September 11, 2001.
I was in my fifth and final year of college. I lived in an apartment with two other girls. I got ready for my 9:00 class and started to leave, my neighbor next door whom I had said hi to a couple of times opened her front door as I was locking mine. She asked if I had been watching the news. I replied no. She explained how a plane flew into the world trade center. I went back into my apartment and started to watch tv. I didn't know what to do, go to class, stay home or drive the two hours to my parents. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't even know what the Twin Towers were. I didn't even realize the extent of what was happening. I lived in the middle of Iowa and hadn't ever been to NYC. I decided I better go to class but called home on my way. I asked my dad what I should do and he calmly replied to go to class, he was sure everything would be okay, it was just a scary time.
In my first class the mood was somber and the professor announced that the Twin Towers had fallen. Somehow, we all got through the lecture.
I was desperate to find a tv. In the Union of the campus they had set up a projector and screen and were airing the news. I watched horrified. I was surrounded by so many people and didn't know anyone in the room or anyone that lived in NYC but we were all shocked. The gravity of the situation was starting to sink in.
I went to my nannying job that afternoon and didn't watch tv again because of the kids. That night my church held a prayer service but I didn't go. The parents of the family that I nannied for went and I stayed with the kids. I remember feeling so alone and sad. I felt so alone all day surrounded by so many people who were hurting and scared and I didn't reach out to anyone.
I have always regretted not going to the prayer service. Instead, I fed 5 kids dinner and put them to bed.
Since moving to the East Coast, I have had the opportunity to visit the World Trade Center site three times. Every time is powerful and emotional. I can't hold back the tears. I don't hold back the tears. The last time I visited they had photos displayed of the scene unfolding. I walked in front of Sage so he couldn't see the terrifying photos. And then I came to one of a little girl, probably 3 or 4, on a mans shoulders and someone had placed a respirator over her face. Probably to protect her from the air, but also it protected her from seeing the horrifying images that she was living in.
I will not forget 9/11 or the people that died.