A young girl’s account

Date Submitted: 08/17/2009
Author Info: Ashley (Freeport, NY - USA) 
Occupation: Other
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: Yes
Knew someone who perished?: Yes

Hey all, I was only 11 when 9-11 took place. It must’ve been my second week back to school and I was in the 6th grade. I remember the day being a little bittersweet right off the bat because my grandparents were flying back to Mississippi that morning (they’re safe don’t worry, Thank God) so my father dropped my sister and I off to school and then my grandparents off at LaGuardia airport–all of this was about 7-7:45 in the morning. I live in Long Island NY so I knew a lot of people who went off to work in the city. The day started off like any other in school but then a weird trend started happening. All thoughout the day the PA announcement came on and the principal would come on and say for ex. ‘John’s parents are here to pick him up please send him down immediately’ and all throughout the day more and more kids started to leave. I didn’t really think much of it but I knew something was up then at lunch the teacher came and told me my father was there to pick me and my sister up. I got so scared but I was also (because I was so little) happy to be leaving school. I met my twin sister in the school office and we were both smiling and then we talked about ‘Why is everyone getting picked up early’ and we both didn’t know but my dad was just looking so angry. I asked my dad what was the matter and he said ‘It’s that Sadaam Hussain’ (that was his exact words) and he started ranting to every one in the school office about how ‘we’re gonna get them’ and they were all crying from the news. Me and my sister had no idea what the grown ups were on about. My dad took us to the car and I saw SO MUCH traffic nothing but ambulences, cops, fire trucks all about to jump onto the highway to the city. Me and my sister were in a total shock and my dad had the radio set to the news and we heard ‘The twin towers are gone’ and SO MANY phone numbers people can call for help and it was just so surreal. Just to see nothing but a see of flashing lights…I thought the world was gonna blow up. I still didn’t get a straight answer from my dad he just kept assuring me and my sister that we’re safe and that we’ll get the terrorist. We finally made it home and I saw my grandparents there. I asked why they hadn’t left and they told me what was going on and ESPECIALLY because I live in New York watching the news was like the most scary thing ever cause it was all LIVE! I tried to turn it on Nickelodean to get my mind off the chaos but I remember the screen just being black with a massage scrolling down the bottom. On ABC they had coverage from Chambers street and I remember this so clearly the reporter was this guy I’d seen everyday he was covered in soot and I remember he said ‘Oh shit!’ and I laughed because he cursed and then just seeing the South tower fall and him running and the camera just faced to the ground and people screaming for their life I started crying. My mom’s family lives in uptown Manhattan so I tried calling them it got through once and I called to check on my mom and she told me how the electricity was going on and off and how there’s smoke in the sky. Mind you she lived in Harlem so the smoke traveled ALL the way from downtown to all the way uptown. There was so much panic. That was the only time I can recall thinking and truly believing that I was gonna die. I’m 19 now and I still live in Long Island I’m moving to the city soon but I still think of that day EVERYTIME I wake up. My grandparents being stranded at the airport on that day them seeing the smoke and the just tension. I was so young but I cried so much. It started out like any other day.


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