Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

The last 2 weekends have been great!  I can't wait to share.  But for now, I want to share my 9/11 experience.

On 9-11-01 I was 21 years-old and a senior at Arkansas State University.  I lived with 2 of my Delta Zeta Sorority sisters, Maranda and Julie, in a house in Jonesboro.  I had to be at work at 7:00 a.m. that morning to ride the van at the Pediatric Day Clinic.  I remember getting back from the van route and one of the teachers was crying saying she couldn't believe what happened.  If I remember correctly she was a little dramatic, so I just blew the situation off.  I do remember everyone looking a little freaked out.  

Just a few minutes later I left work, which was very close to campus, and went to my 9:30 a.m. class.  Abnormal Psychology.  It was an awesome group.  I loved that class!  I remember my professor coming in and turning on the TV in class and letting us watch the news coverage.  It wasn't until then that I finally figured out what that teacher at work was talking about.  (I can be a little slow sometimes, okay.  :) )  

I definitely thought I was a mature adult and totally understand what that day meant, but I didn't.  

My professor let us out of class.  I went to my house and I remember talking to Maranda.  I remember how upset she was.  We met at the house and stared at the TV for what seems like forever.  My parents were school teachers, so I never had the ability to talk to them in the middle of the day.  Well, unless it was an emergency.  While this was an emergency, there really wasn't much my mom or dad could do, so I didn't talk to them until after they got out of school. 

I remember Maranda talking to her mom (who was a manager at a gas station), and her telling Maranda and I to go get gasoline NOW because the price was about to jump.  I remember sitting that the gas station on Caraway in my white grand am forever!  (It was the gas station right by the exit ramp off the bypass, in front of the new movie theater-well, the movie theater was new then, anyway, if you were there you know what I am talking about.)

I remember sitting in line watching the gas prices rise.  I am pretty sure that is when things started to sink in.  It was pretty scary to watch the desperation in every ones faces.

Jonesboro was crazy!  So I just went home for the rest of the day.  
My other roommate Julie worked at the court house.  She drove by the Mosque on her way home from work everyday.  This day was no different, except someone shot out one of her back windows!  I'm telling you, people went crazy!  She does have very dark straight hair, so we are guessing someone thought she was middle eastern and decided to shoot out her back window??  Who knows, but luckily she was not hurt.  She pulled into the parking lot across the street and called 911.  The policeman said that who ever shot out her window used a pellet gun.  That is better than a gun that could have really hurt or killed her, but she was still very shaken up.  And rightly so!

I remember getting the phone call that there was going to be a candle light prayer vigil on campus that night and that we were all meeting in the sorority suite and going together.  I remember that so many of my sisters came that night.  I also remember how safe it felt to be in that suite with all of my sisters.  I may have been 5 hours from home and away from my family, but those girls were my family.  
I remember finding out that one of my sorority sisters (Candace) family members was on the flight that was supposed to hit the White House, but they fought back.  I remember that he called his wife and told her what was happening.  I remember hearing that there was a flight attendant from Arkansas on one of the flights.  I remember how close to home that made the attacks feel.
I never imagined that anyone in Arkansas would be directly affected by attacks in New York.  

I also remember that I had tickets to the Nickelback concert in Little Rock that next weekend and it got cancelled.  I was bummed!  (Oh the things that were important to me when I was 21!  ha!)

I remember that for the first time in my life being patriotic meant something.  I remember feeling that bond with everyone just because we were Americans.  I remember seeing the American flag every where and loving it!  

I also remember some crazy things like when watching the coverage on TV, there were pieces of paper every where!  Paper was lining the streets and flying through the air.  I remember how crazy that was to me.  Does anyone else remember insignificant things like that?

Where were you that day?

(Side Note:  I went out on my first date with my husband 3 months later.  Some good things did happen in '01!!)


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