The United States, the way we knew it, changed on September 11, 2001. Shocking as the news was, it was reality and we had to deal with it. Thousands of lives-men, women, and children of various races and religions-were innocently taken. These heartless groups of terrorists set their eyes on The World Trade Center buildings in New York City and The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The terrorist attacks hurt the citizens of America, as well as attempted to destroy the nation’s economic and military power.
Instead of turning the American population against one another, the cold-blooded attacks brought the nation together and made America even more dominant. The freshmen in Mrs. Morgan’s second period Geometry class at Grand Prairie High School anxiously waited for the dismissal bell to ring. The three minutes of eternity finally came to an end with a lengthy monotone “beeeeeeeeeeeep. ” I quickly left the classroom and started walking towards the door that leads to the orchestra room.
At this time, half the kids in the school, including me, were completely oblivious. On a normal day, the students would walk around with their girlfriends or boyfriends gossiping about who is dating whom or simply whispering no nothings. Today, the hallways were filled with anxiety, fear, and, ironically, compassion. As I continued my routine walk to Orchestra, I could hear the students shouting, “The Twin Towers and The Pentagon have been attacked. Three planes have been hi-jacked and rammed into the buildings. ” Disbelief and confusion overwhelmed my senses.
When I was walking up the ramp that leads to the orchestra room my friend, Paul, came running up to me and said, “Bhavesh, they hi-jacked a plane from Dallas and crashed it into The Pentagon. ” I began to ponder about the sincerity of all the terrifying rumors. Unfortunately, in third period, I found out all the horror was true. Well, it was mostly accurate. The plane was not from Dallas; it was actually from Dulles. The correction brought forth a small bit of relief. We did not know much about the occurring disaster.
We knew that the first two aircrafts departed from Boston and crashed into the Twin Towers around 8:45 A. M and the second at 9:00 A. M. Classmates periodically claimed they were going to the bathroom, we all know that is the way to get out of class in high school, but instead of wondering the halls they went to other classrooms to watch the news. Each person that left returned with new information and shared it with the rest of the class. While students in other classrooms watched the news broadcasts, for us an hour and half passed by without seeing any images or hearing the news for ourselves.
Unanswered questions filled my mind. Finally, the bell rang and I was off to my next class. My fourth period class was History, so I figured we were bound to have access to the news. After we sat down for class, the teacher made an announcement, “We’re not going to be doing any work today, but instead we’re watching the news. Pay attention though, you’ll be quizzed,” he said. I was furious! “A quiz over the news? ” I questioned the teacher with a high-toned voice. “I did say quiz, did I not, class? ” he replied sarcastically.
So there we sat, watching the news, and trying to keep everyone quiet so we could listen and do well on the quiz if the teacher ever followed through on his threat and gave it out. Mr. Dukes was known for scaring his students by saying there would be a quiz or test on a lecture or video just so they would pay attention and not fall sleep during class. It never crossed my mind that any my classmates would be uninterested in knowing what was occurring in our nation.
My frustration level began to rise and the students started getting loud so I yelled, “Can you guys please be quiet? One student that was talking looked at me and said, “You act like you’re really watchin’ this sh*t! ” Thousands of people were dying, and all he could chatter about was the upcoming football game! The teacher heard what he said and off he went to the Discipline Office with a referral. I could not withhold my sarcastic remark, so his way out I said, “That will shut you up” and gave him a little smirk. Eventually, I became agitated by the old man’s voice on CNN repeating the same facts over and over. When class was about to end, the news broadcasts started to cover the attack on the Pentagon.
When the bell rang, I rushed to my next class. Mr. Waddell, the BCIS I instructor, already had CNN on the television and was watching it in fear himself. We sat down at the computer stations and the teacher told everyone to bring their chairs up to the center of the room and watch the news; we all did. The coverage of the attack on The Pentagon was interrupted by breaking news. We all questioned, “What now? ” In the next few minutes we heard that the South Tower had collapsed.
The entire class was silent and astonished, except one girl who was is total shock and then exclaimed, “Oh my God, my aunt works in that building! The teacher locked the doors and allowed her to call her relative. Her eyes were filled with tears. Fortunately, her aunt answered the call. Tears of fear transformed to tears of relief. “My aunt got out of the building! ” she stood up and yelled from the middle of the classroom. Everyone was happy for her and continued to hope that many others would escape from the burning towers. We could not believe our eyes; it still seemed to be some horrible nightmare. The video clips and pictures on the televisions looked surreal. The kid next to me said, “Wow, this is truly astounding.
I never thought someone could do this to America seeing how strong we are as a nation considering both our economy and military. ” Twenty minutes later, the North Tower began to crumble down and we heard about another crash in the forests of Virginia. Class ended, and then we were off to fifth period. For the rest of the day, I watched the news in fear of hearing a death toll or learning about another cruel attack. Who would of thought that our generation would have experienced an event that would go down in history books across the nation or even around the globe?
As the next few weeks passed, the news broadcasts and newspapers covered miracle stories regarding survivors and ironic deaths. “Where were you on September 11th? ” has become an ordinary question amongst Americans. Many people have a similar story to mine, but many others can recollect the disastrous day because they were fortunate enough to live through it. When one gazes upon New York City, one notices that the Twin Towers are missing, and then one realizes that the vicious attacks were true. The attacks on America united our nation and revealed that our citizens were compassionate, supportive, and dependable.