8 Years Old

Date Submitted: 05/18/2011
Author Info: Elida (Concord, CA - USA) 
Occupation: Student
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

It was barely into my first week at a completely new school in a completely new house, we hadn’t even lived there for one whole month.
My mom usually got me up at about 7 for school if I remember correctly, but that morning she got me up ridiculously early looking terrified. She didn’t ask me if I slept well or anything, she got me up and told me to come into the living room, then ran back.
We had this HUGE TV at the time as a gift from my uncle, and right there all in my tiny face was the big gaping hole in the North tower, burning away. For a second I thought it was a movie but then I recognized the faces from ABC News and realized it was real. I honestly wasn’t scared, I thought it was an accident, but I did feel terrible for those inside.
And then the second plane hit.
THAT’S when I started to get scared. I hadn’t heard yet that the first tower had been hit by a plane, so I immediately thought some bomb had gone off, but when I saw that second plane fly in I was in total shock, it was SO FAST… like one second “What is that pl- OH MY GOD.”
My mom was calmly trying to get a hold of my dad in San Francisco to tell him to get home, since she reasoned they would probably attempt to hit major cities, she did tell my dad’s boss that she wanted him home so when my dad got there his boss was pretty much like “Dude get outta here” We didn’t have cell phones then.
My grandma came in, looked at the TV and honestly just stood there for 10 minutes, not saying anything. She watched for a while, but excused herself to go pray I think…
My mom even had to call the school and ask if they were open, which they were, so I went.
We had a vigil outside on the blacktop, the principal was holding the American flag and crying, all the while I’m starting to get even more nervous.
In class my teacher didn’t teach,we sat there talking about the enormity of what was going on, I remember someone said their aunt had just visited the North tower the day before, she was out of New York by then thankfully.
Over the loudspeaker they announced that the North tower had fallen, and our teacher looked literally sick, she told us to put our heads down and pray for a minute…
Before lunch I think my mom realized that I probably wasn’t going to learn anything that day so she picked me up, bought me some McDonalds and took me home. By then my dad was there so I was feeling a bit better knowing he was safe.
The next few days I saw the footage over and over… I remember my parents being very solemn, we had a family friend who we hadn’t seen in months visit, and even he looked incredibly depressed, completely unlike him.
I don’t think the enormity truly hit me till those few days later when I was watching the news and they showed a woman bolting down the street with a baby in her arms from the dust cloud, then all the devastation afterward, New York looking like a war zone, people covered in dust, and the death toll that almost never stopped rising…
That’s what I remember anyway… my heart goes out to the victims and their families.


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