Friday, September 9, 2011

remembering 9/11

It was my junior year of college. I lived in an off-campus apartment with one roommate. I woke up to hear her coming in and calling for me to turn on the TV. She said "Something serious happened back east...in New York."  We turned on the television to see images of the world trade center towers. I couldn't believe my eyes.

We lived in Colorado, so it was still on the early side (especially for a college student) and I managed to pull myself away from the TV and get ready as usual for my class. I drove the four miles to campus, listening to the radio and in that time the Pentagon was hit. I got to campus and walked into the academic building; it was like the world had gone silent. No one was talking as I walked to my classroom. I entered the room to find a TV on a cart with the news channel on (coincidentally I was in a journalism class) and my professor pacing. He waited until class was to start and then said with a grave face, "I don't see how we can have class today, you can stay and watch the news with me or go home and call a family member. I will see you on Thursday."

I walked out of the building stunned. Where should I go? I wanted to call my mom, but she had passed away earlier that same year. I decided to drive home two hours because I wanted to pick up something and now had no class to attend. The jeweler had called the day before telling me my ring was ready. My dad had given me Mom's engagement ring and had it remade into a ring that didn't look like an engagement ring, so I could wear daily.

I didn't hit any traffic through Denver. I remember the eeriness of the empty highway and city streets and even more odd to me were the silent skies of Colorado Springs when I arrived. Colorado Springs is home to the US Air Force Academy and three other military installations and there is a constant buzz with air traffic above the city. But there was not a sound in the sky on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

I picked up the ring, stayed for dinner with my dad and brother, then drove the two hours back to Greeley. I made it back for the end of a prayer meeting with my college fellowship group. We prayed for our country and the family members of those who perished. It was one of the most somber days I can recall in my 30 years of life.
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In 2002, my dad, brother and I visited New York City for the first time. I remember going to ground zero to pay our respects. We didn't know anyone who had been directly involved, but it was heart wrenching to see the giant whole in the earth from the buildings.

I'm linking up with Blair at Wild and Precious.

2 comments:

  1. I was in 9th grade english. Our teacher got called into the hall and we all knew something was wrong. She turned on the TV and told us what happened and then we all watched the second plane hit the second tower. My Dad was scheduled to leave NYC that morning and I was freaked out. My teacher gave me permission to call my mom and she told me that she had heard from my dad and that he was fine and on his way home. We stayed in school for the rest of the day, but no work got done - we watched TV all day. It all felt so surreal to me. Still does sometimes...

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  2. We just visited NYC this summer and made sure to see ground zero. When I watched the events unfold 10 years ago, I really wanted to be with my family too! But at the time, I was going to college in MI, and they were still in France. I remember feeling so scared and alone!

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