Ten years ago, I was a junior in college at Houghton College near Buffalo, NY. My life was pretty good. I was an RA in my dorm, so I had lots of things to do and lots of friends. I was taking mostly classes in my major so I was enjoying all of my classes. Just a few weeks into school, on a Tuesday morning, I walked into my 9:15 class in the NAB, Old Testament Historical Books. A boy in my class that I didn't know started talking about how he didn't wanted to be there, because he had just seen a news broadcast about a plane crash. Then as he was watching, another plane crashed into the building again. Normally, I get a little sad when I hear about crashes and things like that, but for some reason, hearing him talk about it really upset me. All I could think about were the people in the building, and how horrible it was - such a tragedy and loss of life. Class began, and our professor announced we were having a quiz. The boy asked if we could pray. The class giggled, because it sounded like he wanted prayer for the quiz. However, he began to talk about how he had seen the planes crash into the Twin Towers in New York City on the news. A boy I knew, Richard, slowly stood up and said, "My dad works in the Twin Towers. Can I go call home?" The professor said yes, of course. We all watched him as he left the room. (I found out later that his father had stayed home from work that day.) After praying, the professor continued class as normal.
After we got out of class, there were notices posted all over campus that there would be a special assembly in the Chapel and that morning classes were cancelled. I had to go to work, but it was in the Admission building, and my boss let me go to the assembly - she wanted to go to.
In the Chapel, the RAs were asked to come up front so we could help with anyone needing guidance. I don't remember the details of the assembly, just that two of the freshman girls on my floor were by me and were crying. One was crying because her cousin worked at the Twin Towers, and the other was crying because of the tragedy. I could barely hold myself together. I think it was in the Chapel that it was finally announced that it was believed to be a terrorist attack.
Houghton decided not to cancel classes for the rest of the day. They wanted everyone to go on as normally as possible. I only had one other class that day (a missions class), and I remember Professor Paul Shea having us rearrange our desks in a circle to discuss the event. I didn't talk (I'm a bit shy in large groups anyway). A fellow RA sat next to me, and I watched her draw her feelings into a collage on a piece of paper.
After class, I kind of wandered around and ended up in the basement of the Campus Center. The college had set up a big screen so we could watch the news. There were a lot of people, but not tons. I can't remember if there were several TVs placed around campus or not.
After going back to my room, I sat on my bed, kind of depressed. I remember telling someone, "I don't want this day to end. When it does, it will all be different. We won't remember this event the same way and we won't feel the same way as we do today."
This is true. How often do we remember 9/11? How often do we think about those lives lost? We did for a while. Firefighters and policemen became the new "heroes." Communities gathered together, and people were just nicer to each other.
But it's been ten years. I know 9/11 didn't affect me nearly as much as other people. I didn't know anyone that died. I didn't know anyone that lived in NYC. I didn't know anyone who was there.
I hope that people whose lives were changed by 9/11 have been able to gain some peace in these past ten years.
I hope that we never forget the lives lost, the men and women who fought and rescued, and the government who tried so hard to make a stand for America.
I guess 9/11 did affect me in one way. I am much more patriotic now.