...and I still was afraid to fly this past Tuesday. But Tuesday morning... Jordan and I took off for a short stop in LA for a work meeting on Wednesday and some time with family.
I stared at everyone around me suspiciously. I thought back to that day 11 years ago.
I was a sophomore in college. Sleeping in my room, about to wake up for an 8 AM accounting class when my roommate, Sandy (who never liked staying in the dorms since she lived nearby in Walnut) barged into the room, her keys jangling, and eyes wide with shock.
"A plane just flew into one of the twin towers in New York, and then another one."
"What? I asked, not sure what exactly the twin towers were.
In a frenzy of the next five minutes, I can't remember what exactly happened - if we had a TV in our room (I swear we did, but it's so long ago.. I can barely recall) or if she ran into someone else's room. With so many people from all over the US going to Claremont, there were already a bunch of people in the dorms awake and aware of what was going on. We all watched in horror. And then we couldn't believe what was going on. It's kind of a blur, but I'm pretty sure we saw the building crumble on television and at a certain point, some replays of the airplanes going into the second tower (because they hadn't thought it would have happened as they were filming the aftermath of the first tower) and I had to run away sick to my stomach of the horror in front of me.
There were all sorts of announcements at school and then a bunch of consoling and support groups for those who had loved ones lost in the event. I think classes were cancelled that day but instead of celebrating, everyone actually needed the time to just be. It was a really big attack that impacted us all.
That day was a scary one. A bunch of classmates had older brothers and sisters or even classmates a few years older who worked downtown and weren't sure if the same thing would happen in LA. A bunch of people had stories about loved ones who suddenly didn't feel right about going to work that day and weren't harmed. There were also people who lost loved ones, had received phone calls before it was too late, sad devastating things you only imagined in movies. I didn't know anyone personally who was impacted but I knew people who knew people and there was a lot of hearsay.
This year, as Jordan and I were in the plane, I was distracted by the wondering of if it could happen again. If these airplane security restrictions are really enough (I imagine no as they consistently miss my liquids that I forget to take out but always mean to), and if I'd get up or do something if I was in a plane that .... It's just horrible to think about but my heart goes out to those who were in the planes or the buildings and no.. I haven't forgotten.
It took me a long time to decide that flying on 9-11 was going to be okay. I was really paranoid and consulted with a lot of family and friends before deciding I'd be okay. Obviously, I have not forgotten.