That September Day 10 Years Ago

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm pretty sure everyone in this country will be spending some time today thinking about that Tuesday 10 years ago from today. I truly cannot believe it's been an entire decade already! On September 11, 2001, I was a college freshman at the University of Central Florida. When I think back to my experiences that morning, I feel incredibly ignorant. Despite my admiration for the concept of New York City, I didn't even know what the twin towers were. I got ready for class and headed over to the UCF campus where I met my friend, Sarah, at her dorm so we could walk to our psychology class together. The ride from my townhouse to campus was only a few minutes so I didn't hear very much on the radio. By the time I parked on campus all I knew was that there was a plane that crashed into a building. Obviously a tragedy, but I had no idea at that time of the overwhelming significance. I met with Sarah and we walked across campus to our class. Our class continued as scheduled, and I remember our professor asked if we had heard about the plane(s) that had crashed. I don't remember exactly what I was thinking at the time except that it was much worse than I had realized (what? two planes?) But after a quick remark, the class continued.

After class, Sarah and I headed down to the student union to grab lunch. I picked up a salad from Chick-Fil-A and we walked down to Sarah's dorm where we planned on eating with her roommates. So it wasn't until lunchtime when we sat down on and turned on the tv that I understood what really had happened. And then there was this overwhelming fear for which I'm sure you're all familiar. Even down in Florida, phone calls couldn't go through to others (also in Florida) because the networks were so busy. It took forever to get through to anyone.

I had to work that night at a restaurant where I waited tables. I remember it was an extraordinarily slow night, and all of the guests and workers were watching the tv's in the bar to keep up with the news reports about what had happened. It was a very somber evening.

There's so much that can be said about that day but also so little. Because we all already know. So let's keep in mind the people who lost their lives that day as well as their families. Also, everyone whose lives have been affected in the aftermath. I'm hoping to be able to take another trip to Manhattan in the near future and will be checking out the new memorial. I also recommend touring the pentagon. We did that on our last trip to Washington, D.C. and it was very enlightening. You have to request tickets at your local congressman's website. And I recommend checking out the pentagon memorial afterwards as well.

I've surprisingly read very few books about 9/11, but I do recommend the ones I can think of: Let's Roll by Lisa Beamer (non-fiction/memoir), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (fiction), and One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury (christian fiction). I recently started to read a new non-fiction that came out, The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan. It was really interesting but I did get a little bored halfway through and just haven't gotten back to it. I will definitely review it here when I'm done.


Juju at Tales of said...

It's amazing. In some ways it feels like 10 years but mostly it doesn't. My heart goes out to all those people who lost someone.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Okay, let's try that again!

That date is one we'll never forget. Not only what we were doing when everything happened, but how those events still haunt us. When we fly anyway, we're reminded again.

I wrote a bit about it on MY SUNDAY SALON POST

Zibilee said...

I also will never forget where I was during that horrible time. It's weird to think that ten years have passed, and so much has changed, but people will never forget the impact that that day made on them. Very heartfelt and touching post, Jenny.

Booksnyc said...

I will never forget where I was and today the events seemed so much closer than a decade ago.

I haven't read any post 9/11 fiction or non-fiction but two new books piqued my interest - "Where You Left Me" by a 9/11 widow and her journey to re-build her life for herself and her two girls. And Unmeasured Strength by Lauren Manning who survived the attack with burns over 80% of her body from a fireball that came down the elevator shaft in the tower.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful post, Jenny. I remember just getting up for the day (I had late classes that morning at college) and turning on my computer, reading the news headline, and just staring at my computer screen, stunned. I recall fumbling around for my tv remote and finding the news channel, which I remained glued to the entire day. I never made it to classes that day. It's a time we will never forget.

Jenners said...

It was so hard to comprehend what was happening at the time. I remember when my boss's wife called to tell us a plane had hit the first tower, we all thought she meant a commuter plane or something. It was so incredibly unexpected and hard to wrap your mind around. It still is.

I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close as well. I thought it was pretty well done.

And I'm very interested to see the memorials. I think they did a good job with them.

Trish said...

Oh, I can't believe that it has been 10 years. On the one hand it makes me feel a little old but it still feels like this all happened yesterday. I was in college as well--on the bus on my way to classes. It's an event that has shaped our lives.

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