Do you remember where you were? What you were wearing? Who you were with?

I do.

I was a sophomore at Dickinson College. I was the RA of Malcolm 3rd floor, all women, mostly sophomores. It was around 9:30 and I was getting ready for the day. I remember that it was sunny, and I was wearing a skirt because it was a nice day. My computer was on and my friend Angie sent me an IM. It just said “Turn on the news!” I turned on CNN and they were showing the towers. I sat down at my desk and typed back to her “Is this a joke?” I sat there, watching in horror as the first tower burned. And then the second plane hit the second tower. I will never forget that moment…the horror of it and the thought “This is really happening, we are really under attack.” Then they switched to the Pentagon and the crash there. The only thing I could think of was my cousin Maureen, working in DC near the Pentagon. I called my grandfather in Arizona from my room phone because I knew Aunt Chris and Uncle Jim were staying with him. I woke him up; he hadn’t even seen the news yet. I remember sobbing on the phone, asking in a squeaky voice if Aunt Chris and Uncle Jim had heard from Maureen, if they knew she was okay. He finally woke up enough to turn on the tv and told me he would call me back.

I remember running downstairs to Ash’s room, asking if his parent’s were okay and him asking the same thing back. I must have talked to my parent’s by then, because I remember telling him the courthouse had been evacuated. I sat in their living room, my knees tucked up underneath my skirt and just watched CNN while Ash watched on his computer. We didn’t even talk, just sat in the same place.

I remember someone in Res Life calling me and telling me I should check on my residents, so I went around to open doors to see if people were okay. I hugged someone who didn’t want to be hugged and no one else was there. I don’t think I went to class that day….I don’t think anyone went to class that day. The HUB was full of people watching the tvs, the counseling center set up shop in the Social Hall and memorials popped up everywhere on campus.

My college experience was defined by 9/11. It changed lives, emotions….there was fear where we never thought there would be fear. It was the catalyst for my brother joining the Army. Even though I was not in a city effected, it was an intensely emotional experience.

Where were you when the world changed forever?