I remember exactly where I was. In my dorm room, fully dressed & making preparation to head out of the door for class.
I was watching Live! With Regis and Kelly and I stepped away from the TV for 2 seconds to get something out of my bathroom & when I returned to the TV, it was showing the 1st tower, upper floors in smoke and they reporters were saying that a plane had crashed into one of the WTC buildings and that they thought it was an accident.
I remember being totally surprised that such a mistake could have been made…In New York. At the time I had no family in NY, but, as is usually the case when something big, good or bad, happens, I called my mom. She wasn’t available so I did the next thing I would typically do…I call my aunt, her best friend. We talked for a couple of minutes & basically shared what we each had heard about how the crash happened at that point, I stated that the possibilities of those circumstances is why I hated flying, & we hung up
Then the second plane hit and I sat on my bed and said something to the effect of “that ain’t no accident.”
When I got to my 1st class I discovered that a few of my commuting classmates had been told by their parents not to come to campus for fear that an attack would happen at the naval base down the road from us. I hadn’t even thought about that as a possibility. I was still wrapping my head around “terrorist attack” and the fact that the WTC, that I had just seen the year before & had visited just about every time I went to NY, was no longer there. Then to hear about the Pentagon & the PA crash too…it was a lot for one day, and a big dose of the kind of reality I don’t even try to fake interest in.
Those who know me, are aware that I don’t like watching the news, I don’t like dealing with politics and I hate war. Period. I don’t want to hear war stories or anything of the like. I don’t mind listening to the “this funny thing happened while I was in service” stories, but other than that, I don’t care to hear or no. It’s not that I don’t respect it, or understand it…I just don’t like it. Plain & simple. I don’t care who doesn’t like it, you don’t want to deal w/it, don’t talk to me. You want me out of your hair? Talk about politics & war…I go bye-bye.
So this whole attack situation was a major change in my lifestyle for that day & the many days that followed, because basically, TV was all news, all day long. For the time that I wasn’t in my dorm and able to close myself off from the discussions of 9/11, it was a major topic of discussion. For everyone. I found out that a friend of mine on campus had a father who worked in the Pentagon. It took all day for her to hear from him. For an entire day she didn’t know if her father was alive or dead. Then I had friends who had family in NY & couldn’t get in contact with them because of down/jammed cell towers. So as much as I didn’t want to talk about it, or think about it, and as much as I would have preferred that the victims remained name and faceless for me like the OKC bombing years before, that couldn’t be the case. I wasn’t a kid, I wasn’t in an unaffected area and I wasn’t around people who were not focused on the attacks and the events that occurred afterward. Needless to say, a lot about me changed as a result of that day. And while I still hate war and don’t like politics, I’ll talk about them for a little while. Only a little while.
So, as today is a day of remembrance, I think about the lives lost, families destroyed, people wounded and those who sacrificed everything they had to try and save the lives of as many as they could, even at that cost of their own lives. I remember that, when the shit hits the fan, folks who don't care, do.
What were you doing on 9/11/2001?