I was still in public school as well, but things were carried out totally differently in my case.
When it was clear that what was happening was a terrorist attack, e-mails were sent to all teachers, telling them not to turn on their TVs, and not to
discuss what was going on with any of the students.
So the vast majority of the school was oblivious to what was going on for the longest part of the day. But when I went into our band room, our
director (being the good guy that he was), had ignored what he was told and was sitting down watching CNN. Everybody came in and got settled for
class, glancing at the TV but not knowing exactly what the fuss on it was about.
"You guys hear what happened?"
A bunch of mumbling; no
's and huh?
's and what?
"They flew jumbo jets into the World Trade Center buildings, and one of them fell down."
So we all sat around and watched the TV together. I don't remember many details. I was confused. I didn't feel scared, or threatened, but just
confused. I couldn't grasp why this was happening, or even what
exactly was happening. It seemed so random and brutal, that just out of the
blue all of these things are blowing up and so many people are dying, and it wasn't even over yet. I remember OBL's name being mentioned a few
times, as a prime suspect, even as it was all still being played out.
Even after it was
over, later in the day, it still
didn't feel like it was over. There were those lingering, anxious feelings, and I
wondered what we were going to do as a nation, and if any more attacks were going to come within the next few days, and how much more security our
government would actually be able to offer us on such short notice. I was concerned that the people running our country would lose their ability to
maintain order, especially if Washington was hit again. Where was that one plane trying to go, that crashed in Pennsylvania??
Our director mentioned how someone was going to get their ass torn up for it.
For the rest of the day, I kept telling people in my other classes what was going on. As far as I knew, it was
still going on. Everyone I told
-- they either couldn't grasp the significance of what I was saying (which I was having enough trouble with myself), or else didn't care, or didn't
believe me. One of my best friends at the time thought I was pulling his leg, or that I saw something on the news and just didn't know what the hell
I was talking about, that I was really exaggerating. No one else I told seemed to really get it, and so they didn't really care.
By the end of the day, a fair amount of teachers must have abandoned their instructions to let us figure things out when we got home, because we were
told there would be an assembly to make things clear. So the whole school was called into the gym, where faculty explained what was going on. We were
told that all early dismissals would be excused, and were encouraged to go home and seek comfort with our families.
I had practice after school though, and it wasn't cancelled, so I went ahead and went to that. I remember one of our instructors being glued to the
TV when I got back to the band room, with his head resting in his hands and totally motionless, looking uneasy. This was a laid back guy.
laid back, reassuring. Everyone else was either tense or confused, sullen or jittery. Practice got started and we pushed it all to the
back of our minds for a couple hours, and then went home.
I kept up with the news for a few days afterwards, half expecting the country to be hit again before it had time to recover.
First thoughts, reaction to, and how or why the World Trade Center first tower collapsed.
In retrospect, I never even gave it a second thought. I saw them fall so many times, just like everyone else, all over the news for weeks.
If someone were to ask me why they fell, I would have probably said the planes, or the planes and the fires, but no one ever asked, and I never
thought about it. I don't remember ever seeing anyone try to explain the collapses on TV, either.
It was something that didn't need to be thought about or explained. It just happened
I remember being surprised at how few people actually died in the collapses. I was thinking, "God -- tens of thousands must have been there
It'll take months
to figure out how many lost their lives."
Your interpretation of how the news media covered the events of that day.
The news media was
my events of the day. When I think of 9/11, all of that media coverage is what I know it by.
But I felt like I was being shown something huge through a little window. I didn't want to hear all the commentary, all the hacks running their
mouths, and showing it all from so far away. I wanted to see what was going on as if I were there, to better wrap my mind around it all.
Finally, your thoughts of how the events of that day impacted you on a personal level, those around you, and your thoughts, or theories, as
they exist today. and anything you'd like to add in closing.
After everything settled, I let it go for a few years.
Later, I came across CatHerder's thread about a 757 hitting the Pentagon, and things like that scattered across the Internet. I think that's what
initially drew me in to all of this. At some point I saw In Plane Site
, which turned everything I thought about 9/11 upside down. Now, I think
that documentary is about as piss poor as it could have been in discussing anything significant or even factual. But it did eventually lead me here,
and from 9/11 I've looked branched out into other controversial subjects that I've formed less precise opinions on.
So thus far, 9/11 has ultimately impacted me by turning me on to more information on military politics and international banking and things like that,
than I would've likely come across otherwise. Through discussion, it's also recently turned me on to civil and structural engineering (a genuine
interest of mine now), but unfortunately I don't really feel like changing majors (currently CET engineering).