I was going to write about something else until I read my friend Mark’s blog post today about 9/11. Why ignore something I, and probably a lot of other people, are thinking about? I can’t believe it happened eight years ago. What a different time it was, and what a different person I was.

The first major incident of the day happened while I was trying to stay awake in an early morning Structural Geology class. (Note to geology professors everywhere: if the class is before 10 am, please keep the showing of rock photo slides in a dark room to a minimum…otherwise even nerds like me drift off.) I got out of class and that particular day, my parents were stopping by my college on their way to some sort of business conference. Since I grew up about five hours drive away, this was not a regular occurence.

We saw the footage on a large television in the common area of my dorm. Figuring it was a fluke and hungering for a greasy breakfast, we decided to go to my favorite diner (Uncle Moe’s in Sabattus) and eat.

I ordered my favorite dish (crepes) and my parents ordered theirs. We were the only people in the restaurant and the radio was turned up. More planes. More groundings. More craziness. We ended up choking down our food in silence. One of us made a comment that it felt like the world was ending. Nobody said otherwise.

My parentes hesitantly dropped me back off at my college (I insisted I couldn’t miss class) and headed back home in the opposite direction of their conference. Like everyone else, my family and I were all glued to the television for days after. Trying to figure out what it meant, and what it meant to us.

To this day, I can’t ignore terrible events in the background noise of life, which I suppose is a good thing. And those crepes were never really good to me again the way they were before. It’s amazing how a memory can affect all your senses, even the seemingly unrelated ones.

I think that as a country, we learned to live for the day. More people said ‘I love you’, were kind to one another, and other positive actions reverberated days and months after.

So while today, I can’t forget the feeling that the world was ending, I remember also that attitude that came after and try to hold it in my memory in equal measure.

Where were you that day, and what do you remember?

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