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The September 11 Digital Archive

Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Smithsonian “September 11:
Bearing Witness to History”

     Story of September 11
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Contributed by: Jessica Fox
Contributor's location on 9/11: New York
Contributed on: 6 August 2002

How did you witness history on September 11th?

My dad was killed on Sept. 11th. The following "story" is a memoir I wrote for school. September 11: A Teenís Point of View Iíve always heard the saying ďLife can change in an instantĒ, but I never really listened to it. I never thought something so bad could happen to me, it would change my life. I was wrong. September 11th started off like any other day. I woke up for school and got dressed. The normal routine. My dad had already been awake for a while now and had probably left for work. We had just moved back from North Carolina, and my dad had taken a job in the second tower of the World Trade Center on the 89th floor. When 6:50 rolled around my sister and I headed out to the bus stop. I went to first, second and third period like I normally would. Little did I know that during 4th period, my life would change forever. 4th period was almost over. I donít remember what was happening in reading class. A few minutes before the period ended an announcement was made over the announcement system. There had been a terrorist attack on the World Trade center in New York, and on the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The first thing my mind jumped to was my dadís safety. Then I hit a total blank. I started crying uncontrollably, wondering if I would ever see my dad again. I was walked down to the Mr. Galloís office, because thatís where everyone was directed to go if they had a concern about a family member. I was one of the first people to arrive at Mr. Galloís office. A few minutes afterwards people started to gather in the office. As I was sitting in the office, crying could be heard from down the hall. It was my sister, just as worried as I was. The minutes we sat in the office seemed like hours. Everyone had a chance to call a parent, making sure everything was fine. Everyone was relieved after his or her phone call except my sister and I. Mr. Gallo had called my mom. Their talk was discreet, and made me fear the worst. He turned to us and said, ďThereís been no newsĒ. The words no news kept flashing in my head. My irrational sister said she wanted to go back to class but Mr. Gallo explained my mom was already on her way. When we got home the news was on and our neighbor, one of my momís good friends was over to help out. A lot of people stopped by that afternoon, all of them friends of my mom offering words of comfort and hope. Both sets of my grandparents were also headed over. I guess a lot of people were concerned with our well being, especially what we were going to eat, because the food just seemed to pile up. Even whole dinners where given. I think my mom was pretty thankful she didnít have to cook. She spent lots of time, going through paper work and waiting for the one phone call telling her Jeffrey Fox was all right. We waited for days, and called every number imaginable. My momís brother, who is a firefighter, went to New York to help look. Even my dadís 87 year old aunt was out checking hospitals. Our family defiantly came closer together. We see my aunts, uncles, and cousins more often and our grandparents are a big part of our lives. Then, the inevitable came. My mom told my brother, sister, and I, my dadís body was found. My sister and I had figured it out. One late night there was a knock on our door. Two police officers had come to tell my mom they had found the remains of my dad. I was trying to sleep, but I heard voices downstairs. I sat on the stairs, listening intensely. I was relived, yet saddened because I hadnít really given up hope, that my dad was still alive. When my mom told us, it wasnít as much as a shock. I felt lucky, in a way. At least we found his body. There are some people who never found anything. Occasionally people check up on us, wondering how we are doing with our loss. However, Iíve come to realize we didnít really lose anyone, but gained an angel. Jeffrey Fox wasnít just an innocent life lost; he was more than that. He was a brother, a father, a husband, a neighbor and a friend, but most of all he is loved.

Cite as: Jessica Fox, Smithsonian Story #115, The September 11 Digital Archive, 6 August 2002, <>.
Archival Information: 827 words, 4104 characters

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