September 11, 2013
The time was 7:50 and I was sitting outside my Music Theory Room in Catlett Music Center on the campus of The University of Oklahoma. It was a Tuesday morning and I was waiting for my aural skills Music Theory class that began at 8am. My professor, Dr. Stephenson, was known for starting on time and for never cancelling a class. Even though, I was just a freshman, this became apparent to me within the first week of school. There were about 15-20 of us sitting in the hallway waiting for the classroom doors to open. I remember us all keep checking our watches and wondering what was going on. Yet in those 10-15 minutes the rest of the 150 member class didn’t arrive like usual. Finally, around 8:05 a secretary from the School of Music office came and told us that class and been cancelled and to go back to your dorms/ house immediately. One guy asked her why and with tears in her eyes she said “New York City has been attacked”.
My family and I had been to New York City several times in my youth so this spoke to me immediately and I think I walked faster back to my dorm on the opposite end of campus that day than I did my entire career at OU. When I got back to my dorm the news broadcast was already on one of the big screens in the lobby. It was then that I discovered that The World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. It was in that moment at 7:46 central time that America changed FOREVER! I decided to go back up to my actual dorm room to watch it on my own TV.
Just 2 years before this, my family and I had visited New York City and we were able to go up into The World Trade Center and actually walked around the top floor 110 stories above the ground. During this trip we tried to fit in EVERY OUNCE of NYC as we could since the trip before this was basically “RAINED OUT”. We did Broadway shows, baseball games (of course) and so much more. But it was late one night in our trip that we FINALLY got over to The World Trade Center. It was about 8:45pm and the Observation Deck closed at 9. We saw a sign stating “The last elevator leaves at 8:45pm.” We had missed our opportunity to go to THE TOP OF THE WORLD! I can remember my little sister Allison, who was only 10 at the time, started crying and I too was pretty upset. Out of nowhere came the nice Middle Eastern man who said “I will take you guys to the TOP OF THE WORLD”
We were all so very thankful and appreciative to this gentleman. For the life of me (and my family) we cannot remember this man’s name but his legacy still lives with us. We got to the top and we were able to walk around the inside 109 floor which was actually called “The TOP OF THE WORLD” and then we rode the elevator 1 more story up to the 110 floor and went outside. The sight was something I truly will NEVER forget. We had been in many skyscrapers around the United States but this one was different, for whatever reason. It was beautiful to look out on one of the best cities in the world and see all of it lit up in the night light! I remember my grandma now beginning to cry at the beauty of the city. It was incredible.
Now over 2 years had passed and it was Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and 1 of the 2 World Trade Center Towers had been hit by a High-jacked plane. I sat in my dorm room just in tears as all of the news footage came in of the damages and live-lost. Close to 30 minutes passed and I then watched the 2nd tower get hit LIVE. This is something I will NEVER forget as long as I live. It was a terrible scene and picture and I still think about it often, especially on the annual anniversary. My grandpa used to tell me stories of where he was when JFK got shot or where he was on the day The Challenger exploded and now I will have a story to share with my grandkids.
A scene that will be in my mind for the rest of my life...
This may be the most ICONIC photo of that day in 2001!
It seems like only YESTERDAY this event took place yet somehow, 12 years have passed! In the past 12 years my life has changed drastically. I was barely 19 at the time of tragedy and here I sit today 31 years old. I am a college graduate, with a Master’s degree; married to a wonderful man for 7 years; have 2 AMAZING kids and have been teaching 9 of those 12 years. Yet somehow, it feels like ONLY yesterday that I sat in my small dorm room watching this event unfold LIVE!
Just 12 years later...This is what the 9-11 Memorial will look like when it is complete
As each year passes by and this anniversary creeps up on me again, I am brought to my knees in prayer for the families that this tragedy touched. I say prayers of Thanksgiving that my family was NOT involved but I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and suffering the families that WERE involved go through on this day. It is for those families of the over 3,000 individual lives lost that I dedicate my thoughts and prayers to you! May God be with all of you today, and always! God is in control and even in a terrible crisis and tragedy such as this, HE ALWAYS HAS A PLAN!
Thank you, Lord for the past 12 years! I am so BLESSED and it is ALL for YOUR Glory!
God is good… ALL the Time!