In 2001, I was 11 years old and starting sixth grade at Marine Park Intermediate School in Brooklyn. The weather was perfect. There was not a single cloud in the sky and the summer weather was slowly subsiding.
I lived right across the street from my middle school. My house and school were approximately 11 miles from the World Trade Center.
I thought it would turn out to be a normal day until the classroom phone rang. My teacher didn’t even know what was happening. She initially believed that a small remote control plane hit the north tower or maybe it was a private plane where the pilot lost control. I immediately knew something was wrong.
At around 8:50 a.m. all the students were asked to enter the lunchroom. Slowly parents started picking up children.
When my mother finally arrived, she looked frazzled, worried and angry. I asked her what was going on, but she didn’t need to tell me. The streets filled with sound of sirens, ashes and burnt paper. All cars were covered in soot.
That is when I knew the crash was not an accident.
Helicopters landed in the park next to my school and my mom rushed me home.
Pasted all over the news and with my mother on her way to Coney Island to donate blood, my concern grew. I wanted to help, but I knew it was impossible.
Every day after the attack, I felt guilty. I was a hopeless 11-year-old girl watching my home is under attack.
My thought and prayers will continue to go out to all who lost on that day and to all who had to watch a beautiful city turn upside down.
-Kristina Scala has been covering Moorestown for the past several months and is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. –