Seven years ago today I was in my first year of college at Western New Mexico University. I had woken up that morning for my music theory class, since some sadist decided it was okay to begin classes at 7:30 in the morning. Before I left, I had synced up my Palm Pilot, and as part of that sync, I downloaded a number of news articles to read as well throughout the day. As I'm going to class, I see an article that says a plane struck the World Trade Center. Immediately I think that some small commuter plane veered out of control and hit the building, as it had happened the previous summer in NYC. Little did I know how wrong it would be.
As I began to read the article, my jaw basically hit the ground as to what was going on. At that point, the towers were hit, and so was the Pentagon. We only got through part of class that day before the professor let us go early. All over campus people were glued to TV sets, watching to see what was going on. As I happened to reach one of the common areas in the student union, that's when the towers fell, and we all just stood there, watching in horror.
Classes were basically canceled the rest of the day for obvious reasons, and most of us spent our time watching the news. I was also actively on a message board online where people across the country were having their own reactions. Somewhere I may still have a CD archive of the threads from that day, which in a sense captures a true picture of just what people were feeling.
Being in rural New Mexico, I wasn't expecting anything to happen. However, at the time my mom was on a business trip and it was taking place at Disneyworld. I don't know if many people remember this, but Disneyworld actually closed for the first time in history because they were afraid of getting attacked as well. To top it off, she was supposed to fly back the next day, but of course with all of the planes grounded, that wasn't happening. Work was desperately trying to get her back because she is an ER supervisor, but no go on the transportation, she would not get back until the following Saturday, four days later.
I made sure that things were okay at home of course, but the worry from myself and the family was my mom. We were actually making plans to have my dad come get me and we would drive across the country to pick her and some co-workers up and bring them back, when they finally let her get a flight home. Luckily Disneyworld was also nice enough to cut them some slack and didn't charge them for the extra days they were forced to stay over.
The day after, one of my professors didn't really hold class, he just let us talk, rant, rave, whatever. That was probably a wise idea because considering his background, there were likely idiotic racist bigots who were throwing death threats his way, and better to let us get our own feelings out amongst ourselves openly, than to try and hold class and make it look like he didn't care or something.
The people I still wonder about to this day is the family who lived across the street from my parent's house in California. They were from Iran and were the nicest people in the world, and I admit I had a crush on their daughter (I was always attracted to dark haired beauties). I hope she and her family didn't get harassed, but that is probably something I will never know.
I had a cousin who worked in the towers, he managed to get out before they fell, but it wasn't until about two years ago that he finally began to talk more openly about what had happened on that day. It was both fascinating and scary to hear just what he saw and heard as he was there, getting out of there, and ultimately getting away right before the collapse.
Yeah, there's really no structure to this entry, just letting the words flow.
I went to the UU church the Sunday afterward, and one of the things I actually expressed to the entire congregation was that I feared that this was going to put us into some sort of war, and that it would bring back the draft. I had said that because previously there had been articles in the media about how recruitment had not been that great. Luckily I was wrong on the draft part. Unfortunately I was not wrong on being dragged into a sort of war, which while justified in its original mission in Afghanistan, since then it has expanded to areas that had nothing to do with 9/11.
Never thought I would witness something like this in my lifetime. I still get paranoid at times that something's going to happen to me one day while riding Metro. Yet I continue to ride it simply because the last thing I should do is let a fear rule my life.