Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Since everyone else is telling their story, I might as well tell mine. September 11, 2001. It must have been either a Tuesday or Thursday morning as I recall having an 8 o’clock class before chapel. Ooh I hated those things (by that I mean both 8 o’clocks and chapels). Anywho, on my way to chapel my friend Stuckey had told me that someone had flown a plane into the World Trade Center. At the time I remember thinking, “What an idiot. Last time a plane was flown into a skyscraper it didn’t do a whole lot of damage.” I of course am referring to the 1945 incident where a B-25 crashed into the Empire State Building. It wasn’t too long into chapel when my nap was interrupted by an announcement that a second plane had crashed into the second building. At this point I realized that this wasn’t just some idiot in a plane. Something serious was going on.

I remember sitting in my next class right after chapel watching the CNN broadcast of the buildings falling down, and then of course more news came in about the planes at the Pentagon and Somerset County. Mt professor let us out shortly there after as no one was really in the mood for class. I walked out of the classroom and down the hall watching students stare at the TVs still as statues in disbelief. I myself hadn’t yet come to an understanding as to what was going on. A few other classes were cancelled that day and I wound up spending lunch and hours there after just trying to comprehend the madness going on. Students were angry and trying to call home frantically. In the meantime I remember thinking, “Why is it such a big deal for this to happen to our country, yet acts of terrorism go on every day in other countries without a word being said?”

I don’t recall if I talked to my parents or not that day. I can’t imagine that I didn’t. The shear amount of emotions just overwhelmed me. It overwhelmed everybody. Anger at those that would do such a thing, compassion for those that lost friends and family members, hopelessness, sympathy, fear, all these feelings just brewing inside each and every one of us. It’s why we remember events like this one, or the Kennedy Assassination, or the Challenger Explosion. How do you forget such an overpowering experience?

As the days went on my emotions got the better of me. I had a huge test to study for that week in Analog Electronics (an impossible course let me tell you) and I couldn’t focus for more than 5 minutes. At night I’d lie awake for hours in the dark, in my bed, praying and crying (yes I cried, I’m a big softy I know. Don’t hold it against me) for those that had lost loved ones. It was all I could do in a time when I was useless to those suffering.

But time moved on. We moved on. Now all you can do is look back and remember. Remember the emotions that were stirred, the friends that were made, the people that were lost, the thoughts that taught us that we as a people were not invincible. Tragic events will never come to end. There will always be another act of terrorism, another natural disaster, another war, another death and all we can ever do, is just continue on and drive forward. Because without that drive, what’s the point in continuing on?

1 comment:

Christen said...

very well written. i can remember walking through the empty halls of my high school while everyone was in study hall, in a state of shock and fear. i think every single tv was on in the school and you couldn't hear a thing besides the voices on the news. i lay that night too until early in the morning, just crying and praying. i think our country has too easily forgotten the tragedy. like you said, tragic events will always be a part of life. it's the result of the Fall of man and will continue until Christ's return...our drive to remember, help, be strong, and move on should come out of our hope in Christ and our desire that others have the same hope.