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My September 11 Memory

Sept 11
ne!l chen/flickr

The morning of September 11, 2001.

It was a time that we can recall exactly where we were, and what we were doing.

Today, and every year, we recall that tragic day.  I was a student in college…..


at Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee.  I was a freshman.


I started a brand new chapter in my life, as I sat in an auditorium full of excited students during freshman orientation.


Before we were to wrap up the meeting, a professor walked up to the podium and interrupted the dean of students speech to whisper something in his ear.   He then informed us that a plane has crashed into the world trade center.


My first thought was that this was a plane crash, a tragedy nonetheless, but I didn’t realize how big of a tragedy this was until I walked back to my dorm room to see all of my friends watching the TV intently.


What I saw changed everything….


World Trade Center



Two planes had crashed into the world trade center; this was an act of terrorism.


America, our great nation, had been attacked.



And as I watched, another breaking news story flashed across the screen.


Another hijacked plane slammed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, killing at least 189 people. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in rural southern Pennsylvania, killing 44 people aboard.


Classes were canceled, but we weren’t exactly cheering.


Weeks later, I remember walking to class and noticed a plane flying over campus.  Anybody who was standing outside did the same thing I was doing; we stopped what we were doing and starred at the sky.

It was the first time we saw a plane fly in the sky since September 11.


It’s hard to believe that all happened eleven years ago.


Put this in perspective, An 18-year-old college freshman today who was only 7-years-old at the time  has a  limited memory of the events. And while the news media and information machines seemed to be sending out continuous updates at lightening pace, on September 11, 2001 there was no Twitter, no Facebook, no YouTube and even Google News was still a year from its launch. While there was a lot of internet media sources reporting, even the sites of news giants like CNN, FOX News and Reuters looked quite primitive by today’s standards. And certainly none of this internet based informational content which was available was being uploaded and exposed through social media, nor was anybody texting about it. Those technologies didn’t exist. Television news is where most people were glued that day — watching the horrors unfold on those big boxy square-screened sets as flat screens and HDTV were still years off.


My story, however, doesn’t even compare to what the families and friends of the victims had to endure, and still enduring.


Let us also never forget the fallen heroes; the brave police officers and fire fighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.


Where were you on the morning of Sept 11, 2001?


Feel free to share your story by commenting below…..

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