I remember the crisp fall day of September 11th, 2001 like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my photography class learning about Sandy Skoglund. A teacher came casually walking into our room to notify us of the news that he had heard just 10 minutes earlier. Not thinking anything of it, it just seemed like any other day in the life of America. Little did I know, it would be the first time I ever felt threatened in the powerhouse that is the good ol’ US of A.
I walked home, since I couldn’t drive, yet. I lived a brisk 30 minute walk away from where I went to high school, so it was no big deal. I was particularly excited about going home since it meant I didn’t have to sit through the rest of the day in boring classes. What was even more exciting was that my dad who normally works a 9-5 job, had taken the day off. I had every expectation of finding him in the yard with a shovel in one hand and mulch in the other. However, when I reached my house, I didn’t see any signs of him. Thinking it was odd that he’d be inside on a 65 degree day (his ideal temperature), I walked in the door and plopped my bags down. As I headed toward the fridge for a snack, I noticed something odd. I saw a note that read:
I’ve headed to work. I packed my backs, don’t know when I’ll be back.
With my father being an Active Duty Military Officer, I started to panic. Maybe this news bit that I heard about earlier in the day really was a big deal? I would slowly realize that our nation was under attack. I flipped through the television channels to find every major network featuring the same story: “America Under Attack.”
It turned out to be one of the most horrific attacks on our nation, but we didn’t let that stop us from persevering. Never had I seen such patriotism from individuals in our country until the days following the attacks. Virtually every car in America had a bumper sticker commemorating 9/11 in some way or another. It was a very chilling time in America’s history.
Seven years later, we commemorate September 11th as Patriot Day.
Where were you on September 11th, 2001?