First period. Gym Class. Today’s sport was tennis.
We were in the locker room getting prepared for any other Tuesday morning when the coach came with such a grave look on his face. He gave us the news that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center.
Many of us country folk, myself included, at first weren’t even sure which building the “World Trade Center” referred to. The coach had to break it down for us. It wasn’t until he referred to them as the “Twin Towers of New York City” that I was able to visualize the buildings he was referring to.
There was much speculation amongst the group of us whether this was some sort of unimaginable accident or a deliberate attack.
The period did continue as normal as the day could. We went out, we played our matches, but none of us were really into it. About halfway through my second match, a student whom I didn’t recognize came out and spoke to the coach and anyone else in earshot.
He told us about the second plane that had hit the towers and he even mentioned the pentagon, though he was somewhat misinformed. He was told that the Pentagon was “under” fire which he relayed to us.. A sentence which we all assumed meant that there was a gunfight in progress. It wasn’t until much later when we discovered that the Pentagon was “on” fire. Regardless of the preposition used, I remember instantly thinking one chilling sentence.
We were at war.
We were told that many of the classes were playing the news at the time and we were given the option to leave the gym period to watch the television. i still remember the study hall room where I watched the towers fall.
That afternoon to evening, I spent time with friends. We went to another friends apartment and spent a few moments with him as we all watched the news together. Within the next couple years that friend would enlist in the army. He was very severely wounded in Iraq a few years back , but unlike many others, he did make it home alive.