10 years ago, at the exact time of this post, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center North Tower.
At 9:03am, United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower.
At 9:37am, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
At 10:03am, United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into an open field in Shanksville, PA.
The South Tower collapsed at 9:59am.
The North Tower collapsed at 10:28am.
World Trade Center 7 collapsed at 5:21pm.
Where were you 10 years ago?
I was at UCLA for the month of September - my brother had to move in early at UC Riverside as a member of the residential life staff, and I managed to move in early to the dorms through my job at the front desk in Covel Commons.
I woke up to my phone ringing. It was after 9am Pacific Time, I think. I had no idea what was going on, and I heard:
"Wake up. We're under attack."
"Airplanes flew in to the World Trade Center. They collapsed."
I woke up and ran to the front desk in Covel, frantically trying to find a TV so I could watch the news. The images were so haunting, so surreal. I couldn't believe what was happening, and I couldn't believe it was real. I have a hard time believing anyone could hate the United States that much that they would want to plot our demise (mind you, I was a political science major, you'd think I could think of it....) but I believe there is good in most people.
I became a news junkie. I had to watch the news nonstop. (If you've ever been in Covel Commons, and noticed the TVs above the front desk area - the cable to those TVs were only fixed due to 9/11 - they never worked before that day.) I lived in my little UCLA on campus bubble, watching the news, staring agape at the TV, and wondering what was next for the world.
10 years later, I still don't know what's next for the world. I don't want to know. Do I feel like the world is safer? Not really. Anything you do, anywhere you go, there will be an extremist waiting to challenge you, believing their view of the world is better than yours. And until the day people are willing to work with each other instead of against each other, there will always be that fear.
Today we remember the 2,977 victims of 9/11, and honor the family members, survivors, first responders, firefighters, police officers, and anyone else that has helped us to heal since 9/11, and to help those who still need to heal from the wounds of 9/11. 10 years later, they are still fresh, and will probably never completely close.