Remembering 9/11: SB Nation New York Writers Remember Tragic Day

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Events Of 9/11 Forced Children To Grow Up Quickly

[Written by Stephen Crociata]

Before I start I just want to say sports, especially watching the Yankees in the 2001 World Series, was special after 9/11, but this is my personal account on that tragic day.

September 11th, 2001 I was an 11-year-old boy living in the Bronx who started the day not wanting to get up to get ready for school not knowing by the end of the day so much would be put into perspective. My mother woke me up just like every morning with a pop tart waiting on the table, as she was getting ready for her job on Wall Street in New York City. It was a beautiful day, which just made me dread more going to school, but by 7:45 I was out the door walking to school.

I can remember meeting my friends on line. All of us were happy we had school mass that morning because it would mean our first two classes were cancelled. After morning attendance was taken we filled out to head to church. It was 8:40 little did we know what would be taking place in only a few minutes. Before the start of the 9 a.m. mass our principal made an announcement “It seems an accident has taken place in New York City. A plane struck the World Trade Center. Let us keep those people in our prayers.” “What a terrible accident” was the reaction from most of us, and the mass went on as planned. Many of us noticed during mass children were being pulled out and sent home, and this continued when we got back to school. It is now a little after 10 a.m. and we had yet to start class. Children were still being called to the office with their things they were going home. I saw a teacher crying and knew something was wrong. A few minutes later my mother, who was already looking for a way to get home, and my aunt decided they wanted my cousin and me home.

My uncle picked us up and we were filled in on what happened. When we got home I watched the news, by then both towers had fallen. I remember riding my bike to the water and being able to see where the towers used to stand, but all that was there were large clouds of smoke. My mother was not able to get home until about 6 p.m., but I was just happy she was home.

As days went by I watched as so many people came together. Whether it was to comfort one another, lend a helping hand, or just chat people were one. I learned a girl from my grade had lost her mother who worked in the WTC. Also my neighbor, who was a firefighter, never returned home. I was a very innocent child that morning, but still to this day I believe it forced me to grow up more than any other moment in my life.

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Events Of 9/11 Brought Out The Best In Americans

[Written by A.J. Manderichio]

I still remember vividly that fateful day ten years ago. I just began eighth grade, my final year in our school's middle school. Soccer season was just around the corner, and the prospect of having my favorite teacher for German made me excited to get the year started. During homeroom, the teachers used to put on NY-1. It was an educational channel, and they cut live to the scene in the New York. We didn't understand what was going on, and it faded into the background. But then, just like that, we watched live as the second plane flew into the towers. Immediately, the whole class became silent.

Around the school, there was pandemonium. Several parents came to get their children out of school, and the office worked to find out if parents were ok. My best friend's mother came and picked us both up from school, her face covered in tears. Outside, the area looked peaceful. The sun shone brightly, without a cloud in the sky. No planes flew overhead, an unpleasant feeling. We went back to his house, and by that time, the first tower fell. We watched in terror the scenes in the city, and saw the second tower fall live.

During the rest of the day, we remained glued to the television screen. I watched as the news showed people jumping out of windows, crying the entire time. Eventually, my parents came and picked me up. I spent the next few hours in stunned silence, afraid to be alone. I sat on the steps at home, scared that another attack would occur.

After that event, we saw the definition of selflessness. My uncle, a cop in New Jersey, went with the rest of his PBA to clear out the rubble in Ground Zero. To this day, he won't speak about the countless horrors he saw underneath the twisted metal. Everyone found ways to give in and help those who lost a family member or a friend. Drives organized by my local community helped raise money for the victims. As the cleanup continued and the death toll rose, we all understood that, in this time of need, we needed to help our neighbor.

New York sports represented the greatest outlet for emotional relief. The Yankees made their run to the World Series, the Mets provided late season fireworks, and the Jets and Giants helped fans pull through tough times. They couldn't cure all the pain and suffering. But what those teams did was make us forget, if only for a few hours, about the tragedy and loss. Each athlete became an emotional crutch, putting the entire region on their back.

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 will bring back countless memories of pain, suffering, and the ability to overcome even the most tragic losses. But what we need to remember are those days of unity, when the entire New York region stood united as one people. This event left a distinct mark in the lives of us all, one that can never be forgotten.
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