September 11, 2001, started out just like any other day. I was in my senior year of High School. I was in a class called "Modern Revolutions" (i'm not even kidding). Anyway, this one kid and I were talking about how there was absolutely nothing newsworthy in the news anymore. I think at the time the top story every night was talking about what President Bush was doing at his ranch, and the fact that Anne Heche was gay. This was during my first period class. At about 9:00(we had 90 minute classes), another history teacher, the one that everyone thought was a goofball but had a ton of respect for, came in and whispered something into the ear of our teacher. Both had rather blank, sober looks on their faces. Our teacher informed us of what happened. The buildings hadn't fallen at this point.
My first period ended about 9:20 and I remember thinking as I was walking through the halls, "We've been attacked. We're getting bombed." My second period class was Networking. The class was structured in such a way that we worked at our own pace online, and our teacher basically told us that if we did not feel like working on anything that that would be ok. He said to be respectful, but if we felt like checking the news on the internet, or talking with classmates, or even praying, this would be a good time for it. He had a TV turned on to the news so we could watch what was going on. I'm pretty sure I watched the towers fall, but it was so surreal that I don't really remember what I was even thinking. We all were kind of watching in disbelief, and there was somewhat of a "hushed panic" going on throughout the school. Everyone knew what had happened, but nobody really knew what to make of it all. Some were literally scared for their lives, some were fearing a quick and swift attack by the US out of mere retalliation. The rest of the day was somewhat of a blur.
I remember stopping in to see my dad at work over my lunch period to see if he had heard what happened. Neither of us really knew what to think. It was just something that happened. After school, I remember calling my brother who was at the University of Minnesota to see if he was aware. His classes had been canceled all day.
For the rest of the day, I basically was glued to the TV. I really could not comprehend what I was watching or hearing. The different images -- that were increasing in number seemingly by the minute -- of the planes hitting the buildings were a sight that had me awestruck. I had always been absolutely amazed by large planes, and seeing something as big as a 757 (or whatever it was) disappear into the side of such a huge building was just amazing and terrifying at the same time. I probably spent an unhealthy amount of time watching the same things over and over again, trying to get an understanding of how it actually happened. How does a plane that big just fly into the side of a building and just disappear? It was mind boggling.
In the days that followed, I remember thinking the same thing that 90% of Americans were thinking at the time, "I am proud to be an American." The idea that an attack that brought America to it's knees would actually unite the country in such a way was something that could bring a grown man to tears. We had an all-school assembly on Friday before a home football game, and many people were indeed in tears as the Star Spangled Banner was played by the band. A friend and I bought American flags (the kind that can clip to the window of your car) and waved them around with pride at the game with the feeling that nobody was going to make me change my feelings about my country. I flew that flag proudly from my car window for all to see, having an overwhelming sense of pride for my country and the strength of its people.
I remember hearing speeches by President Bush about the future of our country, and about the pride of its people. I had the utmost respect of President Bush in weeks and even months that followed that day (so much has changed since then, but that's for another day). When he shouted from the wreckage, "we're going to find those responsible for bringing these buildings down" I wanted to be there to shake his hand and tell him I supported him.
There are very few things that can bring a country this big so close for even the briefest of moments. Why did it have to be this?
9/11 started out as just another day. That's where I was.
*This is a follow-up to Jeremy's article. My original comment was too long and emotional to remain a comment, so I turned it into my very first article.
9-11: Where I Was
|Jeremy - 8953 Posts|
The really freaky thing was when that night people lined up at gas stations and ran like every gas station in town out of gas.
I always get freaked out by mass hysteria. That's what always scares me about "the world is ending" themed movies. Half the casualties are because people can't act rationally during a crisis, and altough super alien overlords killing everything doesn't happen, and probobly wont, mass hysteria does and would happen.