Sunday, September 11, 2011
I worked Tuesdays at noon, hosting for the Old Spaghetti Factory. It was a little after 9am and I was still in bed debating if I should get up and dressed for chapel or not. My roommate was at her desk on her laptop, just coming back from her 8am class. She went online and noticed that something had happened with a plane and a building. She freaked out because she had to fly the next day and was terrified of flying. I groggily got out of bed and we read what was happening on yahoo.com.
Slowly girls began to migrate into dorms rooms with televisions. We sat, glued as we watched a plane fly into the second world trade center. Girls would pop in and out, asking if this was really happening.
It was as if time stood still. We watched live as the the towers fell. It was like watching a movie, except it wasn't hollywood special effect teams. Great billows of grey ash rolled up into the sky and enveloped everything in it's path. Everyone just sat there. Stunned. Silent tears rolled down my face. What is happening? What is going on? What about all those people?
Fear started to take hold of some of the girls, tears continued to spill sometimes into a furious frenzy. I just felt shocked to the core, almost into a complete numbness. I can't remember who called who, but I am sure I talked to my parents at some point. I called into work and they said to come if I wanted, but they did not think it would be busy and to be careful and aware.
St. Paul, MN also houses a world trade center. Everyone in the Twin Cities was on high alert. As I walked to work, passing the Metrodome, cars flooded out of the city. Most of the high rise buildings were evacuated. Ryan (than my boyfriend) called me on his lunch break. He wanted to see how I was doing. As I walked pass the metrodome I saw a low flying plane. I about had a heart attack. While it was just a plane headed to the airport for a mandatory grounding, it was low and it was scary. I literally thought my heart was going to stop. I don't remember what happened at work, except that everyone looked as pale as a ghost. I am sure I stumbled my way home.
I was suppose to fly home to go to one of Ryan's football games two days later. Obviously most of those flights were canceled. No one wanted to fly. No one knew what would happen.
I did fly that next weekend. It was probably one of the most tense flights of my life. No one talked, as if words of what happened would make it happen again. Air Marshalls were everywhere. Flight attendants whispered about where they were in the air when everything happened.
Prayers were constantly on my heart and on my lips. Anger came at times, great sadness, fear and shock was also present. But a weird sense of survival kicked in. It was like, alright, this was awful. This was horrendous. Let's grow and move past this. Let's unite. Let's bring the good back into the world again. I felt like fighting. The grave injustice made me mad, fighting mad.
While I will never, ever forget those first few moments of 9/11, I will also never forget those moments afterward. Those moments of unity and resilience, of camaraderie. Of heroism, that were both seen and unseen. I will never forget that strength that appeared in people, never seen before.
So, on this ten year anniversary. I will remember. I will remember the good and the bad.
I will remember to continue to pray for my country, it's leadership and it's people.
God Bless America.