This might not be of interest to anyone else but I wanted to write down what I remember. Even though now it feels like just yesterday, I’m sure the day will come when some of the memories fade.
I was in college in 2001. I woke up the morning of September 11th to my alarm going off. I had it set so the radio would come on rather than beeping. It took me a few seconds to realize that the man on the radio was not just a commercial or the local news but a man talking about an attack in New York City. I got out of bed and went to the living room to turn on the TV to see what was happening. I remember seeing two buildings on the screen with smoke rolling out of them. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. I didn’t really know what the Twin Towers were before that date. I watched for a few minutes then quickly got ready to head to my class. At that point, I didn’t understand the enormity of it all. For some reason, all I was thinking about were buildings and airplanes. I hadn’t yet thought of all the people in the buildings or on the airplanes.
I arrived at my Social Problems class in the Rotunda and the whole room was buzzing with talk of what was happening. Professor Redlin came in shortly after I arrived. She said that she had received a few emails and phone calls from students saying they wouldn’t be attending class that day because they wanted to continue watching the coverage on TV. I can’t remember what else was said during class but she didn’t keep us long.
I turned my TV back on when I got home and the first thing I heard was “the Twin Towers are no more.” I remember thinking, “They’re still there, they just have holes in them” (a horrible thought, I know, like I said I hadn’t yet understood what was really happening). Then when I saw the buildings had collapsed I thought “Oh my God, they really are gone.” That’s also when I learned of the Pentagon crash and the plane crash in a Pennsylvania field.
I continued watching TV until my next class (a human development class, I think it was Adulthood) at 3 pm. Of course the class discussion was about the day’s happenings. Professor White talked about how this would lead to war. He said he thought there would most likely be a draft. That really scared me considering my brother had just turned 18 in June. I can’t remember anything else he said that day but I left class feeling even more scared.
Later that afternoon my friends Hillary and Lory stopped over to talk about what had happened. At some point that evening I talked to my mom. Sometime after I hung up with my mom, my friend Tonya and I decided we should go get in line to get some gas. There was all kinds of speculation that the price of gas of going to skyrocket so we wanted to fill our tanks in case that happened. I’m not sure how long we actually spent in line waiting to get gas, but I think it was around a half hour wait.
I had a hard time going to sleep that night. I felt so unsafe and so unsure of what might happen next.
It’s interesting how the memories stop there. I don’t have any specific memories from September 12 or the few days that followed.
A few other random things I remember from that day:
- Carson Daly on MTV saying something like “We’re going to stay live here. Other stations across the country are probably just showing clips on the news but we’ll stay live”. I was thinking….Really? This was an attack on America that happened in New York. Why wouldn’t all news channels stay live?
- Channels like QVC and HGTV went off air sometime during the day.
- Watching President Bush address the American people that night and feeling very proud of our country.