I remember thinking it was just a fun adventure in the beginning. Reilly came and got me around lunch and said something had happened and we had to find out what. That was right up our alley, a mystery during lunch. It was kind of weird that we weren’t allowed on the internet and none of the school televisions were working. Unlike many others, my school had decided we shouldn’t be told.
We knew something was wrong because some of the adults were acting weird and Ms. R wasn’t in her English class. I found out later it’s because she flipped out and had to leave, or be taken somewhere. It was never clear.
So we went to one of my favorite teachers, Sensei, as we called him because we were anime obsessed freshmen. He couldn’t tell us a lot, but he sat us down and told us with tears in his eyes that something really bad happened in New York, that the Two Towers had been attacked and lot of people were hurt and dead.
My stomach dropped. My big sister was in New York. I had no grasp of how the city was set up; I had no fucking clue where the Guggenheim was in relation. Where was my sister? Was she okay? What was happening?
We had to finish out the day and nearly everyone pretended things were normal, at least in my classes, although rumors ran wild. Finally, the last class of the day was canceled and we were called into the auditorium. The principal and vice principal said that something horrible had happened and we needed to go home and be with our family. Being a Catholic school, there was of course prayers and we were released to the buses.
I ran up my steps when I was dropped off and mom met Lil’Sis and me at the door. The first words out of my mouth were questions. “What happened, where is she, is she okay?” Mom was stunned. She had called the school before lunch to let us know that TA was okay. The school hadn’t delivered that message, because they didn’t want to cause panic or some bullshit. Yeah, that worked.
I found out later, always later that my sister had literally walked by there after the first plane hit, thinking it was an office fire because of all the smoke and papers in the air. She got on the subway just as the second plane hit, causing the earth to shake. She called mom as soon as she got to the Guggenheim and knew what happened.
Ms. R? She flipped because had turned on the television to show a movie and saw the news. She lost six friends and had no contact with her brother for over 24 hours.
I have a happier post for later, but I think remembering is important. It keeps events important and real, gives them an impact that they should have. Profiting off it disgusts me, but that’s what happens. Remembering? That needs to happen, because forgetting is too easy.