I had just started my senior year of college & was on campus early to meet with my advisor about all the exciting things to come the next year. It was supposed to be a morning full of hope & promise. And that’s where I was sitting – in a leather wingback chair that was sticking to the back of my legs from a summer heat that had not yet given way to Fall & surrounded by stacks of books about all of the horrible things that had happened in history, somehow safe there in their gold foil bindings and the distance of the past – when the Dean of our political science department came running into the room to tell us the first plane had hit the tower.
It was still early enough, that we thought what most people thought initially…a single engine plane had gone off course. But by the time I had made it to my philosophy of morality class, it was both towers, the Pentagon, and now a field less than an hour away. They cancelled classes then. Turned a dazed student body out into the open air quad, where we tried to figure out what to do next. It was time for work, so I went to work. But the note on the door to my campus recruiting job said work had been cancelled “due to the national tragedy that had struck our country.”
I remember standing there for a long time and reading those words over & over while the reality of what had just happened sank in. We were under attack, and no one knew when those attacks would stop coming. I didn’t know where to go, none of us really did. So we did the only thing we knew to do…my four housemates and I went back to the home we all shared, and sat on the floor in the living room while we watched ….and waited. None of us slept in our rooms that night or very much at all…because honestly we just weren’t sure what the morning would bring. All we could do was hold tight to each other, and be thankful we weren’t in it alone…while we thought of & prayed for all the people who were.
We will never forget.