There are very few things in this world that actually get to me, for some reason, 9/11 is one of those things.
I think it's because I remember the day so vividly....
I was just entering my second week of high school, and I was sitting in second period algebra class with Mrs. Mantillia. I remember joking around with my friend Dave, when Mrs. Brown frantically entered our class. She was looking for her cell phone to call her husband who works in New York City; we were all confused by her panic until we turned on the TV...
There, we all saw smoke billowing from the first tower. At first, I didn't think anything of it. A plane hitting a tower... clearly it had to be some sort of accident; then the second plane hit. This was no accident.
I remember the end of the period bell ringing and none of us knowing whether or not we should leave our classrooms. Obviously we had to continue on our day, so I headed to my next class, art.
I went to the studio up in the loft and sat down in front of the TV; no one bothered to set up their canvases, everyone's eyes were glued to the broadcast.
We all sat there... shocked and confused. "What the hell is this?" I remember thinking.
Then the towers fell. Like most people's reaction, my hand immediately covered my mouth in horror. "Oh my God."
The footage today still strikes an emotional chord-- just watching that cloud of dust and debris swallow Manhattan whole is enough to give anyone chills.
After the collapse, and the two other attacks, the principle made an announcement that the day would carry on as normal, but those with relatives in NYC, PA, and DC were excused to try to make phone calls.
My oldest brother was in New York at the time, luckily he was alright.
The rest of the day, as I recall, just had this weird vibe. I sat outside in the middle of the football field with my gym class, pretty much in silence. My teacher didn't know what to say, my friends didn't know what to say. I remember the silence; there wasn't a cloud, a bird, and certainly not a plane in the sky that afternoon.
It was surreal.
Every year on the anniversary, I think about that day. I think about where I was, and I click through pictures still saved to my computer; I don't want to ever forget it.
Last year, The Fray introduced a special 9/11 version of "How To Save a Life." It features recordings from the broadcasts of that fateful day. Now, many You Tube enthusiast have created visual tributes with the mp3. Here's a pretty good one I wanted to share.
In Memory of the Victims of 9/11
You Will NEVER Be Forgotten.