Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11/01 Ten Years Later

September 11th, 2001:  I was a freshman at Kent State University, just coming off of my 19th birthday.  I had early classes that semester--7:45am start time.  The teacher let us out early at 8:30am that day, so I hopped on a campus bus back to my dorm.  I estimated that by the time the second tower hit, I was stepping off at my stop. 

As was my usual routine following an early class, I went straight back to bed for a nap before my next one.  I didn't wake up until 11:20, and when I went down the hall to the bathroom, I noticed that everyone's door's were open and televisions were on.  I heard one girl who was clearly upset telling some others that nobody could get a hold of her sister in New York.  Something seemed off, so when I went back to my room, I got on the computer and saw an IM from my friend Kris.  "Do you know if classes are cancelled today?" she said.

"Uh, why would classes be cancelled today?" I asked.

"Turn on your tv."

The television stayed on for the rest of the day after that.  At some point, I started a group chat on AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) with a bunch of my friends from high school, and I saved it to capture the snapshot in history.  Here's an excerpt:

RiaLucia: Where exactly were YOU when you heard?
Lucy1530: hmm... just out of bed
FunkmastaBSB: I was in my first class at 9:30
Ditzy127: my dad called me a little after 9 this morning...right after the first one hit, and then i turned on 
Ditzy127: the TV and watched the second one live
RiaLucia: omg
RiaLucia: Live?!?
Lucy1530: ahhhhhh!
FunkmastaBSB: Then ironically I has my US history and we talked about it
Ditzy127: yeah, they were just talking about why/how the plane ran into the building (if it was out of control..
FunkmastaBSB: I was thinking how scary it would be to see that second one
Ditzy127: etc...) when it happened
RiaLucia: Well I had a class at 7:45 as per usual, and my teacher let us out early, like around 8:30. 
RiaLucia: I came back to my room and took a long nap until about 11:20 and then when I got up and went to...
RiaLucia: ...the bathroom I heard that girl talk about her sis in NYC and I got on the computer and one of my...
RiaLucia: ...friends told me. So I turned on the TV and it stayed on alllllllll day
Ditzy127: mine too, lol...
FunkmastaBSB: yep, I've been pretty much glued to the TV
Lucy1530: yeah, mine too, although I wasn't here all the time
Ditzy127: so, what do you guys think will happen?
RiaLucia: Jerica and I even fell asleep watching it.
RiaLucia: I don't think this is an isolated incident. I think there's more to follow from them as well as us.
FunkmastaBSB: I have no idea
FunkmastaBSB: it's really complicated
COOLVETLADY: Heck ya to what ria said
FunkmastaBSB: It would be so much easier if it were from a country
Lucy1530: I'm afraid of what's going to happen. I hope it doesn't cause a war.
Ditzy127: i think we'll finally know who it was...but find out in a few months...then bomb them and that's it...
FunkmastaBSB: At least then we could just bomb the hell out of 'em
Ditzy127: i don't think it will cause a major war...probably just a short one like Desert Storm
RiaLucia: But I'm afraid of escalation
lilone0330: yeah right. like it'll be that easy...
FunkmastaBSB: hopefully

Crazy, right?  That was what was going through the minds of a bunch of 18 and 19 year olds.  My roommate and I watched the news all day; we even fell asleep to it.  The next day, when we had enough, we jumped into her Oldsmobile and went to Wal-mart, I think.  By then, American flags were starting to appear in windows everywhere, so we wanted to pick something up to put into ours.  Every store had run out of flags, so we found a plastic flag plate and propped it up in our dorm window for the next several weeks.  I think I'm the one who ended up with it after she moved out during spring semester, come to think of it. 

But that was my experience.  Uneasy, hurt, crying off and on for an entire afternoon as I watched coverage of the wreckage and listened to people call in to tell the world about the people they lost.

Life goes on, but we will always remember.