Skip to main content

9/11 Ten Years Later: Where Were You?

I remember it like it was yesterday when my history teacher told the class:

"This is a day you will never forget, a day you will tell your children about and a day that will be in future history books."

As a sophmore in high school on September 11, 2001 I remember being very scared and wanting to go home when the news first broke.

It was a normal day which started off with what was my normal routine like every other school day: get up at 6:45 a.m., get ready for school, eat breakfast, walk to school, go to homeroom, go to classes, walk home from school, goof off, do homework, eat dinner, go to bed and get ready to do it all over again until the weekend arrives.

But on this day my usual schedule changed. While sitting in history class us students heard that a plane crashed into one of the twin towers and we didn't know what to think. The class got frantic and gossip started swirling around. We thought it was an accident at first. Then we got news that another plane hit the twin towers, this was no accident, the nation was under attack.

Many students started being called to the main office shortly after. Parents were worried and were getting their kids out of schoool. I remember sitting in class and wondering why my name was not being called over the loud speaker so I can go home too.

I just sat there and thought. I thought about my Aunt who worked in New York and by the way she still works there till today. I wondered if she was okay and thought about all the people who were in the twin towers. Then I thought what happens next? Is a third plane coming? And do we have to evacuate?

"Why am I still in school? I should probably just sneak out and go home," is what I kept thinking. But I didn't leave and the rest of the school day wasn't the same. There was a radio in some classrooms and we listened to what was happening.

When I got home I turned on the TV and watched the news. I couldn't believe my eyes as they showed over and over again the planes crashing into the buildings and the twin towers falling. To see all that chaos and destruction was like something out of a movie.

I couldn't even stop watching the news for the next couple of days, my eyes were just glued to the TV. Some people were even saying that it wasn't good for the news to repeatedly show those images.

My family and I found out my Aunt was okay and made it out of New York really late, no one could contact her at first because her cellphone service was down like many other people's service. I was fortunate enough to know that my loved ones were safe but other families weren't as fortunate. Would America ever be the same? Are we safe?

After 9/11 I started noticing a unity forming with all races. The American flag became the hot item to have. Every house on my block had an American flag hanging up outside of their homes and cars starting sporting the American ribbon decals.

One more thing... I also noticed, after 9/11, the way some people started viewing Muslims, especially Muslims who wore the scarves on their heads. They were getting viewed as the bad guy, like they were all terrorists. Until today I still hear the many stereotypes that people have against Muslims.

Today, at 26-years-old, I remember 9/11 and pray for the victims families, I think about all the people who lost their lives on that day and how many courageous firefigters risked their lives to help others on that day in New York.

I talk about 9/11 to my little sister who is 11-years-old now. Kids around her age were only babies when 9/11 happened, so they have no recollection of that day. These kids can only go by history books and our stories. 

Ten years later and I am a journalist and I constantly hear about 9/11 and now im involved in its coverage in preparation leading up to its tenth anniversary.
Every year around 9/11 I remember the words of my history teacher in high school and there's always that conversation when someone will ask, "Where were you on that day?"


Post a Comment

Add your comments and thoughts below and click 'subscribe by email' button to receive follow up responses and other comments on this post.