I know there is already lots of talk about this 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001. I wanted to add my story to all those others.
It was the beginning of my sophomore year of college and a crisp fall morning. I was walking to one of my generals classes in the Presidents Circle. I happen to run into one of my co-workers on the way to class. It was the only time I ever saw her on campus. She told me that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers. I wasn't quite sure what to think about this; it seemed so surreal, almost like a bad joke. I walked into class which happened to be in a computer lap where I immediately logged onto CNN.com. Their web page was flooded and it took a really long time to come up. The whole class was watching the news online. We didn't do anything at all during that class but watch the news. It was mostly commentary and I don't recall seeing the images until later.
I walked to my next class stunned. It was during my 2nd class that it was announced all classes would be canceled for the day. I walked home the few blocks to my apartment and turned on the radio. We didn't have a TV so I listened to the radio while lying on the couch. No one else was home. I listened to the radio for hours, until it was time for me to get ready for work. I called my boss and asked if the store was really still open. She told me that yes I had to go to work. it seemed that everything, everyone was in a daze. The world had stopped turning.
I went to work and tried to focus but there were no customers and all the employees were sullen. The store manager closed the store a few hours later and I drove home. I still had not seen the images of the planes hitting. A friend was getting married and since I was no longer working, I decided to drive to their reception. I stopped at my parents house and for the first time, saw the graphics on the TV. It's hard to describe the horror of watching that for the first time. It's like watching a movie where you hope it's fake, but the pit in your stomach is twisted so tight, you can't pretend it isn't real. I cried that day thinking of all those who were in the towers and on the planes.
The wedding reception was morose at best. Guests were trying to celebrate a wedding union while we all feared our country was under attack.
I still get teary eyed thinking about that day. I think about the lives lost, the heroes that emerged, and the families affected and it makes me choke up. It makes me feel so lucky for what I have and almost a little guilty. Because how can I even come close to appreciating what I have when there are those who lost so much. I plan to spend some time today remembering, thanking, and hugging my loved ones a little closer. God Bless America.
1 week ago