Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Ago Tomorrow

Folks older than me regularly date themselves by saying things like
"I remember where I was when I heard that JFK was assassinated."

"I remember exactly what I was doing when I learned about Martin Luther King, Jr."

"I dropped whatever I was holding when they told me that John Lennon was dead."

Of course, I don't have those memories. 
I don't remember any of those things. 
No one in my generation does.
 I couldn't. 
We couldn't.

But we remember 9/11.

And we will never forget it.

I will forever date myself by saying it
I know exactly where I was that Tuesday morning.
I was a sophomore at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
I was waking up in the cold dorm at Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
My roommates were stirring and the showers were all running.
I checked my email in my pajamas.
From: Mom
I love you.
Say a prayer for the people of NYC.
It didn't take long for me to decipher the cryptic email.
But I believed it must have been an accident.
I went to class.
Race Relations in America.
Our professor drove in from Bloomington and apparently hadn't heard the news.
He carried on class as usual, though angry about why only half of us were there.
The other half were members of POSSE.
From New York.
"Professor, we need to turn on the TV."
"What channel?"
"It doesn't matter."
There was a second plane. And a third. And a fourth.
The first tower had fallen.
Our hearts and sense of security with it.

Ten years later, I still get teary-eyed listening to NPR accounts of that day
and the heroes we lost.

Rest in peace Twin Towers
and the ordinary and extraordinary people who lost their lives
ten years ago tomorrow.

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