I'm moving! (just a block and a half down the street)
My roomie went and bought himself a house and I'm moving with him.
(click for larger image)
I'm officially moving next week on Saturday... So... Pack, Pack, PACK!!!
Eight years ago, I was a junior in college and was an RA for my dorm. I was in central time and was supposed to be working at the front desk at 8:30am that morning. I had overslept and rolled out of bed with only minutes to spare. I brushed my teeth, tossed on some clean clothes and made my way downstairs.
As I rounded the corner to the front desk, I noticed that the cleaning ladies and the co-RA I was replacing at the desk were just staring at the big screen TV in the lobby. And the co-RA (Andie) said in a very dumbstruck sounding voice, "Planes hit the World Trade Center."
My first thought was, 'What the hell?' Terrorism wasn't a thought that popped into my head.
Then, moments after I got down there, they started reporting that the Pentagon had been hit too. That's when my stomach dropped out. I have an aunt (my mom's sister) that works in the Pentagon. And given the time of day, I knew she would be at work.
I immediately got on the front desk phone and called home. My mom answered and said they were watching and they had no idea. My dad was trying to remember which side of the Pentagon she said she worked on.
I hung up to keep the phone line clear. Plus, I had to work the front desk of the dorm. It wasn't long before I got a call from higher ups within housing saying to stay observant and keep the phone as free as possible in case something came up. At this point, no one knew what else was going to happen. There were the reports of the other plane that was missing (the one that crashed in Pennsylvania ultimately).
I spent the next two hours watching it all unfold live as the towers collapsed on TV. Everyone just stared and mouths were open and it was kind of this eerie feeling of not really knowing how to feel about what was happening.
I also remember getting mad at the new reports because they were so focused on New York and I wanted to know what was going on in DC. I had relatives in DC and my aunt in the Pentagon and nothing was being said.
It was strange throughout the morning being the one to tell others as they came downstairs what was happening.
Once my shift was over, I went back to room and debating sitting in front of the TV and the phone or going to my art history class. Rumors were spreading through the dorm that most classes were getting cancelled, but it depended on the teacher.
I called my mom and she said she still hadn't heard anything from her sister. I sent emails to her account with just a "email us or call us when you can" message.
I ended up going across campus to my class. I needed something to do. When I got there, I learned the class was cancelled because the teacher had relatives at the World Trade Center and he hadn't heard anything yet.
Walking back across campus, I kept looking at the sky and thinking how strange it was. That day was the perfect blue sky day. There were no clouds to be seen. I had never realized just how much jet trails put in the sky until they weren't there. Just perfect blue and no jet trails and it was eerie.
Back in my room (I had a private room), I had the door propped open and the TV on. I would call my mom once in awhile to see if they had heard from my aunt, but no luck.
We didn't hear from my aunt until that afternoon. She was not in her office when the plane hit and had to evacuate. She didn't have her purse, keys or anything but her government IDs. It took her the rest of the day to get somewhere away from the Pentagon with her boss she tracked down and make it to a bank that let her withdraw some money and get back to her apartment complex. Ever since, she takes her purse everywhere with her when she leaves her office area. She also doesn't work at the Pentagon anymore after being moved to one of the bases out there. She also later learned that she knew eight (or so) of the people that were killed in the Pentagon attack.
Once we learned she was okay my concerns turned to other family members. People were starting to say how irrational actions and hate style crimes were happening to Muslim people. My aunt married a Muslim man and their family was living in upstate New York at the time. I was concerned for them and how others might treat them just because of their faith.
Then, my dad's sister's husband was a pilot in the Navy (I think he was Navy). He was given enough time to call her and say he was going in the air and didn't know when he would be back. Later, we learned that he was flying recon over various areas in the US.
But that's the way it went down for me... I'll always remember looking up at the blue sky and just thinking how strange it was that there were no jet trails. Jet trails are something I never think of unless they cross in a tic-tac-toe pattern. They're just part of the sky. But that day and for so many days after that, they were gone.
I also knew that this would be that moment where I would always say, "This is where I was when I learned of 9/11." Just like my parents could do with JFK. Where were you?