11 September 2011

September 11-- Ten Years Later

Dear Readers,
Please forgive me for posting a NON Book related post today. I feel that today should be a day of reflection and remembrance, so I want to take some time and talk about 9-11-01.

They say every generation has a moment that defines them. For my PaPaw and Grandma's generations, it was the Great Depression and World War II, for my parents, it was Woodstock and Vietnam. For my siblings, cousins and me, it has to be 9-11-01.

I will never forget that Tuesday morning. I was in my Freshman year at Freed-Hardeman University. My best friend and I had 7:30 am (CST) classes right next to each other so we went to breakfast in the dining hall and then to class, Heather was going to her Bible Class and I was going to American History I with Dr. John Collins. Looking back, it's kind of ironic that I was in my American History class while one of the most significant/ defining  moments in American History was being played out in our country.

After our classes were over, Heather and I met to go to our English class. As we got to the 3rd floor, a fellow student told us that the Twin Towers had been hit and the South Tower had fallen. At that point, we didn't hear about the Pentagon or the plane in Pennsylvania and North Tower was still standing. I remember Heather being completely shocked-- she had been to the Towers that summer and couldn't believe they had been hit. We still didn't know that we were under attack. I think we just thought it had been a crazy accident that two planes had crashed. We didn't want to think of someone attacking our country. We were still young teenage girls. We couldn't imagine this happening.

I think most of our English class must have been in classes at 7:30 because there wasn't much discussion about what was happening. Most of us didn't know. It wasn't until we were at Chapel (10:30 CST) that we learned what had happened that day. I can't remember which Professor stood up and addressed the entire campus to tell us that our country had been attacked, the planes were not accidents-- someone had planned this. For the first time in my life, I realized people did not like our Country.

We were encouraged to go to our classes for the rest of the day and our professor took time to talk to us and let us talk about how things were affecting us. We were able to talk about our concerns and vent our fears and frustrations.

I remember walking into the student center and dorms after classes and every television was turned to CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and other news stations. We were a tiny college craving news. We needed to know what was happening and we needed to know what our President was going to do. For weeks, our tv's were tuned to the news.

Looking back on that day, I think my generation was forced to grow up really quick. Kids who had gone into the military before 9-11-01, had joined during a time of peace, some looking for a military career, others looking for a way to pay for college. Now they were thrust into war time and it wasn't the same Army, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard or National Guard they signed up for. College Students in the Reserves and National Guard waited for news they were being deployed. We all knew it was coming. Then I heard that my cousin E had signed up for the Army. He had been meeting with a recruiter prior to 9-11 and the attack on America solidified his decision to go. Thankfully, E served in Afghanistan and Iraq and made it home to us safely. He's out of the Army now and pursuing his degree in Radiology.

Where were you on 9-11-01? Were you in class, at home? What were you doing? Please leave your 9-11 story. I want this to be a post of rememberence. We will NEVER FORGET.

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