Monday, September 11, 2006


I was on the treadmill at the University of Illinois gym when it happened. The Today show was on the overhead TV, but I was listening to music on my headphones when I saw the first footage of the WTC on fire. At first, I thought they were showing movie footage. The thought that this could be REAL, and happening right NOW, was almost impossible to grasp. I had switched over to the TV audio in time to see the second plane hit on live television, and was completely and utterly stunned.

I got home and stayed glued to the television. I also called my mother to find out where my father was. He is an American Airlines pilot. Turns out he had been flying, but had landed safely just before the tragedy happened. After watching the towers fall on television, I didn't know what else to do so I went to work. Many of the other people in my lab are not Americans, so I don't know if that's why a CD and not the news was playing on the stereo, but I was dumbfounded that no one else seemed to appreciate the magnitude of what was happening. Was I the only one afraid that the attacks weren't over? Yes, it was true that we were a thousand miles from New York, but the absurdity of what had happened already that morning meant that nothing would be impossible now. I somewhat angrily dialed up the news on the radio, and struggled to get through the day. At some point that day, or maybe the next, at home in my apartment, I thought about the number of people who had lost someone in the attacks--a mother or father, a daughter or son, a sister or brother, a friend--and I cried.


Mary Beth said...

I was living on the 23rd floor of a high-rise in Chicago. I was pretty sure Chicago was next. We also lived in the flight path for O'Hare. I was home from work that day. It was eerie to watch the air traffic dwindle to nothing. And then it was downright frightening to see an F-15 fly over, alone in the sky.

karaokekitty17 said...

I remember I was watching the Today show, getting ready to take a neurobiology exam, as I watched in horror as the events of the day unfolded. I, too, watched the 2nd plane hit the towers live and couldn't believe what I was seeing. There seemed to be confusion, what that a replay of the 1st hit? When they realized it was a second plane, my next thought was what's the next target? Are we going to see another crash? After the towers fell, and as I realized how people were dying before my eyes, I cried. I thought of all the kids losing parents that day (I had lost my dad 2 years before so the pain was still fresh). And I kept crying all day, numb from the shock of what had happened to our country that day. But life when on, and we had to go into class and take that neurobiology exam.