9/11: Where Were You When It Happened?
I’ll never forget the day it happened.
I was awakened by my mother’s phone call, frantically pleading for me to turn on the television. As a college student, I didn’t have class for another few hours, but something in her voice spurred me to turn it on immediately. I wiped the sleep from my eyes and watched intently as an apparent bomb had exploded in one of the World Trade Center towers. My mom was calling me from her classroom where she taught middle schoolers, all watching the event in horror.
Just then, as news commentators speculated the event, a second plane hit the neighboring tower, orange plumes of fiery smoke filled the screen. I screamed and watched history happening right before my eyes. In my naïveté, I couldn’t fathom what this really was: an act of terrorism. We both exhaled, summoning God’s help. I nodded quietly, incredibly lost in the depths of this tragedy.
That day progressed as if in slow motion, the whole world was glued to their television screens. CSUF cancelled all classes in case any other buildings were targeted. At work that night, Marie Callender’s was barren. Not one person came in to eat. Employees hugged, many went home early to be with their families and tried to assemble their emotions and themselves.
I’ll never forget that day that changed the collective consciousness of America. Take today to have your students interview their parents and grandparents about their experiences making sense of these tragedies in American history. How does this shape us as Americans?