I was attended college in Northwestern Ohio and was in class when a teacher from another class came in and told us a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Everyone assumed it was a terrible accident and so class proceeded.
A little while later that same teacher came in to let us know about the second plane. A room full of shocked 18-22 year olds. I don’t think even then we thought terrorist attack because it wasn’t in our vocabulary. I think we understood it now seemed intentional but likely didn’t grasp why. I was out of high school only four months.
Our instructor was a jerk and didn’t let us leave class until our regularly scheduled break. There was no tv in that building so I ran to the main building to the television and stared in disbelief. I remember I called my mom who was back home in Indiana.
What really is the story for me was what came after. I worked at a gas station and I remember hearing about other cities and gas gouging. I spent all my free time laying on the couch watching CNN in disbelief. There was talk of gas attacks and I remember thinking about how best to seal off the house I was renting. TV suggested duck taping all window and door seams and I remember being afraid. All those miles away and in an area likely not on their radar and I was afraid of these people.
I’ll never forget that.