Today is a particularly somber day in most people’s memories. To me, 9/11 is similar to how the generation ahead of me thinks about when JFK was shot. 9/11 occurred about a week into my freshman year of college at UW-Eau Claire. When the attacks happened, I was in between classes and waiting for US History to start. I remember my colorguard captain, who was also in the class, walking down to the front of the lecture hall to tell the professor what had happened and him not knowing anything about it. We continued on with class as scheduled and didn’t deviate from the lecture topic – which was about something in the late 1800s. Imagine that, being in a US History class and not being able to talk about history that was happening at that moment. Since it was my last class for the day, I found a tv on campus and found out what happened. I still have the distinct memory of walking down my hall from my room in the residence hall and hearing everyone’s tvs on the news. It was an eerie quiet with a hum of news anchor voices.
Where were you?
I started to think today about what would life be like if that day hadn’t happened. Would we be in an economic crisis? Would we have elected a president who sold a message of hope and change? Would we be at war? I don’t have the answers for all of these questions. All I know is that things would probably be different if 9/11 hadn’t happened. Then, I started thinking about my own life. Would I be where I am today? I honestly hope that I would be. I love that my career path is leading me towards working with college students and their development as adults.
What I do know: I won’t forget. I won’t forget that life can change in an instant. I won’t forget that events seemingly unattached to you can still have a profound affect on you. I won’t forget that there are people out there who risk their lives everyday so that events like 9/11 don’t happen more often. I won’t forget that my role in life and my career is to be an educator and to help others learn from history so that it’s not repeated.
I hope that you won’t forget either.