I am sure the question “Where were you on 9/11?” will remain a prevalent question in our minds forever. I believe it is the question of my generation and certainly hope that there is not another similar question that has to be asked down the road.
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 I was a senior in college on my way to a 9 a.m. appointment at the Career Center to finalize my resume for an upcoming job interview. I sat down with the woman assigned to help me who casually said, “Did you hear that a plane hit the World Trade Center?” I didn’t think much of it, assuming it was a propeller plane and having no idea it was a packed commercial flight. We continued our meeting with the radio playing next to us when we heard that a second plane hit. Next we heard that a bomb went off at the Pentagon (which we later learned was a plane.) Then I told the lady that I had to leave and promptly RAN back to my house to watch in horror alongside three friends on our living room floor as the World Trade Center towers crumbled to the ground. Dan Rather could not speak at that moment and quite frankly neither could we.
The phone lines were jammed for hours and I remember the uncertainty in my stomach of not being able to reach my family. Ironically the cable in our house went out, so I and a few friends walked across the street to a dorm to watch the TV in their common room as it was confirmed that another plane went down. With classes cancelled, the day went on watching the coverage. I finally reached my mom and asked her if I should come home, not knowing what to do or what was going to happen next. I remember her saying, “It is probably safer where you are. Stay there.” With my family living fifteen miles away from the White House, I was scared. Having family and friends living in New York City, I was scared. Having roommates who spent that entire day not being able to locate family near the tragedies, I was scared. All in all it was the most terrifying day I have had. I know my story is tame and extremely fortunate compared to the story of many others, however it is a story that I will carry with me always...just as we all will.
Another thing prominent in my memory about the days that followed 9/11/01 was the intense patriotism expressed throughout our country. Everywhere I looked on campus, I saw the American flag proudly flying. Whenever I turned on the news, I saw the same thing wherever they were broadcasting from. There seemed to be an overall awareness of remembering what truly mattered. Those of us who experienced the events of that tragic day together were forever bonded and always remembered when we told “our story” of where we were when we learned the news of 9/11. We would never forget.
While I typically keep things light on One Preppy Cookie, I felt that it was only appropriate to acknowledge those who lost their lives ten years ago today. And also to salute those who were courageous to help others in any way and demonstrated selflessness that many cannot even imagine.
So let’s celebrate those people along with our country as a whole today. We remember.