It’s just been a month or so since I landed in the US and I vividly remember the chaos that was on September 11, 2001.
I was in my Government class – a place for all seniors to hang out to discuss and debate politics. Not for me though :-(. Since I had just started learning about US government, etc., I had to concentrate more in class so I can understand and appreciate the system (and so I can get a decent grade). Usually, our teacher was there in class even before us students got there. But that day, he was no where around. I had seen him earlier that morning when I was getting my books from my locker, so I was glad that he was late to class ‘cause that gave me some time to revise for the quiz we were to be given that day. It was about 15 mins since the class started when our teacher entered the room looking totally blank.
He came in, turned on CNN and told us that the WTC was on fire. At first I thought it was just some small fire that got out of control. I (and most others, I would say) was just glad that we might escape taking the quiz. As we watched the television, we learned that it was due to a plane crash on the WTC. “Well, that’s got to be bad”, I thought. But it didn’t strike me too hard. That’s when we saw the other plane hit. “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?” This is when I started to comprehend the massiveness of the issue. My eyes were filled in tears – I felt bad for all those in the buildings, all the people in the plane, and all the family/friends who were suffering.
Parents started calling the school right away. Not that Al-Queada was going to attack one of the suburban high schools in upstate NY, but just that they were concerned. We stayed in our class all through that morning watching the news as the third plane hit Pentagon and the fourth plane in PA. I don’t exactly remember if we were let out of school early that day, but as I walked home I couldn’t help but hope it would be nice if this was all just a dream.
As I reached home in the afternoon, I got my eyes glued to the TV pretty much all day. I didn’t do anything else that day. It was such a gruesome scene. It was awful. I was shattered. It didn’t seem too real until they started showing how many people lost their lives. It was heartbreaking to see a person’s family/friend in tears. Anger, grief, frustration – that’s all what people felt. Now it became real. It seemed too far away, yet too close to home.
I can’t imagine what would have gone through people’s minds as they realized the fact that they were not going to make it home that night and that this was the end. I can’t imagine what would’ve gone through a wife’s head as her husband called to say “Goodbye honey. Take good care of our children.” I can’t imagine what would have gone through a teenager’s mind as (s)he watched a plane crash into the building his/her parent(s) worked. I can’t imagine how a brother/sister/parent/child/friend would have felt as they sat in those planes and said their final prayers. I can’t imagine the amount of pain and sorrow that everyone went through.
This day might become a distant memory to many of us as time goes on. But for the people who were there, for the people who lost a loved one – it will always be as painful as it was on that day. In my thoughts today are – all those who lost their life, all those who lost a loved one, all those who risked their life to save others’ and all those who survived the day!