I know this is a week late, but I was inspired by some friends who wrote their Facebook statusdescribing where they were on 9-11. Every year on that day, I think about those moments and how I felt, as do most people.
I was a sophomore in high school. I had 2nd period Musical Theatre. Once a semester, we had to have a meeting with our guidance counselors. No one ever wanted to go, especially when you were in a class that you liked, like Musical Theatre. I always hoped it would be during Math or something. Anyway, I was in class with about 6 other girls who were my friends. When the time came, I had to leave and go see my guidance counselor. I had planned to just smile and nod and say “everything is great,” so I could get out of there as soon as possible. I sat and waiting outside her office until she was ready. As I was sitting there, I was looking at all the motivational posters hanging up. One said something like “Teamwork: The ability to work together for a common vision.” At the time, I thought it was lame. I noticed a group of teachers huddled in the hallway. There were maybe 4 or 5 of them in a circle, and one in particular was crying rather hard. I thought it was weird and that maybe if she was upset, she shouldn’t be crying in the middle of the hallway where she could make a scene. I went into my guidance counselor’s shoebox of an office and smiled and nodded for about 10 minutes. Then I went back to class. The atmosphere of the class was far different than it was when I left. Everyone was quiet as my teacher was explaining something. I walked in in the middle of it, so I had no clue what she was speaking of. Then she uttered the word “terrorist.” I said ” WWHHAT?” She then began to explain what she knew at that point. I was stunned. After class, I ran to my mom’s office (Oh, my mom worked at my high school), and asked what was happening. She had a radio in her office so she explained a bit more. I remember starting to tear up but didn’t want to because I still wasn’t sure EXACTLY what it all meant, who did this, and that the second tower would be hit and eventually they both would collapse. It was too much to wrap my sophomore head around.
The next period I had was a free period. My friends and I wandered the halls, not knowing what to do with ourselves. We passed by the Spanish teacher’s room and she had the TV on. The room was full. Everyone was either crying or completely stunned. Then the principal came in and made her shut the TV off. Needless to say, we were all extremely upset. Why would they try to shield this from us? To try to have a normal day of school? Yeah, right! We decided to eat our lunch in the Choral/Drama room, where I had originally found out. I knew that way we could all talk about it and my teacher would be willing to tell us what else she knew.
The last period of the day I had Chemistry. I thought, “For sure we can just talk through everything. I can’t do chemistry now!” I was wrong, my Chemistry teacher acted like nothing even happened. Not a mention. Nothing. Not only was I angry that I had to actually do Chemistry, but I really wanted to talk about it with my teachers.
After school, I went to the gym because I had a volleyball game. There was a note on the door that all sports were cancelled. So, I went home.
That night, my family and I sat in front of the TV and watched, almost in silence like most families did that night.
I don’t remember much after that. I remember attending a candlelight vigil at Scoville Park in Oak Park and I remember crying there. I cannot believe it has been 12 years. But I look back and I think about that poster about teamwork. The one that, at the time I thought was something they put up to take up space, but became so much more meaningful to me as Americans all over the nation were saying “United We Stand.”
I will never forget where I was and how I felt that day.