Today marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Do you remember where you were that day?
9/11/01 is a day no American will ever forget. A day that changed the lives of many, and changed the face of a nation. For a super power such as the United States, who would have thought that one moment in time would suddenly change our country. From our individual selves to how we operate as a people, we were never the same after that tragic day.
I will never forget where I was on 9/11/01. For a day that happened 10 years ago I still remember it as it were yesterday. I was junior at the University of Connecticut. Actually about 3 weeks into my junior year to be exact. That morning I had an 8:00 am class. I had four back to back classes from morning to afternoon. As usual I didn’t want to wake up, and I felt that class started too early. But I woke up.
At 7:00 AM I woke up. Turned on the TV to the today show as usual while I got ready for class. I still remember the news from that day, well some of it. Michael Jordan was ready to return to basketball, and The Blueprint album by Jay-z was going to be released. It was a Tuesday. Another normal Tuesday, or so I thought.
It was hot that day. Not like a normal September east coast day. It still felt like summer. I arrived to my 8:00 am class on time, it was Sociology. At 8:46 am the first plan hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. I was still in class. At 9:03 am the second plane hits the south tower of the World Trade Center. I was still in class. My home city was under attack, I had no idea. No one knew the destruction and devastation that was taking place outside of the safety net of our classroom on a college campus.
At 9:59 am the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. By this time I was in my second class of the day Women’s Studies. I still had no idea what was going on in New York. How could I? There was no TV or radio on my walk from one class to the next. Surprisingly the class was full. No one mentioned a word of a terrorist attack on New York. Maybe they were unaware too of what was going on two and a half hours away from the safety of our college campus. At 10:28 am the north tower collapses. Thousands of people are dead, and New Yorker’s are in a true state of shock.
By the time I got to my third class which started at 11:00 am I still haven’t heard the news about what was going on in New York. On my stop to grab a cup of coffee I did overhear two students talking about a plane flying into the Pentagon. Since I only heard a slight bit of their conversation, I naturally assumed they were talking about a movie. Why would a plane be flying into the Pentagon in real life? Little did I know.
During my 11:00 am class of Animal Behavior the Professor did mention that coverage of this morning’s events would be on at the Student Union. I had no idea what he was talking about. He didn’t elaborate, just taught a normal lecture. I wished he had stopped to talk about how our country was under attack.
On my walk to my fourth and final class of the day, I noticed students crying all over campus. Students on the phone crying, lying on the grass crying, I was surrounded by tears. During my final class of Psychology, the Professor explained what had happened. He took a moment to talk about the terror attacks of the morning, the class reflected. It was hard. Unexpected. Not something I was ready for. But I finally knew what was happening in my city, I was living through terror.
A few years later during my time as a graduate student at NYU, I lived a few blocks away from the World Trade Center Site. Lower Manhattan is naturally noisy, but living there after what had happened made the noise even louder. I would sometimes wake up in panic during the middle of the night while hearing fire trucks and police sirens. I would jump as if we were under attack. I was going through my own PTSD, one of memories.
Even though I wasn’t in New York on 9/11/01, I will never forget. I will always remember what the World Trade Center was before 9/11/01, and I will always remember how the city of New York came to together as one to stand up against evil after 9/11/01.