I was 9 years old and in the 4th grade. Our French teacher, Mr. Rioux was teaching us about verbs when our principal came on the intercom to have us all say a prayer for those at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. That was all we heard. We had a fire drill next. It was a chilly day right before fall.
After school, my grandmother picked me up, and she was listening to the radio and crying. I still didn't know what had happened to our country. "Some planes flew into the World Trade Center in New York." Still not understanding, I turned on the TV in our kitchen and finally witnessed the attack. The towers in New York were burning, and Dan Rather told us, "America is under attack; the skyline in New York City will be forever changed."
As America confronts these tragic circumstances, it is imperative that the situation is not compounded by expressions of religious or ethnic intolerance. The greatness of our nation rests on the exceptional diversity of religions, nationalities, and ethnic backgrounds which characterize its people.
Statement of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights