Notes Jotted Down on September 11

Ten years ago, I was a junior in Stuyvesant High School. It was a few blocks from the World Trade Center.  I was there on the morning of September 11 2001.

I had wanted to be a writer. When I had realized the significance of what was going on around me, I took some notes about what I saw. When I finally got home, I typed it all up.

My write-up was published in the Vaba Eesti Sõna (Free Estonian Word), an Estonian language weekly. A few years ago, I rewrote it for a series in the Stony Brook Press, one of my college newspapers.

I had been considering writing a blog for some time. With all the retrospective material being done for the tenth anniversary, it seems appropriate to start with this.

I’ve changed the names of a few people, to protect their privacy. For many of them, this was the worst day of their lives. A teen who yelled that a bomb should be dropped on the President shouldn’t be defined by that ten years later.

My dad, however, is shit out of luck. Changing his name wouldn’t make much of a difference. So his comments on bombing the Middle East will be preserved for posterity.

Since this piece is about what I heard and what I saw, it’s going to include things that turned out to be untrue.

The piece is in four parts.

The first part covers the first class I went to on September 11, where I had a good view of the North Tower.

The second part covers the second class I went to, which is where I learned what exactly was going on.

The third part covers the evacuation from Stuyvesant, as I wandered around Manhattan with two classmates.

The fourth part is about how I got home.

About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. You can email me at
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