ten years ago today I remember exactly where I was when I heard a plane had flown into the 1st tower: I was a junior in high school, sitting in homeroom next to one of my best friends waiting for the bell to ring so I could go to my first class. I remember our principal came on the loudspeaker and announced that a plane had flown into the world trade center, i remember turning to my friend and saying "how could you fly a plane accidentally into a gignatic building? thats so weird!" i wasnt alone in thinking it was a freak accident, and not quite understanding the damage a plane could do to a building. i remember being in the social studies offices crowded around a tv with a bunch of students and my favorite teacher the second the second plane hit the other tower. i remember being horrified by what i was seeing and crying without realizing it. i remember my history teacher freaking out trying to get in touch with her husband who worked by the towers, everyone around me panicking trying to reach their parents, friends, loved ones, anyone they knew who was in the city which is soo many people when you only live a short train ride away from it. it was the first time we werent all getting yelled at for pulling out our cell phones. i remember the announcement that the towers has fallen, the shocked silence that went through the hallways of my school. I remember my friend J and her brother going down to the guidance offices bc their father worked at the towers and they were terrified, crying. i remember my chemistry teacher who would no let any of us leave the room, use our phones, ask questions...nothing, just wanted us to continue on with our chemistry lesson as if it was any other day. i know now that he was just as terrified as the rest of us, but in that moment, i thought he was heartless, and for the remainder of the year, and apparently still now all these years later, i did not respect him and its the same memory i have of him. i remember going to work at cvs that night and everyone coming in just shocked. people would just start talking about it, to strangers. i remember the next morning, hearing the list of name of the missing, the people who were lost, just reading the lists in the paper and seeing it on tv, i cried and cried. seeing the pictures of people who jumped from the windows trying to save themselves, hearing the stories of those who managed to make a last call to their loved ones to say goodbye, those who had false hope thinking they were safe and still perished... i didn't know anyone personally, and for that i was lucky. but the sheer magnitude of the number of lives lost, the people who lost their loved ones, children who were left parentless, people who just got up and went to work that morning thinking about the things they had to do after work, plans for the weekend, the coffee they were going to run out and grab at lunch.
i think thats what hits me the most...that all those people got up that morning thinking it was going to be just another day at work. maybe some of them were sick and didnt want to go in that day. maybe some of them decided to go in earlier than usual to get some work done. maybe some of them werent even supposed to be there, or had just run out for coffee, or were running late...anything that in a split second that decision changed the fate of their lives. i think thats whats so scary about it all, that at any moment your life can be changed forever, without your control. you can do everything right and still it might not make a difference.
sorry about this huge rambling arrangement of my thoughts. i just feel so many ways about it all, that i cant organize what i have to say in an orderly fashion. if ive learned anything from this awful tragedy its that we should never take anything for granted. we should tell the people we love that we love them, every day all the time. we should enjoy every single second of every day for the rest of our lives. we should be kind and considerate and caring and humble. we should reach out to strangers and be there for friends. we should appreciate the lives that we have and make the most of them. because no matter how rough things get, how angry you might be at someone, how much you think you hate your life at any given moment--always remember that you are lucky to have a life, to be around the people you love, to have the chance to do everything youve ever wanted to do, and just to be alive.
be brave kids,