On September 11, 2001 at 8:45am I was working over a buffing wheel in shop class. I was in Baltimore, Maryland at the Park School and I was in eleventh grade. The shop teacher turned on an old radio receiver that looked like it was manufactured in the 1960’s. At first I was mostly confused, thinking the voice coming from the radio was some sort of movie trailer rather than a news broadcast. I’m sure there were other students in the room, and perhaps other teachers – but all I remember was the buffing wheel, the radio receiver, and the shop teacher begrudgingly declaring that assignments were due at the end of the week – and retreating into his office, closing the door.

I continued working for several more minutes, not really knowing what to do – then I followed the exodus of students down the hall into a classroom where students and teachers had assembled, sitting on tables to watch the news broadcast. We all watched silently as the towers burned and then one after another collapsed to the ground.

I went home from school early that day numb from all the events. I wasn’t sure how, but I knew the world would be different from that day onward.

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