It’s the anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States. Not only is it the anniversary, but it’s the tenth anniversary, to boot. There is a lot that comes to mind when a tenth anniversary comes around. I know that many media sources have been providing stories about what people were doing when they first heard about the attacks, so I guess I will do the same.
Ten years ago, I was a freshman in college. I had an eight am class, so I had to wake up fairly early to make it to breakfast and get to class on time. I went to the cafeteria, ate some breakfast, and didn’t particularly notice anything wrong. There was a TV on, but the sound was turned down and I didn’t really pay attention to it. I noticed in passing that there seemed to be some sort of special news bulletin, but I was running a bit late so I didn’t pay it much attention.
It wasn’t until I got to the lobby outside of my classroom that I realized something was going on. I saw the rest of my class, over one hundred people, standing in the lobby, watching the television, largely in silence. There was some discussion about what was going on, as well as what this would mean for us and our classes, whether classes would canceled or what would happen to us in our positions as students.
It was… frightening. At that point, there wasn’t much information about what was happening, or any explanation as to why it was happening. The whole situation was the sort of thing I could have never have pictured happening. There was talk of it being a possible accident before we went into class; although by the time we were finished, it was pretty clear what had happened. In our classes, our professors tried to get us to calm down, noting that it was highly unlikely that our classes would be canceled or anything like that; Wilkes-Barre was a long distance from New York or Washington, and it was unlikely anyone would try to attack us.
As time went on, it became more apparent what had happened. It also, as time went on, became clearer what was going to happen. Slowly, as the hours turned to days, the days turned to weeks, and the weeks became years, life started to return to a more normal style. For all the talk of how everything had changed, things seemed to return to normal.
That’s the thing about life: it goes on. I can’t guarantee that the next ten years will be any better than the last ten have been, but I can promise that only by being willing to face them can we hope to get through them.
Have a deep, thoughtful September 11th, and God Bless.