Thursday, September 8, 2011

Remembering 9/11

It's amazing to think that it's been 10 years since 9/11. Just the numbers sends shivers down my spine and takes me right back to where I was on 9/11/2001.

I was a sophomore in college at UNH, I was living in a single in Stoke Hall, one of the larger/taller dorms on campus. I was getting ready for my economics class, when I got an IM (when was the last time I logged in to AIM!) from one of my friends, simply stating, turn on the news... and when I turned on the news and saw what was happening, I thought at first that it was a hoax, or that the news people had the story wrong, but then I watched as the second plane flew into the tower. And I just collapsed on my bed. I can't believe that history was happening on live tv, right in front of my very eyes.

Side note, it made me think of what it would have been like to watch the Challenger disaster. Christa McAuliffe was a teacher from New Hampshire and many schools in the state were watching the shuttle launch live in their classrooms. I could only imagine what that was like.

My friend, Liane knocked on my door, her and I were in the same economics class, and she was coming to get me so we could walk together. I was just sitting on my bed, she said "let's go to class" I said "I really don't want to" she said, "You can't do anything about it right now". So we went to class, only to find out class had been cancelled due to what was happening. I rushed back to my dorm and stayed glued to my tv for the better part of the day.

At one point they were discussing evacuating some of the dorms, like Stoke, that were tall and housed many students. But once all the planes had been accounted for, that stress alleviated.

My first thoughts were to the public servants, the firefighters, EMTs, police officers, etc. who would be rushing to the scene to help those affected. And I prayed for their safety.

That night there was a candlelight vigil to pray for those that had died and praying that survivors would be found.

In the coming days, we learned that there was a UNH connection involved, a professor was on one of the planes, there were several alumni working in towers, or on the planes, several people from the seacoast of New Hampshire were killed all as a result of this terrorist act. Innocent people, who had nothing to do with anything that these terrorists were "fighting" for. What cowards would kill innocent people. It seems as though every aspect of my life was touched by 9/11.

In the days, months and years following, 9/11 always remains on my mind. Especially now with my profession as an emergency dispatcher. My father retired as a captain 6 years ago, so I've always been a member of the fire department family. Thinking about the children who have been orphaned because of this tragedy sickens me. I never would want that life for anyone.

It's nice to see that the families are finding their own ways to memorialize their loved ones. Awareness is still needed, as many of the volunteers and workers who were working at the recovery site are now getting sick from breathing in the toxic air. 

What amazes me is that there are children who are now 10 years old who don't even know what happened or why the world is the way that it is now.

As every year, the fire department I work on, we will hold a memorial event to remember our fallen brothers and sisters. It is still the greatest single event LODD (line of duty death) on record. A record that I hope is NEVER broken.
Do you remember where you were when 9/11 happened?

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