|I know that forty years from now, I will be rooting through an old box and will come across this paper. Ill brush off the dust and will immediately remember the fateful day of September 11, 2001.
What a beautiful day it was. The sun's warmth mixed with a cool breeze gave the day the sensation of life. I sat on the bus and stared out into space. I had been to the Science Place Museum on field trips many times before, but this time I was going to dissect a pig. I was elated and cheerful when our school bus pulled into the parking lot. I didn't see many cars in the lot, but I didn't take that into consideration at the time. We walked in a herd across the street. A car nearly hit me because I jumped out into the street so quickly.
I was wearing my beige shorts and my favorite blank-white T-shirt. Over that I wore an over shirt that was blue and yellow plaid. I made my way up the steps and got into the single file line that had been formed. A man who worked at the Science Place counted us one by one. The main lobby was empty and the gift shop closed. We were early. It was pleasantly cool inside, and the room echoed our voices playfully. After being divided into two groups, the children were given instructions. The first group went to the dissection lab and my group stayed in the lobby and waited for the Imax theater to open.
|I wandered around the lobby floor and decided to join the kids who were playing with the lobby camera. Just when I joined the crowd, our instructor informed us that we were not allowed in a public place. I was baffled as we all formed a line to exit the lobby. I heard someone say in the background, The World Trade Center and Pentagon had been attacked! I laughed and shoved it off as a joke. I thought to myself that the real reason that we had to leave was that the museum was closed that day or that they didn't have enough pig hearts.
Then I heard another voice state They were assaulted! Still not believing it totally, I exited the building. When I saw the other group standing at the bottom of the steps, I had to accept it . . . we no longer had a World Trade Center, and the Pentagon had been attacked. The thought stung me, and at the time, my mind had hardly accepted it.
Just before we re-entered the bus, our science teacher, Mrs. Murphy, addressed us as a group. Our country is in a state of emergency. The World Trade Center towers were attacked, and the Pentagon was attacked, too. I do not know anything else right now, but if you are a religious person, praying is a good idea.
How can this happen? I kept asking myself. The question haunted me on the drive back to Gunter. Now the day didn't seem so beautiful anymore, but rather dark and mournful. Discussion on the bus consisted of the qualifications for draft, and who might have felt inclined to attack America.
The few students who had radios kept shouting news to those of us who didn't. They were terrorists! They hijacked and crashed planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon! These words teased our minds for the duration of the trip. The constant bouncing of the bus and the smell of fresh laid tar enveloped us as we pondered the future, near and far . . .