It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long since the tragedies of September 11, 2001. For myself the shock and horror of those days has dulled, but the remembrance of those souls who lost their lives that day will never be forgotten.
It doesn’t matter what happened after that fateful day, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, those events need to be put to the side this September 11th. We need to remember and honor those who lost their lives.
Most of us have memories of that day in 2001. I know I sure do.
I remember going to dining hall at the University of Delaware. It was my sophomore year. I was getting eggs and I remember hearing on the radio, that was playing in the dining hall, that a plane had hit the Word Trade Center. At that time they didn’t know it was a terror attack. Heck at that time they thought it was only a small plane.
I remember getting my food and walking to a table to eat and hearing the person on the radio exclaim that another plane just hit the other tower. That this wasn’t an accident – we were under attack.
At that point I was dazed. I figured, as I finished my meal, that more would come out as the day progressed and that I should go to class. I jumped on my bike and rode to class. When I got across campus I realized I was so dazed that I forgot my books in the dining hall. I had to ride back and get them.
My first class that day was Math. The teacher mentioned nothing about the attacks. There was a few murmurs among classmates but just a lot of, “did you hear what’s going on?”
After that class ended I walked across the quad to my next class, Psychology 101. As I sat down more people were talking about what was going on. Professor Giza came out and made an announcement. This is something I’ll never forget. (I’m sure 9 years later I’m paraphrasing):
As some of you might know two airliners were flown into the World Trade Centers this morning. I am sad to say that both towers have collapsed. (My heart still drops when I remember these words) Another plane has crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC and one other has crashed in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania plane was thought to be heading toward to White House.
I remember seeing a girl run out of the room sobbing and thinking that she had just lost a loved one.
Giza then took a vote on if we wanted to continue class. I thought this was really smart because sometimes people want to keep some normalcy in their day to cope. She did allow anyone who wanted to leave to do so.
I remember thinking to myself, My God we’re living in a Tom Clancy novel.
I tried to sit through the class, thinking it would be better for me. That didn’t last long. I found myself wanting to go see what was happening.
I got up and left. When I got back to my dorm everyone’s doors were open, the TVs were blaring different news stations coverage of the events. I remember running into my room and turning on my TV. I as I fell into my chair, I remember first seeing the recording of the Towers coming down. It became real.
I don’t think I cried that much that day. I was too much in shock. I remember calling my loved ones to make sure everyone was safe. My step-mom who still works in Manhattan had to walk out of the city.
A few days later UD held an inter-faith candle light vigil in the center of the campus. I remember the Green (that’s what we called the area) being filled with students, faculty, staff and others. It was a really moving sight. I was lucky enough to cover the event for the school newspaper, The Review.
Those are my memories from that day. This is actually the first time I’ve committed them to “paper.” I’m glad I finally did.
I would like to make this plea on this anniversary. Let us remember those who were lost and honor their memory not with hate and anger, but with tolerance and love. For it’s not one faith against another that brought this attack. It was a group of radicals.
Burning Qu’rans and hate speak is not acceptable. It dishonors those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. May their souls rest in peace and never be forgotten.