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Old 09-11-2013, 12:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Engine's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: pollen & mold
Posts: 3,050

I was 26. Living in Colorado (and finishing my Bachelor's degree) and I saw the first tower get hit on TV before I left for class that morning. I assumed that it was some kind of air traffic control error and, internally, I laughed because I was a cynical bastard and assumed that everybody in the world was a total idiot.

On my 20 minute drive to class, I listened to news radio as the second plane hit. It was, as we all know now, horrific. I was frightened. On top of that, my drive was delayed - I was stuck in stopped traffic. A part of me assumed that the US was fully under attack and there I was stuck in traffic like a goddamn movie character. It turned out that some driver's car had stalled about a half-mile ahead of me, causing the delay.

I made it to school and classes were not cancelled. One of my professors drew a bunch of religious symbols on the chalkboard (yes, still chalk) and told us all that he was convinced that it was a foreign terrorist attack, based on religion (a lot smarter than I had given him credit for). I did not believe him. At the time, it was easier to believe that a domestic terrorist did it McVeigh style.

This particular professor talked about the incident for about 20 minutes and then got back to work. We proceeded to discuss some completely unrelated 20th century American History lesson. Other students in my class asked if we could spend the entire class-time talking about the attack but he refused. (Later this old ass professor joined the Army reserves and left his family to go fight in Iraq).

My next class was an upper-level history course taught by someone I consider a mentor. He refused to talk about the attack and made us focus on his planned lesson. This man is a noted scholar, a definite liberal, and is of Scots-Irish decent. He refused to let his class be dominated by the news.

After those 2 classes I went home where everybody was watching TV and I joined. My girlfriend told me later that if I had come home still cynical, still making fun, that she would have told me to leave immediately and probably never have spoken to me again. But by then, I was terribly distraught so we just watched the footage like everyone else.

My father was working in DC and had been stuck in traffic all day. He was only a few miles from the Pentagon when it got hit, and acquaintances of his died there.

Like many people, it was a life-changing day for me.
Like an arrow,
I was only passing through.
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