I don’t usually do this, but today I thought I’d post my memories from 9/11.
I had just arrived at Harlaxton College in Lincolnshire maybe two weeks before. I’d had my classes for the day and was in the computer lab in the Carriage House, chatting online with a friend back at UE. She told me a plane had hit the Tower, but then she had to rush to class and didn’t know any details. Terrorism was the furthest thing from my mind, so I didn’t check for more details – I assumed it was an accident. Tragic, to be sure, but surely no more than an accident. Thinking that, I returned to my room.
Not long after that, one of the deans knocked on my door and told me a plane hit the Tower. I was confused as to why she was telling me, since I still assumed it was an accident, and I told her I knew about it. It was her turn to be confused by my nonchalance, so she just told me it was on the TV down in the common room.
Curious, I went down there and saw some of my friends already there. Shortly after I got down there, the second plane hit. We couldn’t believe our eyes, couldn’t process it, and we tried to laugh about random things instead of express what we really felt. We didn’t know how to get in touch with family, we were in a different country. I knew my parents and brother and his family were in the DC area; I also had family in the NYC area. I tried not to panic, and I did eventually get through to my sister at least.
The staff at Harlaxton tried to keep things as normal as possible, while also allowing us to process it. The vicar from the village CofE parish came and held a prayer service. The kitchen staff gave us biscuits and drinks (because custard creams fix a lot of things).
I do remember being nervous when I heard and saw planes flying near the college. We weren’t far from an RAF base, and they were flying more in the wake of the attacks. But overall we did well. Life has changed since then, certainly. I think we all perceive the world differently than we did. Today, especially, I pray for the repose of the souls of all who died, and I pray for all those who wish to commit acts of terrorism, that they will turn from those plans.