That Day, Ten Years Ago

It’s my hope that we as a people move forward without bitterness or hatred in our hearts.

—–

I was on my way to English class and, for a change, didn’t bother to check the news on that morning. When I got to the school library to print some work for a class out, I saw the first tower engulfed in flames on television. Not being sure what it was, I hit the BBC News site to see what was going on and got the Low Res version.

When I’d come back over with a printout of the news story, the second tower had been hit with unconfirmed reports about other planes not responding. I managed to get to class and not long after, school was canceled for the day. People were in a panic to get home and to call home but the phone lines were down.

My mother hadn’t even bothered to turn the news on and was just about to go out for cigarettes. By some shocking coincidence, the one payphone on campus that had previously been broken suddenly started working again. The cell networks were overloaded and EVERYONE was using the telephone by the library in a line that looked to be over one hundred people long and growing. I just managed to call her on that “broken” phone and kept her from going out. I also eventually got a cell phone as a result of that day.

I wound up walking over to the next major road with Alexander & Company due to all the buses being filled with frightened people.

I made it home eventually and watched the news for almost two straight days while trying to get in to donate blood. There was an unbelievable crowd at the American Red Cross and they had to open other rooms just to accommodate all the people who’d come in. Between school and news reports, I kept trying to get in and finally donated on 13 September 2001. It probably seems nonsensical but, at the time, everyone there just wanted to help in any way they could.

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