It’s been some time since I’ve written an article here on the CCB. But given the importance of this week, I felt it was only appropriate to write on a subject which affected us all.
The morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 began like any other day for Americans. I was a freshman in college. I woke up, drove to class, and sat there wondering how sociology applied to my major. As my class was ending, someone came in & said the northbound New Jersey Turnpike was blocked off after interchange 7.
[adinserter block=”1″]All of us naturally assumed it was a car accident. I got in my car & drove from one campus building to the other, briefly listening to Howard Stern ranting about something, yet not paying much attention. As I turned my car off & prepared to walk to the campus center, a young woman in tears was outside saying a plane hit the World Trade Center. Naturally, I thought it was a small plane carrying only a few occupants. I walked to the cafeteria & saw students gathered around the televisions. I will never forget the looks of shock, sadness, & anger that I saw that day. I gazed up at the televisions to see the North tower burning. Where the South tower stood, all I saw was smoke & debris.
Upon asking where the tower was, I was informed that it collapsed shortly before 10 AM & that two airliners had hit the towers. As I turned my attention back towards the TV, the North tower fell. I found myself in a state of utter shock and disbelief. That’s when the feeling of dread crept into my stomach. I had family working in New York that day. I frantically went through my phone to try and reach them, only to discover that the cell phone networks were in a state of chaos. I called home & to my great relief, my family was alright. But as the relief came, so did the sadness; sadness for those who perished in New York.
As I continued to watch the coverage between classes, my worst fears were realized; we were a nation under attack. The World Trade Center in New York…the Pentagon in Washington DC…and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania; they are now the gravesites of almost 3,000 people.
I went home from school that night realizing that the world I lived in had changed dramatically in less than a day. I was glued to my TV for the rest of the day into the early hours of the morning. I found comfort in seeing members of Congress singing “God Bless America” & from the words of President Bush as he addressed a grieving, angry nation.
[adinserter block=”2″]This Friday marks the 8 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks. This article is not meant to start debates between red & blue, Republicans & Democrats, thoughts on the war, etc. This article is meant to remind you of where you were on the day the world changed. I ask those of you who are reading to take time to remember where you were & what you were doing. I ask you this week to be thankful for what you have.
If you see a person in uniform, thank them for keeping you safe & for ensuring that we have the freedoms that we do today. Hold your loved ones a little bit tighter. Tell someone how you feel. Be the best person you possibly can be. Tomorrow never came for a lot of innocent people 8 years ago. Remember that we are all Americans.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Never forget. Never again.
9/11 Books – Afterwords: Stories and Reports from 9/11 and Beyond