Never Forget, Impossible to Forget
It’s impossible to forget. Especially when you lived through it. When you had to keep watching the graphic footage until you accepted that it was real.
I am talking about 9/11
I was a senior in college on this beautiful, sunshine filled Tuesday morning. I woke up and rushed out the door as I normally do to get to my first class of the day. After I shaked & baked across campus, I enter the building where my class is and heard the radio saying “this is worse than the previous World Trade Center Attack in 1993″. But I didn’t have time or the early morning mental capacity to give it much thought.
As the professor entered the classroom, he was clearly distraught. He addressed the class saying “Something terrible has happened, you all saw it, but unfortunately we have a lot to cover today. We will go for 45 minutes (out of the 2 hour class) and get you out of here.”
I knew something was up, but was an able to fathom the reality of it, I just focused on the lecture at hand. But I was impressed at the strength that the professor had displayed.
After the 45 minutes, class dismissed, and I ventured out into the hallway where a TV had been set up. A group of people were gathered around it will looks of shock, disbelief, and tears in their eyes with no reason to hold back a scream. When I came in view of the screen, I too felt the tradgedy stab me in the chest. The replay of the planes crashing into the towers made me tremble. I was just in New York City the week before, looking at the Twin Towers from across the New York Harbor. I walked between the 2 towers on August 13.
New York has always been a place that is special to me. However, at first I couldn’t decide whether or not to believe it.
After a few minutes, I had to leave the TV area an move on. I am never one for repetitive graphic violence bestowed from the media. As I returned outside, on this beautiful morning, I pondered whether this was real or if it was punishment in the form of a nightmare for oversleeping my class.
I crossed paths with a friend shortly after leaving the building, and he told me that The Pentagon was hit too. Now it got real. Being in Philadelphia, roughly half way between New York and Washington, DC made it rather scary. It created the thought of “Who is Next?”
The only saving grace is that my college campus was not in the greatest of neighborhoods. Nothing worthy of crashing a plane into. I never felt so safe in the ghetto.
The aftermath of the mornings horrific events rippled as the day went on. Cell phone service was non existent in Philadelphia. I went to school with many New Yorkers who were immersed in fear. A phone bank was set up in the library to get through to their family’s on emergency landlines. An old roommate of mine, his father was on the 15th floor of one of the towers when it was hit. Thankfully, he got out, but did not have contact with his son for 2 days. That’s not an enjoyable moment.
My college baseball coach, who I never had much respect for prior to this, did not cancel practice that day. His excuse was that he couldn’t get ahold of everyone so he decided the show must go on. Major League Baseball shut down for a week. But we had a meaningless practice at our field less than 10 miles from an Air Force Base……That was not too keen on the old man’s part.
My class that morning was in Audio Production. So every time I now record and produce my podcast episodes, I can’t help but think of that day and the strength that my professor showed. Every time I get behind the microphone to record, and the hours I spend to edit and produce each podcast episode, I remember the heroes from that day with their strength and courage. The people who believe in what is good. What is right. What it takes to get past that awful moment in history. And remembering the innocent people who are not with us anymore from that day. I make sure that I bring this same attitude with me to every podcast that I create. It wouldn’t be right to do it any other way.