As today is the 14th anniversary of the September 11th attack and I could always remember the fear and sadness I felt on that day, I feel that it is only right to share how I lived this moment and here is my story:
It was a normal morning for me as a freshman in High School. We started High School in what is considered to be 9th grade. I had started High School in Queens, New York just a few days before and the classes began for some students at 8:30am or at 9:15am. I had the earlier option. So I was in Technology class, just like any normal day but at 9:15am, the bell rang, it was time to get up and go on to the next class, which for me was history. When I stepped into the hallway (corridor) there were people scattered everywhere, some clueless as I was, and others talking on their mobile phones and some were even crying. I arrived to my History class and as always spotted my best friend to immediately ask her “What’s going on? What’s all the commotion? And why are they not giving detention passes to those students speaking on their cell phones?” Raquel quickly responded, “There was an accident, an airplane crashed into one of the Twin Towers!” Little did we know that it was no accident and that shortly after, another plane would crash into the second tower.
The rest of the day is all a blur. Of course, there was no regular class due to this tragedy but because of safety issues we were not allowed to go home. Everybody was calling their family members. Students and teachers were all over the school. All lines were engaged making it difficult to get in contact with each other and that’s when people started to panic. Some of my classmates couldn’t reach their parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. . Hugs, kisses and words of compassion were exchanged. “Don’t worry; I’m sure he/she is fine. Maybe they left their cell phone at home”. It was also a time where not everybody had a phone so it was all the more difficult to reach somebody. I was lucky enough to eventually reach my parents at their jobs and know they were okay.
After school, everybody went home as quickly as they could. There was no public transportation and traffic was disastrous. We didn’t stop by to hang out or meet friends like we sometimes did. I rushed home to my grandparents who were worried but glad that we all made it home safely. We were lucky to not lose anybody, but a lot of my friends and acquaintances lost loved ones. Our family and friends from Spain and other countries called to make sure we were all okay as they were receiving intense images different from ours. The rest of the afternoon and evening, there was nothing else on TV and once the attack was ruled as terrorism with headlines such as “American Under Attack” we were extremely terrified. Schools were suspended for some days after and just like that New York and America was changed FOREVER.