Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where were you?

I'm sure many of you will be remembering where exactly you were 10 years ago tomorrow.  It's one of those moments that everyone remembers what they were doing at the time they found out about the terrorist attacks on our country.

Where was I?  I can remember it like it was yesterday. 

I was 18 and a college freshman.  It was the day after Bid Day, and I was lying in my oh-so-cool twin bed in my dorm room in Tutwiler, contemplating just how much trouble I would get in by wearing my new Phi Mu Bid Day t-shirt without washing it first (major no-no).  I had just turned on the television and was sleepily taking in the morning news programs when the "Breaking News" came on - that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Towers. Jeez, I remember thinking, I hope the pilot is okay.  There must have been some strong winds to do that... before realizing the magnitude of what had happened.

As I laid there watching it and trying to wrap my head around what the heck really happened - I saw the second plane hit in real time - with people there in NYC yelling and running shakily down the sidewalks.  I can remember sitting straight up in the bed, with a dishelved head of hair and bleary eyes and yelping an "OH MY GOD!"  as I surely was not seeing what I thought I was witnessing.  Not ten seconds later I could hear yelling in the hallways of the 8th floor of Tutwiler as more people were finding out what was going on. 

I immediately picked up my cell phone and called my mom, who was teaching in her second grade classroom.  "Mom - turn on your TV.  We're under attack."

I didn't go to class that day.  I sat - held hostage, really - in front of the TV as more and more "Oh My God" moments kept tumbling in.  The second World Trade Center Tower, their collaspe,s that smoke cloud right out of a horror movie filling the streets, President Bush's address, the Pentagon, then finding out about Flight United 93. 

What those terrorists didn't know is that yeah - it was scary to be an American that day.  Who knew what was coming around the bend?  But I had never been prouder to be an American.  The spirit of resolve and the solidity of unity had never been stronger.  Watching the specials on television over the past few days has only strengthened that feeling with the Smith's... how about y'all?  Aren't you proud to be an American?

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

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