What I remember:
These are student stories of September 11th written by the kids at the High School for Leadership and Public Service. They are unedited. You will see many errors, evidence of second language learners and the weaknesses of city kids' writing. You will also read their raw stories.
I got to school 10 minutes early so I can chat with my friends about the big vacation that just ended. At 8:35 classes start, so there were a lot of people outside. I met with a couple of friends, and then I went inside to get my program and my metro card. There was nobody in the main office, so I made my way down one floor so I could go to my guidance counselor and plan my credits for my senior year. He was busy at the moment, so I had to wait outside his office for some time. I met with some other teachers, some more friends, all this happening in 20 minutes after my arrival in school. Then suddenly I hear an explosion, and the building shook for a couple of seconds, like an earthquake that went by. I didn't know what happened. Everybody around me was still calm, like nothing happened. After a couple of minutes we managed to get a radio out, so we can find out what happened. They were saying that a plane has hit one of the towers. But when I heard a plane, I wasn't thinking of a big plane, I was imagining a small two-person plane hit one of the towers, and got stuck in the windows. I looked outside, and something was wrong. There were papers everywhere, like the Yankees parade, and a lot of ash. Even on our window there was a lair of ash covering the side of the window. Everybody outside was looking up, but I couldn't see anything since High school of Economics is right next to us and was blocking my view. If I knew that a big plane like that crashed on purpose in the WTC, I would've left the school so much earlier'
But as minutes passed, I was curious what had really happened, and what was the damage. So I went up to the 7th floor and took the elevator up so I could go to the cafeteria on the 14th floor so I can see the towers. In the elevator were the dean, and five other students. Moments after the doors closed, another big explosion was heard and felt a lot better than the first one. The elevator stopped, and the whole building shook vigorously. That's when I knew that something was definitely wrong. The elevator started working again, and I got off on the 9th floor and took the stairs up. On the stairs there were students running everywhere. But they weren't taking it seriously though. They were laughing and saying: 'I'm going home', or 'No school for me today'. On the 10th floor I met one of my teachers from last year, who told me that something serious was going down, and I should stay in a classroom, away from the windows. I asked him what happened, and he told me that he is not sure but apparently two planes have hit the World Trade Center. Now I was stuck in a classroom from which I couldn't leave until the principal gives us instructions. It was 9:15 and I knew that whatever happened I needed to get home fast. That's all I had in mind. I knew that my mom must've been very worried for me. I asked a couple of people for their cell phones, but they didn't work. Then the principal came on and told everyone to evacuate the building and go to Battery Park. I was the first one out the door and down the stairs. When I got on the stairwell it smelled like gas and smoke. Outside, everybody was walking away, looking up, and there was a big cloud of smoke coming from the towers. As everybody was walking to Battery Park, I knew that this was not a safe area to be around to, so I started walking to the 4 and 5 train that was very close.
On Rector St. I saw the WTC for the last time. There were two big holes, about 5 or 6 floors damaged badly, from which a lot of smoke and some fire was coming out. The view that I'll never forget was when I actually saw people jumping from the windows. That was terrifying. When I got in the subway, there was almost nobody there. It was I and 10 other people in the whole Wall Street station. I couldn't believe it. The train came quick, and I was out of there in no time. I saw no other students from my school or Economics. Between Brooklyn Bridge and 14th St. the train stopped and we didn't move for almost two hours and a half. The conductor told us that there is a problem at World Trade Center, and that all subway lines are cancelled until further notice. People panicked, some started crying, while others didn't even know what happened. It was two hours I'll never forget. Thank God I got out of there in time. This event will stay in all our hearts forever. I will never forget what happened.
September 11th Tragedy
September 11th, a normal day like any other. I had woken up earlier than ever arriving to school on time. I was on the 8th floor of my building getting my education. Everything was calm, when all of a sudden my classmates and I heard turbulence and a crash. We saw papers flying outside the building window, but out teacher prevented us from looking out and he said; 'stay calm for this is all due to the elections happening today'. As obedient as I am, I listened to the teacher and kept on learning. After the second airplane crash, which I saw happen, I ran down the stairs paranoid. Unfortunately I was detained by the security guards who prevented me from exiting the building. Instead I was to maintain inside the school gym along with my friends until further notice. After half an hour of waiting patiently to understand what was happening and why, I was finally allowed to leave the building.
Like a curious teenager I stood outside looking up at starring at the World Trade Center which was in flames. I got tired of standing around and therefore I proceeded to the train station, it was the right thing to do in this situation. During my short walk towards the train station, the World Trade collapsed. Once I saw the first building collapsing I was stunned, but nevertheless I ran and entered the train station, it was dangerous to stand around. I was able to catch the number five train on Wall Street. I got off on 51st and Lexington because it stopped completely. After getting of the train I got out the station and walked towards the 59th street Bridge.
I encountered myself with my cousin at 59th street. We both walked the 59th bridge, although we did not walk much. There was a man who offered to give rides to those walking across the bridge on his truck. We both stepped onto the truck and passed the bridge, walked towards my father's job. He was worried, but was soon relieved to see that I was fine. Afterwards I came home with my dad. My family was waiting and when I arrived they hugged and kissed me. They also gathered around to listen to the entire story.
English 5 & 6
The disaster came instantly; no one knows what happen and when it comes
On September 11, 2001, I woke up around 8 o'clock getting ready to school. It seems to be a nice day. It's nice and warm outside. So by the time, I got to the Rector subway station is around 8:25 am and school starts at 8:30am. So I thought, I was late to class so I rushed out of the subway station and heading my way to school. Suddenly I saw lots of burned paper floating around in air. I thought it was going to be a Yankee parade or Something, so I ignored it. Then I walked in to school and went straight to my first period, which is English.
Our classroom located on the 12th floor room 1215. Then someone in the class said there is a plane crashed in to the twin towers. After hearing this, I am shocked. I didn't believe it in the first place, until I heard an explosion and saw pieces of glasses and rock a flying towards our building. Then Mrs. Ordover sign on to the Internet with her computer to check the news and it said the plane crashed in to the twin towers. Then our assistant Mr. Bronsnick announced everyone must be evacuated the building.
After evacuated from leadership, everybody headed to Battery Park and waited for like 20 minute. I saw my friend William, Roy, Jesus and Peter, so we meet up and chilled for 5 minute then suddenly, the twin tower collapsed and then the second one follow. Everybody started running to the South ferry to Staten-Island but two of my friend got separated from us. After the twin tower collapsed, it created all this ashes and blocked our view so we had a tough time going to the South Ferry. I can hardly breath from those ashes and many people are choking from it.
Somehow the ashes starting to disappeared, as long as we got our vision back. We ran to the South Ferry and meet up with other staffs and students. In that moment I started to look for this girl that I use to like. I finally found her but she is about to cry, I try to hold on to her but somehow it didn't work out. Then I just walked away and talk to my other friend. About 15 minute later the ferry finally arrived and took some of the staffs and students to Staten-Island and that consider me. We are finally escaped from the danger of Lower Manhattan.
We went to this place named Curtis high school. We stayed there for one day and one night. I don't want to talk about what I did in the school because it's kind of boring. Up to this point, I want to thank you every staffs from Curtis high school who is willing to spend their time with us and supported us with all the foods and needs.
I wonder what would happen if we don't have this firefighter and police who protected this society. I really appreciated what they have done for us. This hero who gave up their life to protected us from the danger. We should always respect them and I can say I will never forget this day September 11, 2001 and all these brave Heroes.
The day started out as any other day. It was any thing but normal I did the things I had to do went to pick up my friend and took the train to get to school. Once we got there it was a nice and a good day to hang out after school. Everything was going good and then Me and my friend Loraine. We inside the school and since had the fourth floor I did not have to wait for the elevator. Well at this time I was in class and my teacher was making us copy some of the notes for chemistry. When all of the sudden we felt a rumble and then A shack and we all got scared and then we heard over the loud speaker that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center in tower enema. Bronsnick and he said that no one should not move and to stay in the classroom and away from the windows. At this time every one was scared and could not understand why this was happening to us. Then the worst thing happened we felt the room shack and the lights went on and off for a couple minutes. Then we hard the other announcement that told us to move to the hallway and to stay there until further instruction. So that's what we did But what we heard next was even worse one of the boy who was in a different class had a radio and started to hear to it. What we heard was bad they thought that it was a terrorists attack. That made me more scared and at that point I started to cry and a couple of friends started tell me that everything was going to be ok But I did not believe that at all I was just too scared to think about that. I just wanted for all of this to stop like, as it was a big bad dream. At this time we had got the word that we were going to leave the building and go to the park were it was safe for us to be in then the building. So we started to move and once we got out there was paper all over the place and most of it was from the plane it self. Once we saw that I got even worse I started to think that who ever did this then they really wanted us Died. So we walked to the park and I stood there for a couple of minutes and I was trying to find my friend and I was screaming her name but I did not find her. But I did find a friend of mine and when I turned my head the second tower fell and all I did was stand there and then my friend came and took my hand and we both started to run. We ran all the way to the end of the block were the water was but something happed there so we ran the other way and I met up with other classmate and my friend Diana had heart her self and I had to call her mother but she started to walk with me and then we lost each other I did not know what happened to her. There was people that was gray and covered full with ashes and then we started to walk. At this point we both had met up with more of our friends and had made an idea to walk all the way to the bridge and we did and for that time I was safe and I ended home a couple of hours later. That's what happened to me on that bad bad day. No one will never ever forget this day of fear. That day was the day that I thought that life was short
It was a regular Tuesday morning and I came in late for school about 8:40 in music class. Then at 9:00 I felt the school shake for just a second but I just thought it was nothing. At 9:15 I felt more of a rumble and everyone jumped out of their chairs, except for me and my friend James McDaniel. I guess the reason I did not jump out of my seat because I did not have time to react of what had just happened. Two minutes later the assistant principal Mr. Brosnick announced that two planes crashed into tower 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center
Mr. Brosnick said it was the result of a terrorist attack. When everyone heard of what happened the whole class was shocked and could not believe it. People in the class started to panic but our teacher Ms. Mcloud told everyone to stay calm and remain in your seats. When the students of Leadership heard this, they went crazy and tried to get out of the school building immediately. While everyone got out of the school, the class for music stayed in the building because she did not received any announcements in leaving the building so the whole class stayed in the building.
Some people started panicking because they thought they were going to die. After several minutes the Ms. Dolch the principal of leadership announced students and teachers to evacuate the school. When the whole class went outside everyone looked at the towers and were surprised of the current condition the two towers were in. Then I knew things were never going to be the same again. As students of leadership were exiting the Building most of them went their own separate ways and other stayed with their teachers or with friends. I stayed with my friend James and I told him that we needed to find a teacher and ask him or her what was going on and why everyone is heading for the park.
As both of us headed towards the park, we saw groups of girls from leadership crying because they felt bad for those people that died in both towers of the World Trade Center. As I was going to the park I lost James, because of the situation I could not look for him, so I went to the park. When I got to the park I saw a couple of my friends and I asked them how were they all doing, they told they were fine but they said it was horrible that this could happen. Then everyone started to head towards the end of the park. When I was walking I saw the first tower collapse and it was terrible it all felt like a movie, that's when people started to run for their lives. That's when I saw my friend Tim Seto and he was limping. I asked Tim what happened to your foot Tim said, 'While I was going downstairs trying to evacuate the building I tripped and broke my foot. Then Tim said Jason Gopee helped him get to the park but when people started running Tim got scared and ran. Tim noticed that he left Jason behind and that's when I saw him Tim told that he felt horrible leaving Jason behind and he just hoped Jason was okay. I helped carry Tim because he was in pain when he ran and now could barely walk; I saw James and he helped me carry Tim.
I noticed that dust was coming through the park, everyone in the park got frightened and started running, I wanted to run but I could not leave Tim behind so I stayed, even though Tim told James and I to leave him. That's when I knew we could not leave him. We both stayed with him when the dust covered the whole park and that's when people started to calm down because the was not harmful. At one point people Thought they heard a bomb go off, they panicked and tried running to the other side of the park. Then James said 'I'll see you guys later and ran two. I could not believe that he left me and Tim behind, but it was hilarious how fast James ran. Well after that happened we found Mr.Trejo the U.S. Government and he was with a small group of students that I knew. Mr. Trejo told us to get inside the building that was next to the river that's when I saw about thirty of the students from leadership. Everyone from leadership was glad to see each other. Then the teachers from leadership decided that everyone should go to Staten Island because it's safer. Everyone got in the ferry and friends that I knew were helping Tim with his broken foot. As I was going in I saw James and I started laughing because he said that he is not afraid of anything and James got scared when people yelled out bomb. The ferry finally arrived to Staten Island, people were relieved and everyone was safe.
September 11th of 2001 was a totally bad day for me since I woke up. I woke up that morning not wanting to go to school. I was not sick; it was just that I felt weird that morning.
When I got off the A train at Chambers street I decided to get me a glazed donut and a large Hazelnut coffee at Krispy Kreme, large because I was still sleepy. When I got out of Krispy Kreme, the planes had not yet hit, but I spilled a quarter of the coffee on me. By the time my classes started, you could not notice that I spilled coffee on myself.
My first class that I had for that day was AP American History. This class was not held in my school (Leadership) however it was held in the High School of Economics and Finance. Another bad thing that occurred before the planes hit was that I left my HW home and that was the last strike I would have for the whole year. As the teacher, Mr. Mastrota, was collecting the HW, the announcements came on to go underneath our desks. We were all laughing because none of us in that class fits underneath our desks. Then they told us to take cover in the hallways. We did not take these things serious because we did not know what was going on. As many people know, that High School does not have windows. Then they told us to go back to our classes. It was then a couple of minutes later that the whole building had shaken. At that moment, everyone stopped talking and laughing and joking around. Mr. Mastrota tried to put on the radio but a lady from the school came in and told him to shut the radio off. So we did not know that two planes had hit the buildings until we were told to evacuate and that was when we saw the two big pieces missing in the Twin Towers.
When we were evacuated, Kerri and I were walking together outside. We split up when we reached Battery Park because she saw Jesus and Roy and I went another way because I saw Taina. When I saw Taina, she was not with her brother. She was telling me that she has not seen her brother Chris and if I saw him. I could tell she was very worried because that is her brother, it is his first year in the school and she was very worried. She wanted to go back to see if she sees her brother. But I kept telling her he is around here somewhere because he was probably the first to get out of school because I believe he was on the fourth floor.
We then saw Mrs. Ordover and stayed with her. As many other students started coming together around her. As we were with the crowd, we kept looking for Chris. When the first tower started to come down, all of us that were with Mrs. Ordover all ran our own ways. A reason that I ran was that I did not know how the tower would fall. I was ready to jump in the Hudson River and swim to New Jersey. Taina and I were running together for the whole time we were in Battery Park. If it was not running to the right, it was running to the left. Then we both fell because the people ahead of us fell. After that, we decided that is it, no more running. I told Taina 'if I see any plane coming down or anything really bad I am ready to jump in the Hudson and swim,' I also told her 'Your coming with me'. Then we went inside the South Ferry terminal.
In the terminal was where we started to breathe a bit more of fresh air. It was there where I got in contact with my mom and dad, and where Taina got in contact with her family. It turns out that Chris, Tainas brother, was home. I think if it were not for us using the phone, and me not being with Taina I probably would have ended up in Staten Island or New Jersey.
From the Terminal, instead of going to Staten Island we took a bus. This bus took us all the way up to 23rd street and First Avenue. This was a bad thing. I had to walk the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge to get home, and Taina lives by the Manhattan Bridge in the city. So we had to walk all the way back where we just came from. I left her on her block and I continued my walk to the Manhattan Bridge.
When I crossed the bridge, I saw Lisa (the secretary) Ms. Kornrich, and Mrs. Dolch. After the walk on the bridge, I was praying for energy because I still had a long walk. Next thing you know I found a bus that went express to my neighborhood, Kensington, two blocks away from my home. When I was walking home I had to pass by a elementary school where my mother was the PTA President and the people that worked there was all telling me to hurry home because my mom is really worried. I told them I know I talked to her on the phone and I cried as I was using the phone because my mom was crying, whenever she cries I cry, it's a habit. When I got home I prayed, prayed for everyone and said thank you for getting me home safely.
It was a new day but the events of the past day still lingered on in my mind. The difference between September 10th and September 11th was vast; well at least for me. The morning of September 10th was fine but that same night I remember my mother and I getting into a disagreement. It was a disagreement that was not such a big thing but it stayed on your mind until the next day. Waking up on September 11th the tension was still high but that still did not stop my mother from saying her usual 'I love you and have a blessed day.' Now I do not remember what the argument was about but all I know was that I was still a little upset so I did not reply the same and that is where I had made a mistake.
Arriving to school was the usual, going to Burger King to get breakfast, and then waiting to go to first period. As I walked in the building I was thinking to myself this is only the fifth day of school and it is going to get much harder as the days go on. I was not in my high school that morning because my class was scheduled in the neighboring high school across the street. Going into that high school I felt blinded because there were no windows. In history class the discussion was getting really good and then we hear about an emergency telling us to move away from the windows. If you were reading carefully you would know that there were no windows in the building. That made me suspicious, very suspicious. In my mind I was saying, what windows there are no windows, this school is crazy. Obviously no one knew what was going on at that time only a few people knew the real situation, and those people sounded scared themselves. The teachers went into the hall to see if anyone knew what was going on and there it was the shaking and the blinking of the lights. My friend turned to me and said, 'Was that an earthquake?' I told her 'Girl please an earthquake that big in New York I doubt it', but that was all that was in my mind doubts.
At this point the situation was not that serious. Everyone was a little nervous trying to figure out what was going on. We were the blind leading the blind. There were no windows and we were trying to guess what was going on, never thinking of the worst situation. I will tell you this, when you are in a predicament and do not know what is going on there is always someone trying to make jokes, always. I remember this boy just joking and joking but he was not funny. The teacher came in while he was joking and said 'Be quiet I think this is serious.' The teacher went to the back of the class and got the radio. 'Hurry up and turn it on' one girl said. He did. ''I see the debris from across the river'' 'Turn it off, turn it off now', another woman said. She ran into the room like she was crazy. It was like she was trying to cover this big secret. Whatever she knew it was not good. She sounded nervous. All the teachers were nervous trying to do their best to hide their nervousness but that is something you cannot hide.
We all moved out into the hallway and the police officer told us to go down the steps, do not look back, and walk towards Battery Park. As we were going down the steps you could smell fire and saw ash on the floor by the open gates of the school. Don't look back, yeah right; I want to see what is going on. I looked back it was fine, but when I looked up it was like staring into the portal of hell. There was a big hole in the tower with fire. I heard someone say that two planes hit the World Trade Towers. Oh no, God bless the souls who are in there was all I could think. I was with some of my friends but I was still looking for my other friends. When I finally saw them they told me my aunt was looking for me. Great, in all this madness I have an aunt looking for me, and it is not like I have just one aunt so I did not know which one it was, or who I was looking for. I kept on walking towards the park. Just when you thought the horror was over, think again. A thin fog was emerging from the direction we were trying to get away from. All I knew was that the fog was bad, keep on moving so the fog will not surround you. It was so much madness. People with children, students from both high schools, tourists, everyone was moving in fast-forward. All the phones were down and I was trying to call my mother to get right with her. I couldn't reach her in a long time but I finally did on my teacher's cell phone. Hearing her voice calmed me down a little and hearing her tell me that she loves me put my heart at ease. I really knew how much I loved my mother at that time and was so grateful to have someone like her.
My senses were not working well. I guess that went for everyone because when we heard a noise from above we thought it was more planes trying to go into buildings. It was just like in the movies. It reminded me of the movie Pearl Harbor. The fog got thicker and thicker and it burned your skin. The fog looked like snow, gray snow falling all over. It was hard to breath and at that point I thought I was going to die. I said my prayers and I was trying to keep people calm while they were trying to do the same for me.
It is fuzzy from there. As we walked over the bridge, the buildings looked pitch black in between. I remember people looking at me funny on the bus. I knew I had pieces of the debris all over me. I decided that the bus was going to slow so I just walked the 100 blocks to my grandma's house. It did not feel like a long walk because I was just walking without thinking. I was actually trying to make sense of what just happened. A lesson that I already knew was reinforced; always make your last words your best words and never leave a place angry with someone.
Like a regular day, on a Tuesday September 11, 2001, everyone was getting ready to go to school and to go to work. Nobody expected that on a beautiful morning something terrible would happen in New York City. One of the most important buildings of the United Stated was heat by an airplane. The Twin Towers were one of the most visiting places that were crowded of tourist and employers. The tragedy of September 11th changed everyone life forever especially for those who lost their families. This tragedy changed my life in a way I will never forget because I experience the scary and frightening moment of being in a terrorist attack.
It was a beautiful morning went I was getting ready to go to High School for Leadership and Public Service in 90 Trinity place. I always go to school late but on Tuesday September 11th I went to school early because I had to talk with my guide counselor. I also had a first period class which was a class that I was not supposed to be taking. My first period class was American History in the 11th floor with my best friend Alberys Tejada. We seated together but she sat in front of me and I was seated next to Ms. Cohn desk. I started doing my math homework while the teacher was giving the lesson.
Like around 8:45am the first plane crashed on the second Twin Towers. We heard a sound like if it was a bomb. Everyone in the class stood quiet. Then we look through the window and started seeing fire and piece of papers coming down from the second Twin Towers. I was saying that it was a fire but one of my classmates, Crystal keeps saying that it was a terrorist attack. She was telling Ms. Cohn that she wanted to go home and the teacher did not let her because they did not know what exactly was going on outside.
Like around 9am another plane crashed on the first Twin Towers. We heard a big noise and the school shacked, it was horrible. Everyone started crying, we did not know what to do. Everyone was panic, even the teachers. My best friend Alberys took me by my hands, so we would be together. We were crying and I was telling her to take it easy that God would help us.
The Principal Ada Rosario Dolch was doing everything she could to help us come out from the building safety. Even though her sister worked on one of the Twin Towers, she keep herself strong. It is hard to think about others while one of yours family member is in danger like Ms. Dolch. She maintained us in the hallway. While she was trying to find out what to do.
Then the police told Ms. Dolch that she needed it to evacuate the building and send all of us, all the way to the end of the battery of the park. Ms. Dolch started evacuating the students floor by floor , until everyone came out. I and Aberys never let each others go. Then we began looking for our others friends outside especially for our other best friend Ana Gomez. After we found her we keep each others together.
We were in the park talking about what was happening and looking at the Towers on fire. When the first Tower collapsed, we started screaming and running. We did not know what to do or where to go, just running and holding each others hands. Everyone was scared. Trying to safe our self we took the Ferry without knowing where we were going.
The boat was crowded of people crying. We were trying to stay calm but we could not hold it and started crying again. The captain said that everyone had to put on the safe jacket. Everyone was doing it scary because even though we were safe, we did not know if the terrorist would keep attacking. Everything was dark but after the boat was moving, it was getting clear.
Then we got to Staten Island and got off the Ferry. We walked fast trying to go away from the Ferry and trying to get a way to call at our house to tell our family that we were fine. On our way out Alberys ask a woman that was in a car with her mother and her brother if she had a cell phone, so we could call our mother. The women told her no and told us that she would take us to her house. We left with her to her house.
Eliana Paulino took care of us like if we were her family. She is Dominican like us that is why I felt more comfortable being with a stranger. We called our mother and she spoke with them. Our mother told her to live us there until we could go home. She feed us and was trying to maintain us happy.
Eliana took us to the park and we walked through the beach. We slept over there but we really could not sleep because we had the tragedy on our minds. Specially Alberys, she woke up in the middle of the night waking me and Ana telling us that she could not sleep. After that me and Ana stood awake and Alberys went back to sleep. Then we started hearing strange noises like an animal scratching in the window of the bathroom.
We were trying to go back to sleep but we could not. We did not slept that night with everything in our minds. We also had nightmares. The next day we walked up and started seeing the news to see if could go home. We were so worry about going home and find out about our classmates.
On September 12, 2001 Alberys father went to pick us up on Eliana house. We were so happy to go back home but sad at the same time because Eliana was very nice with us and we did not wanted to live her by herself. I got home almost at two and I started calling some of my classmates to know how were them. Thanks God they were fined and the teachers too. I was very sad because I started thinking about Ms. Dolch sister.
In my house I could not stop crying. My brother and sisters were telling me to stop crying and I told them that what I had passed through I would never forget it. Then my mother was giving food. I ate a little bit and then I went to sleep. After that I started to get my life back to normal but I still can not forget about what happened and how many innocent people die.
Life is hard and even thought we have to passed through a lot of bad experience, everyone needs to know that God loves all of us and that he will always be with us. We need to keep moving forward until God lets us.
I had never been so afraid in my life. September 11th was a day that I will never forget. Although now, I feel fine emotionally, I know that day will never escape me, and will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was only my second day back to school from summer vacation.
Although I go to Leadership, at the time of the attack I was in Economics. I had an 8:40am history class. As we all came to school, we believed it would be a regular day of school. I came in to class greeted my friends, and handed in my research paper. Then about five minutes later, after the teacher wrote the 'Aim' on the board, there was a frantic announcement over the loud speaker that we were going to have a shelter drill. The lady who made this announcement sounded serious, but scared. I personally had no idea what a shelter drill was.
Many of the students including myself did not think anything was wrong. We did not see the first plane hit because Economics High does not have any windows. After a few moments had passed a man came on the loudspeaker and instructed us to all go out in the halls being sure to keep away from all glass. After a while there was an announcement telling us to proceed back into our classrooms. As the kids went in the classrooms trying to figure out what was going on, the teachers stayed in the halls trying to do the same thing. Then at 9:00am the building shook and we heard a huge noise. Again because of Economics not having any windows, we were completely lost. The whole class got scared, and everyone started pulling out their cell phones to call their parents. I on the other hand not thinking the worst, thought it might be a small earthquake.
Both schools were evacuated, and we all stood there watching the Twin Towers on fire. The police and our teachers started pushing us toward Battery Park. As we got to the park, we just stood there in awe, and could not believe what was right in front of our eyes. History in the making. Then we began running for our lives.
When the first tower fell, many others and I thought it was another attack. As I stood there in shock with debris flying strait in my direction, my friend pulled me and we started running. Everyone ran away from the Towers toward the ferry. As we continued to run toward the ferry building, we heard more planes, and thought that we were under attack again. At this point I myself thought I was going to die. Later we found out those were police planes.
In conclusion, I with many others walked over the Williamsburg Bridge to Brooklyn, where I live. I got home safe. A lot of the other people went to NJ, Staten Island, and many other boroughs. Although I think about this day often, and realize how close to death I actually was, I thank God everyday that I am alive. I also plan to live life to the fullest.
9-11 Through My Eyes
Life. Life is the most simplistic thing in the world, yet it can also be the most confusing. More often than not these contradicting factors can and will occur at the very same moment in time. I know, because that's how it happened to me. We weren't even through the first full week of school. That Tuesday was the first day for me that I knew summertime had come and gone too fast. It was 6:57 and I was still in bed complaining about how much I missed hanging out and how I wished that school could somehow be canceled today. Up to that point in the day school was my second biggest complaint. My biggest complaint of the morning was whether I should wear my Timberland boots (I realized at the end of my day how completely and utterly shallow this sounds) or my Jordan snakeskins. I repeatedly hounded my mom and my sister about which I should wear. I ended up going with the boots.
My first class that day was Ms. Ordover's for English on the twelfth floor. I was real nervous that day because I realized that I had forgot to bring in an assignment that she had given out the day before. After we got settled in and were beginning the 'do now' we heard a boom, not really loud or flashy like in the movies, but we knew it wasn't good. Someone said that it didn't sound good, and Ms. Ordover reiterated that very same thought. All I knew was something wasn't right because I turned in my chair and saw papers and glass in the air along with other forms of debris that seemed to make something that looked like a tornado. That image is something I still see to this very day. I went to the window, but since I couldn't see what had happened I looked at the street and I saw people running like it was a marathon. I still didn't think it was real. What made it worse was we were told to go back to our seats. Ms. Ordover asked us to write about what is was we thought had happened while she went online to see what had happened. Even worse was our vice-principal going on the loudspeaker and saying that what had just happened would not interfere with school and that we would have a full day of school. Yeah right. My thought was 'I'm going to leave as soon as I get the chance'. Soon as thought it we went into a shelter drill that when I look back on it seemed like the biggest waste of time. We ended up on the floor for almost a half hour I think. However long we were in there felt more like days.
Sometime later we were evacuated and 'out of danger'. We soon were on a march to Battery Park. After tossing back ideas about whether or not they were going to let us back in school I looked up at one of the towers and saw it ablaze, it really looked like a movie. I looked and said to nobody in particular 'This can't be real.' I figured if anything happened that I could go the ferry and go to Staten Island. As I started to drift towards the ferry I heard a woman's voice say, 'Oh my God, it's coming down'. When I turned around to look I saw the first tower beginning to fall and I froze. I could and still can make out the outline of the tower as it plummeted towards the earth.
'Damn, I ain't gonna die like this' was the one thing that came from lips as I tightened my straps and began to sprint towards the ferry. I heard people yelling don't run and I tried to slow down, but the adrenaline was already in my bloodstream propelling me faster and faster until I made the ferry terminal.
The line to the ferry was so crowded I was scared I was going to die right there. That fear worsened when a blanket of dirt started to drift towards us. I immediately remembered the movie Dante's Peak and I began thinking of the cloud that destroyed everything in its path. If that isn't a wake up call then I don't know what is. The ferry looked like it was about to leave and not knowing what was going to happen was the most nerve wrecking experience in my life. I saw the end of the ferry and helped bring two other schoolmates into the fiasco of trying to board the ferry. We just barely made the ferry.
Innocence is something that is part of the psyche of all people, which is something that produces intrigue and mischievousness. Our innocence, not just as students and teachers, but as people, along with the millions of other Americans who on that fateful day lost not only their innocence but also a loved one.
December 29, 2001
On September 11th, 2001, I was twenty minutes late to school. I got off the train on the Cortland (World Trade Center) train station and was on my way up the stairs to the World Trade Center. I then heard a loud sound, which appeared to be gunshots. Everyone that was going up the stairs began to scream and run down the stairs. Luckily, the train was still in the train station with the doors open. We were able to run back on the train and go to the Rector Street train station.
I came out on Rector Street and the atmosphere felt strange. I crossed the street and looked up to the sky like everyone else was doing. To my surprise the World Trade Center was on fire. There were papers flying everywhere, people crying, and I was terrified. I had no choice but to go to school. The trains were stopped, I had no money to call my house, and there was no way I would be able to walk home.
I entered the school building and Mrs. Dolch, the school's principal received me along with Mrs. Cantelmi, a teacher. I began to cry when I entered the school building because I was horrified. They assured me that everything would be fine and that it was going to be a full instructional day of school. I believed them but then I heard a louder noise, more papers flying, people walking into the school building for protection, loud sirens, and more people crying harder. The second plane had hit the World Trade Center and I did not know. The next thing I knew was that the school building had to be evacuated. I was the third person out of the school building, since I did not have the opportunity to go to class; I lead the group that followed me to a corner before arriving to Battery Park. From there we followed a teacher to the park. We were in Battery Park and I sat down on the benches next to my English teacher, Mrs. Ordover, and then I heard a sound of like a thunder. I turned around to see what it was and I could not believe that the World Trade Center was coming down. I stared at the buildings coming down in amazement until I came to my senses and realized that it was time to run. A cloud of smoke was heading my way. I ran but the cloud of smoke reached me and I was covered in white itchy powder. Then another cloud of smoke was coming towards me from the opposite direction. I had no other choice but to stand still and have all the powder fall on me. It was extremely difficult to breath with the cloud of smoke but there was nothing I could have done about it. I thought that I was not going to make it back home.
The air cleared out a little and I was able to recognize the Coast Guard building. I was able to find myself around and to the South Ferry train station. There I found a couple of my friends and I felt less worried. I knew that I was not alone anymore. A teacher from the high school of Economics and Finance asked every high school student in the station to follow him to the Brooklyn Bridge and so we did. I then lost him and kept on walking north on the FDR Drive.
I was finally able to communicate with my father, after trying to call almost everyone I knew. He was fortunate enough to cross the George Washington Bridge before it closed and we decided to meet on the FDR Dive. I felt relieved; I thought that I was finally going home. I asked a Police Officer if the FDR was opened and she said no. I was so disappointed and I knew that I was not going to see my father until many hours later. I got on a bus, which was not a clever idea; the bus was moving a block every twenty minutes. A lady on the bus lent me her cellular phone and I spoke to my father again. He was stuck in traffic on 32nd Street and 2nd Avenue. I told him to stay there that I would walk over to where he was.
I walked over fifty blocks that day and did not get home until 6:00 PM from 7:50 AM, that I left my house. I guess that the fire drill skills did come in handy after so many years of thinking it was a ridiculous drill and a waste of time.
This day was amazing; it is a day I would never forget. The date is September 11,2001 the day of horror. I remember when I woke up that very morning I woke up early because it was the second day of school and I was getting a good start for the knew semester. I was also excited to return to be reunited with my friends and teachers. On this very day around 8:30 when I exit from the train station I notice that I was a little early and wanted some breakfast from Burger King so I ask my friend Tanya would she walk with me to get some breakfast and she said if we go we are going to be late, so we just proceeded into the school building. As Tanya and I waited for the elevators to come for we can go to class Tanya got on the first elevator while I waited for the next one. While waiting for the other elevator I heard a noise then saw a lot of paper flying all around the street, so I thought that a student got mad in threw they book bag out the window until I notice that was to much paper to come from a student. After I saw the paper flying then the lights went off for a few seconds. I did not make much of it. My principal Ms Dolch then told all the remaining students in the lobby to get against the wall until she find out what was going on. She then informed us that every thing was okay; that a plane flew into the world trade center to go to class in she will keep us posted. I went to my first period class then it must have been 3 minutes later that I heard another loud sound in the windows in my class rumble, I guess we felt because my class was on the 11th floor. We the heard an announcement to report to the basement and exit our class for safety. My teacher escorted us to the gym where it was nothing but horrified faces and I was one of them. I was confused knowing that a plan flew into the trade center and knowing what had happened in 1993 terror attack on the trade center but I thought that this was just an accident involving a plane. I was so scared all I wanted was my family and to go home. My teachers kept us posted on information regarding what was going on but they were also scared I saw in their face but they kept cool because they had to be there for us. We then got notice from the Principal to exit the building in report to Battery Park. I was with two of my friends that were also in the gym and we stayed together through out it all. When we exit the building all we saw was people crying on the two trade centers burning with flames it was a scary sight. My friends and tried to get in contract with our families trying to use cell phones and even pay phones but nothing would go through. As my friends and I walk just a couple steps we then saw the first trade collapse we then being to run as a cloud of dust sweep over our heads. All I kept saying as we ran was that I was going to die, I felt this way because it was like every way we turned we saw the dust coming our way. I could not breathe, my heart was hurting because I have heart problems and I was about to give up because it was too much for me to endure. My two friends held me tight pulling both having one of my arms while other gave us water and wet paper towel to cover our mouth, but we continue to run until we reached the Brooklyn Bridge. When we got to that point we knew we did not want to go Brooklyn by our self so we decided to hitchhike but we was scared. As we stood there we saw a lot of cars pasting by then we reached our angel a black lady who saw us looking real hard at her offered us a ride. We took good judgment and got into her car. We introduce ourselves and she did also. As we was in the car with the lady who worked in the trade center was informing us about what had happen she said it was a terror attack, I did not understand but she had a radio which was saying that the trade centers were not the only targets. I then started to cry again hearing what America has just gone through it was sad. The lady took us to 34th street then we being to walk home to Harlem. We were happy that we were safe, but we knew it was going to be different, but we were safe.
A Day to Remember
September 11, 2001 was a day that put terror in all of our lives. It wont be forgotten, especially by any of the students from H.S. of Leadership and Public Service and H.S. of Economics and Finance, and anyone on this world. It will be a day of remembrance in all our lives in all the years to come. It put everyone in horror since they did not know what will happen next.
September 11 of 2001 started off as a nice day. The sun was just right and everyone was on their way to work or school. I happened to be a little early, so since I was a big Jay-Z fan I decided to get his c.d. I was going to go into Sam Goody but it would take to long so I went into a record store on Broadway. After that I headed towards school.
I got into Mr. Brenner's class, my first period class, about 8:40. As usual he was teaching us something I already learned, since I took this math course already but never took the regents, so I just sat there not paying much attention to him. A few minutes later a girl in my class said 'Oh ----!!' We all turned to the direction she was facing, which was the window, and there we saw nothing but paper, it kind of looked like confetti but it couldn't be since they were such large pieces of work paper and they were slightly burnt on the edges. Then all of a sudden one of the older boys in our school comes in our class and said ' Yo G! There is a bomb in the World Trade Center!' The class got very alarmed but thought he was joking but the teacher calmed us down. However a few minutes later the building shook, lights flickered and this time there was much more paper floating around outside then the first time. This alarmed everyone. We all began packing up saying we were leaving, but of course Mr. Brenner stopped us. We were escorted in the hallway were other classes were waiting patiently but terrified. We were then lead outside.
There we saw everything. The World Trade Center flaming in the fire. People started crying while walking towards Battery Park. After I entered Battery Park and walked in a little, people just seemed to stop, but then the North Tower went crumbling into dust. I stood there for five seconds but then I started running for my life just as everyone had done. We all stopped after the shudder of the tower stopped. I saw some friends and headed their way. We made sure we were all okay. Nevertheless we started running again since there was a bellowing cloud of dust coming our way. No one knew were they were running. All we wanted to do was run away from the cloud of dust, which the north tower had become. It was like 'The Blob', a monster coming after us. While I was running from the smoke I felt like I was literally running for my life and if I stopped, I would die. That was an experience that left me conscious of my life and how reminded me of how precious it is, not just to me but my family and friends. A short moment that won't be forgotten was when I got home and my father was crying and gave me a hug. I began crying too, it was the first time I was so happy to see everyone, since there was people out there that wont see there mother, father, sister, brother, friend or just someone they knew.
Friday, Jan. 4, 2002
The tragedy of September 11, 2001 has brought much fear into my heart. This day has flashed in my memory many times as if I were really there everytime I saw it play back in my mind.
It all began at about 8:45am in the morning when I went to my first period class. I was in the lunch room beginning my gym class with Ms.Kornrich when the first plane hit. We really didn't have a clue what was going on because all we saw from the window was paper flying from the side of our building. I remember Ms.Kornrich saying 'This is a Real tragedy'...thats when i began to get nervous. After a few minutes Ms.Kornrich let us look out the window to see what was going on. We couldnt see past the roof so we still had no idea why all the people outside was running across the street. A few minutes later an annoucement came on and we understood what was happeneing.All we knew was that a plane hit the world trade center. We didn't think much of it because school was still in sesion. A few minutes later another plane hit, but this time we got up from sitting down on the floor and we ran to the other side of the lunchroom, even the lights blinked. Thats when i knew something was up. I was scared and I wanted to elave school right away. We heard a second annoucement that said another plane had hit. I knew that wasnt an accident and I knew that something was wrong. Ms.Kornrich had us sit by the elevators away from glass just incase anything happened. The lunch ladies put on the radio and they told us it was terrist attacks. I thought Iwas going to die because when I hear the word terrorist I automatically think I am going to die.
We stood inside the school until the supervisors and staff came to tell us we had to leave. We made the escape through the 'B' stair case outside to the horrors of flames. While all this is going on around me all IKept on thinking was about my little brother Christopher Velazquez which is a Freashman is our school. I knew his first period was spanish with Ms. Santos and i Knew he must have left before me because I was on the 14th floor. The whole way to Battery Park I was searching. I couldnt find him. I began to get worried. I asked everyone 'Have you seen Chris?', but all I got was 'NO', that's when i began to get worried. I found my friend Nicholas and I asked him to help me look for him. We tried but there was no sign of Chris anywhere. While standing with the rest of the leadership students we heard a big rumble and we started to run. I ran so fast That I began to cry and scream 'Chris,Chris,Chris,where are you'. I remember crying more and more each step that I took. I was worried about my brother. I couldn't go home without him because I wouldn't feel right.
When the entire rumble stopped we stood inside the Ferry terminal with the rest of the hundreds of people. I called my dad, which was working in New Jersey. I told him to tell my mom I was ok and that I couldn't find Chris anywhere. He said 'ok just go home as soon as possible'. As soon as I hung up the phone I told Nicholas that i needed to get home, he said we would leave as soon as the smoke cleared. We did just that except that we went on a bus with Mr.Gonzalez and a few other Leadership students. I remember standing outside waiting for the bus to and hearing noises, Each noise I heard I got more and more scared, thinking something was going to hit us. The bus went express to 23rd street because they wanted to get us as far away from the smoke as possible. When we reached 23rd street, Nicholas and I went inside a school that was near by to call his home. Just with our luck the phones weren't working. The trains weren't working and the buses were out of order. The city was a big mess. From where we were standing you can see the clouds of smoke left from the towers. We had to walk downtown because thats where I live and Nicholas had to walk the Brooklyn bridge. When we reached 12th street I found a phone to call my home to make sure Chris got home because he was the only one on my minda at the time. My mother picks up histerically crying, 'hello mom', I say, then she says 'Tai, oh my god, thank god you are okay, I thought you were dead', I said 'No, I'm ok but is Chris there?', she said 'yes we were waiting for you to call', I said 'Thank Goodness, I was worried', She said 'ok just come home', I said 'I'm on my way now, bye' and she said 'ok, be careful, bye'. I felt like crying because she was crying and I couldn't help it.
Nicholas and I continued on home. I got to Allen Street where I saw Chris and my older brother on bike. I yelled, 'Chris, Fer', thats when they crossed over and came to me. I hugged Chris so tight as if I haven't seened him for years. It was good seeing him again because I thought I was going to lose him. When I got home my mom held me so tight and she said ' good now all we need is Aileen, my sister, to come home and I can calm down'. Chris and Fer went to pick her up on bike because she had no idea what was going on because her school didn't Know. After I got home and I took a shower and i calmed down, a little bit, very little bit, I watched the news all night long. I didn't have one wink of sleep because all I kept on seeing was the planes crashing into the towers. Thats all the news would play over and over and over again. I don't think many people had any sleep.
September 11, 2001 was the worst day of my life and after running and screaming and crying I wouldnt never want to relive that day ever again. I don't think I have been that scared in my life. I think to myself, even though my day wasn't that bad, I cannot complain because there are people who are seriously injured, there are people who lost someone, there are people who still cannot sleep because of htis day. There have been so many people here to help me with this situation. Three months after that day I still am very scared of plane noises, each time I hear one my heart jumps, and until this day I don't take my life as a joke. I've realized that there were many who didn't make it home and many who lost someone and I know that I am blessed because I wasn't one of those people. My heart goes out to all those who has lost someone. New York has become closer and stronger, they might have taken away loved ones and the Twin Towers but they have not taken away our confidence in believing in one another, therefore we are better than they are, we stand United, Strong and twice as powerful. They can never hurt us again.
January 3, 2002
The most horrifying thing was when people began to jump out of the windows. At first I thought they had little parachutes, but then I realized, that the people were jumping from the trade center with nothing to help them fall to safety. Then all of a sudden, the second plan hit. All I could do is push my friend Aisha into Century 21and run for our lives. I began to cry. I was very afraid.
The most terrifying thing was when the second tower collapsed. I began to think about all of my classmates and teachers. In my mind I was thinking, 'Lord don'ttell me that Aisha, all the absent students, and me are going to be the only survivors from Leadership and Public Service'. Then I began to think, 'Leadership is going to be O.K because we are strong, smart, and leaders. Everyone will make it'.
The happiest moment of all of this was when Christine called me and said that the whole school had got away from the buildings and were O.K., but that most of them were covered in ash. I was relieved. During most of this I was walking along the F.D.R drive going home. It was a long walk, but I was happy to be alive. Then I when I got home I called my dad and said I was O.K. He said come to his job because I guess he could hear the fear in my voice that I was scared and really just needed to be held. When I saw my dad and he held me I felt safe but still had an empty feeling in my heart. After a few days I knew what was the empty space in my heart. It was knowing that I never got to go inside the World Trade Center and that I will never be able to and that it was all I knew.
The one thing I did gain from this tragedy was to listen to what people say and don't always take things lightly and brush it off. The United States government made this mistake and I am going to learn from this and always look both ways. This Tragedy has made me a stronger and wiser person.
On the morning of September 11th I woke up extremely excited. I was well aware that the next day was to be my birthday. I got out of my bed, crossed out the number 2 (standing for days before my birthday) and replaced it with a one. I headed to the bathroom, took my shower and brushed my teeth. Still very happy.
My mother and I watched channel 7 for the weather before we walked out the door I was still happy. Little did I know that this was the beginning of the worst day of my life.
My mom and I rode the 'green bus' to the train station. Once on the train I put on my CD player and began to read my book. The train ride was smooth and fast that day, we got to Broadway Nassau quickly. Since we were early my mom treated us to breakfast. She sat at the park while I went to Burger King to get our food. We talked, eat, and laughed. At 8:15 mom told me it was time to cross the street and wait to go in the building. I kissed her goodbye and crossed the street; she walked towards the M6 bus stop.
Once inside the school building I ran into my friend Nadeja. We have first period together. We got in the elevator, got off at the 11th floor and walked up the 12th floor to our Global Studies class (this was our first day with Ms Wagner). Ms. Wagner had just given us our textbooks when Veronica walked in the class looking very scared and worried. Ms. Wagner asked her what was wrong and she told her that a plane had just crashed into one of the Twin Towers. Because our classroom had no windows, even though we heard the crashing sound we could not see what happened. We had no idea that this was a terrorist act.
We continued with our lesson. Then the lights in our class flickered off then back on. We heard a rumble and the building shuck. Finally we were evacuated from the building. On the way down the stairs we could smell the burning building. When we got outside the police guided us towards Battery Park. On the way to the park, I felt a rush of relief when I saw my mom standing on the corner waiting me. From there we made our way to the park. When we were at the park with everyone else we heard the terrifying rumble, and the ground shuck. We turned to look and we saw tower 1 come crashing down to the ground. My mother turned me the other way to keep me from seeing it all. Suddenly, she grabbed my hand and told me ' I want you to run and not turn back'. A few seconds later I new why, we in the midst of a wave of smoke.
We ran, at first without a clue as to where we were going. We found ourselves on a bridge, separated from the rest of the school. At first midpoint on the bridge, we heard that familiar, terrifying sound. It was another rumble. Once again we turned to look. We saw tower two come crashing down.
While on the bridge, people were bloody, and people in cars were offering rides. We didn't get in; instead we took our chances on foot. Constantly crossing dividers. I helped my mother cross the dividers because of a pain in her leg from where she broke it. Even strangers helped.
A feeling of panic came over everyone on the bridge. We heard planes over us. We thought that once again we were under attack. When we looked up, there were fighter planes that were there to protect us.
On the bridge, we expected to go over the Brooklyn Bridge. Then we found out that it was closed. Confused, and not knowing what to do, we continued to cross the bridge. When we made it to the end of the bridge, there were people handing out water and towels. We continued down to Delancey Street where we took the M14 bus. We took the bus down to 14th street and 6th avenue. On the bus we met a lady who's cell phone was working. She let us use it and we called my grandparents to let them know we were okay. When we got off the bus, we walked down 6th avenue to 21st street where my mother's job is.
At her job, there was food, water, and soda. We made phone calls to family. We stayed until the trains were running. When they were, we took the F train to 179th street. We ate at the Burger King. We stood out in front of Burger King and my uncle came to pick us up. He took us to my grandparent's house. We stayed there for a while. Then my uncle took us home where we were able to shower and return everyone's phone calls.
It was around 9 AM that Monday morning as I walked in to my first period class on the twelve floor. Once I entered the classroom, I immediately noticed all the papers and dust particles flying around in the air outside of the window. Many of the students crowded the windows in the back of the room to see what is going on outside. Everyone in the class, including my English teacher, were very excited even though no one knew what was happening. Gradually we settled down in our seats and the teacher continued her lesson. I was sitting in the back of the room, right in front of the windows that faced in the direction of the Twin Towers. Few minutes passed by before we heard an announcement from our vice-principal. We were informed that there had been a plane crash in the World Trade Center area. In his usual calm and monotonous voice, he told us that we are safe in the building and we will continue our day as any other day.
At the end of the message, there was a lot of mumbling and noise in the classroom. Some of the students were upset, some were excited and others like me just didn't know how to respond to the news. Despite the mix emotions, I could tell that no one wanted to stay in school. I certainly did not want to stay. I felt insecure being so close to a plan crash but I fought the feeling. It took us few more minutes to settle down and focus on our class work.
I took out my notebook and began to copy the notes on the black board. Besides the teacher's voice, the class was fairly quite. Everyone seemed to have become focused again. Then, all of a sudden, a tremendously loud and terrifying boom overcame us from the back of the room. My first instinct was to turn around toward the windows behind me. What I saw in front of me through the windows was just unbelievable. I saw massive chunks of buildings, glowing intensely with fire, falling down on to the street. Despite its huge masses, the pieces fell slowly and softly, as if time had slowed down. My eyes were fixed on the falling fragments for only a few seconds, but it felt as if minutes had passed by.
Without any acknowledgement, my eyes shifted its position downward to look at the ground. In the street, there were only ambulances, cop cars, and fire trucks. On the right side of the street, the sidewalks were crowded with people and all of them were looking up into the sky. On the left side, all I could see was people running away from the buildings, yelling and crying, while the police and firefighters were running toward the buildings. Then something incredible in the black office building located right on the opposite side of the World Trade Center Mall caught my eyes.
On the surface of the side of the office building facing the World Trade Centers, the shockwave from the impact of the plane crash was made visible. I could literally see the shockwave. It traveled through the building so smoothly and swiftly and the waves spread in perfect harmony. As each wave passed by, the walls and windows flexed and bent. It was as if the office building was a body of water and a rock has been thrown into it, causing ripples to spread through the surface. I was dumbfounded and was even momentary paralyzed as I stared at the scenery outside. When I saw that the shockwaves has passed through the office building and I knew it was heading toward our school, at that moment I finally snapped out of it and regained control of myself. As fast as I could, I ran to the front of the classroom where my teacher and most of the students were. Since the tumultuous boom sound, all that I had saw and heard was within less than a minute.
The teacher was yelling, 'get away from the windows!' at the few students who were still by the window. At the front of the class, I walked over to my friends and told them what I had seen. I felt excited and hyped more than scared. I told my friends how close I was to the falling fragments of buildings and that I could've been hit and killed. My friends just laughed the whole time while I was telling them about it. They didn't take it seriously and neither did I. Half the time I was laughing and joking about it too myself.
We just needed more time to realize how serious it was. After the second attack on the towers, we were evacuated to the hallways, away from the windows, which could shatter. Waiting in the hallway gave me and my friends to take in all the events that happened so quickly. By now everyone knew how serious it was. No one I saw was smiling or excited anymore. Most of the students were either silent or talking to their friends trying to comfort each other.
I remember that day perfectly. That day was Tuesday and it was like a nightmare. I was just like always, going to school and hoping the day will end. But that day is different from other days. I was in Mr.'s Ordover's class, we was talking about out essay that we took a day ago. Around 9:20 we heard a big loud explosion sound. Everyone including me went to the window to see what happen. At first we saw nothing, but after a couple of seconds. We saw burnt paper and big chunks of cardboard falling from the sky. Our teacher told us to stay back and calm down. She went to her laptop and checked the news. She told us, it was just a plane crash but didn't tell us where. We knew it was somewhere close since we could see papers flying around.
About ten minutes later we heard another explosion. Everyone jumped up and was escorted out of the room. I saw a lot of people crying and was cared that maybe our building was next. In a little bit, we were to leave the building and were told to head to Hudson River Park. My friends and I left the building and saw the twin tower on fire. We started to run because we were scared that there would be another plane crash. We were near Hudson River Park and the police told us to walk to FDR to leave that area. This is the most horrifying moment and scariest moment I ever face.
First my friends and I made a big circle around the Twin tower because we went to Hudson River park and then to the FDR. We were walking and then we saw like twenty people running at us so we start running too. We didn't even know what happen but if there are twenty people running to our direction we think we should run too. We walked like about two minutes in the FDR. All we see is smoke and dust around us. There was dust everywhere, we tried to look back but there was every more dust. It feels like we are doom. Trying to run away from hell but it was too scary. We can't see far and all we see is dust and smoke. There was like a lot of people walking with us. Most of them were crying since they were scared that they are going to die. My friends and I was scared too, so we started to run but once we started to run dust kept on going to my mouth and tiny glass going into my face. It was hard to breathe and my face was hurting so we just walked. I was covered with dust, and my eyes were blurry. When I turn around one of my friend disappeared. So I start to walk back to find my friend, but my other friend grab him and start walking to me. I was really scared that something happens to him. He said he was walking behind us but a lot of other people walked in front of him and pushed him aside. So it was really hard for him to keep up to us.
We finally reached to the end of FDR, we was so happy that we got out of there alive and unharmed. We hurry up and went to my friend's home and called our parents telling them we are all right. Also we called our other school friends to see are they okay too? I went home with one of my friend since no trains work. My dad gave me a hug and asked me am I okay. I told him I was okay and I called my other family members telling them I was all right from the incident. I was really thankful that my friends and I was okay from that horrifying day.
January 3, 2002
On September 11, 2001, I had the worst day of my life meaning that I never experienced something like I did on that day. I went through so much drama on the attack on the world trade center. It was horrifying because I never expected something like this to happen to our country in such short time. It was early in the morning when I had a weird feeling about something. I did not know what it was but I wasn't the only one feeling that way. I was in my first period class and was eating breakfast and I heard a real loud noise that I thought it was coming from the floor on top but unfortunately it came from outside. I was scared because I saw lots of paper floating around the school. My teacher got up as quickly as possible and looked out the window. A girl next to me started crying so I started crying myself and thought it was the end of my life. I went to the window and looked down and saw all these people running faraway from the world trade center. A staff from my school announced in the loud speaker 'There is a bomb in the world trade center'. I was so scared and did not know what to do but just wait. Ten minutes later they said there was a plane that crashed into the world trade. Five minutes later they evacuated the school. They took us to Battery Park so that we can be saved. I catch up with some of my friends and we started talking about what if it falls on top of the other building then for sure we're all in jeopardy. Then suddenly it collapsed and I started running so fast like the wind that my friends were calling me and I just wanted to go home but there was no way out. As I was running the only thing that was in my mind was where's my sister? And I am going to die because I can't swim. I saw my friends and we were under a tree talking about we can't believe this happened to us. I was thinking about what was going to happen, is everything going to clear up, am I going home, what would happen if I were to die and I said to myself I am not going to die not like this so I was praying so much for a miracle. Twenty minutes later everything cleared up I was looking for my sister and then like Ten minutes later I found her and I was relived. My sister, a couple of my friends, and me got on a boat to New Jersey. It was not so great to go to New Jersey for like five hours until everything was ok to go back to Manhattan. I thought I was going to stay in New Jersey for like a couple of days technically I did not. I was feeling kind of strange but the only thing I felt ok about is that I'm saved and there is nothing that can destroy that feeling. I'm feeling ok but still traumatized from everything that's happening around me. When I was sitting looking at what was standing is gone I felt that something was empty inside me. So I kept on looking so much thinking what would happen to me if I were close to it. An hour later they took us to Military Navy and they provided us with a place to sleep and food to eat. They brought a Television so that we could be alert of what was happening. My friend had a phone so I called my mother and told her I was ok and my sister was too; so don't worry about us we might go home tonight or the next day. While I was watching, the two best buildings in fire it was so horrible because they mean so much to our country but unfortunately they will remain in out memory for the rest of our lives. The only thing that I would always be scared at is the feeling I had when I saw the towers collapsed and what I went through just to get home safe. One day I will remember what I had experience on the September 11, 2002 and never forget what the people went through helping each other.
September 11 2001 a date that I will never forget. I woke up just like every other day and headed out to the place that all children would love to call jail but at Leadership things were different. Leadership is a school where everyone's knows everyone and can go to just about everyone for help if it was needed. Leadership is home and most of your peers turned into family. Don't get me wrong we had our problems just like all schools but things just seemed to run smooth. Anyway, back to my story it was around 7:45 and a friend of mine Chante also a student at Leadership was on a downtown bound A train going to Chambers Street. When we got off we decided to stop at the famous Burger King, everyone at Leadership knows this spot and may even go there every day.
After getting my breakfast it was on to another day of school. For my first period class had Ms. Collins for math 5. As I walked into the classroom with my black dress and matching Baby doll shoes I was ready to learn. We started off by going over last night homework When Mr. Donnelley ran into our classroom saying did you just see that? Every one Screamed what? He responded "the airplane went right into the to tower and we saw everything from the classroom." Ms.Collins then told the class that it was nothing and that we should remain claim. She even went on to say, "take out your notebook and do the do now?" A few second later Mr.Bronsnick came on the loud speaker and said that the crash was being controlled by the firemen and didn't affect us and that it will still be a full day of school. Within minutes a second plane few into the second tower at that point the whole class and the teachers ran down the stairs trying to get out of the building. Down at the first floor I started to get scared wondering if I should run out or stay there and see what's happens. A boy named Vernon was by my side saying, "Come on Keturah I'm going to stay with you the whole time were just going to run to the train station to Safety." After a while a got the strength we opened the door and saw my worst nightmare.
We stepped out 2 baby steps then Mr. Spots yelled, "Get back into the building." Then ran to the third floor (The lab floor). At that point I knew I was going to die. It seemed like there was no hope in the world, today was my last day on this Earth and I knew it. As soon as I found some of my friends we all prayed and told each other that we loved each other. Next I pulled out a paper and started to write a letter to my family members telling them how much I loved them. After a while we where told that we were leaving the school to Battery Park we ran thinking that the worst was over and after that nothing else could go wrong. That's what we thought at the time. The worst was yet to come the tower started to collapses and the dust from the building few everywhere. The run from the school to where ever you could find safety was the longest, it seemed like a was running in a race for my life but I lost because I had nowhere to go or better yet knew nowhere to go. My classmates Chante, Luis and I met up in a men bathroom at the Ferry. We stayed there until we saw Mr.Sparnroft and some other students going on the Staten Island Ferry. I ran to them to see where were they were going. From a pay phone close by I called my mother crying saying, "Mommy I'm all right don't worry about me and some students are going to Staten Island I'll call when I get there" and the only thing I remember is hearing my mother crying saying "It's you? Are you ok?" and telling the rest of my family that I was all right. Still not really sure of how safe I was but I didn't want my mother to worry. On the Ferry I remember the workers giving out life jackets. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was like the Titanic all over again.
As we rolled by the statue of liberty I wondered if the statue going to bow up or was all of Manhattan going up in flames and if so was my family ok. When you think about dying you never really think about what you'll be thinking about during the time. When it happens it seems unreal. It seems like a little bit of time but within those seconds over one million and one thoughts go through your head. The first place we went to in Staten Island was the police station. From there we went to the school that saved my life Curtis High School. The people there were so nice they treated us like we were there children. They were so helpful in more ways then one. We were served, watched over though out the whole night and if we needed someone to talk to the staff was there. It felt like a home away from home. We slept inside of the schools cafeteria but we had mats and covers from Linens & Things. Before that we watched a movie. I bet you would never guess what it was. All right I'll tell you, it's too funny "Gone in 60 seconds" how ironic is that. We ate great we had pizza, chicken, rice, cakes, soda and much more. Local stores around the way knew what we were going threw and donated food to us. The next day when roads opened up we were put on a bus with police escorts bus. From that moment on I felt like life was so much more then I ever knew. I just Thank God everyday for giving me chance to live another day.
My name is Chante' LaShea' Francis Brown. I am attending High School for Leadership and Public Service. The address of this school is 90 Trinity Place. My school is two blocks away from the World Trade Center. When this terrorist attack happened it was first period of school. When the first plane hit the teacher thought that the children from the other class was playing. The loud speaker came on. The person who was talking told the students to stand in the hallways were there is no widows.was still on .The person who was talking said that one of the towers' was on fire. The loud speaker went off. People that you would not be talking to during school year was the best of students leave the building. " When you went outside there was paper fling everywhere. There were people running. When we saw the building burning a plane came fling right in the second tower. So the we knew what happened to the other tower. As the students were walking to Battery Park one of the Twin Towers' fell. It looked like something out of a movie. When the dark cloud of dust came it got more scary. You could not see your own hands in front of your face.When the building was falling it felt like the dark cloud was chasing you and it was. My friend Keturah was together the whole time.
We ran to the ferry were a lot of people was standing. The ferry was the last thing I wanted to get on. So we ran into this trailer which happened to be the men's bathroom. When we got in there we saw our friend Luis and his brother and sister. Luis was telling me that he had to find his brother and sister when the towers were going down. I said "You was luck that you find them." We decided to got on the ferry. Went we got on the ferry we met up with several teachers and students.
People was throwing lifesaving vests to people in case the boat sinked. When we got to Staten Island I felt like we were the only survivors in Manhattan. The teachers took the students to Curtis High School. The people that lived in Manhattan had to sleep in the school. The girls slept in the lunch room and the boys slept in the auditorium.
When morning came we taking home by the polices. I think that more is still to come.
A Day I'll Never Forget
My 9/11/01 story
"The ash of terror", that's what I call it. What came from crazed minds became my biggest life changing experience. It's hard to think about how these people took all the great prosperity that I have had in my lifetime. It was all gone in several minutes. It all started with a huge bang, papers flying all over the sky. Just enough for some kids to laugh and some to panic. I am just sitting on the ground thinking about what this might be. Is it another bomb? No one knows what is about to happen. Then another huge bang came from out of nowhere. That's when people got scared. No more jokes, no more laughs, just screams and cries. Before you knew it we were given word to evacuate the building.
As my class was walking south towards Battery Park, I took a look back at the World Trade Center. I couldn't believe my eyes. There were huge holes in each of the towers. Fire was bursting out like crazy. Black smoke was filling the sky. I then started walking with my class again. I must have looked back about two dozen times.
Most of the school stopped when we were in Battery Park. Everything seemed to be fine. All the teachers are telling us to stay calm. I met up with some of my friends. Then the worst thing possible happened. I heard a huge noise that sounded like a volcano erupting. I looked back and I saw the World Trade Center crumbling. It looked like slow motion. I could see a build up of black smoke getting bigger and bigger. People started screaming. Then I noticed that the smoke was calming towards us. Everyone started running. The smoke started to come over us. Everything was turning white. It seemed to be getting worse and worse. I started running towards the Staten Island fairy. Then another huge sound came. All the people that were in front of me turned around started to storm right at me. I had to turn around and run away. People were falling down. Some tried to jump over fences. It seemed that wherever I went it was a dead end. I felt trapped. My eyes were hurting and I had my shirt wrapped around my face. I could hardly breathe. The air smelled of smoke and another scent that I couldn't identify. The smell made my heart race. I looked up but I couldn't see the sky. What was once a clear blue sky became a cloudy dark day.
Many people broke into a restaurant. I needed air so I went in. I was getting paranoid and started to think that the restaurant would collapse. There were about 500 people in the restaurant. Everyone was trying to get air. I could see buy everyone's face that the thought they were going to die. This is how I felt. I have never been so scared in my life. The sky started to clear after about two hours. About 15 kids from my school got on a bus. As the bus started to leave I could see a huge space of black smoke. I hoped everyone in my school got out safely. The bus took us up to midtown. When I got off the bus I had to walk all the way home. All the transportation to my house wasn't working. I got to China town, and all these cops told me that it wasn't safe to go in to my neighborhood yet. I stayed in a park in China town for about 5 hours. I decided to walk up to 14 street and 1st Ave. This is where my friend Jonathan lives. I stayed at his house for the night. I tried contacting my parents all night. I couldn't reach them so I decided to go to sleep. My parents called Jonathan's house in the morning. They were staying at my aunt's house.
My life is now getting back to normal. I will be back in my school January 30th. My neighborhood is getting back to normal. I've been able to do well in school. My life is getting back on track. I just wish it never happened.
On that Tuesday mourning I woke up like any other day and got ready for school. I left my house at 7:30 to take the A train to school. I got to school at 8:30 and chilled with this boy I knew and then the security guard tells us to get class. I get on the elevator to go to my first period class on the eighth floor. The teacher starts the class and about five minutes into the class when I see the lights flicker
The class does not really pay attention to it and continues learning. Five minutes later we see millions of pieces of paper flying around outside. Later my teacher says it is probably because of the election since that day was Election Day. I thought to my self that it was way to early to be celebrating. The vice principal comes on the speaker and says that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. My whole class was shocked and wanted to know more.
All of a sudden we hear a loud roar and a crash and everybody jumped out their seat and tried to leave the class. The teacher calmed everybody down and told us to listen to instructions. Everybody from my class and another class and in the hall and waited to listen for instructions. About ten minutes later the guidance counselor comes to our floor and tells us to calm down and just head out to Battery Park that is nearby. We all go downstairs and go to the park. All the kids from Leadership and Economics are in the park watching the twin towers burn with two big holes in them. I am trying to contact any body I can on my cell phone. All of a sudden as I watching one of the towers I see it start to crumble to the ground.
I then look straight ahead and see a huge cloud of dust coming toward me. Just like everybody else I start running for my life. I run around for about 10 minuets looking for my aunt's job that was nearby. There was so much dust in the air I could not even see the street signs. I then see three kids from my first period class and start walking with them. We keep walking around looking for a way home. We could not even walk down some blocks because of all the dust in them.
Out of nowhere we hear another rumble and panic and just run into a deli. In the store we see how black it gets with the dust and could not believe what was happening. We get some water and clean off the itchy dust and wait for the dust outside to clear. We then walk more uptown to Chinatown and find some payphones. I call my house and leave a message on my machine letting anybody know that I was okay and walking to my friend's house uptown we walk one girl to her house on Rutgers Blvd. and Madison Ave.
I then walk the other girl to 14th street and 1st Ave. to meet her mother. After that her mother tells me to stay with her and go to their house. I asked were she lived she said all the way on 2nd Ave. and 100th street. On the way there I got to talk with my aunt and my mother. When I got to her house I was real tired. My aunt and I decided to meet there and walk down to the Queensboro Bridge. So my aunt walked back down to the bridge and crossed it. Now that we were in Queens, my other aunt picked us up and drove us home. I finally got home around 6:00 and rejoiced with my whole family.
The morning of Tuesday, September 11.2001 freedom itself was attacked. You are always prepared for the worst but you never think it would happen. I would have never in a million life times think that so many life times would be lost in matter of minutes.
I sat in class, with no fear or strange feelings at all. Everything seemed normal and what I would say "cool". I was very happy; I was supposed to see my really good friend that day after school. I would have honestly said that life was going my way. Even the weather was nice. It was nice and warm.
I remember that everything as if it just happened. I was early to school, so I was going to go to the what was one the World Trade Center Mall to see what new CDs had arrived. I ended up not going, because I remembered my best friend was waiting for me at what we had learned to call "Zal's Deli". A little deli store at the corner of Greenwich St. Zal was a man that used to work at the deli, which after 3 years of knowing him we had learned to care him. Everyday in the morning and after school we used to stop and just talk to him. He used to calls us his little girls. He used to tell us that he was our father and he was always proud of us.
If it wasn't for my little deli then maybe I would not be here, maybe things would have been different. For what ever reason I am here and I have the chance to enjoy one more day am happy. I am happy to be here and grateful for my everyday breath.
I still do not manage to understand why so many innocent lives. So many that still had a whole life a head of them. So many babies. So many families that now at Christmas time must be devastated to not have their loved ones. So many mothers whose life now have no meaning because they have lost their little light of hope of still finding their children.
I sometimes now wonder if I deserve everything I have. If it is fair that I have a smile on my face, while there are so many families still crying over those they lost. Is it fair that I have so much while they have nothing but hopeless hearts? I sometimes feel bad because I really do want to help. I wish I could just give them a little hope, even a smile.
During first period I had saw sad faces. I remember when the first plane hit. I still thought I was safe. I was in school; it felt like I was home. That I was safe and nothing could ever harm me there. I thought everything was okay. I guess, because I was in the fourth floor and I didn't feel it hit. Then when things had gone back to normal, the second plane hit. That's when I got really scared. I think I saw my life flash by, and I knew something was wrong. Yet I still did not think that things were going to get so out of hand. I thought it was just a little accident.
It felt like everything that I thought was okay three minutes ago, now had all died. Where I thought I was away from harm was evil. In the place where I thought everyone was brave, now was fear, and in the eyes that I saw everyday now were tears of sadness.
I saw everyone cry. I remember Mrs. and her fear of never seeing the ones she loved. I remember Denise and how scared she was that she might never see her mother. Even then I still thought everything would be fine. Until I saw Mr. Fielding drop a tear from his eye.
I had never seen such a face. He was trying to calm us down. I remember he told me everything was going to be okay, and then his eyes got suddenly red and a tear of uncertainty dropped. I think that's when I got really scared. If my teacher was afraid, then something most not me right.
I do not remember much about us leaving the building, but I do remember how much I cried, and how scared I was thinking that I might never see the ones I truly care for, or that I might lose a friend. I stood outside waiting for my best friends to come out, but they never came. They told me I had to moved, so I decided to meet them at the entrance of Battery Park. Then all I remember was me walking and a big cloud of black dust, it was extremely big it did not even let me see. The amount of smoke being so big, and me being so scared did not let me think or even breathe. I do not know why, but all I thought was that if those two building felt then all the buildings around the area would fall.
I always wondered what would happen if I died. I have never lost anyone close to me, so I have always been afraid of losing anyone that I care for. All I thought of that day was what if I lose my friends. That fear was really the one I always had at the back of my head. I don not know how my life would be now with out them. My friends have a big part of my life, and I do not think think I will be the same person with out them
I don't know how or when but some how I ended up at the end of Battery park. Then from there I ended up at New Jersey. All I wanted was to be away from everything that happened. I got home really late that night but I had made it. I had never seen my mother cry before. Until that day. She told me she loved me and that she did not know what she would have done if she lost me.
Now it has been three months and when I think about it, it still seems like it happened yesterday. I know that everything happens for a reason. I think that what happened to me that day changed my life forever in so many ways. There is not a day that goes by that I do not wake up and feel grateful for everything I have. I thank God for my everyday breath. We might not have the World Trade Center any more, but we have each other. We have our unity, and no more then ever we need to all work together to defeat terrorism. They would pay for what they did to us and for all the innocent life's we lost. I had never been proud to be part of this nation, and to see how hard everyone is working to over come the situation. Now at time like this, In Christmas time we should all tell does we love how much they mean to us and the big difference they make in our lives. Cherish our everyday breath and be thankful for everything you have, because you never know when is your turn to go.
It was another Tuesday morning. I was totally pissed of because vacations were over, I still hadn't gotten my schedule plus I didn't have time to buy breakfast. Any other day I would have gotten breakfast right after I would have gotten out of Courtland Street, which was right below The World Trade Center. I can't really recall why I didn't, I m guessing that I was not all that hungry. On any other day just like I always did, I would sit and eat my breakfast in front of this fountain that happened to be right in front of the Twin Towers. Every time I would sit there and have breakfast I would feel very relax. I remember the statue from the fountain but I particularly remember a hand with the world. I used to think that was I whenever I felt every one was repressing me. Anyways I went inside the school showed my I.D and for once the elevator was there I took the elevator to the 7th floor because I needed my program. I went to the attendance room. About two and a half minutes later I got my program It said room 1209 Ms. Odover period one ENG 05 I will never forget that. So again I took the elevator to the eleventh floor then I walked up a flight. I walked in the room just as the bell had rung at the same time my name was being called for attendance. I hadn't showed up in school for the first four days, and I had just walked in and said hey, everyone! She didn't even look at me and said, 'you have been out for four days, I'm guessing that the entire summer wasn't enough for you, right?' I just smiled and said, "hey what can you do?" I looked around trying to find a seat then I saw my friend Lorainne she goes to me Yasmin sit right here so I walked up to her and said hi! And then I looked at the board and saw some work that the teacher had us doing so I started to copy the board. I only got as far as writing my name and the date then the teacher came up to us with a sticker or one of them little stars and placed it in each of ours notebooks. Then she walked to the front of the classroom and I think she was checking some papers or something like that. Then I kept talking to my friend Loraine about our summer then we hear this big noise that sounded like thunder then my teacher said 'that was odd.' Then Lorraine and me looked at each other I can't imagine what was she thinking but I know I was thinking, My Lord what's going on? Knowing her she was probably the same thing I was thinking. Almost immediately after that we saw paper flying everywhere outside. So all of us rushed to the window. Lorraine, me the entire class. We knew right of the back that something was wrong something big. We even dared to predict that the towers were going to fall. But at the time that, this comment was made we never suspected that this would be happening later on. Back to were I was, not only did we have the nerve to say something like that but we fooled around with the fact that we were probably going to come out in the news. I said yeah, you know how we going to act when they ask us what happened or what did we see. You know I'm gonna be like I saw my life flash right in front of my eyes. Then the teacher sent us to please sit down and take a seat to see what was going on. Then a few short minutes after that had passed I heard what seemed to me like the voice of the assistant principal I can't really remember but that wasn't important. What was important was what he had to say. My heart froze literally when he said that it seemed that a plane had crashed in pone of the Twin Towers. I wasn't thinking really. I don't even know if I was thinking. Then when I came back from my amassment that is if I could call it like that, I heard my teacher say something about writing about this experience as an assignment or something so we wouldn't forget what we were feeling at the moment. I was so pissed. But I didn't question her and started writing. I got as far as writing, what I'm feeling right now is ' that was all I wrote. I don't remember what I was thinking at the moment. The sad thing is that I think I never will. But I do remember what stopped me from writing. When I was writing I remember that I thought to myself God, people died back there, people like me. Human beings died I could only think that if there was anybody that could have had died was someone's brother, sister, mother, father daughter, son, cousin or aunt. Then I thought about my family and all the times that we have gotten in an airplane. It was a very scary feeling. I was the first one to start crying. I never meant to but something just didn't feel right. Something about an airplane crashing in one of the most recognized places in New York City. Even worse one of the places I used to chill at with all of my friends. That thought just couldn't get to my brain. It was as if I was living someone else's nightmare. Shortly after that all of the students rushed to an already crowded hallway. People kept telling me to stop crying. Then I would just smile and say, don't worry I am just scared. Some hugged me some just passed right by me and said, 'ahh don't cry because then you will make some other people cry.' Meanwhile my teacher was trying to check in the Internet to see if they had more information. She called us one by one in alphabetical order so that we could see a picture of one of the Twin Towers. Actually of the first twin tower that was impacted by the plane. When I got to see it there was this big, huge, gigantic almost perfect circle in the upper part of the tower. Even as I saw it I just couldn't believe it. It was like trying to sallow a full cup of vinegar with salt, it was something hard to believe. At first we thought it was a terrible accident. But then we hear a second crash. The lights went of for a manner of what I call mini seconds. I saw my friends and I told them that I was going to get out of the school no matter what anyone else said. Then I heard some other people sharing my opinion. As we said it the security and staff were saying that we couldn't do that because there was so much stuff outside and that there was some things that were still falling. I swear that if someone who didn't live what we lived got a chance to look out the window they probably would have had said, hey look it's the Yankee parade! At that time we were still in the twelve floor we were so innocent to think that the best thing to do was to stay in the building that we even got out a radio and stared listening to a stations to see if we could get a more accurate saying of what was going on at the time. Then all of us in the floor made silence we all wanted to know what was going on. Then I don't know why or how every one just started going down the stairs. This was a very difficult situation because our school has some very (I mean very) small staircases. To make manners worse we only had two staircases. Loraine and me stayed together while going down the stairs. We were talking about how many times we had done this. So many times and now we were doing it but not because it was a fire drill but because it was an emergency. We walked out of the school in a very organized manner. Once we were outside everything changed. I mean the security and the teachers and the staff were taking care of us but everyone in the streets kept bending down to get paper or they were stopping to buy cameras or they were already video taping. I was totally offended. Because I knew that they were going to use that to get money. Or as proof that they where there that day. I ignored that and then once again I met up with my friend, Lorraine. Then we decide that we should stay together. So once we where in Battery Park we started looking for people we knew but it was so crowded that instead we sat down. Then Lorraine, whom by the way likes to draw made me sit with her in this bench so that she could draw a picture of what was going on in her scrap book. When I saw that she was coming back for something I think we heard this big noise that sounded as if the world was going to end. Then I see this huge mass of black air that's forming from one of the towers. Then we saw how fast it was coming our way. So Lorraine and me started to run. While we was running I felt how the people pushed me trying to get through then when we turned around to see if the smoke was still coming our way we saw this girl that was having this asthma attack. Not being aware of the danger that we where putting each other on we turned around to help her. Me and my friend asked her desperately for her pump. She was having a hard time talking so Loraine pulled her bag away from her and we started to search for her pump. But we couldn't find it then we saw the smoke coming towards us and we took the girl who by the way we have no idea who she was but we do know she is a high school student. Anyways, we took the girl and started to try to run with her. Then this very nice lady helped us. Then the lady I think was a nurse told us to leave that she would take care of it. So we trusted her. By that time we already had all of the ashes in our face and my friend who also suffers from asthma started to have difficulties breathing. Then she started to panic and she almost made me panic but I knew that at that moment I only had her and she only had me. I knew I couldn't let her down. So I kept running and tried to get her to wear this shirt she had around her face. Because at that time not only breathing was difficult but seeing where you was going was almost crucial.
Thank God that on that specific day I was wearing this Yankee jersey that my boy friend had given me about a month before . I took it off and covered my entire face with it. Thanks to that I was able to see where we was going. We got as far as the other Corner of the park .Up to this day I don't know what happened that most of the people were running in one direction then the next thing we know is that everyone started running the opposite way. There was this little bench were me and Lorraine sat down to cry. We were crying and hugging each other. I remember her saying, 'I don't wanna die like this, and I wanna see my family.' Then I looked around and saw this man. I will never forget this man. He was about 26 or 25 years old maybe. He was dressed in this elegant suit I couldn't see it right but I could tell it was probably a black or a navy colored suit .It was hard to tell because he just like everyone there, he seemed to be dressed in gray. The man was on the bench sitting almost right behind me. I heard him crying so I stopped to cry myself just so I could hear what he was saying and he was saying that this was not the way he wanted to die. Then it hit me. Yasmin you are in danger of dying this isn't just any building that a plane has crashed this was the Twin Towers we were talking about. Then I saw my choices, it was either I died sophisticated, crushed by the people or I died trying to get out of there. But I was so scared. Then this woman who I say to this very day was a true angel sat next to my friend and me and told us in this calmed voice in this very relaxed way to stop crying. Then she handed us some wet tissues so that we cold use one side to remove the dust from our face and the other to put it in our mouths so that we could keep breathing and carry on. She reminded us that we were young and that this was some kind of prove that God was going to help us get over what ever was going on. I believed her. I can't explain why. This woman gave me all the faith I needed to survive. So then my friend and I started to walk again. We walked towards the Brooklyn Bridge, on our way there, we saw this van that was already giving out masks. We gathered around the other people that were already there and tried to get a mask I wasn't trying to get one for myself because thank God I don't have asthma. I was trying to get one for my friend, unfortunately we were not able to get one. But that didn't stop us we decided to keep ahead. Then we saw this teacher from our school I cant' think of his name, but I do remember his face, he told us to please enter this building were most of the students were in I wanted to go in but my friend refused. She told me that I could go in if I felt like it but I knew she didn't really want to say that so I told her to forget it. I my self was scared to go in a building because I thought in would fall right in top of me. We were going to go to the Brooklyn Bridge but none of us lived in Brooklyn nor knew anyone that lived there. So we decided to do things our way. When we stood there thinking what we were going to do I saw this girl whom I had just met the day before in the train station so I grabbed her by the arm and said to her that from now on she would be chilling with us no matter what happened. She was like yeah I think I better do that. We took what seemed to us like the safest way at the moment. We took the highway. First we were running just like everyone else, but as the atmosphere got clearer we were able to start to walk slower. Then we saw this lady that was rushing ridiculously, she tried to this fence and while she was at it she broke her ankle. Her ankle was so messed up that I was able to see her skin tear and part of her bone pop out of her body. And then she started crying for help. This man helped her to get over the fence. Then we started our journey once again. We walked and we walked. People from offices near by were already giving out water. We were walking and as we walked
SEPTEMBER 11 STORY
On September 11 I woke up very tired and sleepy and not wanting to go to school as usual. I was on my way to school. Taking my time and very late. So I am coming out of the (A) train in the World Trade Center stop, while I was walking through the mail, almost in the exit in front of the Victoria secret store and suddenly I hear a loud noise and everyone started running including me, this was the most terrifying moment for me because I was sacred. I did not know what went wrong. I thought it was the end for me. My mind was thinking the world is going to end. I was very scared seeing people screaming crying delectated, running for their lives. There was so much smoke I could not believe my eyes when I was outside of the mall and saw half of the twin tower building and all the smoke the was going on, and so much paper flying around this was so scary for me. All I could breathe was smoke. I just wanted to go home and be with my family. I didn't know what to do, so I just decided to go to my school leadership I went to the 7th floor when the second plane hit, my school vibrated. After a few minutes Ada Dolch, my principal evacuated all of the students out of the building, so we walked to battery park when we got to the park, we saw one of the twin towers collapsed every one started running again, I thought the tower had tilted to the side because the smoke was going toward the back, butt we were lucky that it went down. We were running to a restaurant in Battery Park because the smoke was all around and all we couldn't breathe was smoke. In the restaurant we were trying to break the doors down. Finally we broke the doors and got in. I felt a little better. A few minutes later the second tower collapsed. I got scared again, more smoke came our way. Then the smoke started to clear up. So a couple of my friends, Scarlet, Elvis, Melissa, Willie, 2 Jennifer, Victor, Barbara, Carlos and me. We all went on a Ferryboat to New Jersey; there we were very safe. There we got juice water and food. We also went to an army bade and finally a bus came to pick us up to take the express train to 34th street then I took the D train to 145th so I needed to take the (A) train to 175th stop but it was taking to long so we decided to walk home so I decided to walk home so I did. I got home at 7:00pm. My mother, brother and uncle gave me a big hug. They were happy to see me. I was happy to see them. It was the worst day of my life. I am sure it was the worst day for a lot of people in lower Manhattan. I was really luck to get home safe.
January 2. 2002
I got home today. I am terrified, scared and never have I experienced such horror. September 11. 2001 was the worst day of many people's lives. Yesterday my day started at school. I had American history on the 11th floor with Ms. Cohn. First period starts at 8:35 am, and by 8:48 am we all heard a huge noise and it was like a bomb exploded. Ms. Cohn tolled us to sit down that nothing was wrong but I felt it in my heart that something horrible had happened. Seconds later students in my class saw things hitting our window. There were pieces of huge gray things that looked rectangular. Their was so much paper hitting our windows that it reminded me of the ticker tape parades we have for the Yankees every year. Friends of mine and I approached the window to see what was happening. I remember standing next to the window, the floor and tables were shaking and I looked back to see the time. It was 9:06 am and I heard panic coming from my classmates and other people in the hallways. The lights in the class room went off for a slight second. As a stared at the towers I could see a huge ball of flames and more debree falling. As we tried to calm down Mr. Bronsnick got on the loud speaker and using a soothing and calm voice he announced that a plane had hit the twin towers. At first it was unbelievable to me. The only think that I could say and I did was 'first Aaliah and then this!'. Classes that met in rooms with windows were ordered to evacuate into the hall way. The teachers kept us in the floors we were on until about 9:45. Waiting in the hall way, people tried to contact their parents but the lines were busy and the calls were not going through. My tears came down when my friends Jennifer, and Carlos sneaked and met up with me in the 11th floor. I didn't know on what floor our other friends were but I was panicking especially because I really thought that we were going to die. One of the deans was on my floor (Mr. Urena) and I remember hearing through his walkie takie that two planes had hit he towers and I heard police sirens. I felt trapped in the school. They started evacuating us from top to bottom, floor by floor. As I was walking, I felt really dazed. Everyone was desperately looking for someone. As I reunited with some of my friends I saw many people crying, hugging and even vomitting. I stopped and looked at the towers and I saw these huge massive wholes and fire and smoke coming out of the the top floors. It all looked fake to me as if we were in a movie set. I truly was waiting for someone to say 'cut, great scene' that's how unreal it looked. Reaching battery park was like a disaster. Most teachers had lost heir students. People were not following orders and they were just pointing up and screaming . It felt like an earthquake because the floor was trembling. A huge stampede of like fog, ashes and debree was heading towards us. I panicked but my boyfriend Williy tolled me to relax. He grabbed my hand and we tried to walk quickly but soon we got full of debree are clothes were all grey. My hair was hard and it smelled like smoke. The group that I was with soon became just two. We lost our friends because so much people were running and we couln't see anything. Many people were falling on the floor. My skin itched and I couldn't breathe. I looked up and with all the smoke and ashes in the air I couldn't even see the sun and that freaked me out. At that moment I truly felt it was over for me. My boyfriend and I bumped into a bench and sat down. I leaned my head over his shoulder and covered my face with my shirt and started crying . I heard a voice talking to me and Williy. I pulled me shirt off my face and when I looked up it was Mr. Fernandez. He asked us if we were all right and he pored water on our shirts so that we could breathe. Then ignored to act strong and calm in front of us , he said a joke. ' Look your hair is so gray, you are aging quickly.' It was king of funny at that moment. Now as I think of that its just like corny to me. As I tried to look for my friends I bumped into Ms. Ordover which was a relief. She was running around and shouting 'H.S.L.A.P.S go into the restaurant' Thanks to her I found my friends. If not I would have still been wondering around battery park crying looking for my friends. When we got to the restaurant, the front doors and windows had been shattered and broken, a couple of boys from Leadership broke the windows in order to be safe. About like 50 students from leadership and about 6 teachers from leadership including Ms. Dolch were in the Restaurant. While we were there we received water bottles and ice. There were many paramedics and police at the sight we were at. I saw a women officer take charge and started gathering table cloth and cutting them into pieces so that people could cover there nose and breathe through it. I had never seen so much New Yorkers try to help each other and work together. The second tower fell and more people rushed to the restaurant. After the sky somewhat cleared up a group of us Leadership students decided to go somewhere safe. A coast guard tolled us that the boat he was on was going to New Jersey. I felt that there was more destruction that was going to occur, so I convinced my friends to get on the boat. As we passed the statue of Liberty I starred at it waiting for it to like explode or something. When we reached to New Jersey their we were approached with many services. They provided medical assistance, things to drink as well as phone services. I finally contacted home and spoke with my mother. I was panicked and scared. My friends and I sat and starred at New York City and from across the river we could see other buildings falling and more smoke growing. After two hours of sitting there, buses arrived and everyone was taken to the Military base at Kaven point in Jersey City. When we go there we tried to fix an old TV and we saw the news for the first time. Seeing the our skyscrapers getting hit by hijacked planes made me angry and sad. I thought that my school had collapsed but luckilly it didn't. My feet had hurt from running. We received cold cheese sandwiches and juices to drunk. We couldn't stop seeing the news. Hearing that the city was closed and that you couldn't go back into the city scared me. I thought I was never going home. I never really new much about terrorism and about hijacking till that day. I couldn't remember my relatives number because I was so nervous but luckily Jennifer did. She reached her cousin Maribel. Maribel tried to pick us up but they didn't let her through. At about six a clock we got on a bus that took us to Newark. When we reached Pennsylvania Station they tolled us that there was a bomb threat so we started running. We took a cab to Jennifer's relatives house. Though it cost us a lot of money for the cab but I new we were going to be safe and that our horrible day was coming to an end. I was kind of traumatized and I hate hearing air planes now. My perspectives changed that night. I realized that life is very short and that you should always be surrounded by those you love and care. Live life to the fullest.
December 22, 2001
September 11, 2001
It all started off as a normal day of school. I got to school on time and headed straight to the eighth floor to my Government class. While Mr. Trejo, my teacher was giving the lesson, we heard a loud noise go ' BOOM .' I got very scared and so did everyone else. Mr. Trejo just said maybe it is a celebration since today is Election Day. After he said that, I was a little more calm. A few minutes past and there was a louder noise that made the ground tremble. When I felt the ground tremble my heart was beating at least 250 mph and my eyes got watery. I jumped out of my desk and held Amber's hand. All I said to her was ' If we die we will die together.' Then Mr. Trejo said everyone try to relax and lets go to the hallway, so we all did. In the hallway, I saw Mr. Marks and I asked him if he knew what was happening, He said two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center. When he told me that I thought they were going to send us home right away, but I was wrong. Everyone had to go to the basement so I headed straight down there. When I got to the basement about 200 people were there and some of them were teachers. I asked Ms. Kornrich if everything was going to be alright and she said I hope so, just don't panic. Then Mrs. Dolch said that we could not exit the building until the superintendent told her that we could exit. Five minutes passed and Mrs.Dolch said that we were going to head to Battery Park. They started to let us out through the side door of the school. When I got outside there was a lot of people and lots of papers and debri in the air, It also smelled like burn since the towers were on fire. I felt as if I was in a movie, Everything seemed unbelievable. Amber and I stayed together. We walked four blocks down from the school and we found a pay phone that was working. We stood on line and there was like six or seven people ahead of us. When it was my turn to use the phone the ground shook really hard because one of the towers fell. Then Amber and I ran and I ended up running under a garage roof. The lights were blinking and Amber was screaming for me to run out of there because she thought that the roof was going to collapse, so then I ran towards her out of the garage and we started running away from the towers and we ended up in front of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and Amber said ' No,' not in there and she squinted down near the floor and said we will suffocate in there, I pulled her and said look at the smoke we cant run no where else so lets pray to god that we make it alive. When Amber looked back and saw that huge smoke ball she said loli run faster and I said okay, by then we were already in the tunnel and there were so many cars there. Everyone got out of there car and started to run towards Brooklyn. I told Amber lets leave our book bag so that we can run faster and she said okay. Then I took off my book bag, opened the little pocket and took out my wallet and chap stick and then put the book bag on the ledge in the tunnel and Amber too. Then It was easier for us to run faster, but the smoke ball was catching up to us and we were inhaling all that dust which made it harder for us to breathe, but I ignored the smoke and continued to run. After we ran about half a mile there were men working in the tunnel and we climbed up to where they were at and asked them to please help us and all they told us was to keep on running straight. Then I asked them if the exit of the tunnel was near and they said yes just keep on running a little more. So then more people came to where we were at and there was a door opened to the other side of the tunnel and Amber and I went through the door. On the other side of the tunnel there was only two cars, a police car and a mini van. There was a lady police officer and she told us to get in the mini van so that we can get out of the tunnel. Amber and I got in the mini van and she sat on my lap because there like six people in there. The man who was driving was a doctor and I thanked him so much for saving my life. He said its okay and be calm. Then he told us that he had to leave us right when we exit the tunnel because he had to go somewhere. When we got out of the tunnel in Brooklyn, he pulled over and we all got out of the van. I thanked him again and said god bless you. Amber and I then walked to one of the police cars and asked a police officer where do we go ?. The police officer asked us if we were in the tunnel and we said yes. He then asked us if we were alright. I said I am but my friend here feels like if is hard for her to breathe. The police officer took us to an ambulance that was there and we both sat in the passenger seat because the back was already full. The ambulance driver asked us who was the one that was sick and I said my friend Amber. He asked her what she had and she said that she feels she inhaled to much smoke because it is hard for her to breathe. Then he gave her two small tubes which contained oxygen so that she can put them in her nose to make it easier for her to breathe, but she took it off right away because it was getting her nauseous. We then headed to the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn and there they took our pressure in the emergency room and gave us some water, they told us that we just needed calm down. Then we tried not to think about the chaos that was happening and we started to talk about other things. After a few minutes passed, the nurse send us to the eighth floor and put us in a room so that we could relax. There we talked for like two hours and the nurse offered us bread with ham and some water or coffee. Afterwards the nurse told us to try to use the phones so that we can locate our parents and tell them that we are fine and were we were at. We both talked to our parents and then Amber and I talked some more until I called my aunts sister and told her where I was at. Her husband then came to pick us up in the hospital and we went to her house and I slept over there, but Amber did not because her father went to pick her up.
The early morning of September 11th, 2001 started off pretty good. I woke up performed my morning rituals and headed out the door. I was rather excited because I had on an entirely fabulous new outfit and a brand new hairstyle.
I arrived at 90 Trinity Place rather early; I stopped picked up something to eat and headed to the schools entrance. I had about six minutes until the beginning of my first period class so I decided to swing over my counselors office and picked up my transcript. After receiving it I went down to the fourth floor to my chemistry class. I began to take out my supplies and began to start working. Suddenly I felt my desk shake and the light flicker. My initial reaction was 'oh, my god it's an earthquake.' My instructor Ms. Yu told us to calm down, and that it was possible that the neighboring classroom was horsing around. I barked back, out of nervousness, 'I'm sure it's a bit more serious than students playing around.'
I stood up knowing something was not right and began packing. At that moment there was another shake and I began feeling sick...nervous, disoriented, nauseous. I turned around to my classmate and by the look of our faces we knew that something unusual was definitely going on. There were no words exchanged between my surrounding classmates, just mute faces in despair.
Ms.Yu kept on mollifying the hectic classroom just when an announcement over the speaker drowned our voices...'everyone stay calm, two planes have crashed in the the World Trade Center.' At that moment I just wanted a hug from my mom. We were quickly being evacuated; I knew my life was in danger. I walked out very quickly trying to clear my mind and focused on getting out of the 'hot zone' calm, cool, and collected. I began looking for familiar faces for embrace and reinforcement.
I exited 90 Trinity and looked up at the towers and tears of fear just rolled down my cheek. These massive towers were in flames. The group of girls who I ran into and I began walking towards Battery Park City. I knew that we had to remove ourselves from the area because I knew that the towers will collapse. I thought I was going to die at the early age of sixteen. I began to feel sick again and began to throw up.
My friend decided it'd be wiser to walk towards the Staten Island Ferry and hope board to Staten Island. For the last time I turned around to find the tower collapsing. We began running, it was choas everywhere. Women were running with no shoes, business men left their briefcases behind, and students were running in every direction away from the towers. I remember seeing thousand of pieces of papers everywhere, it almost felt like I was at the tickertape parade for the New York Yankee. Debris, debris, debris was all I saw falling from the sky and the noise was so unbearable...it was the equivalent of two lions roaring, almost crying. But I soon realized that it was tons and tons of metal twisting and crashing on to pedestrians.
We finally boarded the SI. ferry away from the mayhem and we hugged and cried together looking at what was left of Lower Manhattan. The sun penetrated the smoke filled air, but it was so thick that we couldn't see anything. I couldn't believe that I'd survived these attacks.
January 3, 2002
ENG 5/ Per. 6
The way that I ran
September eleventh, Oh my god what a day! It was early in the morning and I was a little late for my first period class. That was the exact moment when the first plan hit. I was entering the building and all of a sudden I just see every body running. The people running were coming from the direction of the world trade, and the lights in the school kind of blinked and that had me worried because it had never happened before and there was a lot of people running. While this is going on out side of school Ms. Dulch had told us to stay near the walls and not to get in to the elevators in fact to stay away from them. So we stayed away and then I hear one of the security guards saying that someone bombed the world trade, then I was really worried because at that moment they told us to go up to our classes. I did not want to go up for nothing in the world but then I kind of trust Ms. Dulch so I just went up to my class. Then my teacher was trying to get my to sign the late book but I argued that they had kept us down stairs because someone had bombed the world trade. Then she was also seeing the papers coming down and told me to sit down and I did. Then out of the blue we all hear a very low plane and even the teacher was looking out of the window that was when we saw the second plane hit the other tower. That was when the screaming, running, and crying actually started. I was just trying to brave, did not cry even though every one else was, I was trying to help them out. Most of my friends were crying hysterically and I was telling them that it was all going to be okay if they just calm down. Then there was an announcement, which asked us to go into the hallway because it had no windows so we did. Then out of nowhere some one says oh the stock exchange is right next to us we are all going to die, their going to bomb that too. For a quick minute there I actually thought something like that could happen. Then the dean told us to just go down slowly when we were like in the second floor all we smelled was smoke a really strong one too. The teachers and staff members were giving us instruction so that we can actually get into Battery Park together. As we walk towards Battery Park I saw another group of my friends just standing there crying I was always there for them. We kept on walking then we looked back and saw a big burning hole in one of the towers then we were all talking about it, when unpredictably we heard a noise so loud that made every thing around us tremble, that was when we ran. I do not remember the last time that I ran and specially that fast I am a really fast runner because after that I lost all my friends who were also running. Then everyone was running and some white man was telling me to stop running that nothing is happening when I can see this big, big cloud of dust and smoke coming towards me. I do not know what is in that smoke that, it can be something that may leave me blind or something worse so I kept on running. Finally a saw a couple of my friends who were looking for me in this whole time something that actually made me laugh my friend told me 'Melissa, lets get in the water ' and according to her I told her 'girl I just did my hair ' mind you that it was all covered with that white smoke kind of thing then I said 'plus I can not swim and that water is nasty and cold '. Then the other tower collapsed and we started to run again and some building around there was falling so we had to run back. When we came back we saw Ms. Ordover saying that all the HSLAPS students must go into the restaurant there I found another group of friends. I have a cousin in the school but she hardly goes to school so she was the last thing in my mind when I remembered that she had taken the train with me that morning then all her friends kept coming to me asking if I had seen her and I started crying I really thought she was dead. Then there was a cell working so everyone was calling their parents, some parents did not even know what had happened. I did not get in touch with my mom, no one answer the phone. Then we got on a boat and Ms. Burgos told us that what ever we did to stay together. The boat took us to New Jersey and my friend said that she had an aunt there so we are trying to get to her aunts house. Then a bus took us to an army base and then we took a bus to Penn station in New Jersey we are getting off the bus and we see a lot of people running then it was like one of those movie kind of thing we just stopped and look at each other then we were asking our self's if we were being recorded, then some lady was running and said a bomb so at this point we are like yeah, okay but started running also. I still had not spoken to my mom and it was like six o'clock and everything happened early that morning. Then we finally got to the house they were great people and I really appreciated what they did for us. My friends mom called my mom and told her that I was okay and not to worry about me. Then when I got home the next day in the afternoon my whole families, a couple of friends were in my house and they even had candles lit for me. I still have nightmares about it, I get nervous very fast, I do not like the train or any loud noises, I am having trouble concentrating and my whole life has changed after that day. That will be a day I will never ever forget and is a must to one day tell my children and grand children my September elevens story which I am sure will be in the history books.
December 27, 2001
Out of Chaos Comes Hope
I woke up September 11, smiled to the rising sun. Went about my daily routine, which is shower, brush my teeth, get dressed and look at the weather. Which was a hot day and I was dressed for the day.
As I got to school about eight o'clock as usual I went upstairs for my morning breakfast. Left the fourteenth floor lunchroom about eight thirty, classes start at eight thirty five. As I exited the lunchroom to the fourth floor science room not knowing what was in store for me.
Before the class even started for two minutes an announcement came up on the loud speaker 'a plane has crashed into the world trade center'. We began to get restless it was about eight forty, I was fearful and you could feel it in the air. Wanting some sense of what is going on in the outside world. The room had no windows to the outside.
Ms.Yu our science teacher was trying to calm students down, some were hysterical because some parents and friends of the students work in the building. A friend of mine candies Vaughn made a joke 'what if this building shake's', just then the building shake's. Then we got news that a second plane crashed into the world trade centers. We really didn't know what was going on except for what we heard or received on the loud speaker.
After taking shelter in the hallways, we evacuated and headed for Battery Park, this is where the fun begins. As we headed towards the park there was a lot of running, sirens, and people screaming. Looking up I could see nothing but black smoke and was amazed at the sight. At that point fight or flight took over and a beacon inside told me to head home.
Just before I decided to go on my way from home I met a friend just three days prior, her name was kiesha and we both were headed to Brooklyn. So we tried to get the four trains at Bowling Green. To our avail it was no luck. Just then we heard a rumbling not knowing it was the first tower to go down, filling the station with smoke. I decided to grab her hand and head outside and try to get home another way. My first thought was to go to the Brooklyn Bridge, but I didn't know where it was located. I decided to pray and ask God why isn't he here yet and burst the clouds. Not knowing that my time was not yet at hand. Just then a miracle, God knows how to take care of his own.
A man said aloud I'm headed towards the Brooklyn Bridge. I quickly grabbed her hand and decided to follow through the thick smoke. Even though you could only see a couple inches in front of you. Out of the chaos came great hope, people were helping each other never before. Then the thought came to my mind what if the bridge gets bombed. I decided to go anyway and face the reality dammed if I do, dammed if I don't.
Lo and behold as we get close to the edge of the bridge ramp the next tower fell. Everyone running towards to us with a great gust of smoke, we all decided to go on regardless. It was like Moses leading his people across the red sea. As we got on the bridge and you look back all you could see was a cloud of nothingness. Just as if God opened the earth and swallowed the trade centers.
As I go home and was received with open arms by my family. Actually seen what was going on, I thought to myself. Look at that the indestructible made destructible. Every time they showed the plane bang into the trade towers it was like looking at a movie. Then I think to myself what a wonderful world and thank God most of all for keeping me in perfect peace whose mind is stayed thee. 'Because every little thing is gonna be alright.
It was 8:45 and I saw a plane hit one of the most important buildings in America. I was amazed with what I saw a burning building and paper flying everywhere. My first reaction was to pray because I knew God would be with me through all what was going on around me. The school was evacuated 5-10 mins later then we were told to walk towards Battery Park and people were just standing there stunned looking towards the building. Once I arrived in Battery Park the last thing I remembered was my English holding a insurance paper she picked up and her standing on a bench discussing the irony in what was happening. Then seconds later tower two of the World Trade Center collapsed I stood still not believing what was happening then I walked further into the park.
As I walked tons of debris fell all over me and it was hard for me to breath. I met up with six other girls from school near a restaurant in Battery Park and the owner would not open the door to the helpless people on the other side of the door. A construction worker broke the door and all the people were let into a safe place. I was still in the restaurant after tower one had fell and all I could do was thank God for as far that I had came in that day. The six girls and I walked to find a way home and as we walked the whole downtown area seemed like a ghost town because everything was abandoned and very silent like we have never seen before.
The crowd of people walking became larger and larger with everyone walking towards the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge to get to a safe place. The girls and I walked across the Manhattan bridge and as we walked I heard a familiar voice and it was my mother. I was so happy to see her I didn't know what to do with myself and I had talked her ear off the whole way home with a big grin on my face. Even though I was with my mother I was still worried about my sister and coming to find out that my mother sent my sister to look for and she got caught worse in the collapse of the building than I did. I was so relieved when I reached home all I could do was cry and when my sister came home I was never more happy to see my family together again safe in our home.
My black pants were gray with ash, as were my sneakers and shirt, and hair, basically everything. People on the train were staring at me, not only were my clothes a telltale fact of where I had been but my red eyes and tear streaked face gave it away as well September eleventh. The World Trade Center. Where was my mother? What the hell had just happened? All these thoughts were racing through my head at lightening speed but suddenly stopped as the train began its path over the George Washington Bridge. Everyone was silent as we stared at downtown Manhattan. A huge gray cloud had covered the city and the smoke continuously billowed from the spot where the twin towers had stood two hours ago.
Actually I had no idea what time it was. I remembered arriving to school late, running into class just before the teacher noticed, and then the frantic voice over the loudspeaker. We all gathered in the hallway, the building shook, and then we evacuated. The stairs seemed never ending, running down from the tenth floor. Chills traveled down my spine as realized that something real had happened. The smell of burning paper, metal, and God knows what else greeted the students as we stepped into the street filled with debris. We were only two blocks from the Twin Towers, so we couldn't see what had happened until we moved away from our school and could see over the tops of all the other skyscrapers. The sight that met my eyes will forever be burned into my memory; two gaping holes in each tower fire and smoke spewing out. Tiny silhouettes of people were falling from the top floors that were above the fire. A sick feeling settled in my stomach after I realized the people were trapped and were jumping from the windows.
Later at Battery Park, after walking through a sea of evacuated, confused, and some hysterical people, things began calming down a bit. I thought about the towers falling, but the idea was one of many what ifs traveling through my mind. I looked for my mother who worked in the same school I went to, I never found her. A sound like a bunch of subway trains began and got louder each second. A few people I was standing with and I turned to look while the others around us disappeared in less than a second. The top of one of the towers was crashing down,
I thought it was falling on my school, and I hoped to God that my mother was not in it. I ran. I cried, actually sobbed, out of confusion and fear. A huge black cloud of ashes and debris completely covered us. Within minutes it was pitch black and hard to breathe. All of us escaping people had formed a big mob and it was extremely hard to run, especially in the smoke. It had turned a beautiful, sunny day into what looked like winter. Suddenly all of the people began screaming and running the opposite way; us smaller people in the crowd got trampled. Luckily one of my friends pulled me behind a van where we ducked down and prayed to God to save us. I don't remember where all the people went, I guess they all dispersed into the park. My Spanish teacher covered in dust, and sitting on the curb with two students, called my name. I will never forget how distraught everyone looked. Women had taken off their shirts to breathe through them. It was like nothing else I had ever experienced. Somehow I made it to the Staten Island ferry terminal. I sure will never see that place the same way again. A group of us had gathered inside. One of the teachers commented on how we were experiencing history. He was right, I bet the people who went through the pearl harbor attacks didn't realize they were going through one of the most important events in history. I promised myself I would never forget anything that happened that day. The sky was clearing up, and I went outside to try and find my mother, or anybody I recognized. Nobody was out there, but I heard another loud boom and the smoke rose up fiercely again, I guessed the second tower had just fallen. Buses came and evacuated us all out of Battery Park. The one I got on left me somewhere in the city; my friends and I walked around for awhile in a daze. Eventually I realized the subways were running again, so I got on and relived the memories of the day, I eventually got home and was finally reunited with my mother.
Two years of my life were spent by the world trade center. My friends and I would stay for hours in the World Trade Center mall, in the courtyard, everywhere. Now all those places are gone. I ride the train every morning past Cortland Street. We were so clueless, the whole world, and I think that is the scariest part of the tragedy. The suddenness of it, the fact that nobody ever thought it would happen brings even more terror to the stories of that day because who knows what could happen any minute of any day. In America we had security, a security that was stripped away from those who realized the impact of the attacks on us. Running for your life was just an expression before it became reality for many of us. That day made me appreciate life. It also made me hate violence, loud noises, and planes flying over me.
I woke up late about 8:00, so I rushed to get dress.I through on a pair of black jeans and a black top.As I rushed out the door my mom told me I looked nice.I walked down the block to meet up with my friend Gerty.As me and her walked down the block she joked about me looking like I was ready to go to someones funeral.She asked me if I really wanted to go to first period because, she wanted to go to Kelloges a local diner to eat breakfast.I told her I had to go to first period because I needed to hand in an essay for govt.
We got on the J train and got off at Broad Street.I rushed Gerty telling that I was late as it was so to move it.At 8:43 we got in front of Leadership I remember because I looked at my watch.A second later a big explosion went off and Gerty looked at me and said "What was that?".I looked at her and said joking "a bomb" and then rushed in side school.At the time I honestly thought it was nothing.Ms Dolch was in the lobby telling everyone to go to class.Outside people were running and paper was flying all over the place.I still didn't think anything my mind was so much on getting my essay to class.I got on the elevator and went to the 8 floor. As I walked in to class everyone was saying they wanted to leave. About ten minutes later there was another big explosion and Mr.Treijo said for everyone to go to the basement.After being in the basement for about twenty minutes they teachers said we had to evacuate the building.
As we exited the building there were a lot of people just staring up,I turned around and all I saw was smoke and fire on one of the towers.The teachers told us to go to Battery Park and to hurry because the towers might collapes. Everyone started to walk down to Battery Park when I was in about the middle of Battery Park the towers collapesed and the sky became dark.Within a few minutes the dust had reached everyone and you could not see what was in front of you or behind you.Everyone started saying we were going to Staten Island and to get on the ferry.Within five minutes the ferry came and everyone who could got on it.
We arived in Staten Island within a half an hour and walked up to the local police station we stood there for awhile and then the teachers told us that we would be going to Curtis High School.We walked up this long hill and went in to Curtis were we stayed in they're gym.No ones cell phones were working and there was a very long line to use the pay phone so I thought I would just wait till the line got shorter.I really did not worry much about calling my mom because I figured "Hay my mom knows me and knows i'm a surviver".I really thought that I was okay.A little while later Jerone asked me if I had called my mom yet, and I told him no so, he asked me if I wanted to use his phone and I said sure.Well I called my mom and she started to cry and tell me how worried she was and how happy she was to hear my voice.She asked were I was and told me that she would have my boyfriend pick me up since he lived in Staten Island.
About a half an hour later my boyfriend came to pick me up and we went to his house.From there I watch the television and saw what had happened to lower Manhattan.Everything seemed like a really terrible nightmare but it was all real.Around 3o'clock my father came to pick me up and asked if I was okay and told me how happy he was to see me.
By 9o'clock I was home my mom and step dad told me how happy they were to see me and how worried they were.My younger brother told me he was not worried he knew I was okay.My older brother told me he was very worried about me.After that I just took a shower and went to sleep.
On the day of september 11, something very bad happen to New York City. The Twin Towers came down and the whole area was evacualted. At first we thought it was just a normal plane crash, but then the radio told us that the Pentagon in Washinton was also hit by a plane. Now it is considered a terrorist attack. The most horrifying moment of my life during that experience was when all of us were running from the falling towers. When we were running I thought the Twin Towers were going to fall on us. It didn't fall on us because it collapsed it fell to the floor. It didn't fall sideways.
I kept running until I got to the South Ferry. When I got to the South Ferry there was so much dust in the air. We barely could breathe because we didnt want the dust to get into our body system. We had to stay at the South Ferry port for an hour waiting for help. There were some of my fellow students waiting for help. The port was full of many people. A police officer came to our rescue. They shout out if any Leadership and Economics students were inside this port. After that he took all the students and led us to a much safer place. We couldn't breathe at that point so we took our shirts and put it on our mouths and noses.
The officer took us to the bridge and we met up with all of the other students from our school and ecnomic students also. We just kept walking in the big cloud of dust for a long time because we only could walk in the corner of the bridge because many cars were going back and forth such as ambulances and many police cars. It took us a long time to get where we want to go. When we look back to our school you can see that whole area so black. The sky was covered with so much dust. You barely can see the buildings because of the dust.
During our walk on the bridge all of us were scared that another plane would have came and hit the bridge and we would all die. There were teachers to guide us to safety. We kept walking, when we got off the bridge all of just went our way. Many people help us by asking us if we wanted to use the bathroom or did we wanted to have something to drink. They were so nice to all of us. After the help they gave us , all of us just went straight home.
I was thinking are we going back to our school anytime soon because that area is now a crime scene.We were all transferred to this school called Fashion Industries. We were going back to our school after the air was fine and they clean our school up from the top all the way to the bottom. So after the first semester is over we are going to back to our school at ninety trinity place. That will be around the end on January. All of us can't wait to get back to Leadersip and Public Services.
My Story of 9/11
7:15, school starts in almost an hour and a half and I'm late again. That's normal for me in the morning, never early, always exactly on time, or late. Not the way you start off the beginning of the New Year. Taking my time getting dressed cause you know perfection takes time but as I exited my house I realized I had a quiz first period. I jumped in the dollar cab to Jamaica station to catch the E train. Arriving at the station pushing people out of the way to make it to the train whose doors shut right in my face. I usually take the E train into the World Trade Center but since I was in a rush something told me to take the J train. 8:47 the J train made a stop on Essex Street where for some reason became the final stop for this train. But this happens all the time in the subway so I followed the crowd to the next train heading in my direction. I can't recall what train I took but for some reason this train last stop for some strange reason happened to be on Fulton Street. Still thinking nothing of it I caught the number 4 train to Wall Street. Walking out the station the normal view would be traffic, crowds of people rushing to work, the shoe shiners trying to persuade business men to sit in their chair, you know lot's of motion. But my immediate view let me know something was wrong. The only thing I saw and heard was silence coming from a huge crowd of people standing on the corner looking at something. That's when some of my other senses made me realize something was wrong. I smelled smoke and when I looked up in the sky and saw black clouds then heard fire sirens screaming for help. Rushing over to the corner I saw what had the rest of this crowd standing motionless. One of the World Trade Centers was on fire. 'How could this be, did something explode.' My thoughts were disrupted by the sounds of a plane when it's flying low to the ground.
Then within seconds that same plane I heard smashed into the second tower and produced an explosion that I will never forget. The impact was so intense I felt the force and the heat in my face and chest. Then I did what a normal person would do. I ran for my life thinking that that building was ready to fall, pushing and shoving and loosing my new sneaker. Damn I was pissed. Running with no shoe was not cool especially when I had on my new socks to with cute bears on it. So I did what any pretty boy would have done, I ran back for my sneaker. Seeing my sneaker looking lonely in the middle of the street I picked it up and ran to school. Reaching school authorities were holding students in the basement, which I thought was completely stupid. Fear taking control of my whole body and I couldn't think. But something told me those two building were going to fall and I couldn't stay in this oxygen deprived basement. Death is one thing that must take place to all but death is one thing I fear more then anything (even spiders). So I snuck out the side doors wanting to run as far away as I could. But I stood and watched. Watched things I needed to see, watched things I might not of needed to see. But as I watched pieces of the building fall apart as the fire blazed through the building all I could think about was that my brother worked for Morgan Stanley not long ago on the 72nd floor. Thought about how I might of felt if he was up there.
Those thoughts vanished when I seen small shadows fall from holes in the building. Not believing I was actually witnessing people in no win situations really loosing. Not able to watch anymore I walked towards the Brooklyn Bridge. Then seeing our school that obviously received orders of intelligence to evacuate. Now heading towards Battery Park we all stopped a block away from the Museum of Jewish Heritage and watched from there. Watching the last few minutes that these buildings stand the first tower collapsed. I heard silence for the second time that day as it fell. Smoke flushed up the street cutting through buildings and I didn't know what to do but run. Running for life jumping fences and rails like they were curbs my cell phone rang and like a jerk I answered it. It was my mother. Now as this smoke is gaining on me we decide to have an argument. She was telling me I was running the wrong way and should run towards my brother's job on Lexington Ave. Hanging up on her as ashes covered my skin and barely able to see hoping that I was running to shelter and not into the water. I ended up on the ferry going to Staten Island. On this boat with no life raft I saw some fellow Leadershippers (<~~~not a word is it). some i didn't really like but this was no time for personal feelings to cloud my judgment. finding everyone a life raft the boat slowly started to move. cell phone rang again; it was my girlfriend michelle lewis. college. she told me she thought i was dead then being a sarcastic ass wishes me a happy one-year anniversary. she had originally planned to leave school and come meet me at hslaps that morning but while on the bus she got word of what had happened. we talked for a moment longer and then i reached staten island where we were supposed to be stationed at curtis high school for how ever long. for the duration of the day we stayed at this school eating cheap food but the hungry never complains. around 11:00 p.m. there was a bus going to brooklyn and even though i lived in queens i was getting on that bus. i called my brother to have him come and meet me to where the bus drop zone was. got off the bus my brother there waiting for me but i who was emotionally drained really had nothing to say but gave him the look of brotherly love. dropping me off at my house i told him i loved him and left the car. walking in my house jumping in the shower to try and was some of the days events off but some stains never go away. after i finished bathing i went upstairs and slept with my mother for the first time in years.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001 is a day that will live in infamy. It was my 5th day as a 9th grader. I was on the 14th floor having gym, it was my first period class. Two planes hit the WTC, killing about 5,000 people. When the planes hit, I knew that I would be running for my life. Mr. Marks came to the 14th floor and told us to use the back stairs to exit the building. When I saw the fire, I knew it was going to be a very long day.
Ms. Kornrich told my class to walk to Battery Park, after we arrived to Battery Park a huge piece from the WTC fell. That was my sign to start running. After about 10 minutes of running I had to stop, then some body screamed 'Bomb! Bomb!' Everybody who was running to the Staten Island Ferry stopped and turned around, they started running in my direction. If I didn't run, I think the people running in my direction would have run over me. I remember I said ' @#%$ this' then some old woman told me to watch my mouth. I decided to stop running and head toward the ferry (it was my best gamble). I found a couple of teachers from my school, and they told me to get on the Staten Island ferry. I didn't ask any questions, I just got on the ferry and I was sitting there wondering whats going to happen to me.
Once I got to Staten Island one of the teachers told a whole group of students to walk to the police station. Once the whole group from leadership got to the station we found another group from leadership and a couple of my friends and we decided to stay together. Mr. Berner( math teacher, can't spell his name) told us to walk to this school called Curtis High School. About four hours later I, my aunt Diana, and uncle Sam picked me up from Curtis High School and took to there place and I hanged out with my cousin Waygo, Waygo is 23 years old and works for Enron. Waygo took me to see his older sister who got married in Feb. 2001 and she just gave birth to a baby boy.
We hanged out for about 2 hours with my cousin's girlfriend. We decided to go back to my cousin's house. Once we got back to the house my other uncle came and took me to his house in Brooklyn, because my mom and dad will pick me up the next day from Brooklyn instead from Staten Island. Thank you auntie,uncle and you too Waygo.
This is my story'No, this is our story'Leadership.
Jan 1, 2002
On Tuesday Sep 11, 2001 I woke up expecting it to be a regular day. I went on a normal train ride with my friends joking around like any other day. But this Tuesday was different from every other Tuesday in a blink of an eye terrorist shattered our world tears were shed and new heroes were born. That day even though a lot of love ones were lost people realized how much Americans cared. On Sep 11 all Americans united.
I got to my first period class I was getting ready for a test that I had been preparing for the past days. As me and my classmate waited for our teacher to hand us the test we heard the first boom. We had no idea what was going on a lot of assumptions were being made by my classmates and me. But nothing was yet known. We got up to and tried to see what was going on outside of our school we saw smoke coming out of one of the towers people started saying that they had boomed the world trade center again but no one knew what was going on. In the windowsill of our classroom their was a shirt sleeve that really freaked me out. Mr. Bronsnick got on the speaker and announced that a plane had just crashed into one of the towers to please remain calm that we were all safe. Some of the people in my class including my self started to get scared but we were still calm. We were all seated but still saying we wanted to go home.
Our teacher told the people who wanted to go home that we were safer inside of the school than out their because we didn't no exactly what was going on outside we just sat their and talked. As we sat their the second plane crashed into to the second tower this impact was greater then the first. When the second plane hit the lights went out and the building shook every one got really scared and crowded into a corner of the classroom wanting to get out. Mr. Urena came into our classroom running to look out the window to see what was going on out side he looked scared but at the same time a bit calm. Mr.Bronsnick came on the speakers again and told everyone to go out to the hallways or the one class room in each floor with out windows.
We went out to the hallways people were sitting on the floor or hugging with friends crying. I was only crying a little bit now because I thought everything was going to be alright since that's what everyone was saying. As we stood their waiting for all the questions the floated in our heads to be answered one of the people that looked stronger in the floor broke down into tears that really scared because I said to myself if the ones that are strong are breaking down how am I a weak person suppose to overcome this. Mr. Urena had his wok talky and we heard the security of our school screaming that two planes had crashed into the world trade center then they got the signal to evacuate the school they told us to walk to battery bark south. Went we got out of the school the first person I saw was Ms. Dolch telling everyone were they were suppose to go. The world looked so different from when I went inside school that day. I walked to Battery Park I saw people trying to get in touch with people in their cell phones but most of them were not working. I saw my friend Lisa she told me she was going to look for pay phone to try to get in touch with her mom I told her to meet me at the park when she was done but she never got to the park.
When I got to the park me and my friends joked around I wasn't that scared anymore. I looked at the towers and saw the big whole I never thought the towers were going to come down they were on fire I thought they were going to turn it off and we were going to go back to school and every thing was going to be alright.
I stood in the park hoping that nothing else would happen right their I saw tower two coming down towards us. I was sure that i was going to die I froze everyone ran like crazy. Ladies took off their high heels and ran nobody cared about anything. My friend pulled me and helped me run away from the keas. I was crying because I didn't know were two of my two best fiends were at. I was going crazy some man grabbed me and almost carried me he told every thing was going to be alright that he was going to take me to some place safe. Everyone made human chain to help each other get to a safe place it was incredible how united they were. Me and my friend ran into the ferry we didn't know were we were going we just knew we had to get as far as possible from the gigantic smoke ball that followed everyone. When we got in the ferry we saw three of our friends their we hugged and cried. One of them remained strong she told us to stop crying that every thing was going to be alright she helped us put on our life savers. I was still hysterical I wanted to get out of the ferry as fast as I could because expected the worst.
When we got to Staten Island we tried to find everyone from Leadership that got on the ferry a guy named Eddy screamed out the school name and we only found 20 people their. We made everyone write their name in a paper like attendance to keep track of who was with us it was only students. They closed the station so I feared what happened to every one that was left behind. We decided to talk to an officer in Staten island he told us he couldn't do any thing to help us but we could stay in his office and call parents, we were informed that another ferry was coming into the station so we went to see if anyone else came in the ferry we found some teachers and other students. They told us to go down to the police station that their was more people their. When we got their I didn't see my best friends I imagined the worst. They took us to a High School and informed us what was going to happen. They took us to there gym were they gave us a snack and time to use one pay phone which they had their. It took me like an hour to finally get to use the phone. When I heard my mother's voice I brook down. Their I realize that I wasn't really scared to die but to leave this earth and leave the people I love and that love me behind that scared me.
The only thing I wanted was to go home and see my mom. They gave us food around 4 and let us use the phone again. They told us that hopefully we were going to be back by 5. It was six and we were still there. We saw movie and after the movie they told us we were going to sleep there because their was no way out of Staten Island I was really scared I wanted to go home I didn't want to stay their. I called my house once again I told my mom that we were sleeping their and I didn't want to stay I cried like crazy. They gave us diner I spoke to a consoler it made me feel much better.
While we were their they announced that their was a bus going out to Brooklyn. My friend lived in Brooklyn so she told us that if we wanted to got to her house. We were going to feel better their. We took a bus to Brooklyn were their were parents waiting their they hugged and cried. I felt bad because my mom wasn't their. I didn't sleep well that night every loud noise bothered me.
In matters of seconds terrorist left a scar in the hearts of every American. The ones that lived through it and the ones that didn't still lived through the same pain. Everyone's life changed my knowledge of life grew and my passion for living was grater. As of that day I have a different view of life I see everything with a different perspective.
The bright lights, the shinning flag. Ground zero holds a special place in the heart of any New Yorker. For those of us who were there that day , the events that took place will live in our hearts until the day of reckoning....
It was an early hot morning that promised a very good day ahead. A positive day, but boy was I off on my prediction....
The train hauled in to wall at the usual time. I stepped of on to the hot and crowded platform to be meet by my buddy William. A pleasant surprise was to see him this early. We walked briskly to school conversing about issues that trouble and plague teenagers and their lives. In front of our school over at 90 Trinity the ambient was usual, 10 minutes until classes started the side walk was crowded with fellow class mates. We bathed some of our fellow class mates morning hello's while I purchased a hot coup of cheap 50 cent coffee from the usual vendor that made business out side our school by placing his small cart on our side walk. William informed me of the time and I decided to head on inside to be able to make it early in to my government class. I had an essay on democracy due and I wanted to hand it in time. The class room was the usual place of chatter and bickering that offers any class room with eager minds learning. I sat down and copied the do now, it was 8:46. I handed out the essay and made my way to my seat. A loud wooshig noise from above that came increasingly low upon our building. We saw the shadow of a big object against the street and other buildings. Then came the loud noise of a strike. I sounded much like a muffled thunder and freight train. We thought nothing of it at the time, for of course this is New York city and weird noises are nothing out of the ordinary. Then came the proof that this was in fact out of the ordinary. Out the corner of the building directly in front of our building came a blizzard of flying paper. Most of it was burned and some was lit up with fire. At being witness to such event, we knew something was not right, then came the announcement over the loud speaker. 'children, please remain calm, a fire has just broken out of the world trade center. go on with your regular schedules and stand by for further reports.' We all looked at each other surprised. Something out of a movie taking place 3 short blocks away, many of us wanted to see the carnage of such fire. We stared out the window , the tower that was burning could not be seen, then came the image that shall never leave my mind for as long as I live....
A fire ball. An amazing article of sheer horror. An explosion. The Perpetrator of a fire ball. The southern tower was suddenly being affected by this two. As we stared to search for the fire we were witnesses to those two . Awe, shock, horror, all these became our emotions as we stared at the blazing fireball of the explosion. We were choked by these emotions and there fiery hard hands would not let us go. At such point in time, many of us knew that this was for not matter a normal fire. We reached for our personal belogins and raced down the very crowded stair case. As we raced down the flights we heard and felt the following explosions of the aftermath. The very ground shaking from our feet now knowing if our school our building was safe and would not suffer the same inferno the Twin tower had just experienced. So at this time we were running down the stairs in to an absolute, in to anything and everything that could provide a safe heaven for our little hearts and souls that surely did not wish to experience the inferno that was taking place 2 blocks at World Trade Center. So it was the many of us came to the basement of 90 Trinity. The crowded room was busting with students and chatter ,emotional chatter from every one. Most were seeking for answers, others seeking for hope for so their parents worked at the World Trade Center. I Searched for friends and foes, for I did not care at the moment who it was ,I only wished to be with people I knew. After much ponder on what happened and many questions being filled in my head, we were bombarded with news, a math teacher came in to the crowded room and announced the inevitable, two airliners crashed in to the Towers and many were dead. The news hit us like a bomb. Was this real, was this happening, how could it be, our way of life would not allow such to happen, but it was real, and it was there to bite in the butt. This was the inside aspect of that day, on the out side, much would take place that will forever haunt my memories and my dreams for as long as I live: we still had to experience the collapse of the twin towers...
We were told to evacuate the school and to walk down to battery park to re group once there. I followed some in to what seemed a battle zone, once out side in to the little ally street that is known as Thames, we smelled the strong smoke and we saw the debris on the street. We walked down Thames to see the southern tower right in front of us. A hole was in place where the explosion had taken place. This was the moment most of us became separate. I stared for a few minutes to the tower. I saw some jump to their deaths in what seemed to me as a plunge that would have taken forever to land. I turned away in disgust and walked slowly to battery park searching for a phone at every corner. The lines for the phones were long, almost having 7-10 people in each line. I turned toward the city ever so often to catch a glimpse of what my mind told me was not real. I needed to be convinced again that this was in fact happening and not just some very good Hollywood special effect. Amongst a crowd of people I spotted William. I was very relieved and I called him to come join me, we joined each other and walked to battery park. Upon the entrance to the park we felt a sudden rumble, we looked back to see the tower begin to collapse. The amazing tsunami wave that followed was great and just horrifying. Will and I ran for dear life as every one who was around while some chose to jump in the Hudson river. We ran toward the end of battery park searching for cover. The sky turned black and the wave reached us. At first we could not see in front of us. Then It turned some what clearer and we saw everything as if a snow storm was taking place. Will and I found one of our class mates walking disoriented amongst the crowd of running pedestrians. I called her and took her by her arm and we raced toward restaurant down by the tip of battery park. There a small Attendant would not open the door to us that looked for a safe place to be able to escape this nightmare. We could not breath nor see due to the fact that these particles from the ex tower were all over in the wave. Finally after what seemed hours some broke the glass with a chair and we were able to get in. Once inside the ambient was very sad and mellow. Many were either bleeding or just out of context. Will and I drank some water, washed our faces and relaxed and gathered our thoughts for a few seconds. We went down stairs and searched for other known people who might have been there. Some were there. Many were covered in ash. They had turned white and dusty. Out side it was still dark but the smoke was beginning to clear. I decided to search for Others and bring them back to the safety of this impenetrable fortress . I tied a handkerchief around my nose and I stepped out side. As I made my way out doors, I felt a slight tremor. Then the same meanacing looking cloud approaching once more. At this point I knew, the second tower collapsed. As such time, I mentioned to will the escaping route to Staten island. We waited for the smoke to clear once more and went to search for others. We found none. So the plan was taken in to action. To Staten Island it was. Once in Staten Island I visited a Friends house and she allowed us to use her phone to notify our parents that we were alive. Afterwards, Will and I took a buss to Jersey and We visited a friend of Will's dad and then we made our way to Will's uncle who lives in the suburbs in New jersey.
This is my story. It has given me many nightmares. I just wish to dedicate this small tale amongst the hundreds of such tales to the men who lost their lives that day. You had a job, while we ran away you ran toward. That in my book is bravery and courage. Thank you. For ever and ever I shall remember this day. It was a learning experience as much as it was a horrible tragedy. We learned not to take things for granted, to enjoy life. To be more aware of what is more important. I learned that day what it means to be alive and enjoy life. What to really treasure because it can end at any moment. We are no invincible but humans who can die, but also humans who survive. We get up and we stay strong.
There is a day that will forever stick out in my mind. That day has changed my life drastically. September 11th affected everyone in some way. It started out to be just like any other day. I went to my first period class, American History, anticipating the geography quiz we were going to have. Class started at 8:40 but like usual, my teacher had to wait a few minutes for dilatory students to arrive. At 8:45, we heard two big explosive sounds that sounded much quieter than expected.
Like all the others, I assumed the loud bangs came from a construction site or a tracker trailer driving over a pothole. Then someone shouted 'Oh! Look at all of those papers.' Every one ran to the windows to see what was going on. Since we were on the eleventh floor, we clearly saw large amounts of smoke coming from the World Trade Centers. Papers were flying everywhere, on the streets and some were even on fire. I looked down and saw people running away from the World Trade Centers and ambulances had already arrived.
The students in my class were already freaking out because they had no idea what was going on. I kept thinking 'Oh my God! I can't believe the World Trade Centers got bombed twice in eight years. This is crazy.' Even though I knew something bad had happened, I remained calm because I had not known the severity of the situation. Then a few minutes later, the second plane hit and the building shook. The lights in my classroom flickered and I just put all my stuff in my bag and ran out of the classroom, scared and worried. People were already hysterically crying. A lot of the people in my class were with their really close friends and I did not haveone.
Standing out in the hallway, I felt really alone. My mom was beeping me none stop. Since I did not have my cell phone with me that day, I could not call her back. The students and staff were forced to stay in the hallway for about thirty minutes, which seemed like forever to be in a building when another one so close by was on fire. The top floors were evacuated and when we finally made it outside, it looked like something you see in the movies. There were rescue trucks abandoned in the streets, with ash, debree, and office papers all over the floor. We were instructed to walk towards Battery Park South. As I was walking down the streets, I stopped to look back at what was going on and I was amazed. Two of the biggest buildings in the world had a ring of fire around them. I knew I would never going to see something like this again, so I took a picture of the World Trade Centers on fire, unaware of how valuable they would be.
I wound up in a part that curved right before you start hitting the Ferry Terminals. I was so sad to be by myself. This moment sticks out in my mind so much. I was standing there just looking around at everything the frightened people around me, the helicopters in the sky, the explosive sounds, the Christmas like setting from the ash that gave the illusion of snow. I looked down at the clothes I was wearing and I felt like I was just spinning around and around. I couldn't breathe, my clothes and hair was covered with ash and I just wanted to die right there to put myself out of the misery. At that moment, I thought it was Armageddon, that was world was going to end right then and there from all the chaos that was going on. I have never feared so much for my life and I don't think I ever will.
The Never-ending Day
I remember a beautiful morning. It was going to be high in the 80's and I couldn't wait for the school day to end so I could go shopping. I got to school at eight thirty in the morning and school begins at eight forty. I was with two girls named Scarlet and Denise, whom I usually take the train with. When we get to school we met up with other friends and went inside the school. We then waited for the elevators to be able to get to class.
I get inside the elevator with my friend Carlos because we both had to go to gym class in the fourteenth floor. When we both get out of the elevator and when we get to class we see our classmates looking out the window. I then go to the window as well and I see a lot of smoke and burning paper coming out one of the Twin Towers. This happened at about eight forty-six in the morning. We all begin to say that we think it was a small bomb that exploded in a garbage can.
Our gym teacher Ms. Kornrich decides to go find out what really happened. When she comes back she tells us that it was an airplane that crashed into the tower but that it was just an 'accident'. We all begin to worry about the people in the tower but at the same time we get very emotional because we feel that we can go home early. Which was a good thing for me because now I could go shopping even earlier. We wait around until we get information to what we are suppose to do.
Then I think it was around nine in the morning and the second airplane hits the second tower. This time the school building shakes and, the lights go off and on. I panic and I grab Carlos and we run down the stairs to go get our other friends. Then they stop us in the eleventh floor where they tell us that this is an act of 'terrorism' and that we needed to wait for further instructions. Then we got evacuated floor by floor. Carlos and me get outside and find most of our friends. Then we are told to walk to Battery Park where we will be safe. No one ever thinks the buildings will fall just that it will burn and the fire will be put out.
Then a few minutes later, the first building falls and everyone all around begins to panic. I remember Ms. Ordover saying not to panic but all I could see was the ball of smoke coming towards us. I began to hesitate because I didn't know what was inside the ball of smoke. Then my friends and me begin to run away from the smoke. I then lost my friends and ran to a restaurant located in Battery Park. Here I meet up with my friends again and we try to get into the restaurant but the people won't let us in. So my friends and other people begin to hit the door and break it down.
Everyone settles in but then a few minutes later the second tower falls. We then get wet cloths and put it in front of our faces so we will be able to breathe. Everything clears up and we get on a boat to Jersey City in New Jersey. The never-ending day would end here but it doesn't. When we get to Penn Station in New Jersey we see more people running. When we ask what is happening they tell us that there is a van filled with bombs threatening to blow up. We then run to a place where all buses run but none of them want to stop. So we get a hold of a taxi which takes us to my cousins home in Hackensack, New Jersey.
A Story of Terror
My vacation in Trinidad during the summer was great, I finally had a chance to visit my family for the first time in 4 years. I returned back to New York on September 7th, three days after school had begun, which was one day after my birthday. After enjoying a beautiful weekend, finally home again, I went back to school to start off my senior year. Monday was great. I got to see everyone whom I missed during the summer. I got up Tuesday feeling good at the start a great new day. Or so I thought. For some crazy reason my mind told me to take all of my birthday money with me to school that day. So I grabbed it and headed t the train station, where I got on the train for my usual 6-minute ride downtown to my school, which is about 1 block from the World Trade Center. At around 8:45, I got off the train at the Cortlandt street station, which is located directly underneath one of the towers (I never really paid attention to which tower it was). As I entered the underground mall in the trade center I saw more people running, screaming out that a bomb had gone off. I ran to the nearest exit faster than (Michael Johnson). When I finally got out and walked out onto Liberty Street all I saw was burning paper and broken glass. I looked up at the towers with amazement until an officer told me to leave the area, then I took off to my school. As I ran away from the Trade Center I saw firefighters running in the building attempting to do what they always do, save lives. I got to school and meet my girlfriend, Danielle, in the lobby and one of my closest friends, Rosa. The three of us then went up to the 14th floor, our cafeteria, to get a better view of what had happened. We talked for a while and debated about what had happened. The rumor so far was that a plane had crashed into the tower 'accidentally'. What seemed like a minute later we found out that it was no accident. Another plane had crashed into the second tower. We were under attack. I didn't know who was attacking us, but I didn't have time to think about it. Panic and chaos took over our school. I got Rosa's sister, and my friend, Carina out of her class, even though her teacher was telling her to remain seated. The teachers herded us into our basement/gym and told us to remain calm, as everyone (including me) wanted and was trying to get out and go home. I told my friends that they could all come to my house because we were informed that transportation had been shut down to and from our area. That plan was nixed because our principal, Mrs. Dolch, wanted to evacuate us from the building to a safer area. My Dean/Gym teacher, Mr. Spotts, told me to tell everyone to head downtown towards Battery Park, a destination set by Mrs. Dolch. When we got outside everyone stopped for a minute to watch the towers burn. My friend Tim had hurt himself running down the stairs in school and we thought that he had sprained his ankle. But from the way he was limping I could tell it wasn't a sprain (he later found out that he had broken his ankle). So, with Tim holding onto me for support, we finally made our way towards Battery Park. When we got to the entrance to the park I met up with all of my friends. I also saw one of my best friends, and Rosa's boyfriend, Hamlet, waiting for us. So everyone was together at the entrance looking back at the burning towers. By this time a girl who I barely knew, Marjorie, couldn't breathe due to the shock. Hamlet then left us and went off to look for a paper bag to help her breathe, like how people do when they hyperventilate. All of a sudden we heard a loud rumble and looked around to see what it was. What we saw was a cloud of dark smoke about twenty-five stories high coming straight toward us. Hamlet quickly picked up Marjorie and started running with her. He yelled back to me asking if I knew where Rosa was. I told him to go ahead, I'll find her. As soon as I found her we ran back and I helped Hamlet carry Margie, even though he didn't want my help. I picked up her legs and we both ran with her. After running a distance, but not outrunning the smoke, we stopped and put her down. I then gave my girlfriend a hug, because I didn't know what was about to happen next. By then Margie was able to walk on her own, so I walked with Danielle, repeating the words 'I Love You,' because I thought that we were all about to die. We came to a restaurant and took shelter in it to get away from the dust and debris outside. They gave us water and sodas to refresh ourselves, and many people used their restrooms to wash up and clean off their skin. Me and a couple of friends of mine went upstairs, where a bar was located because we thought that the air was slightly cleaner. Then, as we finally started to calm down, boom, the second tower imploded, creating an even thicker dust around the restaurant. All of my friends gathered in a big booth, which included Rosa, Hamlet Gersson, Carina, Danielle, Marjorie, Lina, and Alrenys, where we all debated on what had really happened. About an hour later, when the air became somewhat clearer, I went outside. That was when I saw my English teacher, Ms. Ordover. We talked for a little while, and she told me that she was going to New Jersey (via ferry). At that point, I talked with all of my friends about going to New Jersey, because in New Jersey, we would be able to actually breathe a little better, and we didn't know if the attack on us was over. As the Ferry pulled away and made its way to New Jersey, I looked back at the devastation in lower Manhattan. We all had escaped death, by about one block As we made our way to Jersey, all I could say to myself was that I could've died today, I could've died today.
. My Moment
'Oh my God', those were the only words that could leak out of my mouth. Besides me stood an African American man covered in white dust. He said the same words. As I looked around me I noticed everyone speaking the same words I had muttered. No one else knew what to say. I figured they thought what I had thought earlier. 'It isn't serious' that's what I thought when I first looked out my classroom window and saw paper with sparks falling.
We all stood there looking up, the man, my friends and I. It was only a block and a half a way but it felt like I was watching a movie. Things like this don't happen in the 21st century, things like this don't occur in real life, and most of all things like this aren't suppose to happen to us. We all stood still, looking up at what used be a place I had lunch at and occasionally hung out at. The tower looked like the devil himself had took a bite and left fire and souls jumping in the air as a reminder that he had eaten here.
I can't say I was scared at that point. Just in awe. I guess that's why we all stood there staring and ignored those who told us to keep walking. We were just too much in awe. It was too unbelievable, still is. I didn't cry or scream or talk. I just stared.
When I realized I was alone, I panicked. I hadn't noticed my friends when they began to walk towards the park. I looked around and saw faces I recognized but none that I loved and I got scared. I didn't know where my baby sister was. She's a freshman. She cries easy. I couldn't find her. That was my moment on September 11th. Not the building crashing down, not when the fog chased me, but when I couldn't find my baby sister. That was the moment I will never forget. Every other moment of the 11th I will try to forget. But that moment will stick with me because I never knew what my baby sis meant to me until that moment.
My '9.11' Story
On September 11, it was like every normal school day. I had take the regular downtown 6 train to school. As I always do, I went to my morning first period class for the lesson, and I remember it was a history class. While we were in the class, we had discussed several historical questions, and nothing particular happened. Until, at the middle of our discussion, I heard a boom sound, and it shakes the whole building like an earthquake. It sure stops all the discussions that were going on in the class, our teacher had go out to see what happens, while we would have to sit in the class by ourselves. Cause we were sitting in a classroom surrounded by walls and no window, we had to guess what had happen, unlike the class that near the window. At first, we made a several joke about this terrorist attack, and how we were able to get an extension vacation. At that time, we could never image that the World Trade Centers are under attack; my only hope is that this whole thing is only an accident. As the time passes, people seem a little bit of nerves and stress. What if this is a real terrorist attack? I kept thinking about it, and I had felt fear, a kind of fear that I never felt before in my life. I wish I thinking about it, but as I looking at those worried faces around, it convinced me this whole thing is not a accident, and it is definite a bad thing. At that moment, I only wish I would had know what is happen, so that I could calm myself and think of a way to face it. I was truly not myself at that time, I couldn't think, the only thing that was on my mind was the image of bad luck.
Finally, I saw our teacher come back from out side, and he was worried too like us. He told us to remain calm, and he was not sure about this whole thing. He said it may be an explosion or some kind at the World Trade Center, but he don't know which spot or how. We however couldn't hold our questions, and our teacher was overwhelmed by those unanswerable questions, because he knows that we shouldn't know about the truth, and we couldn't handle the truth. But that only adds a few more worries to our head. Suddenly I realized how quite and how anxious we are, and I wish I didn't come to the school at that day, if I would had know what happened next''
The 'September 11' attack is one of the most tragic moments in the history of Unite State, it not only took away thousands of innocent people's life, it not damaged this city it also damaged our soul. And I will never forget about this day, because I was one of the innocent victims of this attack, and I had witness the terror. For the first time, I experienced the fear, and the moment of life and death.
H.S. for Leadership and Public Service
The unforgettable moment of 911
It was nice morning with cool about seventy degrees. I woke up took shower and went to school like the other days. On the street I got flip by sidewalk because the sidewalk was broken. I got hart on my left toe but I didn't care. On the same nail I had inner grown toenail three times on last year. I went to school with my bleeding toe, which I realized later and when I went to class there were no body but Mr. Trejo, my participation in government teacher, and I.
By eight thirty people started to come to class and at eight forty our first class starts. Mr.Trejo wrote the do now on the board and I copied it and did it. I finished my do now; we were talking about the election and the mayor candies. I was supporting Mark Green. I argued with the class that Green might win because although everyone is supporting Perrer. he might not win because of his race. It was the second after I am done there was a gigantic sound. It was like when the people of apartment above me drop a huge thing but it was more then that, from the best of my experience I can explain. I was beside window and I looked outside. I saw a lot of paper falling from north side of World Trade Center Two. I called 'Mr.Trejo something happened to World Trade Center.' I could see the papers falling from that high and there weren't any other building was that high. Everybody of my class came by the window and looked very closely. There were dust and papers hit our school's window, which was about 200 yards away. The wind was flowing from north and northwest. My teacher said ' Don't worry, may be their stock went up and they are salivating'. He made a joke to make us do the work. It didn't looks like they were salivating to me but in that area those paper from the top of the building didn't surprise us. There was an announcement that stated that there was a plane crash in World Trade Center but not to worry that we are safe. In case of police emergency we will evacuate the building, otherwise we will have a normal school day. Our principle is contacting with police department and board of education.
Few minutes later I was staring at the World Trade Center and suddenly I heard a supersonic sound and by the blink of my eyes I saw a bomb verbally in World Trade Center. It sound like a thunder and it looks like a Hollywood super hit movie. I had never experience something like that in my life. I am an eyewitness of that incident. The steel of the building fall like leaf falls from the building in fall. I will NEVER forget that few seconds of my life. I thought the building will fall on top of our school and I will die. My heart had a feeling that I will survive.
We all went to go outside but the teachers didn't let us and they took us to school gym, which was located on the basement. Later we all were sent to Battery Park. When I went to street I saw fire in both of the tower. There was a huge hole in half away of tower two. I was crying and said those poor people above the hole must been dead already. I saw a Chinese man who was a tourist and making video. I saw that a man was jumping out and few were weaving for help on the window. He told me that there were five to seven plane were hijacked from Virginia. Two hit the World Trade Center and one hit the Pentagon and few more is on its way. I am a man with many different ideas. Whenever I hear or learn something I keep thinking about it or dream about it. I try to predict what will happen or my way something to happen. I thought we were been attack by another country's military.
Suddenly every body start running to the edge of the river and I looked and there were dust coming to our way about fifty to hundred miles per hour. I started to run and found my teacher Mr. Trejo in the park. He was walking and I was begging him to run and get to the Brooklyn Bridge or FDR. He was more scare than I was. Since I knew that place very well I started to run and looking for people whom I know but I didn't find any. We went to Staten Island ferry and some thing happened and every body ran back. I went inside of a retardant. I stayed there until the two towers done clasps. While I was there I have thought about many things that came to my mind. I thought about war, killing innocent people, attack on civilian and all those thing came to me from movie. Meanwhile I was searching for telephone. I tried a lot of times but I failed. Once I got it but my mom was on phone and I was about to leave a massage on my answer machine the line got cut off and I never had a chance to talk to them.
Later I came outside and there were ferry that took people to Jersey City. It was about noon. I was with four teachers and about seven students. Than I went to ask a police man if there is a way to go to Brooklyn or queens. He answered no and I must have leave the island. I turned around and there were no body behind me. My friends and my teachers were disappeared. I went to Ellis Island then I went to Liberty science center. By this time, I was so Hungary that I could eat anything. The night before I didn't eat dinner and not even Breakfast in the morning. I spent about five dollars in quarters to make a phone call but that didn't workout. I tried to make some collect calls and calls with phone card but that didn't work out either. At liberty science center I wash my cloths and my head and face.
Two hours later I went to National Army center. Where I drank some water and got some snacks from a binder machine. I would spend twenty dollar for bag of chips by than. They also gave us some food, which was delicious and I thanked them. There was the first time I meet few Leadership student. I called a friend of my dad at Atlantic City and he said he will call in my house and he will pick me up. Which he didn't pick me up because he was very busy? We watched Television where they showed major and governor was answering reporter's question. It was five o'clock some buses left to Journal Sq. I took the bus and then the path train to get home. I came home about six thirty and later I found out that many of my friends didn't come home that day. Everybody of my family was worried. My dad was all over downtown Manhattan looking for me. I will never forget about this moment of tragedy.
per.1 9/11 STORY
I was on my way to school after getting off the number 5 train. Gabriel Pizzario was with me. As soon as we went into the building I saw lots of paper flying, glass and people running. I said to myself 'what is going on'. Then I heard the security guards talking about how the World Trade Center was bombed. The principle of the school came down to the lobby and told everyone to stand against the wall. Then there were speculations that a plane hit the World Trade Center and some people said they saw it. About 10 minutes later Ms. Dolch told us everything's going to be fine, continue going to class.
I went to Ms. Ordover's class and sat towards the back because it was very crowded in her class. I watched the papers fly through the air and Ms. Ordover told us to write what we see so we won't forget. I don't think anyone listened, who wants to do work when something major happened across the street. I was thinking about doing it and almost did, but all of a sudden there was a loud crash and rumbling. The lights flickered off and on for a second. Everyone got up. I went to the window to look out and see what happened. I saw fire, more glass and paper, and chunks of wood. Mrs. Odover said to this girl and I to get away from the window and sit down. We listened, and a few moments later, an announcement said something about how 'it wouldn't be safe in the class rooms because of the windows, go in the hallways and wait'. We waited about 15 minutes or 20 minutes in the hallway listening to the radio and looking at pictures from the Internet of the holes in the buildings.
We finally left Leadership and walked towards a park. The people I was with and I looked at the World Trade Center and saw one of the buildings with a big fiery hole. We went deeper in the park and people had cameras taking pictures and video cameras making footage of the World Trade Center. We walked even deeper in the park and there was rumble. Some people I was with said 'one of the Twin Towers fell'. I was shocked. Then people started running, so I started moving faster. I looked back and saw big smoke, dust, and debris coming towards us. We moved faster, then we were covered in it. It was hard to breath and hard to see people after a while. I was guiding Gabriel because he had a cast on his arm. We kept moving forward with the people, and all of a sudden people started running the opposite way. We then turned around the opposite way too, cut left and went under a restaurant awning. The restaurant owners wouldn't let us in. A girl caught an asthma attack and some kid a know helped her. By this time I wasn't with a lot of people I know, just Gabriel, Jennifer, and a kid named Sang. Someone broke the glass door of the restaurant and everyone went in. I saw lots of people from the school. We sat down at the table and people gave us water. We went upstairs and saw more kids from the school and Ms. Dolch. A girl named Courtney told me to wash my face and eyes out. I was dirty, I had lots of debris on me. Then we decided to wait until the smoke cleared. It was about a half an hour. I looked out the window and more smoke was coming. Someone then said the other Twin Tower collapsed. A lady was panicking, and saying how she could smell the smoke.
We waited another 20 minute or so because Gabriel was inpatient. We planned to go home because Gabriel and Sang lives by me. Jennifer doesn't, but nobody else was leaving. We said bye and went on our way.
As we walked we noticed the floor was dusty. We put shirts over our face as we walked. One lady gave Jennifer a wash cloth to cover her mouth and nose with. We walked on the highway. Every now and then a cop car or ambulance would speed by, but other then that the highway was clear, no cars. As we walked we saw the spot were the attack happened and saw nothing but blackness. We walked and walked out the highway and on the sidewalk. Gabriel was showing us, so called short cuts because he knew the neighborhood. I think we were lost for a few seconds. We were very tired and as we walked we heard radio transmissions talking about the World Trade Center, how Washington's Pentagon got hit and Pennsylvania airplane crash. We saw a bus on Essex Street and went on it. We must have walked at least 2 miles before we got on the bus. It was packed with people, that bus was too crowded. It was so crowded people were standing on the steps and squeezing to get in. Jennifer went to one of her family members job, and Gabriel Sang and I got on another bus, which was still packed with people the same way. We got sick of the crowded area and little space we walked, there was heavy traffic along that avenue. As we got off we saw Aaron. He told us his story, we told him ours. We were almost home, and when I got to my house I was so happy, my mother was too. Then I went to take a shower, eat and sleep.
On the morning of September 11, my life once again received a huge impact. I woke up to a different day of life. No one imagined that the security we once felt would vanish. I left my house in a rush, like always I gave my family goodbye kisses and hugs.
However, I had forgotten my metro card and had to once again go back to my apartment.
My mom opened the door and was surprise to see me, I told her my metro card; I got it in a jiffy. Then I was on my way again, but I turned back and hugged my mother like I had never hugged her before. It was a strange yet very comforting hug. It shook me a little and my heart started to pound quickly.
The train ride was non-existing to me like always; I daydream a lot but that morning my thoughts were with my mom and dad.
The only things going through my romantic little head was how much I loved my family, especially my mother and how I would die if anything happens to her. It was weird; my thoughts are usually on how I would love to have a romantic boyfriend and all the mushy stuff girls intend to think about. Then I remembered my daddy had a doctor's appointment, which is located around Canal. But then I forgot about that and started pondering again why I had given my mom two hugs today; it was still so weird to me. I analyze and look for signs in everything; it is something that has grown on me since the death of my uncle. Chamber stop came and I got off, it was school time and I was early like always. American History was my first period and it is on the eleventh floor, and I had a quiz to take on the map of the Unites States. My friend Edward came, he may not know it but I love him very dearly just as I love all my friends they are family to me, no matter the blood difference. We started talking about how he had done his homework and then about the quiz. I remember that I wanted to look nice that day, so I wore new clothes especially since the school year was just starting.
Class was starting and we were handing in our homework and we were about to take the quiz when we hear a big bang, it was big bang. I did not pay much attention I honestly believed it was thunder, as stupid as that might sound I thought that. The night before it had been raining real hard it was a thunderstorm and I thought another one was on its way. But it was not, because we realized that paper was flying then everyone ran to the window and they started saying that something had happen to the World Trade. Ms. Cohn told everyone to sit down she was still planning on given us the quiz. The few minutes that follow have been rupture from my mind.
We then were asked to stay in the hallway, I was very shaken up and I did not want to separate from Edward, been alone was not my plan. We were there minutes but it seemed to be forever, it was an inescapable place for me. I felt I would never escape from that situation. Then the order to evacuate the school came, it was a relief but we did not know what to expect. No one was truly aware of what was going on, the evacuation started from the basement/gym and it worked its way up through the fourteen floors.
My friend Edward and I were out of the school; the fist person that I saw was our principal. Then we were asked to walk to Battery Park, but before we reached the park I turned around and saw part of one World Trade missing. Then a cop told me to start walking, with that I met up with Maxie. It was three of us now, been worried, I turn and see something I would never in my life dream of witnessing, the World Trade Center collapsing. With that happening I panicked and took Edward and Maxie's hand we ran without direction. Everyone pushed and screamed I did not do any of those things. When I got a sense of where we were I knew we had to go somewhere else. It was the end of the Manhattan Island, where were we aiming? Suddenly everything goes black and the only things going through my mind was how the hug I gave my mother was no coincidence, how much I loved my family, life and how deeply I missed my childhood. A childhood I still launch to have once again. Edward took charge and he said lets keep going north, feeling secure with him I followed.
My worries were not for me but toward my dad, how was he? Did he need me, anyone? Did he know how much I loved him? Did my family know how much they mean to me?
Everything went black then white; it was blurry just like my emotions and thoughts.
Before September 11 I launched for yesterday now I believe in tomorrow.
'The One and Only Moment'
As I recall one of the most devasting scene that I have witness on September 11,2001, memories of pain are felt and sad cold tears dripped down my cheeks. Ever since that day of the terrorism attack on the World Trade Center I felt like every type of innocents that God has sent to me was robbed and was replace with darkness.
Just like any ordinary school day, I woke up, got dress, and lefted the house. In less than hour I got to the school building and found myself entering to first period class. As Mr.Donnelly began the math lesson with a do now problem, I looked at the time and thought to myself there is still at least 45 minutes left before second period began. As the class began their do now, the lights flicked once and within a few seconds later, a loud roar of truck noise was heard. I, myself trembled a little and looked up to Mr. Donnelly for guidance to what had just happened while the other classmates cracked jokes to the loud noise that was heard.
Mr. Donnelly stared outside the window for a few seconds to look for a reasonable answer to the noise that was heard a while ago. Then he seemed as if he had to hesitate to get the words out of his for the description to what he was starring at, he then shouted out, ' The World Trade Center windows are shaking.' So he demanded for us to go to another classroom before our windows get affected from it. But I remember starring outside of the window and looking at a landscape where papers that meant from a lot to someone or nothing at all flew everywhere. It was that moment when it struck me that someone inside World Trade Center is dying at this very moment.
After the announcement was made, it was clear to everyone that this was an accident cause by an airplane, so we all went back to class. Until a few minutes later the same exact loud roar of truck noise was heard, only this time it seemed a little louder because everyone was filled with a silent fear inside. Up to this point I did not know what to do until I received a demand from Mr. Donnelly to get out of this room again. So I rushed with everyone else downstairs to get out of this building. Only to realize that by the time I reached downstairs with my flip flops, we where not allowed to leave the building. So I went back up to fourth floor because everyone else did. It was people in that floor that made me realize that this is scariar then what it seems. People cried, screamed, and panic.
Then when it was around 9:40 a.m, we were all allow to excort the building. Yet, as much as I wanted to leave, I felt lost without my friends being around. I tried to slow down but people that were rushing down made me walk faster instead of slower. Therefore, I just left the building by myself. Along the way, I tried to stop and wait but teachers kept shouting to me keep going and move. Yet, I was luckie enough to grab a friend on the way. Even though I didn't know her that well, I grabbed on to her as tight as possible because I knew she's all I got for help.
There was a point that I remember when I just stood at the streets with my single friend and just starred up at the World Trade Center and the people around me. It was a scene where no artist can paint and no words that can describe it. It felt like everyone came out of no where and all filled with saddness, pain, and a useless feeling because we were are all just looking up at the World Trade Center on fire with people dying inside.
After that, my friend and I kept walking at a regular pace to remain calm. Never once did I look back again from there on because I felt like it was already to much scenes of memories to bear and face that I can't take another one inside. However, as soon as the towers came down, everyone started to scream and yell for help that no one wanted to turn around anymore. It was then when my friend and I started to panic even more and we continue to walk straight with people pushing and shoving at us. As if we were all being chased by a huge monster, that is five hundred times bigger than we are. My friend and I manage to continuing walking until we came to a point where we had to choose to walk right or left. We didn't know what to do.
We stood at the corner for a while and it was then when it struck me that this can be it, my life will end right here and die because of all the debris falling at me like snow. Tears fell across my cheeks and scenes of memories flashed across my head. It was then when I realize that I am not ready to die and not ready to meet God the way I am and that I had a lo of catching up in my life to do.
After a while, we finally came to the decision of walking to the left side and it was then when we saw more classmates and teachers. I felt safe again and hope. A short while later, we took the South Ferry boat and left the horrible tragic and entered Staten Island. At Staten Island we stayed at a high school name Curtis for the day and at night I was able to go home.
The eyes that I use to guide my life have seen the slow and painful deaths of more than 2000 people. The noses that I once use to smell sweet fragrance have smelled the buring of lives and buildings to ashes. The mouth that I use to communicate happiness to others became a mark to cry for help. The ears that I once use to listen for laughters of happiness have heard all the dreadful torments of each person's wound. The feeling of safety and security has felt insecured, lost, and dangered. All my senses has been replace with new purposes and usage due to the tragic event on September 11,2001.
From that day I learned a lot for life. I learned that life should not be for granted and that anything can happen at any moment of your life. Its sad to witness such a tragic event and that I had to face the saddest part of my life alone even though a friend was standing there right next to me, it felt like it. That day taught me a lot about life and it also shows me who cared about me and who were just there in my life temporarily.
September 11th began as any other normal school day, I was tired and not looking forward to the commute I have to take from my house on Staten Island into the city. When I got to school I headed to my first period class, which was not my favorite, gym. About 5 minutes into class a announcement came on the loudspeaker and the teacher said 'There has been a plane crash into the Twin Towers.' The first thing I thought was 'Why would a small plane even fly near the twin towers. 'After a while other students started coming into the gym. Some kids had said they saw the plane and some said they felt our 14 floor building shake. Then I heard that they were evacuating us and thinking to myself great now my mother will think I'm cutting school and that there would be no way in hell that my mother would believe that a plane had crashed into the towers. Now that I look back I realize that it was not clicking in my head that it was a terrorist attack and at that point it had been all over the news.
I will never forget the sight or the smell that I saw when they evacuated us. There was paper everywhere and the smell of the fuel awakened me like someone had just thrown ice water on my face. Little did I know what I was about to see. As I'm digging through my book bag for my cell phone to call my mother and walking to the street behind my school, my friend that I was with said 'Oh my god Christine look up' .I looked up and my mouth just dropped open. There were the towers, the normal towers that I had just seen a half an hour ago on fire and paper falling from them and to my horror people falling from them. Tears started to roll down my face as I just stood there, feeling so helpless, looking up. My friend pulled me away and we started to walk towards the ferry to go to my house. A good 5-10 minutes after starting to walk I heard all this screaming, the kind that you hear in movies like Godzilla or King Kong, and I looked to see where it was coming from. People were running towards me screaming and running like I have never seen. I started screaming and crying thinking planes were dropping bombs on us and I was for surely going to die. Then all this dust came and covered everyone from head to toe and for a second you could not see your hand even if you put it in front of your face. Then it got really hard to breathe and my skin started to feel like it was on fire. That's when I realized that one of the towers had collapsed.
All I wanted to do at that point (thinking the worst had been over) was to get on the ferry and go home. I ran as fast as I could to the ferry and as soon as I got to the ferry cops started screaming it was about to blow up ' they shouted 'run for your life'. At that very second I grabbed my friend's hand and ran like hell. I started thinking in my head 'God I'm sorry for anything wrong I've done in my life and when I die let my family and friends get over it easily.' My friend and I ran towards the Brooklyn bridge which I did not want to do. Why if the terrorists hit the twin towers and the ferry why wouldn't they do this bridge that half of downtown was walking over? I started to get tired and stopped running. It was bad enough that I was out of shape but it was also hard to breathe and the thought of me dying anyway made me think why bother running. When I got to the south shore seaport some one grabbed me and my friend into a Guess store and told us to wash our face and that we could use the phone there cause at that point all the cell phones were dead. I got on the phone and called my dad's police station and in between sobbing and coughing I told one of the officers that I was ok and wanted to talk to my dad. Well it turned out that my father was downtown already looking for me and responding to the attack. Trust me that did not make me feel any better.
When I stopped crying and felt a little bit better I left the store and thanked the people and headed for the bridge. My friend and I decided that it would be best to walk over the bridge and to my father's precinct. Thank God for the fact that a construction worker named Ed saw my friend and I with our book bags and decided to help us. He took our bags and promised us that he would walk us over the bridge and to my dad's office and he wouldn't leave us alone. Even though the worst thing in history was happening Ed started to make jokes. They were funny but I was not laughing I actually started to cry again and he said to me 'Hey look Honey at least you know your healthy cause if this don't kill you nothing will'. I looked at him like he was crazy and kept on walking, crying, and looking up in the sky for a plane to come drop a bomb on me. When I finally, after what seemed like hours got into Brooklyn (I will probably never be as happy I was at that moment to be in Brooklyn ever again) I started to walk to my dads job with my friend and Ed. People in the streets were handing out water and saying every thing would be ok. I didn't believe them I thought the world was coming to an end. Anyway Ed said that he needed to use a payphone so we stopped walking and that's when two police officers came up to me and asked me if I was ok and I just asked them if they could take me to my fathers precinct. It turned out they had known my father and would take me to his office. I found Ed and told him that the officers would bring me the rest of the way and I thanked him. I look back and realized I didn't give him the heartfelt thanks that I should have but my mother has told me that he probably understood so I feel a little better.
I got to my fathers job and ran to his office hoping that he was in there, but he wasn't so I cried even harder and just fell apart. After all this all I wanted to see was one of my parents. My father was contacted and about 45 minutes after I found out he was o.k. I heard my name being called. I knew it was my dad. I ran so fast that when I hugged him I almost knocked him over. Just seeing my dad made me happy and the whole time that I was in my dads arms all I could hear him say was thank god thank god you're ok and he started crying. This huge guy who never cried in front of me my whole life was sobbing like a little baby. That's when I knew I would be ok. After I was reunited with my dad, he had to leave again but I felt a little better knowing he wouldn't be directly at ground zero. I still couldn't get to my house on Staten Island so my friend and I were taken to my fathers girlfriends parents house that was on Brooklyn so I would be ok.
It was very hard to sleep that night and I can remember laying in bed thinking of what I had went to that day and what the world would be like the next day. The next morning my mom came and got me and drove my friend home. It was weird though because on September 12th my relatives that I haven't heard from or friends that I haven't talked to in years called me and wanted to know if I was ok. It was like they were trying to exploit my situation, but I couldn't talk to them, I couldn't even talk to my mom I was in such a daze for a few days that I actually lost track of the time. It didn't take as long as I thought it would for me to be ok but even today as I type this report it still doesn't seem real. I feel like I'm writing a book or something. I also remember now what I heard that day like a lot of other cities were destroyed, that there would be more terrorism and this is the end of the world. Although there were the anthrax scares and the thought of suicidal bombers are in the back of my minds I feel like I have been through enough and m not that scared anymore. I am still very mad and upset at what happened because it screwed up so much not only to me but to millions of people in New York and the rest of the world but I'm not scared. Who knew on September 10th that the very next day at age 15 I would have to be running for my life.
Even though the whole entire disaster on September 11th will be greatly remembered by everyone across the world, it affected those that were in the mix even worse. All the students from Economics and Leadership & Public Service were in the mix and greatly affected. A series of events happened one after another on September 11th. But only one of those sticks out in my mind. It was the scareiest, horrifying moment of my life and I will never forget it. Are you ready, well here goes'.
I was standing in the middle of Battery Park with you, Ms. Ordover, and other students from Leadership, until the towers fell. There was a big black puff of smoke coming down from the towers and quickly moved in our direction. Everyone ran furiously to get out of range of the smoke, but no one was able to. The smoke quickly covered us and in my eyes, everything was a blur. For a minute, I lost my memory and couldn't remember where I was. This was the first time death came so close to me! All I saw was people running in the same direction with babies in their arms, in strollers, and on their backs. Some people jumped into the water. There were also some kind people who helped others up when they fell and even shared as their asthma pump.
When I finally snapped out of it and remembered where I was and what was going on, I noticed myself not breathing normally and rubbing my eyes. As the smoke cleared I stopped running, to look around, and found other students from Leadership nearby. We hugged each other tightly and gathered under this big umbrella. We stood there until our teachers called for us. We followed them to the Staten Island Ferry.
As I stood under the umbrella with my friends, I covered my nose with a mask. The smell was so strong and nasty, I could barely breathe. I also noticed everyone's clothing had ashes on them. Not just our clothes, but our faces, hair, and shoes. We all looked like we were caught in a severe snowstorm. Our appearance was so bad that when we wet our face or any other part of our bodies, it burned.
I will never forget about what happened. I use to dream about this moment every night. It was a nightmare and every time I think about it, I cry. I'm so close to tears right now. I can't write any more.
The Day of September 11th
When I first woke up on the day of September 11, I didn't realize that I would have to run for my life. September 11 is my father's birthday. I didn't actually think that day, I would become part of history. I don't think anyone really expected this tragedy to occur. I think that day was our 5th day of school. I wasn't looking forward to school, for some reason I hardly ever looked forward to school. Around that time I think I only had a couple of friends. My first period class was Spanish with Ms. Velis on the 9th floor. I don't remember what we were discussing about in class but I do remember feeling the ground shake and the lights flash. All of a sudden, we (students) saw flaming pieces of paper outside the window. Everyone was out of their seats looking through the window but from the position that the classroom is in, you were not able to receive a view of the World Trade. I patiently, calmly sat at my seat and stared out the pack window. From that window I witnessed the people in the other office buildings fascinated/surprised by the World Trade. Finally someone came on the speaker phone and told us that a plane flew into the Twin Towers. Many people panicked and couldn't handle the situation. I am not certain on the order that we left but I do know that students were put into the halls. We then went to Battery Park which was a couple blocks away from the site. Since There were a lot of students and adults I kind of lost my teacher. I was confused on which kids to follow because Economics & Finance was there as well. I didn't recognize anyone until I saw my friend Malcolm. Malcolm lost his teacher too. Therefore it was only us to out in that chaos. Malcolm lives in Harlem, Manhattan. I live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Once we saw the Bowling Green train station we were about to go in it to my house but we decided to because there was too much people and excitement. Malcolm and I heard some tremendous noise (probably the first building collapsing). Everyone went wild and ran for their lives. We followed the crowd to the Staten Island Fairy. We were going to turn back to the train station but the air was so black neither of us could see'. We arrived in Staten Island and decided to take the bus (for no reason what so ever). We finally saw a payphone and got of the bus. From there I spoke to my mother, unfortunately Malcolm couldn't reach his. My mother called her friend Amera that lived in Staten Island. Amera and her cousin picked us up and took us to her house. Malcolm and I spent the night there for one day. Then my mother came with my grandparents and we drove back home to Brooklyn. Malcolm spent about 4 days at my then his mother picked him up. That my story on what happened to me on September 11th. Its such a shame us kids had to grow-up faster than we were suppose to.
January 3, 2002
On my way to Battery Park, all I saw was people walking very fast and children screaming and surprising faces. I looked up and all I ended up seeing was two very tall buildings burned up with lots of smoke. You can actually see little things falling out from the windows. I come to find out those little things were people. All of a sudden as I was almost turning around to see where I am going and one of the buildings end up falling down. The next thing I know I'm on the floor. Smoke everywhere. You really cannot see anything it was dark, the smoke kept coming through. I'm on the floor and I cannot go anywhere. There was this person who came up to me. All I hear are the words, 'Are you alright?" It was a man who helped me to my feet. I saw him tear up his shirt and gave me apart of his sleeve to me and we started to run. I lost him after we started to run. All you got to see was smoke. It was dark, no sun, no clouds, no sky, it was just ashes and smoke covering everyone. I started to run once again. Wherever I ran to, there were people running and pushing everyone around them. At this point I was praying to the Lord and telling him that I just want to be with my family. Ask him to please bring to my family safe and sound. I was crying so much that as I was breathing in, I was feeling the ashes burning down my throat. I took the piece of cloth and I covered my mouth to be able to breath better. I finally got to see someone else from our school. It was Ms. Shivek. She helped get my breathing together. The more I took small breaths, the more I got worse. So, she told me to take deep breaths. After getting my breathing together, Ms. Shivek and myself started walking. We then saw Maria Sanabrio, Ms. Newman, and Karen. At this point, we started to find out which way we were heading. We lost Ms. Shivek on the way to the bridge. We heard some kind of noise on our way to the bridge. So, we ran towards the other direction. We finally got to a phone and called our parents to let them know that we are safe. At this point I thought I did not know where I was going to sleep that night. Maria had a solution for me. She said she had no problem taking me home with her until everything got cleared up. My worries went away, but I was still scared and terrified because I did not know what was going to happen next. Although I knew that Maria was there to help me along the way because I was not alone. We finally reached a phone and called whom we needed to call to let them know that we were trying to get home as soon as possible. After using the telephones we headed towards to the Williamsburg Bridge. Ms. Newman did not go with us because she was not heading to the bridge we were going. After that all I remember was walking on the bridge with Karen and Maria. It was hard for me to walk. My legs were hurting as it was. Finally, we reached to Brooklyn. In a way I was relieved when reaching Brooklyn. However, Brooklyn is no Bronx, where I live.
On September 11, 2001 I walked into my English classroom and sat down as usual, when all of a sudden I heard a loud boom. Everyone stopped their work and glanced around nervously, my first instinct was to look towards the window and all I saw was burning paper clouding the sky . Our teacher told us not to panic and to continue our work while she found out what was going on, a couple of minutes later the dean came on and announced that a plane had crashed into the world trade center we were then instructed to exit our classrooms and stand in the hallway.
When we entered the hallway we seen that the whole school was in a uproar, people were crying trying to use their cell phones but all phone lines were down. We were then told to evacuate the building ,when we exited we saw dust and clouds of smoke. Everyone was in shock and very scared the police instructed us to go to battery park were we seen people from our school and we felt a little bit of reassurance.
Once again we heard a loud boom and the world trade center had collapsed. I began to cry just wanting this all to end, more dust was developing and heading straight towards us. People were running tripping over each other , shoes were coming off in the process . It was becoming difficult to breath the air was getting thin. We were finally let into a restaurant were we recievd medical attention.
I was finally able to get home when I seen my mother I started crying not because I was sad but because I thought I would never see her again. As my mother bent down to hug me She whispered into my ear something I would never forget 'Angelique I'm glad to see you and I don't know what I would have done if you wouldn't have made it, I love you .'
January 4, 2002
September 11th, what a day! I woke up as usual not thinking that my life was about to be at stake. I did all the usual, took a shower, ate, and wore a pair of new jeans and sneakers (thank God). I was excited to go to school. My first period class was gym, on the fourteenth floor, the last floor of the school! I believe it was 8:45 am when we heard the first BOOM. The whole class practically ran over my gym teacher, Ms. Kornrich, to see what was happening outside the window. All I saw was burned paper flying out towards our school. We questioned each other asking, 'What is it, the Yankees parade again?'. Ms. Kornrich had asked us to sit back down, we were unaware and nervous no one could stay still. Giselle, my best friend, and I started holding hands, saying to each other that we wanted our mommies. A few minutes later a second BOOM. Still we were all uncertain of what was happening. All I know was that without Ms. Kornrich's permission we ran as fast as we could to exit the school. When we reached the bottom floor, Mr. Spotts, our dean, told all of us that we has to go back up stairs because there was too much chaos out in the street. Giselle and I ended up in the 8th floor with the Spanish teachers and their students. Once I got to the floor I found out that it had been a terrorist attack, the World Trade Centers had been crashed severely by airplanes. We were told to leave the building and head towards Battery Park.
During this time of running, I had no chance to look back. I was nervous and scared. Once I saw my other friends, Denise and Jovanka, and saw them crying I immediately began to cry as well. I hugged them as hard as I could, like if I had not seen them in years. We were steady in one place in the park. Denise, Giselle, Jovanka and myself were all together at the time. We all stopped together, holding each other's hands, looking towards the crashed buildings. All you could see was the top portion of the building on fire and an airplane sticking out of the side of the building. We all stood there looking; everyone around us trying to make phone calls and no phones would work. That was when my mom entered my head. Was my mom aware of what was happening? Was she safe? All these questions entered my head. While thinking all of this and telling all my friends how scared I was the second tower collapsed. All I heard was a mixture of people screaming, the sound of the building crumbling down, and Denise yelling at the top of her lungs 'Run, run, stay together, the building is falling'. Thus, just as said was done. We all stayed together and ran now towards the south ferry. Total chaos surrounded us in the ferry. The ferry packed as it was headed toward Staten Island. Once everyone reached the island everyone evacuated the ferry rapidly and ran towards the station phones and cops. I ran out the ferry to look for a phone, to call my mom. By this time I knew she was worried. As I nervously dialed her number I started crying. When my mom answered the phone she broke down crying as well and that made me cry even more. I could barely speak, she told me that she was going to get me and I yelled at the top of my lungs, 'no, no! Stay where you are. I am safe.' The only thing that I could tell my mom was how much I loved her and that I wished we were together. I was insecure and all that entered my mind was whether or not I was going to live to see the day of tomorrow. I did not want to die, I was sure of that, but all that entered my mind was that the unpredictable was yet to happen. I truly believed that the world was going to end on that tragic day, September 11. The thought of not seeing my mom, dad, sister and rest of my family was hard for me to cope with.
Once we entered at Curtis High School, everyone including myself calmed down a bit. The tears would not stop for a long time, but we were together and safe for the time being, at least that was what I tried to focus on. Curtis's staff did a great deed, and their hospitality was amazing. I love them for taking my schoolmates and I into their school.
September 11th was a really traumatizing day. When I look back to that day I try to think on how that day brought my friends and I so close together and not on the terrorists attacks that put my life and others at stake. I cherish every day that I am alive and I try not to take things for granted. I try to accomplish these things because of the fact that that nobody will ever know what will happen at the time being as well as the future.
September 11, 2001
I was a new student in Leadership and Public Service; I had transferred from Private school. As a junior my job in Leadership was to do good and pass all my classes. Well on September 11, 2001, my mind was set to do work it felt like a regular day. The first class I had was Spanish. I did not hear the first plane hit, I did not feel the building shake or nothing. Once the first plane hit I looked outside and saw paper outside. My first reaction was that I thought that it was a tickertape parade or that a man was throwing papers out the window. For a while I did not pay no mind and then like five minutes later I heard a big boom, like a sonic boom and heard the plane crash into the building. The next thing I know the building starts to shake and the lights went out. I thought the building was going to fall. The only thing that was on my mind when it building shacked was to run so I did but there was one problem my teacher wouldn't let me out. I then tried the back door but it was locked. When one of the staff members from the faculty was in telling us in the P A system that plans hit the twin towers I thought it was a joke. Once everybody was out side I hardly knew anybody in the school except for one kid named Kenney. So I was outside looking for him but I did not see no sigh of him. We were all walking to the park, we was not running at the time. So while walking I did not think that the building was not going to fall. So once I was in the entrance of the park I looked up and saw two lines of fire on both of the building. So I still did not think the buildings was not going to fall. So I stood calm looking and then the unthinkable happened. I saw the first building fall and will it was going down to the middle section I was gone I ran for my life. Once I got in the entrance of the park I started hoping gates and started running in the grass cause everybody in the sidewalk was pushing and knocking each other down like animals. So I thought I safe and that only the first building was going to fall. So I stood in the middle of the park in an open field and all of a sudden I hear a rumbling sound and that's when everything around me stopped. Everybody just paused and looked at me and then started looking at each other and then they looked back and saw a cloud of derby and smoke and dust. Now the only thing in my head was to fun to the Ferryboat I knew it would be my only chance of making it off Manhattan and getting away from the smoke. So while running I see people with their shirts over their face so I did the same thing. So while almost getting on to the ship I hear somebody call out my name and it was my friend Kenney. I told him to let's get on the boat and let's just get away from the smoking cloud. The incident in the park to me almost resembled the movie 'Independence Day' when the Beam came down and a ball of fire started sweeping the whole Manhattan area. Later when I was in the ship I was not even worried about myself I was worried about the people left behind and who did not make it on the boat. Then everybody started to panic and they say that there was a bomb on the boat, that's when everybody was panicking and started to act crazy but I keep my calm cause right at that time I knew that in life 'Everybody is born to die.' So then the boat left us in Staten Island and I saw another my other friend Timothy. It was either go to his house or go with the cops, so I went to his house. When I got to his house I turned on the television and it all seemed like a prank of some sort. I could not believe it that both twin towers fell down. Timothy's family took good care of me. When I woke up in the morning it all felt like a dream, it seemed that it had never happened.
1/ 3/ 02
It all happened on September 11, 2001. Something very horrible happened to America. Bin Laden and his group of terrorist attacked many places in America. One place was New York City, more specifically the World Trade Towers. They hijacked planes from a nearby airport and those airplanes were on a suicide mission. They ran strait into the towers and created mass chaos everywhere and in everyone around the towers. It was a whole mess. No one would ever believe something like this could have ever happened if they did not experience it for themselves. It was a tragic and horrible day and this is my recollection of that horrible day when the World Trade Towers came crashing down.
I was a regular day in school. First I had Chemistry with Ms. Yu. We were learning something when my friend Quentin Copeland came in late. He began to tell me and Justin Wong, who is also my friend, that something happened with the World Trade Towers. He said that he saw an airplane fly right into the two towers. Justin and I thought that he was making the whole thing up so we just ignored him and went back to work. All of a sudden the ground shook and everyone began to panic. That was probably the time the second plane crashed into the other tower. Justin and I then looked a Quentin and he just kept on saying, 'I told you, I told you, didn't I tell you guys, no one believes me.' Then Justin and I was so surprised and just kept on thinking that we were going to die or something. Just then someone spoke on the loud speaker and told everyone to stay calm and that an airplane had just hit the World Trade Center. Everyone began talking at once. Then the person on the loud speaker told everyone to stay away from the windows because the windows might break. Everyone began to talk and everyone was getting scared. Some people were trying to reach the outside with their cell phones but there was no connection. Then there was an order to evacuate the building.
When I got outside I was so surprised. There was paper all over the streets and then I looked up and saw the World Trade buildings on fire. I was so surprised. Then Mr. Sparnroft, one of the teachers at my school, came out and told everyone to keep on moving towards Battery Park. Everyone was walking but slowly because they were trying to see what happened. Even people from Economics were evacuated. I saw some of my friends but decided not to talk to them. We just kept on walking until we got to the park. When we got to the park, everyone just paused to look at the World Trade Towers. Everyone was so surprised and not only were we unprepared for this, it was just the first few days back from summer vacation, so we haven't even been back for a month yet and this happens. When Justin and I got to the park we just stopped and looked up. We were so amazed and surprised at the sight of the towers burning. Justin tried to call some of his friends but he couldn't get through with his cell phone. We then saw some friends and began to converse with them. We were all talking about how could something like this happen and other things. All of a sudden people began to scream and run. Then I looked up and saw the towers coming down. I didn't have to think about running, it just came. I saw my friend Justin fall down over some trash. I waited for him for a few moments but decided that I could do nothing for him and just ran. I thought I caught a glimpse of him running through the park while I ran along the park side.
I got to the ferry just when the boat was leaving. I saw some horrible things like people jumping off the side of the ferry and into the water because they thought that they would be more safe in the water. I ran into the ferry terminal and waited for the next ferry to come to the harbor. It was so cramped but it was a lot better than being outside. Then the ferry finally came and I felt so relieved. There were many people but I was one of the few in the front so I was able to get a seat on the boat. When I was on the boat, I saw many people grabbing life jackets and crossing their hearts. When we were about a block away from the city, in the water, I looked back and was amazed. It looked so horrible and I didn't even know what I was going to do when I arrived at Staten Island. Luckily when I got off the boat I saw some people from my school and I just followed them. They then went outside and we saw Mr. Donelly. He is also one of the teachers at my school. He told us that we had to go to the police station because that was where everyone else was. When we got to the police station I was surprised because I saw a lot of my friends but not all and I wondered to myself if the others had survived or perished when the towers fell. Then the cops couldn't deal with us anymore so they told us to go to the high school that was a few blocks away.
When we got to the high school they herded us into the auditorium and then began to ask some people questions. Some students from my school began to ask the teachers if we were going to have to stay overnight. The majority of the teachers that were asked said that they were unsure but by the looks of things they said that probably everyone was going to be held overnight. Many people then got sad and angry because they didn't want to stay here and wanted to home with their families. People began to call home and I did also and told my parents that I was all right and was safe. They asked me when I was going to come home and I told them that I didn't know but I hope soon. I was just happy to be alive. While we were there they passed out snacks and juices for us just in case we were hungry. I wasn't really that hungry but took some anyway just to get my mind off what had just happened. Then later in the afternoon they called an assembly for us to talk and explain what is going to happen. They wanted to know where everyone lived and wanted to see if they could get some buses to bring everyone back home. They saw that many people were from Brooklyn so they decided that they were going to be the first to go. After the assembly, we went to eat and after we ate some food we were allowed outside on their football field. I was so surprised that they had a football field because I like football and I wanted to play but no one there had a football on them and they didn't allow us to use one of theirs. Nothing really happened after that. Before any of us knew it, it was already time for dinner. This time they had good food. They had pizza, wings, and a lot of drinks. My friend Luis, grabbed a few drinks and hid it in his back pack for later on. After everyone at dinner, they began to give out things that we will need for later, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, blankets, pillows, and other necessities that they had. After that they separated the boys from the girls. The boys were sent to the auditorium while the girls were to stay in the cafeteria. Before everyone slept we were talking and joking around. During the middle of the night people left for Brooklyn and some of my friends' parents came to pick them up. Then people began to tell us to go to sleep and they were going to turn off the lights. It felt akward and weird and I don't think I got much sleep at all.
When I woke up in the morning only Quentin was the only other person awake. We began to talk and then others slowly began to wake. We then went to brush our teeth and then went to the cafeteria and began to eat breakfast. After breakfast they told us that there was buses coming to bring people back to Manhattan. After people from Manhattan left there were buses coming for people from Queens. I was so happy to hear that I was going home. That was the best news that I heard since they said that there was not going to be school for us for a while because of the towers collapsing. Quentin and I saw Ms. Yu and asked her how she felt about this. She seemed troubled and worried. She told us that she was fine and just surprised that something like this would happen. Quentin then asked her if she was going to stay in New York. This was because she is from Canada and recently just moved here to teach. This was a horrible experience for her and she seemed so traumatized no wonder why she probably went back to Canada. After that we just sat there and talked about what we were going to do after we get back home.
Then they announced that the buses headed for Queens are on their way and should be here at no time at all. I was so happy and just wanted to go home. Then the buses finally arrived. I felt so happy because I was going to go home. We got on the bus and Quentin told me to grab a pillow for him so he can bring it home. We got on the bus and I was happy again. We got to Queens and they stopped at the Queens Center Mall at Woodhaven Blvd. That is where the majority of the people got off. I was driven all the way home because I didn't know the way home from the Mall. When I got home I went in the bathroom and took a bath. That is my story of what happened on the tragic day of 9/ 11/ 01.
Class : 115
You know, some people say that your dreams tell some parts of you future, and some of your dreams you may have not even remembered anymore. I have experienced those kinds of dreams before in my life. Some dreams are good; they make you feel so free because there are no boundaries in your dreams. Those dreams make you feel so happy and Free; it's like you don't even want to get out of it.
While some of your dreams are so horrible that they make you feel nervous, and when you try to get out of that bad dream, it feels like you've been tied around the bed so tightly that you run out of oxygen. When you try to break free from the dream, your skin gets warmer until it's beyond boiling hot. The only out of the dream is to wait until the sun rises, and your eyes slowly open due to the brightness of the sun. Well that's how I experience my dreams, but the worst was yet to come.
September 11,2001. It was such a glorious morning. I felt the kind and gentle wind sway my hair as I opened my window. I noticed out my window was that there were no cloud, just the clear blue sky reflecting the ocean to make it blue. When the sun rises gloriously, it was as if it was not going to set. The coolness of the autumn wind and the warmth of the sun mad it just right for people to go out side and enjoy the wonders of mother earth. However, I hade this feeling inside me. The feeling was stinging me as if it was trying to tell me something. The stinging gave me a headache, and the headache made me really dizzy, but I still went to school. As I arrived at school, the bell rang ferociously, telling us to get in class. All of the students came hurrying up the stairs and in the elevators like a colony of ants marching together. My first period was Earth Science, in room 115 , taught by Mr. Stotter. I was the first one to get in class, while the other students came in five minutes late.
By the time we started the class, I really hade a bad feeling inside of me. It was like I knew what was going to happen earlier that morning but I couldn't say anything, the only thing I could do was just to keep to myself. When Mr. Stotter was just about to announce what our homework was, all of a sudden there was a huge
'kaboom' out side the school. The sound made everybody leap out of his or her chairs not knowing what happened. I was so scared, because the building shook like there was an earthquake. Mr. Stotter, advised us to remain seated until further announcements. Mrs. Dolch told us that there was a plane crash at the World Trade Center from the intercom, she also said that we all should evacuate the building immediately and we should try to stay calm as possible. This was so unexpected, I couldn't believe what was happening to me. When got out of the building and went to Battery Park, another plan crashed the second tower. This shocked me even more.
This was like the most horrible dream that I ever had in my whole life, and I could not break free from that dream. When everybody evacuated the school building and safely arrived at Battery Park, the most unreal thing happened. The first World Trade Center tower collapsed. Everybody including me ran for our lives. Can you imagine me running for my life. I didn't believe that was going to happen to me. It feels like god has punished us for something we have not done. I was very nervous and terrified of what would happen to me, so I panicked. Luckily my friend was by my side to help me get through this tragic moment. He also told me that if there is hope, we can get through this just fine. Suddenly ash and debris from the building came crashing down like a thunderstorm that would not cease. Everybody was struggling to breathe because of the thick ash that was surrounding us.
My friend and I, and some of the other Leadership students took a ferry to Staten Island. This made me really sad because going to Staten Island separated me from the people that I love When we arrived at Staten Island, we were advised to go to Curtis high school because it was safer there. I called my parents as soon as I got there. My mom was so happy that she cried when she knew that I was alive, but my dad was so cool and calm when he talked to me on the phone.
The teachers and staff of leadership and Curtis High School entertained us while we were their guests. The staff provided us with food, clothes, blankets, pillows, and toiletries. I was glade to be in the school, safe and sound, with my friend. I had the chance to make new friends during my stay in the school. The night of September 11, we had dinner. I could not believe how much my friend and I ate that night. We all hade chicken, pizza, sodas, and chips for desert. I was so full that I could not even move a muscle.
The Leadership school staff and teachers told us that the police district opened up the Brooklyn Bridge, only to let the students from Queens to go home by bus, and they told us that the Manhattan students could only go home tomorrow morning. I thought that wasn't fair because I really missed my family, and I wanted to go home. The teachers told me that they could not do anything, but just wait until tomorrow morning. After dinner, the teachers called all of the boys, to get all of their stuff, because we were advised to spend the night in the hall. I couldn't spend the night in the hall because there were too much emotions in me that had to break free that night. I silently cried my self to sleep.
The next morning, after we all brushed our teeth and washed our face, we all had cereal and donuts for breakfast. I was so relieved that morning because they told us that we were going home. Finally, a chance to see my beautiful family again. I couldn't wait to go home. By the time the buses arrived to pick us up, we thanked the school staff of Leadership especially Curtis High school because if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be here. Our journey back home was so relieving especially for me because I was going to see my family again.
The attacks have truly changed my life and many others. I never have imagined that this would happen to me, these moments that happened to me can never be forgotten or lost. The true spirit of the Americans has given me a will and a hope in my heart to overcome what lies ahead of me.
On September 11, 2001 I arrived at school as usual and went to my first period class. In the middle of class we felt a shake we thought it was the science class next door performing an experiment ,and we thought nothing of it, a couple of minutes later a staff member came across the pa system and announced a plane had just went into the world trade center and he would keep us posted.
We continued on with our lesson, but a couple of minutes later we felt the building shake. No one had to tell us it was time to panic we grabbed our things and ran out into the hallway, at that point some of us had started to cry. People that had never spoke to each other were trying to give comforting words , someone then came on the P.A. system and told us to calmly move to the basement.
With all the chaos going on we all managed to maneuver down the stairs by the time we got downstairs we all wanted to know what was going on. And were told two planes had crashed into the world trade center. We all started to panic even worse, after a few more minutes a fire marshal told us we had to evacuate the building . When we came out of the building it was paper everywhere .
But that still didn't prepare us for what we saw when we continued down the block a whole section of the world trade center was missing we could not believe our eyes , majority of us had just came out of the trade center whether it was shopping or taking the train we all stood looking at the world trade center in awe. We all thought we were safe all of a sudden there was another loud crash and the world trade center collapsed and a ball of smoke came rushing out at us , pieces of debris were falling from every direction . We all thought we were going to die we were given directions to run into battery park .
Many of us were falling over each other trying to reach safety. All phone lines were down we were trying to call our parents to say what we thought were the last words to ever past our lips . When we arrived at battery park we camped out in a restaurant for what seemed like a life time, but we were to busy counting our blessings thinking the lord we had survived and made it through. We have all learned a lot since that terrible day on September 11, 2001 such as not to take life for granted whether its to stop and gaze at the sky or tell someone close we love them we all cherish life a little more I know I do.
The stories my students wrote about their experiences on September 11th. To see a map and other pictures: click here and widen your browser as much as possible. Some pics are rather big... a>