It was the first full week of my senior year and there was nothing that could stop us. It was a beautiful Wednesday morning, I remember thinking the sky was really blue that day. I was on the N train approaching my stop when the conductor announced that the train would be bypassing the next stop due to smoke. This wasn't unusual so we thought nothing of it and kept on about our business. At the top of the platform I ran into some friends from school and we all walked together, crossing over Tillary Street is NOT for the faint of heart but after going to our school for 4 years we were pros, but something was a little different about the traffic this morning.
One friend as a lady in her car what was going on, why was everyone so backed up and she said "A plane just hit one of the towers" and rolled her eyes. We immediately went into bashing "the drunk pilot". "What the hell was he doing flying so low, idiot." A cabbie pulls up and says "It was a tourist attack" and one of the guys with us got even more heated and blamed British Airways. We continued to walk to school, which was at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge and just before we opened the door there was a loud SCREEEEEEEEECH and then CRASH and glass shattered, then it all got clear "It's not a tourist attack, he meant TERRORIST attack". We ran into the building and saw the security guards all huddled in their office watching Good Morning America where they were showing people running in a dusty fog and then the clip of what we just heard, Tower 2 had just been hit.
We were all told to stay in our homeroom class until we heard something, but that seemed to make everyone more anxious. One girl, who is now in the US Navy, said "This is New York, that s#!t doesn't happen here!" another guy, who is now a foreign affairs officer said "Why would you hit New York, why not DC??" After sitting there for what seemed like hours our teacher decided to take us to the top of the school's building to see for ourselves what was going on. I don't think I'll ever forget the sound of the plane hitting the tower but what we saw on that rooftop will never leave me. We watched both buildings burning in the middle and what looked like the building's siding falling off as our teacher explained that the buildings were made to stand, the tops were just going to fall off and God Bless those who were on the ground and the buildings around them. Then we realized, the towers don't have sidings, those were PEOPLE jumping from the building and flailing to their deaths!! JESUS!
He said that was enough, let's head back inside, we took one more look and some said prayers and turned to go back when the worst sound of all rang out! A loud rumble and then WHOOOOOOSH! THE TOWER FELL!!! OMG!!!! We ran back in to see the news and making our way down the halls there was another rumble OH NO!! And again, now with static on the tv, Good Morning American confirmed that BOTH towers had just collapsed. We couldn't believe it and all froze. Our Towers were gone. WHY? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? /
As the day went on we heard about the other crashes into the Pentagon and in PA, watched people walk over the bridge covered in ashes, and watched that pretty blue sky turn into a brownish grey, and all the way in Brooklyn smelled the smoke. We gathered together to help those who were hurt that made it across the bridge and then like a mob walked all the way home. We had cousins visiting from England and my mother and I had taken them to see the towers the night before, I've always felt like the Towers were mine and now they were gone and I had NO clue why.
That year we graduated and I left NY for college but I never put it out of my mind that my city was still missing something. Each time I came home for a visit, my skyline just didn't look the same but the pride of my city NEVER changed. We couldn't wait to see Giuliani get out of office on Sept. 10th but now he was somehow a hero *major side eye* and police officers and fire fighters were now treated with a whole new level of respect, and anyone who "looked like them" were given the 4th degree and suspicious looks from New Yorkers who were ready to fight! But now 10 years later, I'm back in my beloved city and my son is here to see the results of the comeback of his town. We honor the lives of those lost and support those who lost them but pray for those who caused this and celebrate the strength of NY and it's finest. We're Still Here!