It is hard to believe it has been 10 years since the terror attacks. I remember my mom always saying when I was a child that you could ask any person her age where they were when Kennedy was shot and they would be able to recall, in detail, where they were and how they learned of the tragic assassination. 9/11 is the "where were you when..." event of this generation.
I was in grad school working an assistantship in the school's Psychology office when I heard the news. The secretary announced that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. At first, we were all shocked wondering how the hell a plane could not see such a huge building and fly right into it. Then, news came that another plane flew into the second tower and it all hit us what was going on. America was under attack. The next hour or so played out like seconds. The Pentagon was hit. A plan went down in Pennsylvania. PENNSYLVANIA! This is where we live!
The university canceled classes for the day and I left to be home with my husband. The 30 minute drive home felt like it took hours. I listed intently to the radio. I can vividly remember looking around at cars stopped at a red light and seeing everyone either crying, pale, or sitting with their jaw dropped in absolute shock as they listened to similar news reports on the radio. When I got home and hugged my husband, more glad than ever to see him, I collapsed on the couch, put on the TV, and cried myself to sleep at11:00 in the morning.
That night I had a terrible time sleeping. All flights around the country had been canceled. Since we live on a great lake and an American border, we still had planes flying overhead (border patrol I would assume). Every time I would hear a plane or helicopter the sound would send me in to a panic attack.
I had never understood terrorism until that day. It was not just about killing innocent people. It was about killing people's lives as they once knew it. It was about making a drastic statement that would forever change the world for those who survive. It was about stripping innocence away from a country full of young hopefuls who saw the future as limitless. It was about making people feel emotions they never thought possible.
On this day, I sadly remember those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks and pray for those who lost a loved one. I pray for all the men and women who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of our war on terrorism. And I pray that my children will not have such a horrific "where were you when..." event in their lifetime.
Feel free to share your story below. Where were you when 9/11 happened?