#21 | Sunday, September 16th 2001
i was getting ready for school. my mother said, alicia, come here, you'll be talking about this in civics today. i said mum, we read the paper, we're not allowed to just grab things off the news. i didn't know anything about it, and i didn't know what they were talking about and why everyone was so tense and freaked out. well. i learned. i drove myself to school and tried to turn the radio dial several different times and i couldn't escape the news.
alicia | 17 | California

#19 | Sunday, September 16th 2001
I feel the anger and remorse of all other Americans, and am upset that it took something like this to bring America together...hopefully we will stay bonded through the upcoming war and for decades after the fact.

When I heard what had happened, I was in the middle of band rehearsal...we were playing "Stars and Stripes Forever"

Lauren | 17 | Connecticut

#14 | Saturday, September 15th 2001
I remember the moment my classmates and I were told of the absolutely wretched act. It was 10:40 a.m., 9-11-01. As I sat in the cold cobalt blue seats in my chemistry classroom,listening attentively to my teacher ramble on about neutrons, electrons, and protons, there came a knock at the door...she paused a moment and meandered over to where our school police officer stood, at that point, concealed from the students just behind the corner of the wan walls, their faded, mint green paint worn over years- the school is practically a historical landmark (complete with bomb shelter, and underground tunnels which lead to it- it was built during the whole Cold War scare). As soon as Mrs. McGuinn was gone from sight, the door nudged steadily shut behind her, the teenagers (of various ages) had, of course, as usual, begun to converse amongst themselves about trivial things (which is how things should be, and I regret to acknowledge, how things are no longer)- for instance- what to have for lunch, the newest objects of affection, the cute new studded zodiac belt at Old Navy, the school's new pride trip,when to copy homework due 4th block, so on and so forth. Near chaos, of course, results when you leave a high school chemistry class unsupervised. All the commotion and racket of wild voices came to an abrupt halt as the door was carefully shifted ajar by the teacher, the conclusion to her quiet conversation with Officer Peterson droned out by the slow, monotonous creaking of the door upon steel hinges. Teens' bodies promptly shifted in their seats to face the front, posture regained, pencils obediently snatched up, poised above paper to continue the notes we'd been previously slaving over, yet our faces held quite an inquisitive countenance, gaze alight with an analytical twinkle, sights cast upon her to scrupulously survey her expression, her body language, for any indication or hint at at least the jest of the dialogue. Our efforts, fortunately, had not been made in vain. Officer Peterson held a knowing smirk about his face, as he said one last thing to Mrs. McGuinn that I was lucky enough to catch: "So if you see anyone, just send them down." This, of course, made me think something along the lines of a disciplinary action- drugs, maybe. A locker check, perhaps. Of course, I was not the only one in the class with any question as to what was happening- the other children, too, wanted to know what this was all about. But all Mrs.McGuinn would say was "They'll make an announcement". She returned quickly to the work we'd been working on. I thought little of the incident. Never in a million years would I have figured America was under Seige. The class begrudgingly returned to taking notes, and we hadn't gotten very far, when the PA system was turned on, and our Principal, Mrs.Griffin's somber voice was heard. Her tone chilled me. "Something...terrible..has happened....America...is under attack by terrorists. The World Trade Center and the Pentagon have been attacked. We will keep you posted as more information is released. Thank-you." I will never forger the way the air hoovered thick with the blanket of abhoring silence. My palms were dry, I'd dropped my pencil as the principal spoke..but now, there was nothing..no voice, no droning humm of the PA system...not one sound...the class sat aloof with incredible awe. The silence didn't last very long. I remember a few kids just sat there, others piped up, and put in their two sense (but if you ask me, it wasn't sense at all!)- "Why do they even BOTHER getting us all worked up about it?! Geeze!" I couldn't believe the audacity of them. I ignored their comments despite my obvious annoyance. All I could think of was how we lived just miles from the biggest Submarine/Naval base in the world, in Groton, CT....Then a million fearful questions were spawned, only to later be answered when I returned home that afternoon to watch the live news coverage.
To this day, I can't ever recall having so great a fear as I did that Tuesday morning. I still, to this day, fear America may have to go to war. I hope this can be settled peacefully, and that whoever committed such atrocities gets what's coming to them.
I want to thank the world for all their compassion, sympathy and support- we'll need every bit we can get.
"United we stand.."
-Abraham Lincoln

Jade | 17 | Connecticut

#11 | Saturday, September 15th 2001
I had just finished drill team practice at my high school. We were sitting in the commons, waiting for our 2nd hour bell to ring. My friend phoned her mom and her mom told her that we were being attacked by planes in NYC. When she ran back to tell us, none of us really understood what she meant. We had so many questions, but we did not understand the enormity of the tragedy because we had not been in a room with a tv. Once we had gone to our respective classes, the tvs were all on and normal classwork was postponed. No one knew what to say- everyone was just so shocked. Later that day and throughout the rest of the week we had to move on with normal work, but we all talked about it every chance we could get. Immediately we made plans to donate blood and/or money. I now drive around Tulsa and see so many flags; I feel so united as a country. I truly am proud to be an American, but let us not forget that most of us came from foreign families long ago. Save your anger for those involved in this act, not for their race and religion. Also, thanks to all other countries for grieving with us. That rocks! God bless America-the land of the free, the home of the brave!
Ashley | 17 | Oklahoma

#1 | Saturday, September 15th 2001
It was the end of my mods 3-4 class (AP English 12) when our vice principal came running in with a note for the teacher. She read it aloud explaining that two planes had each hit both of the towers. At first I didn't believe it, it couldn't be true. I was just so in shock. We weren't allowed to watch the TV's in school, so there were some pretty wild rumors going around (for example- the west wing of the White House was on fire, and that eight planes were hijacked). i was extremely upset that we weren't allowed to know what was really going on. We had a total of two updates during the school day on what was going on- had we been able to watch the news, these horrible rumors would not have spread. Moving on- Volleyball practice was canceled after school (along with all other extra-curricular activities) and I went home to watch the news. I just stared in disbelief as I kept seeing the image of the once so tall and proud towers come crumbling down, killing thousands. I think the worst image that stuck in my head was when a man jumped from about the 80th floor. I just saw him cartwheeling through the air, and then he disappeared behind a building. That is probably one of the most haunting images I have ever seen, and ever will see. I'm still just in disbelief, but the one good thing that is a product of this tragedy is our strong feeling of nationality. I was driving down the main street of our town on Friday night, and there were hundreds of people, many from my own high school, standing out with lit candles and American flags. We honked at them, cheered with them- it was just a great feeling. I wish this sense of nationality didn't have to come at the price of thousands of people.
Lisa | 17 | New Jersey

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