I was a junior in college at the time. I had just finished eating breakfast with a good friend of mine and was trudging up the hill from the local fast food joint on campus when a sorority sister of mine told me the news – that the World Trade Center had been hit. She was clearly shaken by the news, especially since she was from New Jersey and had relatives who worked in New York City. She told me that her family was alright, and I continued up the hill to my dorm room.
I didn’t have class until later in the afternoon, so I just sat in front of my tiny television and watched the news coverage. I was stunned by what I was seeing, but also in complete disbelief. Could this really be happening? It almost seemed like a scene from a movie rather than reality. I remember talking to Kevin on the phone as some of the morning unfolded. He was in community college in Mississippi and we had just begun dating 2 months prior.
A couple hours later, I headed off to my class. I remember being upset that my professor still held class that day. I’d like to think she was so shocked that she didn’t know how to even respond, so she just glanced over the events and held class despite.
As the days unfolded, we participated in candlelight vigils and prayer vigils. Members of all faiths came together to remember those who died and to seek comfort from each other as we all tried to make some sense of the events.
Looking back, now 10 years later, I can honestly say that I was so ignorant of the gravity of the events on that day. Yes, I knew that the world was going to be a different place. I was much more aware of the fact that terrorists really did exist, and that they were indeed out to harm our country. Yes, I was proud of the men and women who were heroes on that day. But, I had no clue how difficult a day it was for those many families who experienced the loss of loved ones. I thought I had a clue, but in all reality, had no concept at the time.
This year, I have watched a couple of the programs commemorating 9/11 and my heart has been so heavy. In some ways, I feel like I’m reliving the events in a new way this year. Perhaps I was too distracted with my own grief the past couple of years to open myself up to feel the pain of those victims. Or maybe it’s because it’s the 10th anniversary of the events. Whatever the reason, my heart has been heavy for these people who are missing fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, friends, etc.
It did my heart good to see that many of the families have moved forward with their lives in a positive way, but I’m sure there are many who are still struggling. I don’t necessarily agree with the saying, “Time heals all wounds.” My heart and prayers go out to all those affected by the events on 9/11/2001. This year, I am grieving with you, and praying that you receive comfort from the One who does heal all wounds.