I was in 8th grade, sitting in math class. Half way through class, our teacher turned on the TV. We were excited-TV during class? That only happened on special occasions. What was going on?
Every station was showing the same thing-smoke billowing out of the first tower. No one spoke-I don't think anyone could comprehend what was going on. The bell rang, but the classes stayed put, all eyes fixated on the TV screens.
The second plane came from the right of the screen, crashing into the second tower. I thought it was a replay of the first plane, it took a few minutes to realize it had happened again.
As the news came in about the other two planes, my thoughts turned to family, some of whom lived in New York, and an uncle who worked in the Pentagon. It seemed like everyone was one step removed from someone involved, and everyone was scared.
The rest of the day was a blur. It was eerily silent, like even nature was in shock.
I left school and came home to find my parents finishing up the lawn work. As I walked inside, my neighbor asked my father if they should be listening to music, maybe it would help.
"No," My dad answered, "it doesn't feel right."
We watched footage all day, a constant loop of the smoke and fire and screaming and collapsing.
"There were people jumping out of windows..." my dad muttered. That image, along with so many others haunts me.
The next day, we all gathered in our classes, as the teachers tried to explain what happened.
A girl to my left raised her hand.
"I know this is bad and everything, but...what does this mean to me? How does this affect me?"
Her statement drew shock from our teacher, he tried to calmly explain that we didn't know what was going to happen next, the specifics were still very uncertain, but life as we knew it would never be the same.
Today, and many days since then, the people who lost loved ones have been in my heart and in my prayers. And I am so thankful for everyone who gave their time and their lives so I am able to say how proud I am to be an American.