The Most Impactful Day in the Life of My City and My Life

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It was a regular Tuesday morning, I was getting ready for school, and everything felt typical to me. I was getting ready for my bus to come to pick me up and drop me off at my elementary school, P.S. 234 Independence School. I was at the start of second grade and preparing for the next year to learn. Finally, my bus came to my stop and I went to school. Everything around me was relaxing and calm when I reached my school. I remember seeing the enormous Empire State Building and the World Trade Center when we drove by. They were so big that it was like seeing two Burj Khalifas. When I reached my school, I went straight to my class and started to put away my backpack and everything. At 8:30 the bell rang, and we all sat down at our desks and started to do the daily bell ringers as a class

My teacher, Mrs. Jones, was explaining how to do long addition when we all heard a loud “Bang!”, and we were shocked in what it was. My teacher went to go look outside and see what happened, but didn’t tell us was she saw. We were all confused in what was that sound we heard that was loud as a lightning storm. We all thought that it was construction, but we didn’t realize that it was more than that. Around fifteen minutes later I heard the same sound, but much louder. At this point, I knew something happened this time, but didn’t know what. All of our teachers looked scared. For the first time, they looked like they didn’t know what to do. All of our teachers were telling us to calm down and go with her to evacuate immediately to a safe place. We went outside and saw all of the smoke in the air and we were confused about what just happened. It smelt like I was in a kitchen with burnt food in the oven. I heard my teachers talking and I heard the words ‘attack’ and ‘Trade Center’. The first thing that popped into my head was the monster from Monsters Inc.

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I saw tons of cop cars that day coming to our school and was confused about why they came to our school. We were sent home, and while going home, I saw many people scared and shocked while I was on the bus happy. When I reached my home on the other side of the city it felt like any other day. So, after I ate, I went to go play because I had nothing else to do. Also, my parents were scared when I came home, and when I asked them why all they did was hug me. I was so confused when they did that, but didn’t know that they were caring about my safety and health.

After they hugged me, I just went back to playing with my toys and trying to look for things to play with. While I was playing with my toys, I heard my parents watching the news about the attack. But when I asked them what’s wrong, all they said was that “Nothing happened, go play with your toys”. While they said that, I looked at their facial impressions and saw something indeed happened, but I didn’t know where or what. Later that day, my parents got a call from the school board that our school is on a ‘break’ for two weeks until everything returns to normal because of the attack. In my mind, I just thought that it was a free 2-week vacation like we do for fall break or Christmas break, but I later learned it was out of caution. When the 2 weeks were finished, we didn’t go back to my original school, but we went to another school on the other side of town for safety reason.

On my first day there, I felt weird, sad, and lonely because there was no one at this school that I knew. All of my other friends got relocated to another school because of a random list. When I walked into class, everyone looked at me differently. I wondered if there was something wrong with my appearance. Maybe my shirt was on backward or my hair was sticking up. It wasn’t until later I realized why I was suddenly the focus of so many stares. People looked at me and my skin and thought I was somehow a part of what had happened.

Everything just felt weird around me, like it felt like I was an alien to my school or anywhere I went. The fear that swept over the country also affected my dad’s business. It wasn’t that he did anything–it was just because of his skin color. He never mistreated his customers in any way but in return, he got bad treatment from his customers just because of his skin color. After the attack, the whole Muslim and Hindu religions were impacted a lot just because of a terrorist group. Everyone was very fast to judge everyone’s character or who they are without even knowing them or where they are from. I lived in NYC for another 2 years until my family finally decided to move to the south. When I moved to the south, the people were the same as the north. Everyone in the south had a certain image in their mind of what it meant to be a Hindu or a Muslim. They were not ready to change that image. It was easier for them to blame an entire group of people.

What I learned when I lived in NYC is still very impactful to my life because that was the first time I saw something or experienced so deadly. Even though I wasn’t there for the initial incident, I went back and visited the aftermath about two to three weeks after the attack. I still saw what happened to my city and how people treated the members of my race just because of one occurrence. I didn’t even feel like I was American when that happened because everyone just treated me another way than they used to before. When I look back at that day, I have mixed emotions of what happened and why I did certain things.

Some things I wish the US would’ve done something different than what they did. I wished they had better airport security and did not attack Iraq right after the incident. Now I am older and have the knowledge to analyze that day, I wished that I would’ve been older so I would have the emotion to grieve that situation and would have known how to take in what happened. After hearing all of those conspiracy theories, I feel like that no one should make those assumptions without being there. Even though I was too young to know what happened, I still had an idea of how bad it was. Seeing all of those depressed faces and the damage it did to my city, it did not feel like it could’ve been staged by the government. September 11, 2001, was the most impactful day of my life and the life of my city – I will never forget what happened to me and my city.

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The Most Impactful Day in the Life of My City and My Life. (2023, September 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
“The Most Impactful Day in the Life of My City and My Life.” Edubirdie, 08 Sept. 2023,
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