September 11, 2001 was my first day of classes in high school. I was 14, on my own for the first time, and my parents and sister had flown out of Boston’s Logan airport the night before the attacks. I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the attacks: Ms. Kelly’s english class. Nikki and Terrance were there. Our teacher, a whimsical woman, asked us, “What would you say if I told you airplanes had been hijacked by terrorists and flown into the World Trade Center? What would you say if I told you the towers had fallen, and thousands had lost their lives?” Needless to say, we said nothing. It was all so fantastic; we truly thought she was joking. It was not until Mr. Scott, our geometry teacher, began talking about the tragedy that we understood it was real. I remember reaching across to my friend Terrance, the first person I met at Andover, looking into his eyes, and seeing all the fear and uncertainty I felt reflected back on me. It was one of the scariest days of my life.
One girl in my dorm’s dad worked in the WTC. She could not get through to call her parents to make sure he was ok. My dorm, Double Brick House, all got on our phones until we made it through. Her mother, a hypochondriac, had insisted her dad stay home from work that day because he had coughed up a storm that morning. I remember her crying and saying, “Thank God, Thank God,” over and over again. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief.
On the ten year anniversary of this tragedy, I will be praying for the families of all who lost their lives that day, and the families of those who have lost their lives in the aftermath of war. I will be thinking of what I can do to better our world, like being kind to everyone and tolerant of all cultures and religions. I am sure others will be doing the same. The more who do, the better chance we have for peace in the future.