The students of Sandra Kay Daniels' 2nd grade class at Emma E. Booker Elementary School, in Sarasota, FL., were accidental footnotes to history — eyewitnesses to President Bush's stunned, seven-minute reaction to the news that the World Trade Center had been struck by hijacked passenger planes on the morning of September 11, 2001.
They were too young to fully comprehend what was happening, but not so young as to not figure out that something was very, very wrong. With the bearded bogeyman finally out of the way, Time magazine approached the students — now 16 and 17 (!!!) — for their recollections of that terrible day.
Lazaro Dubrocq's heart started racing because he assumed they were all in big trouble — with no less than the Commander-in-Chief — but he wasn't quite sure why. "In a heartbeat he leaned back and he looked flabbergasted, shocked, horrified," recalls Dubrocq, now 17. "I was baffled. I mean, did we read something wrong? Was he mad or disappointed in us?"
[Chantal Guerrero, 16] admits to feeling an added rush when she woke up to Monday morning's news: the SEALs operation, she says, "was very, very cool."
"I don't remember the story we were reading — was it about pigs?" says [Mariah] Williams, 16. "But I'll always remember watching his face turn red. He got really serious all of a sudden."
Pigs? No! It was about goats! "The Pet Goat," remember? I guess that's understandable, though. Had it been my seven-year-old self listening to Ronald Reagan delivering a spirited interpretation of There's a Monster At the End of This Book on a morning like that, I probably would have wiped Grover completely out of my memory banks, too. [Time, YouTube]