I was sitting in Senior Year Spanish Class.
It was a decently sized room, with a bunch of Juniors. I was promoted to mainstream Spanish - after completely obliterating (starting from Scratch Spanish) that I was in before hand. At my High-School, if you start from scratch Freshman Year - you are in the Roman Numeral'd Classes. Those who were in a foreign language in middle-school are in mainstream language X. Anyway, it was early. Third period.
I was ready for another day of making fun and teasing my Spanish Teacher. He always defended the Castillian Lisp. I didn't, being a Caribbean Hispanic.
He comes into class and he states, "I think someone with a plane hit one of the buildings in New York..." I think, he thought it was a Cessna of some sort. But he didn't really continue on with that, not really. It was only when the class was near over, somewhere near 10 o'clock. That our Principal came on the loudspeaker. They never usually used it, only for Morning Announcements.
Something was up.
You could hear the pin-drop in the room, as he explained that two air planes crashed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. He explained to continue amongst your day, however, and we'll sort it out in the coming days. I had a free period right after that. The Computer Labs, were swamped. Part of the Server Slam on all News Outlets that day. One, by one, by one, we were appraised of what happened. Terrorists have finally pulled off what they tried to do in 1993.
As a nation, we felt violated. The school was despondent. Two weeks, there was just nothing going on but chatting about it. None of us really had people who were lost that day. And the Art Teacher's Husband, was late that day. But as the pictures played and played and played over again in our heads. As we sat and stared at CNN every night - not wanting to do anything; we tried grasping it.
I was a Senior. Every morning, there is a class called Current Issues led by the entirety of the Social Studies Department (nearly). I remember the chat we all had. About it all. Maybe it also brought us face to face with our own mortality. I don't know, but it was a collective gasp. Followed by a mournful wail - even if we didn't quite shed tears.
It's been eight years since. I left High-School, entered College. Rang bells. And moved on. The specter of that day, will hang over the heads of people in my age group, more than people have given it credit for. We came of age with the specter of it. We've had some bad starts at it; but our political efficacy? Perhaps bigger than people give it credit for. How many of us care? How many of us look out and work in politics. No matter what end of the spectrum they find themselves in? How many of us sat up and took notice during Politics and Government 110?
We'll always be disaffected youth no matter the time. But you know now... give it some time.