Where were you?

Twelve years ago, I was 17 years old and a freshman at college.  The day started as any other.  I was getting ready to head to classes when a hallmate rushed past my door and said that a plane just flew into one of the World Trade Center Towers.

I had no reaction whatsoever.  I don't know why but as she passed I just stood there unsure if she were even telling the truth.  The idea that a plane flew into a building just didn't seem possible.  Another hallmate passed a few seconds later telling me to turn on the television because the tower just collapsed.  That's when it became real.  I quickly turned on the television and closed my dorm room door, leaving me alone to watch the events unfold. 

The next bit of time is somewhat of a blur for me.  I remember seeing the imagine of the second tower, black and grey smoke rising high into the sky, then all of a sudden it crashed to the ground.  I remember watching footage of the plane going into the towers, seeing names of the passengers as well as their ages scrolling across the bottom of the screen.  I remember one passenger was a six year old girl.  I remember finally opening my door and catching a friend as she walked down the hall to tell her the news. 

The University issued an email that said classes for the day would go on unless canceled by the professors.  I had two classes that day and neither were canceled, which I thought was stupid and ridiculous.  I certainly didn't want to go, but went because I was a freshman and that's what you did at college.  You go to class.

It didn't help that I was an engineering student.  One of my professors wanted to talk about the structure of the Trade centers and how the engineering designs failed under the stress of the fire.  The other had a niece in the Trade Center.  She couldn't get a hold of her niece and spent the first five minutes of class crying, then wiped her eyes, and continued with the syllabus as if it were a normal day.

I suppose everyone deals with these types of things differently.

The next memory I have is of watching the President addressing the nation.  I sat on my bed, legs crossed, journal in hand, taking notes.  I felt sick to my stomach watching the President talk because I knew we were going to war.  I prayed - I wasn't talking to God much in those days - that somehow we could avoid war, but knew it wouldn't happen.  I cried because I had friends in the military and knew they'd be deployed - they were and thankfully also returned home.

I don't remember asking why God could let this happen, although I would in the months to follow.  I just remember begging God to heal as many as quickly as possible.

I don't remember many things else from that day.  I tucked it away, unable to process everything. 

Where were you twelve years ago?  What do you remember?