College Student Story

Date Submitted: 10/30/2003
Author Info: Matt (Ashton, MD - USA) 
Occupation: Student
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

On 9/11 i awoke in my college dorm room in Montgomery Hall, at the University of Maryland, College Park to the sound of sirons, and a bad taste in my mouth from having watched the New York Giants lose MNF the night before. It was about 11 a.m., i didn’t have class till 4, and i had laundry to do. I gathered my stuff, walked to Hartford Hall, put in my first load, and walked back to my room. As i was walking back i overheard people discussing as to whether or not classes would be canceled (which they were on the 12th, but not the 11th). As i walked into Annapolis hall to get a newspaper, there was a lady standing outside asking whether or not the university was shut down. I responded by asking why that would be happening. As far as i knew, everything was normal. Then the lady told me “they are attacking us.” Confused, i walked back to my room, where i found 3 of my friends huddled around a T.V. As i turned to the screen i saw the video of the World Trade Center Collapsing. WTF!

Instantly my friends, and Peter Jennings, brought me up to speed on the days events. Damn, i sure missed alot while i was asleep. Instantly i started to think about my family. My grandmother lives in Queens, its not where the Trade Center was, but it was NYC, and on a day like that, your mind goes into all the bad scenarios. I didn’t call her because i new it was best to keep the phone lines open for important calls. Then i thought about my parents, who were on vacation in Europe at the time. Was this just a U.S. thing, or were Americans all over the world being attacked. I had no way of contacting them, so i had to wait for them to contact me. Finally,i thought about my sister, she worked for one of the agencies that “dropped the ball” that day. In fact, the fourth plane may have been headed her way. I tried to call her, but there was no way for to call to go through because the lines were jammed. So we sat there and watched and watched. I would blink my eyes and see the footage of the planes going into the towers, there was not way to avoid seeing this horror, even with my eyes closed.

Finally my sister called me, she was driving to our house outside of Olney, MD. We met up around 6 p.m., we had dinner (applejacks) and then i quickly wisked her away to College Park. There was no way i was going to stay in a big old empty house on a night like that, i needed my friends as well as my family. We got back to CP around 6:30, and watched more T.V. My sister fell asleep around 9/9:30, i stayed up untill 2, i couldn’t really sleep. I was majoring in Social Studies Education, what a day. I instantly knew that i would be discussing this with my students untill the day i retire. And the two stories i will always tell them will be this one, and the story of the day after, when the Univeristy of Maryland held a giant gather on McKeldin Mall. It was at 10 in the morning, and the crowd was some 10,000 strong. In the middle of the ceremony a plane flew overhead, everyone stopped making noise, everyone looked up. Why was there a plane, all planes had been grounded. This was the first time anything like that had ever happend just because of a plane flying. It turns out it was a military plane leaving from Andrews A.F. Base, which is all of 20 min from Maryland.


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