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 we learned what exactly was going on.
The third part covers the evacuation from Stuyvesant, as I wandered around Manhattan with two classmates.