Ethan Ward

September 11

The day started out like any other.
I was awoken by the blaring of the alarm clock
and reluctantly rolled out of bed to go to
another day of school. I arrived shortly afterward
at Diamond Middle School (which I had only started
attending a few days before). As I began my first block,
200 people boarded the first plane that would
crash into the World Trade Center towers.

I do not remember much of this school day,
only that when my class returned to history
after lunch, our teacher mentioned that when we got home
we would be finding out about something that had occurred.
Just as this one sentence rolled out of my mind
I continued my day.
Little did any of us know or
think that we would be finding out that there
had been a massive terrorist strike and
thousands of people were killed,
perhaps even people we knew. When the bell rang
at 2:50pm, we were all glad to have
finished another day. 

I probably laughed and talked with
my friends as I walked home. When I walked in
the front door, however, I instantly sensed something
was wrong. For one thing, my mom looked
pretty settled in at home, almost as if she
had tried to come home early. The second
thing I noticed was that she did not smile or
greet me in the usual way.
Instead, she sat me down on the couch and
said that we had to talk. Fearing that I was
in trouble for something which I could not
place my finger on because I didn’t remember
causing any trouble or doing anything
that would merit this situation, I anxiously
waited for her to tell me what I had done.

Her first words took a lot of the pressure
off, because they obviously did
not involve me. Those words I remember
clearly even now, “Today in New York…”
The next ones, however, would stun
me and cause the rest of her explanation
to become a blur. What I remember is that
she told me that terrorists had flown planes
into the World Trade Center towers and
that they had collapsed. I had so often seen them
gleaming in the sun. Two of the tallest buildings
in the greatest city in the world were gone.

I also remember my mom
telling me that they had flown a plane into the
Pentagon, another symbol of our country.
When she told me what had happened to the
last plane, I began worrying about a friend
that we knew who worked in the
Pentagon, and I knew that my uncle worked
only a few buildings down from the
World Trade Center towers. 

I remember asking about them and finding
out that they were ok. From this moment
on I was too captivated by the news to
do anything else during the day. It seemed inconceivable
to me that people could have so much
hate; enough, in fact, to kill thousands
of people, and hurt thousands more.

When I began school that September, I did not worry
too much about the world, only what
was going on in perhaps Lexington,
Boston or Massachusetts at the most.
By June I knew so much
more about the situation of the
world and what hatred exists.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.