I remember when I was younger my grandparents and parents saying oh yeah I remember exactly where I was when Presidebt Kennedy was shot. And, I remember thinking huh I can’t imagine remembering exactly what I was doing and every moment of a single day. I mean sure I can remember bits and pieces of days when something significant happened but I couldnt say oh it was Tuesday blah blah at this time. That is until September 11th 2001. I will forever remember that day and everything that went on around me.
It started off like any other day in my college career. I was getting ready for class in my apartment on Lincoln Ave. I had just turned the television on as I was tuned into ABC to watch a little Regis and Kelly as I ate some breakfast. It was a little before 9am so the news broadcast was still on, when all of a sudden they reported a plane had hit the World Trade Center. My roommate and I looked at each other and shook our heads and even said how do you miss them? Thinking that it was some small plane that had crashed into the tower, not knowing the horror that was to ensue.
I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and all of a sudden Mari, my roommate said Oh My God, another plane just flew into the other tower. I came out of the bathroom toothbrush in hand mouth full of toothpaste and watched the replay of the plane crashing into the tower. I was in utter shock. What the heck was going on?
We both sat on the couch watching the news of course not getting much information because at that point everyone was asking the same thing, what just happened. We watched for a while and then got ourselves up and off to class.
I went to my first class Natural Hazards and Disasters, where I was taking the class with several friends. As I sat down the lecture hall was a buzz with what was transpiring. My one friend than told me that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon. The Pentagon, how do you even get a plane low enough and near enough to crash into that. It was clear to us all at that point that our world would never be the same.
I remember getting through class and heading to the bus to head to the other end of campus. People were either talking about was going on, in their own little worlds trying to process what was going on, and others were comforting others who were trying to reach loved ones. I got on the bus and as we pulled from the curb the radio was on and announced I repeat the twin Towers are no more. What!!!! What does that mean? And, then someone on the bus said they both collapsed to the ground, completely collapsed. I got a knot in my stomach an ache in my chest and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The bus was the quietest I’ve ever experienced.
When we reached the other end of campus we all got off the bus pretty much in a complete daze and headed off to our classes.
I had my Intro to Athletic Training class with one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever had and the most intimidating man I’ve ever met. He walked in the classroom put is stuff on the desk and turned to us. He said we will not be having class today. Go home make calls if you need to take care of what you need to take care of. We will have class when the time is right. And, then he picked up his stuff and walked out of the room. We all kind of looked at each other and then headed for the door.
I made it back to my apartment and watched the coverage of what was happening in 3 different locations and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My roommate was freaking out as she couldn’t get a hold of her dad. She finally got through to family and found out everyone was safe and sound.
The next couple of days were crazy with every television channel broadcasting the events that took place and the aftermath. Classes resumed, students that were there one day were no longer sitting in their seats.
In one of my classes the door flew open a kid said Ethan you got a call you have to go. He picked up his stuff and walked out of class he didn’t come back, he was a Reservist and was called to duty. I honestly have no idea whatever happened to him, so if your name is Ethan and you were in Professor O’Brien’s Physio Socio Aspects of Sports Class at SUNY Cortland I hope you’re doing well.
We all lost something that day and we will never get it back. And, I can honestly say I know exactly what my parents and grandparents were talking about when they would say I remember exactly where and what I was doing. I am hoping that those who were not alive in 2001 never experience a day where they can say I remember exactly what I was doing and where I was on that day.
I still have the same reaction as I did that day when I hear reports, see images, and videos from that day I get the lump in my throat, knot in my stomach, and a well of tears in my eyes. I can honestly say I will never forget.