Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where I was on September 11

September 11, 2001 was a very sad and scary day for mankind. It was a day of sadness and sorrow and full of hatred towards the looney tune extremist Muslims who should all die a very slow and painful death.

Anyway...the week of September 11, 2001 was within the first week of my attending a Jewish school. It was, if I remember correctly my fourth day of school (9/11 was a Tuesday and school began the Thursday before). Considering I came from a totally different type of school and upbringing I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.

In 9th grade I took Chumash with the "mainstream" girls not with my kiruv program. The class was a "skills" class and was taught by the principal of the school.

On 9/11 school began regularly, with davening first followed by Chumash. My principal came in and asked us to open our chumashim to the parsha we were working on, and class began.

About 20 minutes into class my principal gets an income call from the secretary. She leaves class for a bit, and comes back all stressed out. She tells us what had happened "Planes flew into the WTC" and sends tells us that chumash is over for the day. A fellow kiruv-program girl from my chumash class and I went up to our kiruv program's classroom and told the class what had happened. We then (new friend and I) went down to the main office and began to pester them about our schedules.

We could not comprehend what had happened, but we felt we something was not right. And while we were in the main office we were trying not to cry. While we're kvetching about our schedules MY mom calls the office to ask to speak to me, and since I was there, I was given permission and my mom was like "Don't worry we're all safe."

And of course, since my mom called, it really hit me that something REALLLY bad must of happened. So I began to panic despite the "Don't worry, we're all safe" bit. I was like "OMG! What about cousin, aunt, uncle? Did mom include them? What about friend who attends Stuyvesant?"

And I had to literally keep myself from crying.

We got what we wanted out of schedules, and on the way up to class we began to discuss how worried we were about whoever we knew that lived/worked in the city. Her dad worked there.

We had arrived to our classroom when we hear an announcement for everyone to go to the auditorium. Us Kiruv girls didn't have davening seats, so we stood in the back. The school was told the news which was followed by a heck of alot of tehillim, to which friend and I started crying hysterically.

One of the teachers saw us crying and took us into the hall and was like "why are you crying?" So she took us two down to the office to call our parents at work. I was like "I don't need to call mom, she said everything was alright, just that she didn't say about my aunt, or my friend in Stuy!" She was like "Then why are you crying?"

I dunno...people in the middle of nowhere USA who had no relatives in NYC were crying, was I not allowed to cry?

The whole day went by so slowly. I was in complete panic because during lunch I tried to call each parent like 5 times on the pay phone but I couldn't get through. I tried office numbers, cell numbers, home. Nowhere. I even began to panic since I needed to pick my sister up from Hebrew school afterwards, I wasn't sure if it were still open or not. I literally could not function in school. All I could do was focus on the terrible smell of fire coming in through the windows and try my best to avoid tears.

My super frummy friend went to school with me, and since she went to my shul and at this point I knew her a little bit, her grandfather offered me a ride home. He dropped me off infront of my sisters hebrew school, which was locked. Which meant I had to walk home those few blocks...alone.

I was sooooo scared. It was ridiculous. The entire 3 blocks it took to get home, there were atleast 5 helicopters that flew over and there were tons of burned up papers that flew in from Manhattan. When I got home mom and sister were there. Mom was watching CNN, crying and hugging my sister. Dad apparently went out by car to pick me up from school, so he came home a few minutes afterwards.

Boy did we cry, and boy did I want to stay home the following day with my family.


Lion of Zion said...

it's nice that your school said tehillim

Moshe said...

I was working in the village at that time. The first plane hit while the train was on the bridge or maybe right before. All news sites were farked so we had to dig up some old TV to see what's happening. Though CNN got extra servers up pretty fast to handle the traffic. They brought the subway back up around 1PM, I think.

One of my friends was working in the towers. He was late because of slichot. He said he was walking into the entrance as his co-workers were running out and the just grabbed him by the arms and dragged him the other way.

Lion of Zion said...


maybe we were on the same train. i remember the conductor making an announcement that the wtc had just been hit by a plane as we came onto the bridge. everyone ran over to the window and we could see a burning building. the train stopped running at 34th st. i got out and waited a few hours. then caught an F train (the first to start running again) at around 1

Moshe said...

I don't remember if there an announcement or something. People were looking in the windows and pointing. I would get off on 14th. Worked on west 4th.

Jessica said...

The school nurse was checking my classes' heads for lice at the time. She told us that some planes crashed in NY, but none of us knew how serious it really was. When we did find out about it, most of us just went numb. I don't think any of us knew anyone who was killed and very few of us had any family in NYC at the time, but it was just a frightening thought.

mlevin said...

I was on the express (Q) train at the time. It was very crowded, like a can of sardines... I heard people gasp. I tried to look to see what happened and saw smoke coming out of one of the towers. I thought there was just a large fire. I did not find out what really happened until I was out of the subway on 44th and 3rd.

Moshe, maybe we were on the same train.

Moshe said...

Don't remember if I was on express or local. I would usually transfer to express on New Kirk if it was there.

David said...

I was a few blocks from the White House (Todd Beamer and his friends may have saved my life). I was the safety monitor (or something like that). I made sure that everybody had left my office, then left myself. I figured the metro would be overcrowded, so decided to walk home to Arlington. On the way, I stopped and bought a pair of running shoes... I think it was in the shoe store that I saw a t.v. show the towers collapsing. It was at that point that I realized that this was a pretty serious business. Eventually, I wandered home. I could the column of smoke coming up from the Pentagon out of my window for the next few days.

Never got nervous, and never really worried.

Mikeinmidwood said...

I remember this as it were yesterday. My mother had to meet someone in front of the wtc that day at 9:30. She was blocked from entering manhattan and never made the meeting.

frumskeptic said...

mike- WOW!

Anonymous said...

My grandmother in law lives off of Canal street and remembers the rolling smoke that went through the neighborhoods making seeing and breathing difficult. The smell in NY was horrid -You knew what you were smelling. If it is still on YouTube you should check out the documentary Falling Man which talks about the poor individuals who leaped to their deaths from the towers.

Anonymous said...

I was at work on 47th street early that morning when i got up to go to another dept in the building where I was working when a co worker was walking very quickly and repeating over and over "a plane just hit the twin towers". I remember someone saying this has to be an accident. And I remember telling a coworker when the second plane hit that this is no accident its Osama bin laden (I read about him, ironically enough, in the new yorker a few months before). I just broker out hysterically crying and started saying tehillim. Some co-workers and I walked from 47th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge and then we took the F train to Brooklyn. Interestingly enough I don't remember the smells, smoke, ashes or much devastation. I do remember hearing, what I know realize were helicopters (i thought they were more planes) and saying the shema each time. I will never forget it. It was the worst day of my life.

fav. anony :(

The Babysitter said...

FrumSkeptic: wow, you remember when your first day of school was that year!

That was nice of your mother to be concerned about you and call you.

I remember the helicopters and burning papers flying all over the place.

I don't remember crying, and I should have since I lost someone I knew. I was just thinking about how it will be in the history books and our children will learn about it, so it was famous. I know that was mean of me.

frum single female said...

i always feel bad for those who were kids during 9/11. its not that the world has always been just peachy, its just that 9/11 was very scary for adults as well and it really changed the world.

rebecca said...

Silent Night


Silent night! Holy night!

All is calm, all is bright!

Round yon virgin mother and child!

Holy Infant, so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.


Silent night! Holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight!

Glories stream from heaven afar,

Heav'nly hosts sing Alleluia;

Christ the Savior is born!

Christ the Savior is born!


Silent night! Holy night!

Son of God, love's pure light

Radiant beams from thy holy face,

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, ,

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

~~~by Age Of Conan gold