While sitting in mac-lab class attempting to type feelings up as I am right now, my principle interrupts by asking us to please stand up and give the pledge of allegiance.
I was slowly learning how to use the world’s fanciest OS (still reveling in the brink of its fame), but now I sit here to tell you my story — through my mac laptop — of a day that shook the world.
I wore a normal pink t-shirt and “Mudd-“brand grey colored pants that bore pink threaded, outlined stitches along them — I remember thinking that morning to myself that “pink” and “grey” go very well together. It was 4th period.
“I Pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the Untied States of America.
And to the republic, for which it stands, one nation under God.
Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. “
It was off guard, especially since we had already done the pledge that morning as we always do in “advisory,” the class we go to before our school day starts. We were forced to remain standing for a moment of silence. I never knew what “a moment of silence was,” until now.
It was confusing. Why did we even stand? We hadn’t been asked to “stand” in years, even when we normally do it.
Our teacher never said a word. It still crosses my mind until this day if she knew or not.
I’m not sure if the media or internet was as savvy as it is today. I find it hard to believe she was able to get to a television. We all looked around at each other, whispered in hushes and murmurs, but quickly forgot and got over it considering “lunch” was our next class.
Our principle never explained herself either, and it wasn’t until the next coming periods that I slowly tried to puzzle the pieces of my country’s tragedy.
Throughout the day classmates got pulled out of class. Some crying, others screaming. People got to go home early. How I wished I was called home. Why didn’t anyone pick me up? It always felt good to go home early.
Today, I thank God that it wasn’t me. That I was one of the ones left behind, and that my family is still humbly safe and sound in our small Long Island home.
Mystery pervaded the hallways of my school, and by the end of the day we were all well aware that something happened to The World Trade Center.
In all honesty, I had no idea what The World Trace Center was, or what anyone was even talking about. What the hell was The World Trade Center?
Hmmm, never heard of it before, so I brushed it off.
On the bus ride home I was excited, my nephew Edward was turning 3 today and I was the one to bake the cake.
Blurred thoughts of the school day were slowly fading away as I looked forward to spending the night at home with my family.
But then it hit me again. My neighbor began speaking of IT again, The World Trade Center. This time about an attack. I couldn’t take it anymore, and right as we stepped down the bus together I burst out in fury asking,
“What is The World Trade Center? What is going on?!”
Disturbed. Looking me straight in the eye, she confidently shouts,
“My mom says the Twin Towers are gone, down to the ground!”
Flashes of driving to Queens and Manhattan every weekend to visit my cousins scattered before my eyes. I had never been to the Twin Towers, but always wanted to go. The two Tall Towers that meant we were getting closer to “The City” were gone — but how? How could it be? Like something out of a movie.
I did a report in 4th grade on America’s Wonders, The Twin Towers were one of them, and even so, I still didn’t know they were formerly called The World Trade Center. The only fact I could recall from that report was that one could build a single sidewalk from NY to Washington D.C. with all the cement used in their construction, and now they were gone.
Without letting my neighbor get another word in, I 180-ed, ran the block all the way home, and busted through my front door which was already unlocked.
Both of my brothers were home, intently watching the television.
That was when I saw it. I walked up the the stairs with my eyes glued to it. There they were, on T.V., engulfed in flames, burning on fire.
The attacks were on replay, and every time it played my eldest brother (who was there for his son’s birthday) would yell,
And it went on like that for the rest of the night.
They told me not to look, to go in the kitchen, or to my room.
I decided to bake my nephew’s cake, and when I pulled it out of the oven I burned the inside of my forearm.
A huge scar still rests till’ this day, but I take pride in it and hold it as a memory that pays homage to all the burned and lost souls that suffered on that day, because we will never forget. Ever.
I would peak into the living room every chance I got, and it didn’t matter to try and change the channel, because this moment in history was on every channel.
What looked like balls of fire shooting out of the towers was apparently not. I was wrong. They were human bodies, throwing themselves off to save the pain and agony.
To this day those images have stained my brain, and now I understand why my brothers told me “not to look,” but I still don’t understand why they did this to us. Who were they? It doesn’t matter at this point, because 13 years later we are still trying to figure it out.
NEVER FORGET 9/11