Monday, September 14, 2009


Last Friday was the 8th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. It is one of those events that is indelibly marked in my mind. On Friday I got to thinking about where I was when I learned of the events unfolding.

September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday morning and I was a sophomore at University of Maryland sharing a room with Megan (the only class I had on Tuesdays that semester was 2 hours of step aerobics). It was around 9am when Megan woke me up to ask if I minded if she turned on our 13" tv - that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in NYC. Remembering the story of a plane hitting the Empire State Building in the fog, I figured it was some wayward private pilot lost or in trouble. We quickly realized that this wasn't the case. As we watched, a second plane hit a building, and then news of a plane hitting the Pentagon soon followed.

The University of Maryland is only miles outside DC, and many of its students were from MD, DE, NJ, and NY - so many students were immediately effected. Maryland canceled classes for Wednesday and later held a memorial service. At this service, they encouraged students to pick up a rock with 9/11 written in gold marker. I keep this rock on my desk at home, and over the weekend took its photo.

I have been to NYC many times since then (my sister lives there now), but my first ever trip to NYC was actually after 9.11. I went to see Conan O'Brian with a friend in April of 2002 and while we were there we made a visit to the World Trade Center site viewing platform. The entire event had a surreal quality to it - seeing the ashes of such a tragic event. My heart goes out to the families.

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