September 11th, 2001.
I can remember the day like it was yesterday. I was a sophomore in college. I was sitting in a large lecture hall on the SUNY Albany campus, not paying attending to the Accounting 101 professor at the front of the room. My boyfriend at the time was sitting next to me, doodling in his notebook.
The students who were sitting directly in front of us starting talking, rather loudly, about a plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. “I heard another one crashed in a field near the White House,” another one whispered. I glanced at my boyfriend and we both shrugged our shoulders and continued listening. Before we knew it, the whispers gradually grew louder, and our professor stopped the class. “I just received word that there has been an attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. If you need to leave class, I completely understand.” A couple of students grabbed their books and headed straight for the door. Within two minutes, the professor cancelled the class. We filed out of the dungy lecture hall and into the bright morning light. I remember the morning: crisp, fall just around the corner. The sky was blue and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was too beautiful of a morning for something so terrible to happen. We walked back to my dorm room and turned on the television. We watched as the events unfolded. I was shock. All those innocent people, going to work that morning and doing their job.
I drove home that weekend to visit my ill grandmother, and I will never forget, driving down Route 87, all the flags blowing in the wind, from the cars, from the overpasses, from the windows.
I will never forget crossing over the bridge, to see the smoke still rising from where the towers used to be.
I will never forget the bravery of those involved.
I will never forget.
“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew.”
– Former President George W. Bush