I was in 2nd period on the infamous day. I was taking a test online in a room full of computers in one of my high school’s two adjacent labs.
Around 9 AM EST, the network administrator came into our room and spoke something to the teacher, then turned to the class and as he was leaving, non-chalantly mentioned, “Oh, and if any of you are done with the test, go to CNN.com. Two commercial jets flying in formation just hit the World Trade Center. The FBI suspects terrorism.”
(It didn’t matter that the facts were slightly skewed; the point got across.)
“Holy Sh*t!” I yelled; I could see–and hear–I was not the only one startled. Nobody cared about my flagrant use of profanity, they had something more important on their minds.
I went to CNN.com and saw the now-famous pictures of the two towers on fire, but still standing. It was some consolation to see them still proudly upright, but they had been dealt a lethal blow.
The next period was spent watching the televisions in the library. When a news anchor came on and said that they had gotten an unconfirmed report of a fire at the Pentagon, a collective wave of confusion and fright passed over the rest of my classmates, who were wondering, ‘Would they bomb the school?’, ‘My mom works for the government, would she be ok?’ That is, everyone was confused and deeply saddened except for one boy whose name and face I will never forget. His name was Bill, and he used the word ‘awesome’ that day, once, one time too many. “Awesome!” He said, “Our government’s, like, being destroyed!” I was able to restrain myself.
But a period later when I watched the towers collapse live, I couldn’t help but cry.