Tag Archives: Sept. 11

Where Were You When…?

This is one of those posts that I’m not sure I should write, as no matter what I say, I feel like my words will fall short of anything and everything else that’s being published on the topic.

But this is my memory of September 11, 2001. The only reason I’m publishing this is because I can, because we all have a “where were you when” story to tell, and thank god, we’re all still here to tell it.

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I was not in Washington or New York, but rather on my way to class in Michigan. A college student still living at home, my focus was on all the things I should do, and of course, all the things I should be.

At that point in time it was all about me, not selfishly, but in the way that we’re told it should be. Study for this, work over there, network with them — but leave time for fun! — study some more, plan out your life and then watch it all change, either slowly after several years or in a flash before your eyes.

My routine commute on that day took a twist as I made my way into my Shakespeare class, where literary analysis and dissection of prose was soon pushed aside for the news, the scattered bits and pieces of info that nobody knew how to piece together quite yet.

There were airplanes. There were fires.

There was confusion. There was fear.

There were 25 college students—young, relatively ignorant to the evil of the world—huddled together outside in the campus Shakespeare garden with one radio and millions of questions. Hanging on to every static-ridden word, we tried to use our education to make sense of something that 10 years later, we are all still struggling to make sense of.

Although excused for the day, we all hung around—hundreds of us—calling our families and watching the TVs set up in auditoriums, craving a sense of community from those we might otherwise never have uttered a word.

The details from there are unclear, as the gravity of the situation did not pull us down until later, until what we were privy to know would be plastered in our minds and our memories from then until now.

But I remember eating my lunch outside before going home — there was cantaloupe — and the chaotic news reports still filtering in as I sat there, digesting my food and the weight of it all in the best way my 20-year old mind would allow.

My phone rang.

I assured my mom I was on my way home, a place that I’d left just hours before like I did every day of the week.

Like so many people had done on that morning that wouldn’t be going back home.

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This is one of those posts that I’m not sure I should publish, as I wasn’t there on that day. I wasn’t privy to first hand accounts and the horror that so many had, that so many still have today.

But this is my memory of September 11, 2001. The only reason I’m publishing this is because I can, because we all have a “where were you when” story to tell, and thank god, we’re all still here to tell it.

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