The 9/11 Post.
I had just begun my sophomore year during the fall of 2001. I’d survived a hellish freshman year (I attempted to major in Chemical Engineering, despite lacking the aptitude for Chemistry or engineering or basic math or…sigh.) and was attempting to make a fresh start and resurrect my lackluster GPA by taking general education courses until I could figure out my next move. In order to save money and keep my focus, I chose to be a commuter student, traveling from home to school, nonconsecutive days each week.
On the morning of September 11th, I didn’t have any classes, so I was asleep when the first plane hit. I remember my mom bursting into my room—something she never did—and telling me to come downstairs. The panic in her voice scared me, but I was still heavy with sleep as I toddled down the stairs. Glancing at the blaring TV, I assumed the images I was seeing were due to a plane crash. A terrible tragedy, to be sure, but nothing out of the ordinary, nothing I hadn’t seen before. As I flopped down on the couch, I saw the smoky, gaping holes in the towers, the terrified desperation of those fleeing an unseen assailant, running through a barrier of pure white vapor, I realized this was not an issue of malfunctioning equipment or pilots who’d irresponsibly imbibed before hopping into the cockpit.
No, words like, terrorist attack, premeditated, and Muslim extremists were bandied about. This was something I’d read about but certainly never seen or lived through: an attack on US soil.
After much debate, I did go to school the next day, but it was as if the planes had hit my city, too. There were a few other students walking around the campus, but for the most part, one of the most populous universities in the country resembled a ghost town.
It was positively eerie.
In the aftermath of that horrific tragedy, I am grateful for one thing: The sense of unity that occurred in the following weeks and months. It was amazing. Never in my life had I felt so close to complete strangers. We had been attacked, but we were still standing, still fighting, still finding strength in each other. We were united. For one brief moment, I was as if we were One Nation.
I will never forget.
Blessings, peace, and joy to you all on this day and every one to follow,