I remember 9/11/01 like it was yesterday. I was a senior in high school and was in my 3rd period class which ironically enough was Current Events. My high school had something called the musical minute which is where a minute of music from the radio plays during the last minute of passing period telling you to haul ass to class. My 2nd period class was gym so there was no hurry to get to the locker room and as I was listening to the musical minute the DJ on the radio said very casually there have been reports of a plane hitting one of the WTC towers in NYC. My thoughts were wow, that sucks, thinking it was a small plane with engine trouble.
Our classes were 45 minutes long, by the time I made it to my 3rd period class it was just in time to see the 2nd plane strike the other tower. The rest of the day all the TVs in the school were on and regular lesson plans were put aside. Classmates that had family members who were pilots were hysterical, those with family living and working in NYC were panicked, but everyone remained in a state of shock. The juniors and seniors were allowed to leave for lunch each day but not many did, myself included.
Later that day I had to work. I was a waitress at Steak n Shake. I was the only waitress, of the 4 that were scheduled to work, that came in. It turned out to be a good money day, nice and steady, the mood was very somber and for a full restaurant it was eerily quiet. My manager that nite gave all the employees a free meal and when it was quiet the 5 of us that were working that nite all sat down and ate dinner.
When I got home I fell straight to sleep and waking up the next day was very odd. It seemed so surreal, like waking up from a dream but in reality it was anything but. We had no clue what this meant for our country, we were still reeling from the events the day before. After school and tennis the day after 9/11 me a few friends all went out found a spot in the grass to lay and we talked about how we felt. There were no planes in the sky and that's when it really started sinking in the magnitude of the prior days events. We were close to 2 large airports and 2 smaller airports as well as a little municipal airport, so eerily quiet without the hum of a planes engine.
I will never forget. Thank you is simply not enough to all the men and women who have died for our freedom. I have nothing but respect for the military men and women who serve and protect our country. My sisters boyfriend is in Iraq now and we all want him to come home safe.
I'd like to dedicate this post to Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan W. Collins. He was a year younger than me in high school and was always the life of the party. I didn't know him too well but other friends did, he gave his life in the fight for our country. Photo from this article.