I was sitting my third period music class listening to classical music when the programming was interrupted to say the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. The teacher and all of us students were confused by the announcement. And then some of us realized our friend's mom worked in the towers. A few of us started staring at Hannah when she took out her cell phone hoping to reach her mom. But she couldn't because all circuits were busy.
As I walked to the next class, everyone started comforting Hannah while trying to understand what just happened. And then second plane hit. Hannah was able to get in touch with her mom when we finally reached our Classical Greek class. She made it out ok. Those of us that had phones or beepers started getting messages and there was a calm panic all around. We were finally allowed to go home a few minutes after fourth period started. I remember going to Stefani's home with Zuhair and watching the news unfold on tv. I was shaking and had chills as I watched the towers fall. The three of us sat there with tears in eyes and were stunned by the images in front of us. Not knowing what else to do, I went home.
That was also the first and only day my mom had to walk from Manhattan into Queens. She worked in midtown but she could see the dark sky and smell the burning towers. She walked from 49th and Madison to the Queensboro bridge and walked over the river with countless other New Yorkers. Once she made it to Queens, a kind man gave her a ride to her brother's home and that is where she heard his story. My uncle worked in lower Manhattan. He saw it happen. He was covered in ash. I remember my mom and him coming together as one that day as they shared their stories.
It is a day I will never forget and one I never want to forget because it is important to honor the lives of those we lost. A wall in the 9/11 memorial says it best through a quote by Virgil, "No day shall erase you from the memory of time."