Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I remember standing in the shower in my college dorm. I was getting ready for an 8 a.m. class (in Idaho). I heard my roommates pounding on the bathroom door. I just assumed they were getting impatient for the bathroom. I through on a towel and opened the door to my two roommates staring at me in horror.
We listened to the coverage on the radio for a few minutes. After I dressed we went to our lounge where there was a television. Watching the plane hit the second tower is the most terrible thing I have ever seen. I was horrified. I mostly remember complete and utter shock. I just stared at the screen with my mouth open and feeling completely numb.
The rest of the day was a blur. Everything around me seemed to just move. As I walked to class I didn't see anyone. I just walked. I could not believe that the sun was shining and that all seemed normal in my world when hell was falling across the country.
Of course I was mutually terrified and sad. I think I was in doubt that it was real. As the days passed we held services on campus to honor those who'd died. Every day as I passed the flag at half-mass my heart twisted.
During a service where a bunch of students had gathered to pray and listen to counsel from leaders I felt my first taste of peace. It was a sad peace. But as we stood there singing the National Anthem, I was surrounded by other people who were at least as scared as I was. With tears in my eyes I felt sense of unity that I haven't experienced before or since.
September 11 will always be a day that invokes sadness in my heart. But it also reminds me of what it felt like to be united as a country. As a people. The strength and resolve. The unity and even the anger. If we could put aside our differences and find a way to come together like that again, I truly believe we could do great things.
To the firefighters and cops who sacrificed their lives and to those courageous victims on the plane who prevented more deaths,: Thank you. To those who died as victims of a horrible crime: I remember. I'll always remember.