Awakened by one of my roommates at college

Date Submitted: 06/30/2002
Author Info: Jessica (Hanover, MA - USA) 
Occupation: Student
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

That Tuesday morning I didn’t have a class until 11:30, so like any sane college student, I was welcoming the chance to sleep in until at least 10:30 if not 11am. But I was awakened early with a tap on my shoulder from one of my roommates who had just returned from class only to see the startling news coverage of the attacks. In my usual half-asleep/half-awake state, I stared at the television in confusion and shock. It was not until I heard the words “American Airlines Flight 11” that the shock turned into utter panic. My heart started beating incredibly fast and I felt short of breath as I struggled stand up and find the ever-missing cordless phone to call my mother at home. I had realized that Flight 11 was the flight that my father took quite frequently from Boston to LA, and since I had not talked to him in a few days, I had no idea which day he’d be flying out that week. Though I didn’t want to hear the answer, I needed to know. So I called my mother in a panic and at the sound of her voice I immediately burst into tears. It was a struggle just to say the words, but my mother knew what I was trying to say and even after she assured me my father was not on that plane (though he was due to take that very flight on Thursday of that week), we both cried and wished that we were not hours away from each other. It was the most horrifying 5 minutes of my life: from the time I heard on TV “American Airlines Flight 11” until I knew for sure that my father was safe in Boston. I will never forget it.


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