SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

I hesitated to post this. Because it's kinda self-absorbed. But, events in Paris have caused me to reflect back on that day. I wasn't directly impacted personally. But it happened in a very formative point in my life. Something like this impacts everyone
  1. I was a freshman at Florida Southern College
    Far from NYC or DC
  2. It was a day where I had an 8am class.
    The only semester I ever did that. Lesson learned. I can't function that early.
  3. It was a day that I had three classes back to back to back. No time to check up on the world.
    Especially since this was a time when social media consisted of aol instant messenger.
  4. We were just starting bio lab when a girl who was a dual enrolled student from a local high school ran in breathlessly stating that two planes had flown into the twin towers and one had flown into the pentagon
    We were all like "whaaaaat?!"
  5. One of the girls in my lab group had a parent that worked in the pentagon.
    She ran out of class
  6. I immediately thought back to my government class in high school.
    I distinctly remember my teacher talking about Osama bin laden and how dangerous he was. For some reason I made this connection in my mind right away. Before it was ever stated on the news.
  7. Somehow we finished that class
  8. When I got back to the dorm, everyone was gathered around the TV in the lobby. We stayed there all day and much of the next.
    Watching the same footage over and over. And being in Florida, another concern locally was Disney World. Should it be closed? Was it in danger?
  9. In the days following we heard about several students whose families were impacted.
    There were a surprising number of students from the DC suburbs for a small, private college in small-town Florida.
  10. But then, life continues.
    We were at war now. Islamic Americans faced new levels of discrimination and hate. They're not the first group and will certainly not be the last.
  11. I thought about my fellow 18 year olds. Kids I went to high school with who enlisted in the military did so during "peace time"
    Now everything was different. They were going to war.
  12. But focus shifts. Now, it's something most Americans think about once a year at the anniversary.
    It's amazing how quickly such monumental, point-of-no-return, events become just a distant memory
  13. Until it happens again
  14. I teach high school US History. My students now don't even remember this. They were babies
    And it's a brief mention at the end of the textbook (depending on how updated your teaching materials are) that barely gets covered or discussed if you make it through the curriculum on time.
  15. But its something that was, and is, monumental to me.
    As a freshman in college, the events of 9-11 and subsequent events have helped shaped my views on politics, world relations, American foreign policy, and so much more.
  16. And I was just an 18 year old girl in a small town in Florida.