I’ve been thinking of the anniversary of September 11th a lot this week, and particulary today. I think I remember what I was doing on the September 10th, 2001-possibly out with a friend that night at Christ Methodist Church in Memphis for a random Bible study night for women. I think this was one of many times in college I was on the merry-go-round of trying to figure out my faith. I was a freshman at the University of Memphis, and little over two weeks of college was under my belt. I decided to not go through sorority recruitment(which was put off until sophomore year) and was really liking my Religions of Abraham: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity class. Things were fine.
The next morning, I was getting ready for my 9:40am Tues/Thursday religion class, and my roommate Holly and I had woken up late. I turned on the now defunct 107.5 KISS FM radio to a very solemn morning DJ talking about a unconfirmed airplane hitting the World Trade Center. I can’t remember today if I turned on the TV or just finished dressing and headed to class. Many people were on their Nokia cell phones talking about it, and we got to class with fingers crossed that it would be cancelled. We talked briefly, and we were dismissed.
I sat in front of the TV all day. I didn’t know what else to do besides worry that my male friends would be drafted or that more strikes would happen across the country. As the news stories came in, and pictures were shown on TV, the realization of everything just struck me at once. America was changed. Forever. Immediately, students put flags on cars, telephone polls, in their dorm windows, and on their bodies. As the weeks and months went on, the flags became to be taken down, but the fear lasted. When I graduated in 2005, TIME magazine did an issue about the Class of 2005-that we(as inall May 2005 graduates across the country) were the first college class post-9/11 and what that all means. This will be a day of “where were you when?” a la JFK assassination. I’m still scared every single time I board a plane. Every time. I can’t look at too much footage of that day, and seeing the pictures of people jumping out of the windows…
There will always be anniversary dates. When I taught in 2006 to two classes of freshman girls, I had them write about where they were since it was the 5th anniversary. They were just 4th graders. My cousin was in third grade, and I know my uncle did his best to explain to her and her little brother(he was 5 going on six then) about the state of the country, and answer their questions.
I can only pray, hope, and look towards the future. Such a beautiful morning that day-I will always remember.