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Lower Manhattan High School Alumni Recall 9/11

Lower Manhattan High School Alumni Recall 9/11
The Stuyvesant High School Class of 2002 looks back to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

12 years ago the senior class of Stuyvesant High School experienced the events of September 11th firsthand. The school is just three blocks from the World Trade Center Site.

Adriana Diaz was running late for school when she saw the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. She continued to her calculus class and was surprised by the reaction she encountered there.

"I walked to the back of the classroom where my calculus teacher was sitting,” Diaz said, “and I said, 'a plane just hit the world trade center', and she told me, 'I know, but we have a quiz to take'."

The students of Stuyvesant High were eventually evacuated and told to start walking uptown, away from the towers.

Lila Nordstrom was also a Stuyvesant senior at the time. She recalls the confusion that followed the evacuation.

"One of my gym teachers offered to swim me across the Hudson River,” Nordstrom said, “because we thought that, like, the Empire State Building was hit or about to be hit.”

Phillip Ernst, also a senior at the time, was similarly confused and afraid.

"I don't think as kids we really knew how the towers would fall," he said, “and we thought they were going to fall on the street, and given how tall they were we actually thought we were going to be killed by them."

Adriana Diaz currently lives in New York City and is a reporter at CBS News. She said her experience on 9/11 inspired her to pursue a career in journalism.

Lila Nordstrom is now living in Los Angeles. She founded an organization called StuyHealth that advocates for the young victims of the September 11th attacks.

Phillip Ernst just completed his Ph.D. in statistics at the Wharton School at UPenn and is now living in Philadelphia. He said his experience on 9/11 made him want to help people in his career.