Friday, September 11, 2009

We Will Never Forget

September 11, 2001 I was staying in a hostel in Washington, DC a few blocks from the White House. I had just graduated from college in June and I was planning on moving to the District (as we locals call it) so I was in town looking for an apartment. I woke up that morning and went to the breakfast room and was eating Honey Nut Cheerios. The room was empty except for a janitor and me. A radio was on but something else seemed off. The janitor said to me, "The World Trade Center has been bombed." I said, "In New York?" He said yes. At that point, it didn't seem like a big deal. I finished my cheerios.

The rest of the morning and afternoon was a blur. I don't remember how I found out about the Pentagon. At some point the gravity of the situation hit.

I had planned on going on a hostel-organized tour of the Pentagon that morning but decided to sleep in instead.

I had borrowed my mom's cell phone for the trip and the lines were jammed all day. I knew my family would be worried and I wanted to get a hold of them. I wanted to get a hold of my college roommate too. She had just moved back to New York and I knew her apartment had a view of the World Trade Center.

That night I went to a bar in Adams Morgan with a bunch of other kids from the hostel. They were mostly British, Australian, and South African. There was a guy from Chicago there too who kept hitting on me. We talked about how strange everything felt. There were military police officers on almost every corner.

A British girl kept saying she wanted to go home. I didn't feel unsafe. I felt very connected to this group of strangers.

I went on a tour of the White House the next day. I still have never been to the Pentagon.

Where were you?

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