Often you hear the question "Where were you on 9/11?" I remember my experience very vividly. I was in Russian Political Science class at the College of Charleston. My professor, Dr. Lu was in the middle of a lecture and a girl ran into the classroom and said "Turn on the T.V." then ran back out. Dr. Lu quickly went to the classroom T.V. and switched it on. It must have been NBC because I can hear Katie Couric's voice in my head describing the horrifying events that we were seeing on T.V. A couple of classmates got up and left the room. Most of us sat there with our mouth agape transfixed on the television set. The second plane hit the World Trade Center. I felt a tear go down the side of my face. Then my Professor said "This will be a turning point in history and politics. You may all go home or stay here and continue watching." I couldn't move. I continued to watch. The towers crumbled. People with looks of panic, fear, confusion. Reports of other planes hijacked. I finally decided it was time to go home. I walked a short distance to the parking garage in a state of shock. Once in the car I turned it onto talk radio. I continued to listen to the reports coming across the broadcast waves. There was a misreport about something at the State Department in Virgina. I drove home. Once home I sat in the living room glued to the T.V. again. My family members started to slowly trickle into the house. It stayed dead silent. Shock. It took us days to process.
Today I remember the moment our country lost not only 2,975 victims of the attack and their families, but also the loss of the feeling of security. I never felt afriad as American in my life before this moment. We were America, nobody could hurt us. That moment changed this country forever. It tought us that we could be hurt, we were not prepared, and that we were not as vigilant as we thought we were. In the years since it has happened I have also learned a few things about Americans. We are a generous people, we believe in this country, and we are all very greatful to be Americans despite our individual differences.