On September 11, 2001 I was a freshmen in high school just one month into my first semester at a new school. I was in marching band, a “zero hour” class that started at 6:00 a.m. Mountain Time (8:00 a.m. EST). By the time we were out of class, the North tower had already been hit. As I was walking to my 1st period class, my best friend since kindergarten approached me hurriedly and said “Dude, a plane hit one of the twin towers in New York.” All I could manage to mumble before the class warning bell rang was “What? Who hit it?” I asked this without having any idea what the twin towers were. I just knew it didn’t sound good that one was hit by a plane. Keep in my mind that I was 14 year old kid with little to no knowledge of anything outside of the small bubble I lived in every day.
By the time I reached 1st period class, the South tower had been struck. My teacher had the class television on and all we did for the entire session was watch the live news feed. Actually, that’s all I can remember doing in all of my classes that day. What I saw on the screen looked like a scene out of an action movie. I was unable to process what I was watching. Yes, people worked in those buildings. Yes, people were aboard those planes. Yes, an innumerable amount of people had already died. None of this crossed my mind.
It was at this time that announcements calling students in to the office started playing over the intercom. Parents were pulling their kids out of school in light of what was going on. It was this, coupled with the troubled looks on all of my teachers’ faces, that made me nervous.
I stayed in school all day and watched the news feed as the events of that day transpired. The pentagon being struck, both towers collapsing, flight 93 crashing in Shanksville. Each event resulted in my having less and less of a grasp on what was going on and what it meant.
My story is surely insignifiant to everyone but me. I was nowhere near New York or other areas directly affected. I did not lose a family member or know anyone who did. However, that day did serve to shake me loose of my comfortable bubble. For better or worse, I was forced to become more tuned in to the realities of the world.