September 11, 2001
I woke to my radio alarm. There was no music, only DJs talking about the twin towers. I listened for a minute and figured that something was wrong and turned on the TV. Because it was after 8 am Central time, both towers had already been hit and were standing. I hurried to get ready for work.
As I drove to the doctors’ clinic I worked at, I looked at the sky. The DJs on the radio were saying, "Don't go to the airport. All planes have been grounded, just stay at home if you had travel plans." I looked for airplanes and didn't see any. I stopped for gas, thinking it was going to be the last time I'd get gas for under $2/gallon, which proved to be true.
I arrived at the office. Everyone shared their thoughts of disbelief, and began to work. Most of the physicians were already working. The administrative assistant had the TV on and near her desk. She cried out as the south tower fell, "Something’s happening!" We all ran out of our offices and watched as the dust cleared. When we realized that the tower had collapsed my friend said, "Oh, God." I thought of the massive numbers of people that would die because of the collapse, and thought, "It's right for us to call on God to help, he's the only one that can."
Nearly everyone went back to his or her office. I waited with the administrative assistant. I thought, "It will be such a strange sight that there will only be one tower. Surely they'll rebuild the other one." Then the North Tower collapsed. I called out "The second one is going!" Everyone rushed out and watched in silence. Then the anger began to be expressed by everyone.
By that point, other reports of the Pentagon and the plane down in Pennsylvania were making it to the news. I remember hitting "refresh" on the CNN website over and over. So many people were on the Internet that the page would load partially, or take so long to reload.
My mom called. We agreed that if there were any attacks on Chicago, I would leave everything in St. Paul, MN, and drive to Montana.
I was confident we would get Osama Bin Laden. I was sure I would watch with businessmen or others in a public place that he had been killed within a few months.
In the following years, I moved to 3 separate cities, went through two career changes, completed graduate school and married. So much has happened since 9/11/2001. Part of me realizes how much has happened and how much time has passed. But like so many others, September 11th is so fresh that I can hardly believe it's been 10 years.
Where were you?