My 9/11 Experience

I remember 9/11 for a lot of reasons, the same things as many, many others. But there is other things that specifically relate to my family.

As indicated several times before, I have a terrible relationship with my family, and I don’t feel upset about this. There is nothing to feel upset about at all. Not in the last 5 years, not in the last 10, because none of this is new news.


I leave this above post by Jeremy McLellan as self-explanatory.

Long before these conversations ever took place, there was 9/11: That exact day.


When 9/11 happened, I was actually at school, the Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical School in Andover, at the beginning of my Sophomore Year. Our class motto was “Education Opens the Door, Class of 2004.” The building seen here is actually the ‘new’ building, because during my time at the school, much of it was undergoing construction. In fact, the construction began the first year I entered the school as a student.


Classmates of mine at their Junior Prom (May 23, 2003). More classmates below in picture.

My father had attempted to get me to go the Whittier Vocational Technical High School, where he had worked as both a Security Guard, and a Bus Driver (making this transition during his employment there). He decided I had to go there where he worked, had set up an interview (which he talked through most of it, overshadowing me completely), and was disappointed in me not getting accepted. I was less-than-upset about this because the reality was simple, and clear – I wasn’t accepted. I was, however, accepted at the Greater Lawrence Tech, much to the chagrin of my father, who accused me of wanting to go there because ‘my friends’ were going there. Living in Lawrence, though, more students I knew were actually going to Lawrence High School than the Greater Lawrence Tech. I didn’t know anyone in the student body at the Whittier.


My strongest memories included the Modular Classrooms, located at the back of the school, where I had several classes. On that day though, I had began noticing an awful lot of students being called to the Office, often times for taking a phone call. It was noticeably an unusually high amount. As the day went on, I noticed the halls became very, very quiet, and there was less and less students in the school. This, of course, lead to me feeling very unsettled for a lot of the day, and asking myself relentlessly, “What is going on?” By the late morning/afternoon, I had finally reached a crescendo, feeling afraid, left-out, and uninformed, so I asked one of the teachers I knew at the Modulars, auburn-haired Math teacher Mrs. Ballinger if there was something going on. That’s when I find out about the planes hitting the two towers in New York City. I was, of course, shocked to hear, but also wondered why I had not received any phone calls. It also turned out, according to this teacher, that many students had been taken out of school by their parents, and when I got home later at 3pm, this included my best friend at the time, Jen (girl in white behind me at Hampton Beach), who hadn’t informed me she was leaving.


Because I was in school, and couldn’t leave until I got onto the bus, I was only feeling worse, and worse, throughout the day. I wrecked myself for hours wondering why no one thought to tell me, why my parents hadn’t even called me in school, why I also hadn’t been taken out of school, and why I had to take a nearly-empty-bus home. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me, but rather felt like others were not considerate for my own well-being, and my own concerns. I didn’t think nicely of those who created this situation for me, because the events of 9/11 were certainly out of my control, but that didn’t explain why I shouldn’t have been informed about what had been happening.


When I did get home, the only explanation I received was that they were “afraid” I’d feel “disturbed,” so to my parents, doing nothing was most promising option. For months on end, I would hear from them, specifically, that America was going to war, and that “the government was going to re-institute the draft.”  For this reason, my father had me apply for the Selective Service, said I would need to prepare for getting chosen. My father also stated that he couldn’t get chosen into the service himself, because he had to “take care of this family,” but since I had no family to take care of, I would be a good candidate for the service, and the government would want me (they don’t want married people with families, like him).


I never got called into the service, of course, and likely cue to this undue pressure on this topic, my grades began to plummet. I didn’t feel like I had a solid relationship with my parents after all that drama, but this wasn’t the first time that this had happened. It was, however, the first time it happened during a National Emergency.If you can’t depend upon your family to consider after an attempted attack on the White House, and successful ones on the Pentagon, and the World Trade Center, when can you? I do not depend upon them. There is nothing for me to actually depend on.


The teacher who ran the Scrabble Club at our school, Mrs. Berube (left). She was never one of my assigned teachers for a class, but she sure did love beating me at Scrabble.


3 thoughts on “My 9/11 Experience

  1. Pingback: My School Experience, Part IV: Race, Class, and Gender | The Progressive Democrat

  2. Pingback: My Work Experience | The Progressive Democrat

  3. Pingback: On Internet Trolls… *Sigh* | The Progressive Democrat

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