It was my freshman year of college. I had a single dorm room, and was getting used to the freedom of not having to get up early for classes, since all of my classes were in the afternoon. It was unusual if I was up before 11am that semester!
On the morning of September 11th, I don’t know what compelled me, but I sat BOLT UPRIGHT in bed, and turned on the TV just around 8am. I never wake up early without an alarm, and I definitely never turn on the TV upon waking. Imagine my surprise when I saw the news… it was eerie.
My brothers, two recently “ex” Marines and one active Air Force member were the first thing on my mind. Would they be okay? Would they get called back? What was going on? I called my mom, as she was already at work and hadn’t seen or heard anything.
For the rest of the day, I kept my door open – most of the girls on my floor crowded into my small dorm room to watch the news on my 13″ tv… which was also strange because lots of people had larger tv’s on our floor, but for some reason, everyone felt like congregating with me. I had more info than most, since I had seen the second plane hit live on TV and had been watching ever since.
I did have to take a break to run to my Math class to turn in a take-home test. I let the TA know what had happened, as he had been teaching since 8am and hadn’t seen the news. He cancelled the rest of his sessions for the day.
Eventually I found a ride back to my parents’ house for the evening, knowing that my mom was an absolute mess, worried of course, for my brother. She had a meltdown immediately upon hearing about the Pentagon being hit. I had to be the rock for most of my friends, the source of information, while meanwhile I was falling apart inside not knowing how it would impact my military family.
I remember becoming almost obsessed – I couldn’t stop watching the news. I didn’t sleep for probably 5 days, just was constantly watching television to find out what would happen next.
My brothers, fortunately, did not have to be involved in active combat, but my cousin enlisted in the Marines shortly thereafter, and has since spent 3 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. My husband’s stepbrother has done a tour as well, as a member of the National Guard. They’ve both known soldiers who have been severely injured or killed in the conflict over there.
It was certainly a coming-of-age event for me as a freshman in college. Obviously nothing like that had ever happened in my lifetime, and it’s something I will never forget. I cannot believe 10 years has passed already… I remember every detail like it was yesterday…