Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Remember

I can't believe it's been ten years since that day.  I was a sophomore in college.  My mom and my twin sister and I were in the car on the way to school (yeah, twin and I didn't have cars back then, don't judge) when we heard that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.  We were shocked, how could an accident like that happen?  We listened, uneasy, on the way into town.  Once on campus, I headed to a computer lab to kill some time before my first class.  Everyone was talking about what happened and suddenly it was being said that a second plane had struck the other tower.

My stomach turned over.  It was suddenly horrifyingly obvious that this was not an accident.  I wasn't sure what to do, but I couldn't sit still.  I grabbed my things and went to find a phone.  I called home. I had to try several times, because I kept getting the "All circuits are busy" message.  Finally I reached my dad.  "Dad, what's going on?" I asked.  He didn't know much more than I did, but he told me that my mom was looking for me, that she wanted us to come home. 

I quickly found my mom in the parking lot and told her I would go and find Angie.  I rushed across campus, having no clue what class she was in or where it was.  I hurried to the adviser's offices, where a friend of mine was working.  She did me a favor and looked up my sister's schedule.  I rushed to her class and together we went back to my mom and headed home.

The rest of the day, I sat in front of the television, transfixed.  I got home in time to see the first tower fall.  I watched the same images over and over again.  The planes striking the mighty towers.  The burning pentagon.  The gaping hole in the ground in Pennsylvania.  The towers fell and I cried, wondering how many people had just survived the attack only to die such a horrible death in the collapse.

That day was my generations "Where were you when".  It joins such events as Kennedy's assassination, Pearl Harbor, and the Challenger exploding as events that people talk about throughout their lifetimes, event that they describe to the younger generation.

I have always been a writer.  Stories, diaries, journals, I've always written down my thoughts in one form or another.  I don't write much by hand these days, it tends to go down more by keyboard.  But I do still occasionally write in the same journal that I was writing in that year.  Here is what I wrote that day:

This is a day that will be entered into the history books and read by my children.  The United States was attacked by terrorists today.  They hijacked 4 planes--Commercial jets with passengers. Two of them were deliberately crashed into the Twin Trade Towers in Manhattan, New York. One crashed into the Pentagon. The last one was headed for D.C. too, possibly targeting the Capitol or the White House.  It crashed somewhere in Pennsylvania, about 80 miles from Pittsburgh. The most devastation was in New York. The towers both collapsed.  Footage makes it look like the whole island is on's horrible.  Thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, have been killed today. God it just feels like the world is going crazy. I know one thing, I will be going to bed tonight knowing I am not as safe as I thought I was. Everyone sees the U.S. as strong, a superpower, but today, we were vulnerable. Devastation. Horror. Death. Destruction. Lost Innocence. Fear. Despair. Loss.  Terror. it possible?  Is this war?  I think that the world will never be the same.  I know that I will never be the same.

A lot has changed since that day.  The world isn't the same.  But our lives go on.  Today, I remember the lives of those that ended that day. 

God Bless America

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