When I learned about the attacks on the Twin Towers, I was a tenth-grader stationed in Miss Feige’s English class in Westerville North High School in Westerville, Ohio.
Our vice principal solemnly and swiftly delivered the bad news over the PA system, but it hardly seemed like much of a big deal at first. In fact, Miss Feige promptly went to back to carrying on her class as if nothing happened.
During lunch, the school switched on the televisions in the cafeteria (a rare occurrence), making the destruction tangible, and a TV displaying the news was even wheeled into my Spanish class. The day was surreal, but the magnitude of the tragedy didn’t hit me until that night.
As usual, I stayed up past 11 pm, anticipating my regular late-night comedy programming, but seeing as nothing was going to stop the panicked coverage of the attacks and its aftermath, I had nothing to watch but the news. When I saw an interview with a distraught woman who was holding a picture of her missing brother and desperately trying to locate him in the wreckage and chaos of New York City, all the hopelessness, pain and sorrow finally felt sunk in.
I never found out how that story ended, but I hope she found him.