I just read through some of my old diary entries. I never actually wrote down what happened to me on 9/11, which is weird, but I remember it very clearly.
First and second periods were completely normal, just like any other day. The first plane must have hit a few minutes before the end of first period, and the second plane at the beginning of second period. My third class was a computer class, so people started going online, although I don’t think we were supposed to. People started talking then about the WTC being attacked, but we didn’t really know what was happening. In my fourth class, everything was normal again…until lunch. That was at 11:11 am. After I left that class I didn’t see a single teacher the rest of the time, because they locked themselves in their classrooms. (The middle school kids in the same building were still in class on lockdown, but the high schoolers were out and about.) Kids were wandering the halls, people were crying and afraid that we would be under attack next. There were various stories and rumors circulating about what exactly was going on…all we knew were that planes, bombs, and terrorists were somehow involved. Students weren’t allowed to have cell phones at school, so kids were crowding into the bathrooms and begging to borrow others’ phones to call their family members. I met up with my friends in the cafeteria, and they didn’t know anything either. We just kind of sat there in shock watching the chaos and pandemonium around us and wondering why the teachers had abandoned us. I was worried about my sister, who was in the middle school, and my dad, who often drives to New York City for work. One of my friends actually fainted because she was worried about her friends who live in Pennsylvania. The whole scene was completely surreal.
Eventually, at around 11:45, the principal came on the loudspeaker and told us that everyone was going home, that the buses would be outside shortly and that they would leave at 12:15. A lot of people’s parents came and picked them up, but I waited for the bus. My sister was nowhere to be found, but finally she came out a few minutes before the bus left. She had had no idea that everything was so crazy because she was in her classroom. As we rode the bus home I kept looking for planes in the sky. We went inside and my mom had the TV on and the first thing I saw were the towers with smoke pouring out of them. I told my mom what happened at school and then watched for a long time, just trying to understand what was going on. I called my dad later and he was fine. And life went on as usual, but I can’t say it was ever quite the same.