By Anna Brown

It was a regular day at Cooper Avenue Elementary School in Tom’s River, New Jersey. For 5th grader Jessica Borodin, this regular day changed in an instant. One of her classmates was pulled out of class. Then another, then a couple more.

Finally, Jess was called down to the office and found her mom standing there to bring her home. She sat in the car anxiously waiting and wondering what was going on. Her mom was quiet and wouldn’t say a word until they got home.

Jessica and her mom sat in front of the television and clicked through all the channels; everything was the same. Her mom tried to explain everything to her in a slow and calm manner, but Jess was simply to young to truly understand.

As Jess tried to understand her mother began to cry, “It’s very hard to be that young and see a woman you have always looked up to cry, you feel very vulnerable and scared” says Jessica as she looks back on the moment.

Jessica and her mom then made their way to the beach where hundreds of people lined the water. In the distance, smoke and debris from the Twin Towers filled the air.

“It was then when I realized everything my mom had told me and everything I saw on the news, was real; right in front of my eyes. It was so unreal, I got so scared and began to cry and I didn’t even know why at the time,” says Jessica.

It was a somber night in the Borodin household, along with the rest of the Jersey Shore.

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