Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Where were your eleven years ago when the traffic events of 9/11 happened? What were you doing? What was your reaction to the events? How has that day shaped your life as you know it today?
I was in my first period journalism class in my 11th grade year of high school. A real young one, I know. As per usual, it was the week before our newspaper was published and we went to the media center to use the computer lab to type our articles.
Teachers and students were gathered around the television in the library showing all that was happening. The first world trade center building with the gaping hole. The fellow students in my class were shocked, stayed in front of the television to learn more. Others went about their work, began to type their articles and get on with their day. This kind of news and destruction happened all the time, right?
We saw the plane hit the second building, live, and I remember my legs being no longer able to hold me up. I sank to the floor, unable to break my gaze from the TV.
At that point in my life, I led a very sheltered life, I must admit. I wasn’t 100% sure that it was the trade center buildings in new York, as I’d seen the trade center building in the inner harbor of Baltimore. I was freaking out that some act of terrorism was happening here, close to where I live and that somehow we were next, my high school.
If i’m recalling the timeline of events correctly, we saw the attack on the pentagon still in the library during first period, journalism. And the first tower collapsed while we were in transition between classes and saw the second tower fall while in second, my social studies or world history class with Mr. Ditman, one of the best teachers and godly men I have ever met.
It being a history class with history in the making, we were allowed to watch and learn what we could. By third period, my best friend had not heard from her mother, a woman who routinely goes to the pentagon as part of her government job. Instead of going to my next class, I say with my friends in the teachers lounge as she tried over and over to get ahold of her mother to ensure she was ok. Thankfully Ms. Linda was not at the pentagon that day, but at her office in DC, and was ok.
I remember there being talk of early dismissal from school, but honestly cannot recall if we got out early or not. I do remember calling my own mother while she was at work asking for her to come home early. I think that was more of a “i’m scared and I need my mommy” moment.
My younger brother didn’t make our home after school that day. I think he was in his last year of middle school. We called around to his friends houses looking for him but they either hadn’t seen him or were covering for him.
My mother and I drove around looking fore him when she got home. Living close to interstate 95 and BWI airport, your could hear that there was something going on. Cars were not traveling on the highway. Planes were not flying overhead (planes were grounded by this time and fighter jets were circling to secure our airspace). I remember being in the car with my mom looking for my brother when a jet flew above us. It was the most eery, odd feeling, like we were the only ones out of their homes…
While not a physical victim from the attacks, I consider myself a mental victim of 9/11. I suffered panic attacks when hearing planes fly “to low to the ground,” which happened quite often considering my proximity to BWI airport. As a sufferer of undiagnosed anxiety and depression already, it was heightened following the events of 9/11, news of death and injury in the middle east, bin laden’s death, etc.
What about you? I’d love to hear your stories of where you were when 9/11 happened, what you’re initial thoughts and reactions were. Sept 11 is one of the most important dates in our nations recent history and one of those moments that you never forget where you were and what you were doing. Feel free to share below!