extremely wrong.
When I got to sixth period, I asked my teacher if I could call my mother, to tell her that my Drama club meeting was canceled for the day, due to “everything”. Even though I tried her cell phone, she didn’t answer, and as I was walking out of the front office, in she came, my brother in tow.
She asked me if I’d like to go home, and I said yes. I went and gathered my things from French, and left with her.
At home, I was trying to forget about everything that had happened, so I actually took a nap. Listening to one of my favorite CDs, I tried to block out everything, but it was still there, still fresh.
That night, I watched President Bush address the nation. I was afraid he’d declare war on someone or a country, but he didn’t. My parents said that was because he didn’t know who to declare war on in the first place. I don’t remember anything else from that night. I just felt different: vulnerable and unprotected, just like everyone else in America at that moment in time, I guess.
It’s been two years since this happened. We have lived one day at a time, because we never know what will come next. And even if we are scared or uneasy at times, WE ARE ALL SURVIVORS.
hi. crazyness that it's been TWO YEARS. i remember it last year, lots more TV coverage. anyway, the above is my take on it. Written during spring 2002. god be with all it touched.
on to other, more happier things... chai tea is sooo good. so is grandpa's chocolate pie. today was actually a good day, surprisingly, cause it looked like it wasn't gonna be that great. want the dirt? ok, but first last night went to WNS which was fun... yummy mac and cheese, mm. then megs and i went back to her house and TRIED (keyword: TRIED) to study for our essay that we had not been studying for. we were there for about an hour but could not concentrate and also could not find any info in the book which kinda makes it harder when that is some of the only material you have for info. so we were mainly complaining the whole which was fun, hehe. went home and complained more to mummy and finally just went to bed, defeated and disgusted. :)
soooo today. went to breakfast club, got there a little late but oh well, still got to have a pancake with amy and megs and stuff. got to complain MORE (ooh, yay! just kidding yall) and then we went to school. i just must say that ms. R is the best teacher ever!! or one of them. she changed the linear art proj to be due on monday instead of tomorrow and then gave us the rest of the class to study for the stupid stupid essay!!!!! I LOVE HER! so me, kate, adrienne, katelin, warren, noah, etc. discussed the topics verrrry frantically to the best of our ability. everyone was telling me to GO SLOW on the rest of our china presentation. hehe. so we get to AP WH right? right. and so flowers says china go fast bc we have to do our essay. we all think, deargoddeargod we are all going to fail. sooooo we continue our presentation. as matt starts the religion part, EVERYONE (and i mean EVERYONE) starts asking questions regarding the topic. it was SOOOOOOOOO funny, i was up front and i had to try not to laugh b/c of course everyone was trying to stall us. i would have gotten annoyed had matt not been such a good question answerer b/c otherwise they would have lost us our oral defense just for time (at least w/ me up there we would have). but it was hysterical really. so finally around 11, coach is like, okay, stop. and we still had a worksheet to do but he said he'd give us credit for it anyway. YAY! but then we had to do the essay... groan. everyone was exchanging glances all the time and before class palmer said "ok claire, we're communicating in sign language... if i need a thesis, this is the sign..." hahaha. so he rolled 3, which i could have done, but then people were like "re roll! re roll!" so he said we could just do our choice!!! so i wrote 4 pages about the rise and expansion and social control and cohesion of hinduism in 30 minutes!! YAY! it made me feel a loooot better. so that's all. and now i have to get off cause my little brother wants to get on. wonderful. love,