Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

The night of Monday, September 10, 2001, I went to bed with no worries! I had just started my junior year of college at Jacksonville State University, living in a cute apartment that I had just decorated, living with a couple of sweet girls. My biggest worries were how many words I had to write in my latest essay and how many more maths I had to take to graduate! Little did I know that the next day, the world as I had known it for 20 years was going to change and never be the same!

I woke up on Tuesday, September 11th, like any other week day. I always set my alarm for around 7 (even though many days I didn't actually get up at that girl, remember?) I was a student majoring in Communications and MANY days our professors would give us pop quizzes on current events in the media (I guess they thought that Communication majors needed to be up on current events, ha!) so most mornings I would watch and listen to The Today Show while I got ready. On this particular morning, I was sitting on my bed eating my breakfast listening to Matt Lauer with breaking news of a plane crashing into one of the Twin Towers in New York City. As he discussed the news, the infamous shot was shown of the black smoke and the gaping hole in the tower. I remember thinking, "Who flew a plane into the World Trade Center? How could you not see the towers?"

As Matt Lauer continued to talk and try to get answers from eye witnesses, the camera stayed on the horrific scene. As I sat and watched, I saw another plane really close to the WTC and I remember thinking, "Should that plane be that close?" As I sat on my bed looking at the TV, the second plane hit the second tower. I sat in silence and in disbelief! This could NOT be happening - not in MY lifetime, not in MY country!!

I sat, for what seemed like an eternity but was actually only a few minutes, just trying to process the events that were unfolding in front of me! I was the only person awake in my apartment and I didn't want to be alone so I decided to wake up my roommate Holly. She and I sat on our couch, watching the news coverage and shaking our heads. We could not step away from the TV. As we continued to watch, the scenes became even more horrific! We listened as news broke of the plane crashing into the Pentagon, as well as the one crashing in Pennsylvania. We both called our families, terrified that basically the world was ending!

I had been lucky enough to travel to New York City in 1999 with my graduating senior high school class. While in NYC, we visited the World Trade Center and visited the "Top of the World" as their tour to the top was called. I remember that day vividly because I was SO impressed with those buildings! Being from a small town, NYC was amazing enough but the Twin Towers intrigued me! I remember being so impressed that the people that worked there had a MALL at work! You have to love the mindset of an 18-year-old! :)

I remember the events of 911 as if they were just yesterday! The days that followed 911 were so world was now a scary place to live! I remember laying in my bed for many nights after that horrific day and I wasn't able to sleep. I would just lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering what kind of world this had become! It was such a confusing time for me but also the most patriotic time in my 20 years! I remember this country becoming so UNITED! We were so determined, so united, and so loving towards each other. What was such a horrendous tragedy turned this country into a whirlwind of patriotism! We BELIEVED in this country and we BELIEVED in each other!!!

As we reflect on the horrific events of 9-11, we need to remember how united we became! We need to be reminded of what's important and how BLESSED we are to live in this great nation!