My memory of September 11th, 2001 is very vivid – I’m sure most Americans feel the same way. We can recall the names of people we were near, even if we haven’t seen them in years. We know what time we heard about the terrorist attacks.
When I first heard about the planes crashing into the World Trade Center I was a sophomore in high school on my way to geometry class. I remember hating geometry. I was relieved that we would have a substitute that day because our teacher had been sick.
As I was walking through the hallways I heard a few people talking about planes hitting buildings, so I thought a plane had crashed locally – one of Delta’s main hubs is the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport.
One of my friends had been in the library the period before and saw the news online. He asked me “Isn’t this nuts? A plane hit the World Trade Center…” Yeah. Crazy.
I went to class, realizing that it was a tragedy, but not understanding that it was an attack. When I got to geometry a few people had crowded around the television, and as I glanced over I saw the second plane hit the towers. At the time I thought they were replaying the first plane hitting – but as they panned out, I saw two plumes of smoke. Both towers were hit. It took a little bit for everyone to realize it wasn’t an accident.
Mr. Meltebrink (the substitute teacher) said something about a historic event, the start of a war, etc. While we all knew it was an attack and warranted retaliation I don’t think anyone realized how big of an impact that day would have on our lives.
It’s amazing how many conversations and comments I can remember from the day. The rest of the day we went from class to class, never staying away from a television for more than a few minutes at a time. Suddenly all the quizzes, tests, and homework assignments seemed a bit trivial.
I remember in 6th period I had religion class (I went to a private high school) and our teacher, normally excited to teach and fun to listen to, was very somber. He warned us about the next few days and the graphic images of bodies being pulled from the wreckage. Now, as we know, there were very few bodies pulled out of ground zero.
I remember coming home and seeing that every channel, not just the standard news channels, had plugged into one of the many feeds showing the live coverage. The anchors all looked exhausted, some of them were in the studios for more than 24 hours straight trying to bring everyone the latest news. Even MTV interrupted regular broadcasting and was showing the ABC news coverage.
It’s hard to believe September 11th, 2001 was five years ago. It seems like it was yesterday. All of the memories are so vivid.