Ten years ago today I was fourteen hours away from my family at a small Christian College in Florida.
Today I went to church with my entire family and worshiped the God that created us all.
If it hadn't been for those almost 3,000 people that died that day and the almost 8,000 troops that have died in war since 9-11-01 I would not have that privilege.
I had a wonderful weekend spent with my family and my precious nephew yet mixed in the love and happiness and baby snuggles was the sadness and still the lingering pain of what happened ten years ago today.
In some respects I cannot believe it has been ten years since it happened as I can remember it so clearly. And in other respects I still cannot believe that it actually happened.
On September 11, 2001 I was a 19 year old college Sophomore at Pensacola Christian College. That Tuesday morning I was on the upper floor of the AC in my two hour 8-9:50 am Philosophy of Christian Education class with Dr Bradley.
Class was normal as always and when the bell rang at 9:50 we departed class, made our way to the elevators and set upon heading to chapel.
I distinctly remember getting off the elevator in the first floor of the Library right by a big conference room and seeing all of the top people at PCC there. I could tell they were having a serious conversation and something had happened. It never crossed my mind it would be something of this magnitude. Honestly I thought the president of our college had died, he was older and wasn't in the meeting.
I pondered upon that, not hugely worried and made my way across campus to the DHA. I took my seat in row Q, on the right side, two rows from the section break.
Seconds later my world as I knew it totally changed.
I remember being shocked and starting to shake, and cry. I couldn't believe it was happening, I was REALLY scared, I didn't know what was going to happen next and all I wanted to do was be with my family.
Chapel ended and they made us go to our classes like a normal day. I am still upset about that. I think it was a gross mistake on their part.
I walked from the DHA over to the MK building and went up to the third floor i believe for my bible class. Jeremy, my music buddy and seat partner in every class we had because our names were so close to eachother, stood by me as we looked out the window. You could see everyone walking about but yet it was silent. No one was talking anywhere. I felt like I was in a fog i guess would be the best explanation. I was seeing things and hearing things but just not comprehending.
I just remember standing there with Jeremy and realizing that life as I knew it would never be the same. And although I realized that I didn't know what it would mean. I was scared.
We went into our class and our teacher did not mention what had happened at all. We would always pray at the beginning of class and he prayed as usual and said nothing. He then proceeded to give us our quiz. Needless to say I think we all flunked it. Again not a wise decision on PCC's part.
After class all I wanted to do was call my parents and see what was going on but Cindy convinced me we needed to eat since we both had classes for the entire rest of the afternoon.
We ate quickly, i had no appetite and I was finally able to go call my family.
I don't remember the rest of the day. I was in classes all day.
We had one tv in our dorm and they turned it on, but when you are in classes all day long, thanks again pcc, bad choice! i couldn't go watch them. As the day went on, I didn't want to watch it. I didn't want to see everything with tons of people crammed around me. When i saw what exactly had happened I wanted it to be on my own terms.
I think we were made to stay on campus for a few days and alot of our parents wanted us to stay on campus for longer than that so it was awhile before I got off campus and really saw what was going on in the world.
The week after 9-11 we finally got off campus and I went to Target and bought a People Magazine that was totally 9-11. I brought it back to my dorm room, and sat reading it with my friend, and sobbed. I had no clue. It was beyond heartbreaking.
I didn't end up seeing actual footage of 9-11 until the next summer. I was at my parents house and they were gone, but they had bought a commemorative dvd. I watched it and just cried uncontrollably. I still want to cry and get teary-eyed when I see footage or pictures of it now.
There is a song that says where were you when the world stopped turning, I can obviously remember all of it. But for me the biggest moment was that Friday. President Bush had made it into a special day and we were all to wear Red, White and Blue. My roommates and i searched around and made up red white and blue ribbons and i wore a polo shirt that had all of the colors on it. It was small but it was nice to finally feel like I was a part of the world, being so sheltered at PCC.
At noon that day bells were supposed to chime for a few minutes. I was in my suitemates room at noon, and we stood by the floor to ceiling window, opened it (which we could have gotten in trouble for) and listened.
It was amazing. We could hear bells from all over Pensacola. You coulcn't hear anything BUT Bells. I remember there were two cars that were driving and they stopped and turned off their engines. Several students were crossing the road and by the camponille and they all stopped and stood there un-moving. That's the biggest memory for me for some reason. Everything just stopped in that moment. And we were all one.
I wish that our country was still in that mind set. Of one nation under God, of pride in our troops, of being kind one to another.
I will never forget.