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Where were you? September 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bridget @ 9:15 am

Seven years ago this morning, I was an 18-year-old college freshman, about 3 weeks into my first semester. I was 400 miles away from my family for the first time in my life and I was living in a dorm room with a girl I barely knew who had covered her half of the room in Grateful Dead posters and framed pictures of Jim Morrison. The biggest worry in my head as I got ready to go to World History class that Tuesday morning was if I should fly back home on Friday, as planned, to attend a family friend’s wedding or if I should stay at school and go to the new member retreat for the sorority I had just joined. I had been really looking forward to seeing my family, but I also wanted to get to know the girls who would be my closest friends for the next four years.

When I came back into the room from taking a shower, my roommate said her boyfriend (who was a bit of a stoner) had just called and told her that terrorists had flown a plane into a building in New York. I was a little confused, but didn’t think too much of it. I proceeded to get dressed in a dark pink and light pink striped polo, khaki capris, and flip flops. Soon after, one of my best friends from High School called from her dorm room at Brown University in Providence, RI. She said “Are you watching the news?” “No.” “The World Trade Center was just destroyed, you need to turn on the news.” “Ok.” It was our shortest conversation in all of history.

My roommate and I finally turned on the TV and watched the events as they unfolded in New York. We were awe-stricken along with the rest of the world. Eventually, I walked down the hall of the dorm and saw other girls gathered in rooms watching the TV as well. I tend to glue myself to the news when something major is going on, so I debated skipping my 9:30 class. I decided to go to World History and thought that maybe the professor would let us watch the news or would at least talk about what was happening, since history was being made today, after all. I thought about the tragic Columbine shooting several years before. I was in high school at the time and several teachers used class time to talk about what had happened and to listen to all of our thoughts and concerns. That had helped me greatly then. Instead, the history professor continued his lecture on Napoleon and we all frantically took notes. Walking back to my dorm room after that class, I felt more homesick than I had in the three weeks I had been in college. I talked to my parents multiple times throughout the day and jumped on the chance to go to a Mass being held that evening. That day made me incredibly thankful that I had chosen to go to a Jesuit university; Mass has always been a place of comfort, familiarity, consistency, and sacredness for me.

When I was in middle school, a history teacher told my class to go home and ask our parents where they were when they found out JFK was killed. I knew on September 11, 2001, that this day would be the national tragedy that my generation would forever remember where we were and what we were doing.

I know that as one girl in one dorm room in St. Louis, Missouri, this event didn’t touch my life in the tragic and unfathomable way it touched others’, but this is my story. What’s yours?

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2 Responses to “Where were you?”

  1. Erica Says:

    It’s amazing to realize the details you remember about that day, huh? My oldest son had just started Kindergarten and I was watching the son of a friend until she got home from work (she worked the night shift at the hospital in Poplar Bluff). So I had Zachary (mine) and Spencer and they were both taking morning naps on the couch when the news started coming in on tv. When Michelle got there, we just sat and watched, hardly speaking, and holding our babies for the rest of the day. Her daughter Hailey and Tyler were in the same Kindergarten class and we debated about going to pick them up, should we? We just weren’t sure what to do. My hubby was in Gatlinburg, TN finishing up a house, getting ready to come home. I just wanted him to hurry. It was the first time in my life that I remember feeling very out-of-control. I really didn’t know what to do.
    Like you, I know it doesn’t even compare to what others went through on that day…I hope they are remembered today in everyone’s thoughts and prayers.

  2. Jenny Says:

    It seems so crazy to me that this tragedy happened 7 years ago … it seems like it JUST happened. I remember everything about that day. I was sleeping … waiting to go to class. I was 19 and a college sophomore. My boyfriend at the time called me and said “Are you watching the news … you NEED to turn on the news” We hung up and I turned on the news. To my shock and dismay, I learned the fact that history had been horribly made. I called my family, thankful that I had not been more tragically affected. I went to class, expecting, like you, that the teacher would allow us to discuss what was happening … instead he said “Yeah, it’s awful, but life goes on, and so does science class” Wow, pretty insensitive, don’t ya think. Crazy. I enjoy your blog btw 🙂 Keep up the good work!


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