September marks the beginning for a lot of people. It marks the beginning of another year for the Jewish people, the start of school, even the beginning of the fall season line up on television. September 2001 became a month of mourning, a beginning of fear, and a beginning of change that hadn’t been felt in years.
September 2001 began my first year in high school, and I was ecstatic. I went to a private school my whole life, and I was going to one of the best high schools in Brooklyn. The first couple of days were quite easy to deal with. Then it was September 11, I got up and got ready for school, said good bye to my mother and headed out. Got to my first period class, and was chit chatting with my friends, not having a care in the world, none of us did. By the time school had started one of the towers had already been hit, and none of us knew a thing.
I remember a teacher walked into my art class, and told my teacher Mrs. Vasquez what happened, and her face was one of despair. I guess he also told her not to tell us because she never said a word. Class went on as normal, and I got to my second period class, and it was history. My favorite subject in the whole world, I was always taught history repeats its self, and to think the towers could be bombed again, never crossed my mind. I remembered the first attack, and I was a child.
So here I was with my fellow classmates, and my teacher Mr. Epstein walked in and he looked devastated like he was ready to cry. Then he said and I will never forget it “for those of you who do not know, the Twin Towers were attacked, and they are no longer standing.” Those words still bring tears to my eyes nine years later, and that day my whole school was in an uproar.
Some teachers tired to teach, but between the students names being called over the intercom every ten minutes that was impossible, getting to the phones to make a call, was not happening. At lunch we talked about who could have done it, first it was the Israelis, it was Iraq no one new any real reports. Then I found out that a friend of mines mother was in the towers when they fell, and I was broken. When I left my school that day, the air outside smelled like smoke, you could smell the smoke all the way in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, at 2 in the afternoon. I just cried.
I raced home and called my mother who proceeded to inform me that she watched the tower get hit. She was watching the news, and she let me know that my father had to go there to handle business and she has yet to hear from him. That struck a nerve, my father though we are not close, he is still my father, and what would we do without him here. That day was a very long one indeed, the schools would be closed the next day, and for the rest of the year, we all lived in fear. My father who could not communicate via cell phone, and due to the attack could not use the train, had to walk home, he never made it there and that was a blessing. Yet, that day changed NY some for the good, and a lot for the bad.
That day changed my life, never would I be able to see those two towers in the sky, watching movies, and looking at pictures would be my only memory of them. My friend whom I spoke to and asked that I not mention her name, said “she will never forget that day, but that even though her mother was a victim of senseless violence, she believes that there is good in all people.” A sentiment I share with her as well.
The last nine years have changed me. I have gone to college, had a beautiful daughter, and I have not been to the site since the towers fell, and do not think I will ever go; yet just the other day I went to the new and updated Brooklyn Bridge Park, and I smiled when I saw the big space in the sky because even though they may not stand for the human eyes to see, but for all of us New Yorkers who had the joy to stare at them while they were here will never forget them. I had only been to the towers twice, but any time I came over the Brooklyn Bridge seeing them was always beautiful site, those two steel frames were a New York symbol.
When the towers were hit, it hurt a lot of people we just never knew how much at least not then. When they were destroyed the economy was destroyed, like many other people I do not have a regular 9-5. Yet, being a full time mom does keep me busy. The attack that day started a war that has caused us to lose more lives, and our economy to all but fail completely. We sought change, and we now have the first black President, we are looking towards a future.
A few years ago, I was taking a class about the Middle East, and I was required to read a book called The Great War for Civilization by Robert Fisk, and that book spoke about 911 from the point of Osama and my whole class felt we shouldn’t be reading this book. He attacked us, he killed people, but I didn’t feel that way at all. I felt that this man sent out the same message our government sent to his people, his country. That book made me look at America in a different light, and even though I will forever be hurt by the attack, I feel no hatred towards them. I hope that the mosque will be allowed to be built at the site, because everyone even Muslims were affected by the attack. After nine years its time for us to move past the day, and move into a future of peace, and togetherness.