Fifteen years ago, I was an undergraduate at Boston University. On today's date in 2001, I went to my morning Psychology discussion class, and I knew that there was definitely something going on. Some of my classmates were upset. At this point all we knew was that one airplane had struck one of the Twin Towers in New York City. After class, I went to the student union, and there were huge crowds around the televisions. By then, I and the rest of the world knew this had not been an accident. The University shut down. So did all of Boston.
I lived on the thirteenth floor of a high-rise student residence apartment complex, where I was an RA. My apartment overlooked the Charles River and the Boston skyline. I went home, and sat staring at the TV and at Boston. I called my family and tried to make contact with all of my NYC friends, but calls didn't go through. It took a few days before I learned that, miraculously, my friends and their families were okay. That was not the case with many, many of my classmates and peers. While there's a strong rivalry between Boston and New York City, there's also a deep respect between it's peoples, and they often transplant from one city to the other.
For weeks after it happened, I had the same vivid and horrible nightmare, over and over. An overly-huge airplane razed the Boston skyline, destroying my city and everyone with it. I would wake up and stare out the window at the twinkling lights, surprised to see that Boston wasn't in flames. It was horrible.
One of the strangest things to experience was the quiet. For a few days after 9/11, all air traffic was stopped. The city was still. Classes were suspended. Shops closed. The city was quiet as we mourned. It was eerie.
And now fifteen years have passed. I moved away from Boston ten years ago, and yet I'll always call it home. Funny, because I'm sitting at my dining table at my house in Muncie, Indiana, looking out the big window at my neighborhood. The sky is blue with puffy, white clouds, the trees are green, and my neighbor is mowing his lawn. My big American flag is waving gently in the breeze. It's a different world out here. There is peace in suburbia, and yet, once again, I remember in vivid detail the events of that day. I will never forget, and I don't think I'll ever be able to not get emotional when I see a 9/11 memorial, be it a poster in an airport or on a sign on a license plate. Though I was not born in the US, I am a very proud American: What an amazing country I live in, where communities rally when horrible things happen, and people remain free, despite what terrorists do.
To the people of New York City, Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, and everyone affected by 9/11, I remember and mourn with you.