Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11-- 10 years

I was in school when the Towers were hit and fell. We had just finished davening and were going to our first period classes.

The Brooklyn buses said something about the Twin Towers being hit by a plane, but it was on Z100 and they were never serious, but...really? Why would they say THAT?

So we went to our classes, and we started hearing more. I turned my walkman on to 1010 WINS (an AM news station) and they were saying the same it was true... Mrs. Brand (the principal) made an announcement over the loudspeaker to bring our siddurim to the multipurpose room; I wondered if that was how Israelis felt when there was an attack, but I also thought that this was a much larger scale than any attack there. We didn't have classes the rest of the day. People whose parents and other family members were in the area were calling and trying to get through-- I made sure that my Dad wasn't downtown that day, because sometimes he worked downtown. He wasn't.

At first the bridges were closed so all of the Queens girls were offering to have non-Queens people stay over, but they they opened the bridges. On the way back to the my house I saw a huge column and plume of black smoke where Manhattan was-- that was it, just thick black and dark grey smoke.

The news was the same for two days-- same video clips, same audio bites, same images. Occasionally a press conference here, a new clip there. Eventually I shut it off. The city literally shut down.

They were asking for blood donations, but I was too young to donate. Turned out they had more than enough blood, because so many people died and didn't need it.

It's been 10 years, and I still remember there were lines at the pay phones and people trying to get through to families, and my friend's relief when she found out that her father who was there was okay. I can still see the smoke and remember how it felt to not be able to see Manhattan, just a darkness where it should have been.

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