Here is what I remember: most of it. The day itself, I mean. The interruption of class, the announcement by the fumbling English teacher, the crowding at the window, the black cloud already invading the skyline.

I remember the snarky, oblivious comments — my own, especially. The teachers herded everyone to the school rooftop to sort us into homerooms and take count of where everyone was.

I remember the first few parents arriving, to our surprise, followed by the announcement that students would not be released from school until a parent — anybody’s parent — signed them out. And then my own parents arrived in a flurry, scooping up as many of the downtown kids as they could find, sweeping us all out to the street, seeing a man with the radio walkie-talkie on his shoulder as if we were in another decade. I remember my father’s van becoming a caravan for other people’s children, the way we dropped them off one by one to grateful parents, how sad I was to watch them leave.

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