Where Were You When Kennedy Was Shot?


When you get all the people in my department together for lunch, conversation takes some inexplicably strange turns. Today, we discussed everything from the aftermath of Chernobyl to frequent flyer mile programs to the Grey's Anatomy season finale until we finally landed on 9/11.

People will always remember where they were on that day. It was the second day of Renee's honeymoon. Eric hadn't come to the office because he had to take his car to the mechanic's. Several people were already at the office before anything happened. Vinnie's friend was stuck in the traffic next to the Pentagon. The plane that hit there flew directly over her car. She watched as the jetliner hit the side of the building. Almost everyone remembered seeing the smoke as the headed home.

I was in Houghton.
It was a perfectly lovely day.
I was in a classroom on the third floor of the NAB
waiting for Kingdon's OT Prophets 1 to begin.
One of my classmates walked in and said,
"Two planes just flew into the World Trade Center."
Blank looks and some grunts of disbelief from the other students in the room.
"You're kidding...whatever."
"I watched it live..."

Dr. Kingdon arrived on time.
He asked if anyone wanted to say anything.
No one did.
Dr. Kingdon prayed...
then proceeded with class.

Richard arrived a little late.
He was trying to reach his mother in New Jersey.
His dad worked at the WTC on a fairly regular basis.
The phone lines were jammed and he couldn't get through.

There was an assembly.
I don't think we had afternoon classes, but that detail slips my mind.
What I remember is sitting in front of the big screen TV in the Campus Center Lounge
watching the constant replay of the crashes and eventual collapses.
I remember seeing people hurtling to their deaths from windows hundreds of feet off the ground.
I remember learning of the third and fourth planes.
I remember weeping over the futility of it all.
I remember thinking that I would never forget the day the world ended.

Where were you?
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