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The Day the World Trade Center Came Down
When I was in 10th grade, my first period was History... Maybe Social Science; those are basically the same thing. At that school, we didn't have an automated bell system, so we had to wait for the administrative assistant to press the bell button. Our teacher finished the lesson for the day and we were doing homework for the next day (or, in my case, that day, I'm sure). After a while, the teacher got chatty and started talking to us about her maiden name. In Germany, her ancestors were Zarrtmann, I think she said, but during World War II, her family changed it to Zartman so it would seem a little less German. An hour passed, and we were all getting antsy. She sent Casey, a blonde girl who sat on my right, to see what was going on. A few seconds later, Casey runs back, pale, motioning all of us to follow her. We went into the main room in the middle of the school where a TV had been plugged in, around which half the school sat in metal folding chairs. We found some and watched. It was after the first plane but before the second. No one spoke for two hours. Gradually, other classes joined us until the whole school was in that room. We sat there, watching as the World Trade Center fell and so many people died. None of the students said anything, did anything... We sat there in shock, not really believing this could happen. Some of the teachers were crying. We stopped watching at some point and started calling parents to pick us up. I remember getting my cell phone out of my pocket to call my mom and my homeroom teacher saw me and almost said something, almost got onto me for having my cell at school, but she closed her mouth and went to help some other kid.
After that, it felt like every news channel was watching the rubble move, stone by stone. We weren't shown many crying faces because we were supposed to be strong, so instead of focusing on the grieving families, the cameras zoomed in on the faces of dogged determination that were focusing on moving the stone like an old fashioned fire brigade in rewind. People started wearing shirts that said "I (heart) NY." I hate those shirts. Whenever I see them, their hypocrisy makes me cringe and I just want to stop the person and ask them if they've ever been to NY and, if not, why do they wear that shirt? That was about when I first heard the phrase "War on Terror." Bush has said some idiotic things in his day, but wars are fought by people, against people. Not concepts. The war on terror is turning on the light for your three year-old baby girl because she's afraid of the dark, not sending people into Iraq or Afghanistan.
Even though there were other planes, they are gradually fading away. They didn't get nearly the coverage and they still don't. I don't know how long this country (or any other, for that matter) will remember this or how long the younger generations will actually know what people mean when they reference "9/11." Already, we had to make a movie so that my generation will know what the whole Pearl Harbor fuss is about.