Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9/11 10th Anniversary: Port Richmond Remembers

As the school year began, Port Richmond's faculty and students were reminded of the tragedy that occurred 10 years ago. Many still posess vivid memories of the disastrous event. A number of our staff and students related their own most-vivid memories of 9/11. Thanks to all Raiders who shared their memories.


“I remember sitting in one of the rooms on the top floor with my counselor, Ms. Kelly, staring out the window. That’s when I saw the first plane hit. When I tried to tell my counselor, she simply ignored me and replied, “Sweetie, you’re insane.”
Senior Cristina Barretto

“My teacher had begun her class with reading. As she was telling us a story, I remember her looking to the left window of the room. She gasped for air and ran into the halls.”
Senior Lizbeth Lorenzo

“My dad saw the plane go into the tower from his office window. He was stuck in the city not knowing what was going to happen. After the attack, my father began having panic attacks. The most vivid one I can remember was when my dad was lying on the couch, screaming. We had to call the ambulance, but he ended up okay. He’s better now, but he still can’t sit in traffic, stay still for a long time, or even go to the movies.”
Senior Jennifer Pierce

“My mom and her friend were talking in the living room while I was in the kitchen. …I watched in awe while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into triangles, as the second tower collapsed into a cloud of smoke.”
Senior Nicholas Anderson

“My teacher’s voice was calm as she stopped what we were doing and asked us for a visit to the cafeteria. As we walked down the hallway, she had more erratic steps—almost as if she was about to burst into a sprint right then and there.”
Senior Jayme Farbowitz

"I remember Ms. Nielson, my principal, telling everyone over the loudspeaker to go into the hallway. She said something bad had happened and that’s where we were safest. Ms. Nielson played a game with us until my mom picked me up.”
Senior Jessica Medina

“I knew something was wrong when I was walking home with my grandmother, because she was walking about five feet in front of me, telling me to walk faster and to keep up.”
Senior Yvette Castillo

“Our gym teacher was introducing herself when, for some reason which escapes me, she bolted out of the room. Perplexed, we were promptly ushered to our class, where we were left unsupervised. I remember it was the first time I was ever left alone by a teacher, and as second graders this newly found freedom was overwhelming.”
Senior Rosibel Tavares

“Until then I didn’t feel the need to look at the sky; however, as I did, I saw a dark, ominous cloud of smoke. This made my heart sink.”
Senior David Vasquez

“On September 11, 2001, I was in P.S. 22 with my teacher Mrs. Byrnes and the rest of my classmates. I remember another teacher coming into the classroom and saying that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. My teacher acted surprised, but then continued with her lesson. Not too long after, the same teacher came in and said that a plane hit the other twin tower. Then my teacher got frantic. She got her cell phone and called her sister-in-law who worked in one of the towers and luckily got through. She was running late for work that day.”
Senior Kassandra Somers

“All of the bridges were closed. That meant Daddy, who was working in Brooklyn that day, would have to stay at a friend’s apartment.”
Senior Alana Francis

“I remember papers flying through the air. I was standing outside on my deck, looking up at the sky. Some were burned and torn, and many of them were ashes.”
Senior Roisin Brano

“All the bridges and tunnels were closed; we were trapped in Brooklyn. Suddenly an announcement came that the Verrazano Bridge had been opened briefly. We ran to our cars.On my car I found a thin film of white ash. I brushed my finger on it. As I started my car, I realized what was in that ash and a lump rose in my throat.”
English teacher, Mr. Trant

“As we left the park to go home, everything felt dead. There was ash everywhere. The first image that popped into my head was a place from a Pok√©mon game, Mount Ash.”
Senior Robert Czaplicki

“I remember being in my 2nd grade classroom with my science teacher, learning about the properties of leaves…”
Senior Vincent Scala

“I heard teachers talking to each other, worrying if Staten Island would be attacked.”
Senior Fatima Bukhari

“The husband of the teacher whose class I was in for years was missing. He was a fireman. It was his first day off and he was just returning from his shift when the attack happened. He went to a different firehouse to get any uniform that he could find. He was never found.”
School para professional, Ms. Miracola

“I asked my dad why he was so worried, and he said, ‘Mommy is in that city.’ At that moment, I started to worry.”
Senior Alyssa Mendez

“At the time, I didn’t know what my mother meant by saying ‘The World Trade Center fell,’ but I knew it was serious based on her facial expression. When we stepped outside, I remember smelling the smoke.”
Senior Justice Ramos

“I saw my Science teacher Ms. Posowski crying hysterically. She was on her black cell phone, but she was not speaking. I thought to myself, ‘What’s going on?’”
Senior Gladys Rosales

“My father is and always will be the person who keeps me calm and stable. Seeing him run into my classroom with his NYPD Captain of Corrections shield in his hand caused me to panic.”
Senior Victoria Scaramuzzo

“After returning home from school, I just went on with my daily routine of playing games, but I realized that there were two burning towers on my television.”
Senior Teniola Bashorun

“I remember my dad finally coming home from working overtime, still with remnants of dirt and ash on him.”
Senior Tyler Huebler

“I remembered that my mom was working across the street from the World Trade Center. That’s when I started crying.”
Junior Courtlin Gregoriades

“The only thing I remember was a little while after that event. My class got a bag full of teddy bears. They were a gift from a class of students from a school in a different state, because they felt bad about New York’s tragedy—9/11.”
Junior Krystina Jimenez

“Yesterday, 9/11/11, I found out that my father was supposed to be in one of the buildings, on the 34th floor. He was running late and didn’t make it to the meeting. Everyone in that meeting lost their lives.”
Junior Kennith Bemstein

“My mom picked me up from school with my older sister. We rushed into the house, and I asked myself, “Why is it snowing? It’s September!”
Junior Jessica Quiroz

“I ran out of the classroom behind my teacher to look out of the window, and I saw both sides of the buildings on fire—the first one was about to fall. My teacher grabbed me and held me so tight.”
Senior Jennifer Moreno

“Even though it was a horrible day in history, it was still my brother’s birthday. I remember we were the only people in the restaurant and an eerie feeling came over me. My brother was probably the only person happy that day, because he had just turned nine.”
Senior Victoria Mustacchio

“That night, I was so scared, so I slept in my mom’s bed for a while afterwards. I remember being scared that planes would crash into my house or school.”
Senior Danielle Martino

“The image of fear and uncertainty was everywhere. Every corner I turned at Port Richmond High School had that look—students, staff members, all. I will never forget that look; it’s burned in my memory.”
History teacher, Mr. Frank

"Living in Brooklyn, going 90 over the Verrazano Bridge."
English teacher, Mr. Scanlon

“Probably the worst thing about the attack was the guy who used to live across the street from me, who was a firefighter. He ran into the towers to save people. He never came out. He left a wife and two small children. I still pray for them.”
English teacher, Mr. Defazio