Author: Leigh Ann P.
Everyone remembers where he or she was on September 11, 2001. People love to share their stories, no matter how boring or insignificant, and I am no different: I was a sophomore at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, and I remember my roommate, Jenn, coming in to our room from her 8 AM class and telling me a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I remember still being in bed at 8:46 AM when the first plane hit, so this memory means two things to me:
1. First, this is my JFK-assassination memory moment, and I will never forget it, because like Kennedy’s assassination, it changed everything for a generation of people. My entire life is now divided into pre-9/11 and post-9/11 memories, and I sometimes make these associations without even realizing it. (Spice Girls? Monica Lewinsky? “Legally Blonde”? Pre-9/11. “The Forgotten”? Justin Timberlake as a solo artist? “Lost”? Post-9/11). The innocence of the last century and the nostalgia I have for it are not simply coincidental. My entire adult life has been and will always be post-9/11, defined by that most terrifying day; naïveté must be replaced by paranoia out of sheer necessity – not just because I’m now an adult, but because I’m an adult in a post-9/11 world.
2. Second, there was a time in my life when I was able to sleep past 9 AM on a weekday.
The Daily Pennsylvanian has a great interactive piece with “Where Were You?” stories from current Penn students. I write as someone who was 19 on the day of the attacks, but many of these men and women were merely 7 or 8 years old on that day. It is interesting to read about that day from a child’s perspective, and how the situation took on new meanings as they matured.
The DP also profiles five of Penn’s 16 fallen alumni in a touching piece found here.
Tell us in the comments where you were on 9/11/01.