Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Today is the day that will forever be imprinted in my brain as I am sure it is for every one of you. Eight years ago one of the worst days in American history took place. Where were you?

I remember as if it was yesterday. I was a high school senior and the day before was War Eagle Day at Auburn. Since it had always been my dream to attend Auburn University (and I believe I had already been accepted at this point in time), my parents and I went down to Auburn to check out the campus with the hundreds of other high school seniors. September 10, 2001 was a great day which held a promising future for me and my college career. I felt completely safe being in Auburn with my parents. The world was great...until the next morning.

September 11, 2001 started out as any other high school day. It was so normal that in fact I don't remember anything before my 1st block class, Physics with Mr. Lambert. I was living in the routine of everyday life.

Just a little background on Mr. Lambert and his Physics class: he was a super cool teacher. We hardly did any work in class, which was mainly the reason why I made a 40-something on my first test. (Thankfully I was able to receive A LOT of partial credit on that test so it brought it up to either a B or a C.) Every day in Physics was a new day. We were always doing a different project whether it was the Wheel of Death (this was a seesaw looking board where 2 people sat facing each other. Instead of seesawing, the board was spun in a circle as fast as possible with the 2 riders holding on for dear life! In fact, they had to wear a seat belt looking thing to hold them in place. As a class we would calculate their speed and something else Physics related. I really don't remember the whole gist of this experiment, but it had something to do with Physics.), launching coke bottles and plastic bags on the football field, and picking up various student's cars in the parking lot with a large wooden board. (Yes, this was a real class in high school where we were supposed to learn something. I can say that I didn't learn too much.)

The morning of 9/11 we were outside looking for spiders and webs in the woods surrounding the student parking lot. I am not 100% sure why we were doing this and couldn't tell you to this day how it relates to Physics. Maybe something to do with the spider's weight and how it can make a web to hold itself? eh, I really don't know. After the parking lot "fun", I remember rushing back into the building when the end of first block bell rang and going to my next class, AP Calculus with Mrs. Sahawnah (or however you spell it). As students started entering her classroom, I heard them talk about the towers and a plane crash. It seemed so unreal at the moment that I wasn't 100% sure what they were talking about, and I didn't understand it was on US soil. Mrs. Sahawnah didn't realize what was happening either until she turned the tv on for a split minute. After a minute or two of coverage, she turned it off, because we had too much Calculus to cover.

It wasn't until I was in third block, AP Government with Mrs. Pressley, that I was able to know exactly what was happening. Thankfully Mrs. Pressley thought it was important enough for us to watch the coverage. I was blown away!

While at home later that night, I remember watching more coverage with Dad. It was the first time in my life where I didn't feel safe...even in my own home. Dad said that it would never be the same...America as we knew it would never be the same. Granted there was Pearl Harbor in 1941, but Hawaii wasn't an official US state until the 1950s. September 11th was the first time terrorists were able to attack official US soil...and succeed. The events of that day still haunt my thoughts, because what if....? What if it happens again? What if President Obama pulls troops from overseas? What if our Homeland Security is weakened because it has been 8 years since the attack? What if people forget the importance of that day? What if people forget the heroes who died for us on that day? What if...?

Have you forgotten? Will you forget? What is your 9/11 story?