I was 19 years old, I was sleeping peacefully in my bed in Tri-Delt, no class that day, only work.
My roommate bursts through our door, breathless and crying. Nothing new….she could be a bit dramatic at time. She is mumbling something about her Dad, about a plane, about a fire.
That gets my attention…..I sit up straight in bed, rubbing sleep from my eyes.
She is not making sense, something has happened….something bad…..something bigger than we could ever imagine. She walks out of the room. I follow her.
I walk to the pledge lounge, it’s one of the only rooms in the sorority that has cable.
There is a huge crowd in there…. I think to myself “why isn’t anyone in class?”
My roommate is still crying, still on her cell phone, people are trying to comfort her.
I look at the t.v. I see a plane crashing into a building, a plane crashing into another building, and the word TERRORISM being said over and over.
“What is going on!” I think to myself
I listen to what is being said: 4 planes, 3 buildings hit, 1 plane crashed into a field, many deaths.
I watch those buildings collapse, over and over, the panic in the reporters voices.
Our world will never be the same.
My roommates Dad worked at the Pentagon, she kept calling him frantically, not knowing if he was ok.
I had to go to work, life had to keep going, I was the assistant manager after all, I had no choice.
I drove to work, looking up to the sky and thinking how odd it was not to see planes up there, not to hear the sound of airplanes that I was so used to hearing every day.
Instead silence, in the air, in the streets, everywhere.
I remember, how can you forget?
It takes on a new meaning now.
I have children.
I have a husband.
What would I do?
What if it was my husband? My child? My loved one?
When you are from Manhattan, Kansas, not Manhattan, New York you can separate yourself.
But can you?
Little Apple; Big Apple; we are still Americans; we are still connected; we are still impacted…….. it could have been us.
Terrorism was a new word to us that day……. now? It’s a word my kids will grow up being familiar with, knowing that it could apply to them at any minute.
My roommates Dad was ok, he survived that fateful day. But I am sure it changed him, just like it changed all of us.
That is why I remember today, I remember every day, and I will never forget.
We may be the land of the free, and the home of the brave, but we are not invincible, bad things happen to us too. So don’t forget that. Love your kids every day. Love your husband every day. Love your family every day.
Today, remember that day, as hard as it may be. It is a true testament to the greatness of our country. To the brave who sacrificed their lives, to the families still dealing with the pain, to the ones we owe our freedom to.
10 years ago they tried to break us…………. Today we can stand up and tell them they never can.
I remember…..do you?