A chilling video from 11 September 2001 shows the moment a class full of high school students learned the nation was under attack.
The video, “High School on 09/11/2001,” was uploaded to TikTok on Wednesday by the account @90s00s, and already has more than 1.6 million views.
At the beginning of the video, students at a school in Virginia can be seen cheerfully goofing off and mugging for the camera as a classmate films them.
Then a newscaster’s voice can be heard from a TV in the corner.
“At about 8:45 Eastern Time, a plane crashed into the foremost of those towers that are the World Trade Center,” the broadcaster says nervously. “The Pentagon is being evacuated as we speak now.”
A slow pan of the room shows all the teens’ eyes focused on the TV, their faces grim and unsmiling.
“Oh my God,” one student can be heard saying.
Another buries his face in his hands.
On that day in 2001, 2,977 people died after Al Qaeda terrorists crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The Twin Towers were completely destroyed.
A fourth plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers resisted the hijackers. Investigators believe the plane’s original target was the White House or the United States Capitol.
On TikTok, users commented with horror at the newly resurfaced video.
“Imagine being in that kind of shock,” one wrote. “I’d be devastated.”
“The loudest, yet quietest day I’ve ever lived,” another commented. “Those who remember, remember.”
“And we all stared at the TV like that every day for at least a month and watched it happen over and over again,” another remembered.
Some shared their own stories from that day, including some narrow escapes.
“My mom worked there. She had a meeting but the pool guy was late so she took the call from home,” one recalled. “She heard it all on the call.”
Others compared the students’ reactions to how Americans process tragic news today.
“Nowadays we hear about a new shooting and aren’t fazed by it,” one wrote. “We are desensitized.”
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