On September 11, 2001, I stayed home sick from school. I was 12 years old at the time. I remember waking up, and turning on the television, tuning in to “Good Day Philadelphia,” a local morning news show on FOX. The man reporting, Mike Jerrick, was on. I remember seeing the burning towers. I called in to my mom to come and look at what was on the screen. She told me to turn it off – that she didn’t want me watching it. The next thing that comes to my mind is going into the kitchen, and turning on the television, to the “Today” show. My grandmother was living with us at the time, and she had the TV turned on in the living room, and she was sitting there.
I can’t quite remember if I did, or not, see the second plane hit – as it happened, live. I wasn’t really scared – just confused as to what exactly was happening. My mom and I just sat in the kitchen the WHOLE day, glued to the TV screen, watching the “Today” show, and seeing the events unravel. My mom was scared – she thought the world was coming to an end. I am Jewish, and we were planning my Bar-Mitzvah, which I had on March 23, 2002, and my mom didn’t think there was going to be one.
She also tried to call my cousin, who lived, and still lives in Brooklyn, but the lines were jammed. She tried to give my dad a call at his place of work, asking if they were going to let the workers come home, but they didn’t. I cried a little, wanting my dad to come home. Schools let out at 12:00 PM, and there was no school the next day. My mom thinks she kept me home for the rest of the week. She and I went over to my next-door neighbors’ house to watch the two girls as their mother went to pick up her son at school. Their TV was on, too.
I remember seeing a female reporter, right down there, reporting. They flashed the 1-800-GIVE-LIFE number, and asked for people to donate blood. I remember seeing President Bush announcing that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. I went into the living room, and just taped the news, constantly flipping back and forth between CBS, ABC, CNN, and NBC. I also remember going on my computer, going to the CNN site, and seeing all the buildings that were being evacuated, and were closing.
I can remember my mom saying, “Thank God you stayed home today.” I went upstairs to put on the radio, and all that was on was constant coverage of the attacks. All the same thing. No music…no commercials…for a LONG time. The “Today” show was on the air, long into the afternoon. I remember looking at the clock in my room, reading 12:30, or 12:35, and it was still on.
My dad came home, and I explained to him what was going on. He said he heard it at work, and everybody thought it was a joke. The CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN news stations completely took over every channel I put on. On ESPN, you’d see, like, CNN. On Sci-Fi, you see, like, ABC News. HGTV and The Food Network, when I flipped to those channels, had a message saying that regular broadcasting was suspended to remember the victims.
My mom told me we went to synagogue that evening. The next thing I remember is my mom going a few doors down to check on her friend, to see if she was okay. She said, “(Friend’s husband’s name) said President Bush is gonna be on at 8:30.” I vaguely remember watching it. The last thing I can think of is that I was watching the “FOX Ten O’Clock News,” and it was about 10:40 when I realized that no commercials had been on. The weeks following had no regular TV programming for a WHILE.
I have a picture that I took of the towers on a class trip, and I hold it VERY close to my heart.
Bless the victims, and may they rest in eternal peace.