i'll never forget...

9/11. A day that I will never forget. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was a Sophomore at the University of Dayton in Ohio. I was in an 8am Video Production class that morning and when I came out of class, I went to the cafeteria to get some breakfast. As I walked in, I noticed that everyone was staring at the TV in the corner of the room. It seemed so odd. What could they all be watching?

As I walked closer and saw the footage on TV, I asked what was going on. Someone said that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. At that point we thought it was an accident. I mean, how could it be something other than that?

Then, a couple of minutes later, the second plane hit the second tower. I remember seeing the fear in the newscaster’s voice while he was saying: I don’t think this is an accident. This is definitely a terrorist attack.

A what? A terrorist attack? I remember not being able to comprehend what was taking place. I was 18 years old and I had never experienced anything like it.

After that, we were told to go to our dorms and stay inside. Just to be safe. SAFE?!?!?!? But I am in the middle of nowhere in Ohio. Nothing can happen here. Right? And that is when I found out that one of the biggest Air Force bases in the country, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, was not too far from campus. Crap! I remember walking really fast to my dorm and turning on the news as soon as I got into my room.

And then it happened. The first tower collapsed. I can’t remember if I was by myself at that moment or on the phone… but I remember crying and being scared shitless. A whole freaking building just disappeared. WTF?

I remember trying to call my parents. But of course, I couldn’t get through. No one could. And then… I saw the second tower collapsed. I was in total shock. In disbelief. How can this be happening?

At that point everyone was on the hallway trying to comfort each other and figure out if anyone knew people that worked in the towers or at the Pentagon. A few people did.

A couple of hours later, as we were still watching TV, we heard an insanely loud explosion: BOOOOOOOOOOOM. The noise was so loud, that the windows rattled and it felt like the entire building was shaking. I remember crying hysterically and thinking “This is it! The Air Force base is under attack!”. To make matters worse, the national news coverage suddenly cuts to the local news and a reporter saying that a plane has crashed into the Dayton VA Medical Center. SAY WHATTTTT?!?!?!?! I don’t think I’ve ever been that scared.

Of course, we now know that did not happen. However, by that time you have to remember that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania as well, so newscasters were just freaking out and reporting things without confirming them first. Later on, we found out that the explosion we heard was a sonic boom and it came from Air Force One flying lower than usual. Thank goodness.

School was cancelled the next day. And after that life just continued. But to this day, 15 years later, I still can’t believe 9/11 happened. So many people died. So many lives were changed forever. Fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and friends were lost. Forever gone. But never forgotten.

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