Friday, September 11, 2009

The day before my 18th birthday...

I was getting up to go to college at my parents house.  I heard the TV on in my parents room and went to go see what my mother was up to.  My father was out of town for business purposes at the time.

My mother was in bed watching CNN and it showed the first tower after it was hit.  I couldn't help, but think "what a horrible accident!"  I asked her what was going on, but she wasn't sure, and neither was I.  I finished getting ready and walked 2 blocks to the bus stop on Vine st.

When I was picked up by the Laketran bus to go to Lakeland Community College the driver told me that another plane hit the second tower.  I was very confused as I was only 17 years old and my 18th birthday was only 1 day away.  What else could be going on.

When I got to accounting class no one was talking about accounting.  Professor Jim Racic and the rest of the class were discussing the implications and possible reasons for what had happened.  We also learned about the other 2 planes that had went down.  We were excited and scared.  I was more excited than frightened for some reason.  I guess that's just the teenage "invulnerability" at work there.

I thought we were going to war...  I was worried about my older brother because he had joined the Marine Corps in 2000.

Over the PA system we were all ordered to go to the main cafeteria part of the college and received a briefing from the College's Chief of Police.  We were told that they thought there was still more going on and that there was an issue at Hopkins Airport in Cleveland in addition to what had happened to the other 4 planes.  We were all dismissed to go home.  I met up with my friend Ashley and we left.

I'm not sure if anything ever came of the reports of trouble from Hopkins Airport.

Ashley and I departed the school together in her busted up old 1990 Ford mustang and went to her mothers house.  We spent the rest of the night watching the network news channels and trying to make sense of what had happened. 

I dropped out of school later that month and became quite depressed for some time (I did finish my degree later!).  

I will never forget.  The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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