While looking through some old journals last night, I found my entry from 9/11/2001. There are some bits that I remember (my French teacher deciding to finish class and not tell us, hearing about what had happened by my locker) and many that I had forgotten (all the misinformation—“10,000 dead”—and the standardized test which prevented any school-wide announcements).
Here it is:
Wow, what a crazy day. Mrs. Miller came into our French class around 8:40 and told Mrs. Sullivan what happened. Mrs. Sullivan didn’t say anything and just went on with class, which I find mind-boggling. Then in the hall I saw a bunch of people, including Jen Keber around Eileen’s locker telling her something, so I knew something had happened. I asked what, and Colin Walsh said “They blew up both World Trade Towers and the Pentagon”. I thought he was joking, but boy was I surprised. We listened some on the radio in Mr. Gerencher’s room, then went to the cafeteria for a few periods, and watched various stations for the rest of the day in all our classes. There was some confusion at the start because the sophomores were taking ISTEPs and Mrs. Ratliff didn’t want them to know. Then when they were done she came on the PA and said what had happened. Then we had a mass after school led by Fr. Bly and I had tennis as usual.
It still seems like something that couldn’t really happen. Everyone kept saying that the images we were seeing looked like they were straight out of a movie, and they’re right. The whole of New York City was completely covered in a giant smoke-cloud. The most amazing thing though was the videos that actually showed the second plane curving in and hitting the South Tower. I think my mom found it the most troubling that they sent in rescue teams, and then the towers collapsed, killing about half of New York’s fire fighters (about 200 dead they think now). Right now they’re saying that about 10,000 are presumed dead from the tower, 266 from the planes, and a few dozen from the pentagon. At one point Brother Robert said that they had bombed the supreme court too, but that turned out to be wrong. It really did strike me though, since it seems like buildings like that have been there forever—they’re really icons of our civilization. I suppose something like the Pentagon or the World Trade Towers are too, but those were built in the last fifty years or so. Tina said that Nate’s roommate’s girlfriend was flying from Boston to LA today, so she was pretty shaken by the whole thing. Apparently it’s the first time in history that they’ve closed down all American flights. It was quite a moment when we knew what had happened and tons of reports, both true and false were coming in from everywhere. Apparently, the White House, the Supreme Court, the USA Today building, the Defense Department and a bunch of other places were suppposedly bombed, but none of those actually happened. It really must be hard to sort truth from rumor in those sorts of cases.
They’ve had continuous coverage for almost 15 hours now, and I don’t see it stopping. We missed Bush’s speech to go to the Prayer Service at Church, and I think I’ll keep the bulletin—it’s an interesting piece of history. I guess today is a pretty significant piece of history too. It’s just absolutely insane.