Back in 2001, I lived in a small part of Queens in a neighborhood where I grew up knowing everyone. My days were spent mostly playing with friends outside, waiting for the ice cream truck. We would play with our Skip-Its and ride our scooters up and down the streets. We didn’t have a care in the world and we were safe. I had never heard the word “terrorist” EVER. My thoughts on evil came from all those Disney movies I watched. Seriously.
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 I was in my fifth grade classroom. I distinctly remember that we were getting ready to go to the auditoriumfor music class and I checked the clock. All of a sudden my teacher got a phone call and his face droppes. I STILL remember what he looked like. Like he got punched in the stomach. He told one of my classmates that he was getting picked up early and to go to the office. The phone kept ringing, and one after another, my classmates were leaving. Eventually I did too.
My parents were working in the city but my aunt picked me and my cousins up and took us to her house. On tv I saw people jumping out of windows in a building that was covered in smoke. I remember my aunt tearing up and asked her what was going on and why it was all happening. She told me they were terrorists and “evil people without a heart”. That day I learned that there was more to my sheltered life. I remember when my parents finally got home we took a walk to our neighbor’s house down the road and saw the smoke in the air all the way from Queens.
My block did a candlelight vigil and school was closed for a while. I do not remember the days leading up to or after that day. But that is a Tuesday I will always remember, the images are forever in my mind.