Okay since everyone seems to be bringing back memories of where they were during 9/11/2001 I think I will do the same. First off I was in college taking a class on religion, ironically, and since it was a 2 hour class we were given a 15 minute break in between.
After the break I noticed practically no one showed up for the second half of the class, just about everyone was picking up their bags and leaving. Normally, I would get up and walk outside of the classroom to stretch my legs but that day I didn’t. Outside of the classroom was the building atrium and a crowd was noticeably gathering, it was quite noisy outside of the class and people started to ask what was going on. The professor just kept teaching the class because he had no idea of the events of the day that were transpiring.
Immediately after class was finished I noticed there was a television in the lobby of the building and people were watching the twin towers burning. Clearly, I thought this was some mistake or something. So I asked some of the other students what was going on, basically they yelled at me and said “WE’RE UNDER ATTACK.”
I just couldn’t believe it. It was like watching a bad action movie or something but this was real and it was happening live on television. Many of the professors that were still in the building were telling the students to go back to their dorms or back to their homes because the campus was going to be shut down in a couple hours for security reasons.
So as I headed home on I-75 to Bradenton from Tampa I noticed an awful lot of State Troopers, Police cars, and other military vehicles heading towards Tampa, they were obviously headed towards MacDill Air Force Base where I was sure the President would stop on his first trip back to Washington, DC. You see, at the time, President Bush was in Sarasota reading to some kids in Booker Elementary, I am sure you have seen that footage before.
One item that really shook me was a caravan of about 15 to 20 State Troopers along with the secret service vans and what seemed to me like it could be the press corps that traveled with the President. Never before did I see so much activity at that time. F16’s and other fighter jets were clearly above in the air.
As I listened to NPR on my drive back I couldn’t but think that this may be the start of WW3 and was completely baffled by who could have attacked us and why we were not prepared for it.
From the time I got home, to late in the evening, I couldn’t help but watch the news stations and the coverage of that attack. The repeated images of seeing those buildings on fire, the people dropping from the rooftops, the people scrambling for cover as the towers fell and the debris that covered New York City at the time will forever be burned into my memory.
I mourn the passing of those lives that were lost on 9/11/2001 because that not only that forever changed the course of all of those families that were affected but it changed the course of many other American lives. That day is a day I cannot forget, I am not sure if I want to forget it. Remember 9/11 not for just the lives lost but what happened to all of us afterwards. Truly that day changed the world for so many of us.