I can never forget what happened on September 11th, 2001. It was the scariest day of my life.
It was the beginning of the sixth grade for me, I was at a new school, and was living in Metro New York (where I grew up).
My teacher's cell phone had rang around ten of 9 am. This was unusual, in 2001, cell phones weren't what we use them as now, but rather for emergencies only. She saw it was her daughter and took the call into the hall. She came back in with tears running down her face. Her daughter who lived a few blocks from the WTC had said that a plane crashed into the tower.
She told us about the "accident". We were in disbelief. A few minutes later, our principal came in and told us what had happened, and as she stood there, she heard news of the second strike. This was no accident. She told us, a room full of 10 and 11 year olds that we couldn't utter a word about this outside the classroom because our school was K-6, and she didn't want anyone under the age of 10 to hear of this. She than ran out and a few minutes later came back in and declared that school had to move to to the basement.
Teachers were shaking, crying, and carrying folders. Folders with student's contact information, like where their parents worked. Because when you live a little under an hour from Manhattan, you were about guaranteed to have one or both parents working in the city. We stayed in the basement, we had no idea why. But we had to stay calm and play games.
We were under attack. This was a war. How did this happen. We were living in a nightmare. Not an idea of what was happening, and fearing for our lives.
All day, students were in and out of the room. Teachers asking them where their parents and guardians were. We hadn't seen any of the footage. Parents came in and took their children out. I just stayed there, my mom was a single mom and working. My dad who had worked in the city, and actually at the Twin Towers during the 93 bombing, was at a business trip in Florida.
I didn't see anything until I got home that day and that's all that played. We just sat there and watched the news. How could this happen. In the days and weeks that followed it was constant fear. But at the same time, unity. We had come together, every store had an American Flag hanging up, every street corner with a sign that said "God Bless the USA". It was that comforting fact that we were all together during this horrific time, that made it easier.
Almost as if the American flag was a blanket, just comforting us and protecting us. United We Stand. We were all afraid but not alone. We all made new friends.
I remember a day or two after the attacks, Z100 had released a remix of Enrique Inglesis' "Hero", which still brings tears to my eyes.
I just want to say, God Bless America. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. And God Bless all those who lost anyone during that horrific day, and anyone who is still suffering from it. To this day, first responders are still suffering from the aftermath, from the debris and smoke. I encourage all of you to observe a moment of silence to remember all the innocent lives lost that day, and to be thankful. Thank your local fire departments, police, EMTs. And say a prayer or send a thought to all those who lost a mother, father, son, daughter, aunt, uncle..etc. Because they don't just think about 9/11 during September but every day of their life.