I was thirteen and in eighth grade. It was the passing period between first and second period. My classmates and I were descending the stairwell on our way to Spanish class. An announcement came over the intercom about a plane crash in New York City. None of knew what had happened.
When we entered our classroom, we saw the burning buildings and billowing smoke on the TV. Our Spanish teacher stared on in disbelief, his hand covering his mouth. We watched in silence as the reporters recounted the morning’s events. Then the news came of a third plane that had hit the Pentagon. It was evident that none of this was an accident. A female reporter screamed “Oh my god! Oh my god!” as the first tower disintegrated before our eyes.
Another plane crashed in Pennsylvania. We all thought Chicago would also be attacked. My parents both worked downtown near the Sears Tower, which seemed a likely target. I cried all day out of fear and confusion. My parents, of course, were ok, but the events of that day left a hole in our country.
Before that day, I had never heard the word “terrorism”; I didn’t know who Osama Bin Laden was; I didn’t have friends that had gone to war; The American flag was just a piece of red, white, and blue fabric, and our anthem was just a song. Ten years later, all of that has changed, and it changed because of that infamous day. We are a nation united, and we will never forget.