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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.