Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11: Where were you?

It really is true that I can find it difficult to recall exact details of where I was on a particular day last week, and yet, I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing ten years ago today. It is not particularly remarkable, but it is a moment stuck in time.

I was a Residenr Assistant in my Junior year at Shippensburg University. I lived in Kiefer Hall on the third floor. I woke up to get ready to go to class and tuned into the Today Show. I watched as they reported on a plane flying into the first tower, and thought like everyone else, "Huh, that's weird.". And riveting. That first plane got your attention. I sat and watched as they speculated, and sat and watched as, in real time, the second plane flew into the second tower. I sat on the floor in my dorm room. Residents streamed down and I comforted them. Then, we heard about the Pentagon and I froze. My sister. My sister had just begun her freshman year at Catholic University in Washington,D.C. I called my sister, I called my mom, I called anyone I could. But the phone lines were well past capacity and no one could get through. It was hours before I confirmed my sister was fine. Finally, we got news of the plane crash in Shanksville, PA. For students at Shippensburg, many of whom hail from rural Western and Central PA, this hit close to home, and lots of residents were in need of someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, and that's who I was. I had emailed my professors, telling them I wouldn't be coming to class that day. I organized a trip for residents who wanted to feel like they were helping, doing something, to go and give blood at a local hospital. Other people had the same idea. Since then, blood donation levels have dropped significantly, so if you are wondering what you can do. To help, to remember, stay tuned to your local blood drives and give often.

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