I'm still out on blog vacation and it just didn't feel right having someone's guest post popping up here, unless 9.11 was their theme. This is a time of remembrance and reflection of where you were, what you were doing on 9.11.11.
Even though I'm on vacation and away from my blog, I'll start...
I was a junior in college, at UNCG. I had a 9am Tuesday/Thursday Recreation class and we had an exam that day, September 11th. My friends and I were sitting on the front steps of the building studying. I loved my major (Recreation, Parks and Tourism) and really had fun learning about tourism, vacation and event planning (Yes this is a real major). My friends and I noticed our professor running out of the building, past us on the steps studying, and he jumped into a car that had pulled up. He sat in this car, and listened to the radio with the driver until it was time for the class to start. My classmates and I all thought that was a little odd, but we had an exam to study for and didn't really give it a second thought.
Health and Human Sciences Building at UNCG. Steps where I was when it happened
As everyone went inside the classroom and were seated, glancing at our note cards one last time before the exam, we saw the professor come into the room looking very shaken up. He announced to our class that a plane had hit one of the World Trace Center towers in NYC. He said there were reports of a second plane hitting the other tower as well. I can remember him saying to us "We are witnessing history. This is terrorism in America, something your children will read about in text books." I absolutely didn't take any of what he said all that seriously. I thought maybe it was a mistake, like a small plane accidentally hit a building. And definitely not terrorism, and that our professor was just being dramatic, like he sometimes tended to be.
The professor proceed to hand out our exams. As people were finishing up, preparing to leave, the professor made the announcement that if any of us were too upset to have done well, that he would give the option for a re-test. I really was confused at this point. I know I wasn't that concerned with the information he had given us about the plane crash. I knew what terrorism was, but we're in the USA, where everything is safe... right? So I felt confident on my exam and turned it in as-is.
I had a second class that day, and when I arrived, the next professor announced that the class was being canceled and the university was shutting down for the rest of the day. That's when it hit me. That this was terrorism, not a joke and I became very scared. I lived less than a mile off campus, but I was scared to get in my car. I thought if a terrorist could use an airplane as a weapon to destroy a building, who knows what else was planned.
I turned on my radio in the car and the morning radio show I listened to that normally went off at 10am, was still on and it was almost 1pm. They kept taking calls from people who were scared and they tried to help and council them. I got back to my apartment and tried to call my parents. The cell phone lines were down. I live in North Carolina, no where near DC, Pennsylvania or NYC where the attacks happened that day.
I just remember watching tv, and seeing the faces of panicked New Yorkers. The watching and the waiting. First one building, than two. Then the Pentagon, then the field in Pennsylvania. I thought about my friend who was visiting the city for a job interview that day and wondered where he was (later I learned he had gotten stuck underground on a subway.)
There is a rock in the middle of UNCG's campus. It was often spray panted by sororities or fraternities. Just a few weeks before in preparation for my co-ed rush we had spray painted "Got Sex? We have both!" (I was in APO, a co-ed fraternity)
Anyway, the rock that was commonly used as inexpensive advertising was painted that day. It simply stated "United We Stand." The rock remained painted that way for months and months.
Watching the news coverage, I think we were truly united as a country.
From that awful morning on Tuesday, September 11, 2011 our lives were forever changed. Flying became more of a fear. And everyone in this country's guard went up, not knowing how this was possible and if it could ever happen again.
The tourism field was forever changed that day as well. I had wanted to graduate and become a travel agent, but for the next few years, people were terrified to fly. This act of terrorism changed all of that. Thank you to the police officers, fire fighters, military, and everyone else who helped our country that awful day 11 years ago.
Where were you on 9.11? Share your story or link up your post in the comment field below.
My girls are doing a link-up. I didn't expect to be linking up while on vacay, but this post fit perfectly.