Friday, September 9, 2011

Where were you on 9/11/01 ?

Do you remember how you found out?

It feels like just yesterday that I was woken by a phone call at an unspeakable time. I was in college and went to bed at 4:00am on a regular basis. Receiving a phone call around 8:30 in the morning was just plain rude. But on that morning it was more than necessary. I will never forget that phone call.

My boyfriend's mother was calling me. She didn't say hello. She just screamed, "OMG! A plane has flown into the World Trade Center." I rubbed my eyes and said, "Huh? What?" 
I remember thinking, "What is the World Trade Center?" 
I honestly had no idea.
Still screaming, my boyfriend's mom said again, "OMG! TURN ON THE TELEVISION!" 

Still waking up and so confused, I turned on my television just in time to see the second plane hit.
I screamed. 
As I was a Resident Advisor, all of the girls living on my floor came running into my room in hysterics. All of us where on the phone calling anyone we could.

Next thing I knew the fire alarm went off in our building. We were only in a 17 story building (nothing compared to the WTC) but just seeing a plane fly into a building on television had everyone's senses heightened. We were scared. Terrified. 

Did something happen to our building at The University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio? Was the world coming to an end?

It was insane. 

I remember school being cancelled for the day. I hung out with my best pal Amanda and would not leave her side. My boyfriend at the time was with us and we were all glued to the television. We were in awe at what we were seeing. We were terrified. Dumbfounded. 

We became obsessed. Glued to the television for days. Focused on the lives of those affected. Searching for something that we could do. We became more patriotic than ever before. Wearing red, white, and blue, driving around campus blasting patriotic songs and hanging flags out our window, getting manicures with the American flag. We bought every magazine and newspaper we could find with stories of 9/11. We promised we would never forget. We talked and talked and talked about 9/11. We felt so raw. It took us weeks if not months to get better. We were so rattled and we were hours from NYC. We couldn't imagine what people in NYC were feeling. 

My friends and I had a fall break trip planned to visit NYC on September 21. Our parents begged us to cancel our trip. We refused to cancel our trip to NYC. We were more determined than ever to go. We went down to ground zero. Two weeks after the attack we could still smell jet fuel. There was still debri everywhere; blocks and blocks away from ground zero. There were postings of missing people everywhere. There were choirs singing on various street corners. It was unreal. The fire was still burning. Two weeks later. 

After 9/11 my best friend Amanda and I were too afraid to sleep alone. I slept on Amanda's futon for months after the attack. We would stay up so late at night talking because we were so afraid that something was going to happen and we would be asleep and not know it. We were on heightened alert for so long. 
As time went on, it got easier.

I will never forget 9/11 or my visit to NYC. I have magazines from 9/11/01 that I refuse to part with no matter how tattered they get from all my moving over the years.

Every year I am glued to the 9/11 tributes and memorials. 
9/11 is something I will never forget.
Where were you?
How did you find out?

I am linking up with Blair at Wild and Precious. 

5 thoughts:

Beth said...

Can't believe you went to NYC just two weeks after the attacks. I don't blame your parents for asking you not to go, but I would have done the same as you.
I still remember it like it was yesterday.

Gina Dixon {Hiya Luv} said...

I'm looking everywhere for my pics so I can scan and post them. They are somewhere. It was unreal; all the soot in stores, melted iron on buildings that were blocks away---really it was unreal. The smell will stay with me forever. It was a historical trip that I'm so glad I took.

WendyB said...

I'm glad you still came that month. I had friends who did too.

Gina Dixon {Hiya Luv} said...

Thanks Wendy. I remember people in the sitting thanking us for traveling. People were so nice and thoughtful in NY on that trip. It was really a wonderful experience.

jemima gregg said... is hard...I was 3 and a half.,..and I just came home from being adopted from Kazakhstan!!1 So I don't remember anything, but I grieve about the 3000 people that died......

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