The rest of the day teachers stood closely and whispered at their desks. There was an active fear in them, but they pushed through to keep us calm. Then students started to disappear. Throughout lunch and again in gym class, parents were coming to retrieve their children early, and when cross country practice came the coaches dismissed us to go home with our families. I was alone at my house when I called Mom. "Your uncle lives in Brooklyn, can you watch the news coverage and see if everything is alright over there?" A lump formed in my throat. I had been shielded from this all day and now I would finally come face to face with the damages. "You don't have to if you don't want to" Mom reassured, but of course I did.
Piles of rubble, instant replays of the plane, constant re-caps of the death toll. Much to my surprise, I couldn't sit, I couldn't cry. I stared blankly at the screen as if this were all happening somewhere far away from here in a distant time that I was not a part of; that I would read about in the next chapter of my history book. I peeled myself away from the screen and caught my breath. My uncle was fine, my family was fine, my friends were fine. Despite being so young and not knowing the gravity of the situation we faced, I felt extremely lucky.