Like those from generations past, the events of 9/11 are forever etched into our memories like those who lived through the Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. assassinations, Pearl Harbor...It's a day we will forever remember.
As Alan Jackson sang, "Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?"
At the time when the first plane struck tower one, I was in my bathroom getting ready to head to class at MSU-Billings, listening to the radio. When the deejay first announced that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center, my heart seized, but I still had no real idea what was happening, so I ran into my mom's room and she had the Today Show on in her room as she was getting ready. As I went running into her room, yelling for her and asking what this meant, we fell to our knees in front of the television as the second plane hit. We watched in horror as the towers imploded, another plane found its mark at the Pentagon, and the terror of the people fighting for their lives. And then there was one more, but this one slammed into a field in Pennsylvania. Why was this happening? How will these people and their families ever recover from this?
What could you do, but sob over the hopelessness and helplessness that was overwhelming us as a country?
Deciding to go to class, though I was incredibly late, I walked into my classroom, numb, and realized...They didn't know. After that class I realized I would not be able to focus, left campus, and went to my sister's house where we spent the rest of the day glued to the television. If I was away from a television, the radio was on - never before had I felt so desperate for a connection, for information.
My husband, who was my fiancee at the time, had just pulled back into port on September 10, 2001 after having been overseas for months. I had no way to get in immediate touch with him, but I remember sending frantic emails to him. I was so sure they were going send them right back out. At my sister's house I waited and watched and waited.
My sister had a one and a half year old and was eight months pregnant at the time of the attacks. I remember the heartbreak in her voice as she wondered how you bring a child into this kind of world.
It was a day that, as a country, we will never forget. Even children who were not born or were too young to remember are learning of the horror and indeed the hope that came from that day. Things changed forever that September day that started out so blue, so clear, so beautiful.
Where were you on 9/11?