Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Remembering September 11



I remember bits of Sept. 10th clearly. I was in law school then, a first year intent on doing well, but also enjoying myself. I remember I was sitting in the cafeteria, and I had a blue sweater on. Weird, the details that stick. I remember spilling a cup of coffee on myself, due to my clumsiness. I remember I went back to my dorm room to change, but I don't remember much else.

Sept. 11th dawned like any other day (like days that change our life ususally do). I don't remember what clothes I wore, but as usual, I was running late to class and probably just slapped on the first thing I saw. I had class at 8:30 am, and barely made it. We plunged into the topic of Property and how property law interacts with online sites such as Napster, Kazaa and the like.

It wasn't till almost 9:45 that we even found out what had happened. Our Property professor was also the dean of the school, and while we blithely talked about things of no consequence (really, compared to what was going on 20 miles away). The dean of academic affairs blustered into the room, and he looked visibly upset. I remember he whispered something in the Dean's ear, and the Dean blanched. I thought "wow, something must have happened to Dean Deutch's family. Someone must've gotten into a car accident or something." Dean D. then turned to us (and I remember thinking "Oh my God, he's going to tell us what happened?!") The words he said next will forever be etched into my brain: "The country's under attack. Planes flew into the World Trade Center. There's been a bomb at the State Dept. in DC, and another plane flew into the Pentagon. There are planes headed for the White House." (Remember, rumors were flying rampant, and no one knew yet what exactly was going to happen. I don't remember packing my stuff, but I do remember standing in front of a small radio in the cafeteria, listening to the news. My roommate and I were clutching each other when we heard the anguished cries over the air: "The tower is collapsing!" The second tower came down shortly thereafter, and the two anchors of the Downtown Manhattan skyline were gone.

But even beyond that, far greater on my mind, was all the people who had gone to work a little earlier and had sadly met their deaths. All the people who heroically rushed in, as everyone else was fleeing. Five years later, I still think of those people often. Even though I knew no one who perished in the towers, or in Pennsylvania, or at the Pentagon, I still feel for those who were killed by the terrorists, for nothing more than boarding a plane, or going to work, or risking their own lives for others.

9/11: We will never forget.

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