I live in Irondequoit, NY–a small town in Rochester. I remember it was a day just like any other . . . it was also my aunt’s 40th birthday. It was supposed to be a great day for her; she was planning on flying to Las Vegas. Anyway I was 12 years old and had just begun 7th grade, and was a major geek with glasses and was soon going to get braces. The morning was a total blur until 2nd period Math class. I remember the room I was in and exactly where I was sitting. We were doing work out of our textbooks when our principal broke the news over the PA system. He said this is no laughing matter and nothing to joke about. I remember being shocked because I had just gone to NYC that June and seen the towers. And I also remember saying to myself this will definitley be on the front page of the paper tomorrow. Little did I know it would not only be on the front page of our newspaper but on essentially every newspaper in the world, and on every news channel for the next several days and weeks. Later, band class was cancelled and the students and teachers all went in the auditorium to watch the news. They hooked up the TV to a special projector so we could all watch it on the big screen. That’s where I first saw the towers fall. I wasn’t initially shocked at first but I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing. When my older sister and I got home from school we tried to call my aunt who lived in NYC at the time; she lived in the East Village and was on a bus going to work when one of the planes hit–and my great uncle was also in NYC for a business trip or something. My aunt and her roommates had to wear surgical masks because of all the dust and other supposedly toxic particles in the air. That evening we were all tuned into CNN, and it was just a solemn quiet night for the most part, other than the sounds of the TV. I watched the news on my little black and white TV while I was in bed. For the next week various fundraisers went on in our school; we sold red white and blue helium balloons and put our loose change in a jar. When we took our aunt out for dinner at TGI Fridays for her 40th birthday that Friday, I remember the restaurant was decorated with red white and blue balloons, and they did a special candlelight vigil. 9-11-01 is a day we should never forget and it really makes me proud to be an American. I just wish we could’ve prevented the attacks from happening.