I was a senior in college and had been dating my husband for about 5 months. That morning I was asleep when everything happened. It was early morning in California. I am one of those “snooze” people. I sometimes hit the snooze button on my alarm up to 5 times. And I always wake up to the radio. Well on this morning when my alarm first went off I remember hearing about a plane crash. That can happen so I hit snooze and went back to sleep. My alarm went off again and I woke up to President Bush speaking about a plane crash. Usually the President doesn’t talk on the news about a random plane crash. I woke up, ran into my living room and turned on the TV. WHAT? Am I really seeing what was going on? Terrorists had attacked us like that?
But this is America. Stuff like that doesn’t happen here.
I got dressed, got in my car and headed to my first class. I had about a 30-minute commute so I had the radio on the whole time. Just trying to understand what was going on. I found my classroom, sat down and realized some people hadn’t turned on the news yet this morning. The rest of the class told them what had happened.
I still remember that class and that day. In all of my classes, this was all we talked about. Even for weeks after. Trying to understand it all.
Later that day my husband and I met for lunch. Everything seemed weird. There was a man near downtown selling the paper and I bought a copy of it.
Life changed that day. I don’t know if you have every seen the movie United 93 but the first few scenes take place in an airport before anything happened. I remember when airports were like that. When security wasn’t such a huge deal. When my parents would meet me at the gate when I came home from college. When no one had to take their shoes off and there wasn’t a whole lot of worry about flying. Things are so different now.
When I relive the day I am reminded of how big a shock this was to America. We never would have expected anything like this to happen. A friend of mine worked in New York City. Called her cell and I couldn’t get through. Called her parents in Rhode Island and they told me she was safe. All these years later, what happened still seems so unreal.
We lost many Americans that day, and many more after that day. We heard stories of heroism and the country came together. I hope we never forget that day and those who were lost. And I hope and pray that someday, terrorism like this is a thing of the past.