I don’t think many Americans will ever forget how we felt on September 11, 2001. I was a senior at the University of Delaware at the time, and being on a college campus during such a heartbreaking historical event seemed to further magnify what had transpired on that day. I remember students crying on their way to class — cursing their cell phones that had no reception, leaving them wondering if their families and friends were okay. Many students were from the New York/Long Island area — some lost parents and loved ones in the World Trade Center attacks. Everyone was in a daze of disbelief that day.
The night of September 11, students gathered on the North mall for a vigil. I am somewhere in that mass of solemn students below.
In the following days, a Ribbon Garden was set up on the South mall, where students, faculty, staff and community members inscribed their thoughts. It was a comforting yet haunting sight to see those thousands of ribbons blowing in the wind over the next several weeks. People spoke more softly as soon as the ribbons came into their view during their walks through campus.
Alumnus and then-Senator Joseph Biden spoke to students in the sports arena… and while his politics and personality do not please everyone, his speech was one that resonated with a lot of people that day.
On September 12, 2001, I bought the New York Times. I have yet to ever read it and look through all of the haunting images, but it still sits under my bed as a reminder of what happened on September 11.
Today, be grateful for all that we have.