Some events remain clear in our minds no matter how many years have passed.
I can remember the events of 10 years ago like it was just yesterday.
I was 19 years old, in college.
On the Tuesday morning, I was driving to school in my Ford Probe, heading for a 9am Religious Studies class. Just before I got out of my car, I heard on the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Centre. I remember thinking "wow, that's insane". But, thinking it was one of those strange, freak things, I got out of my car and walked to class.
I got to class and sat in my usual spot. My classmates started trickling in, everyone asking if we had heard about the plane that crashed into a building. Soon it was 9:05, then 9:10, then 9:15.... we started wondering if our prof, Jack W. was coming to class. None of us knew at this point that a second plane had hit the second tower. This was before the time of Blackberries and iPhones, before news was at our fingertips 24/7.
After waiting the obligatory 20 minutes, we all started to trickle out. It would seem that our normally punctual Prof wasn't coming. Maybe he was sick and had forgotten to get someone to post a note on the door of the classroom. (At our next class, on the Thursday, we found out that he was glued to his tv, like the rest of us were later that day).
Since I didn't have another class until later that afternoon, I headed back to my car and went back to my apartment. I don't remember hearing anything on the radio on the short drive home but remember walking in the door of the apartment to find my roommate sitting on the sofa, glued to the tv.
She was supposed to be in class as well. When I asked what she was doing home, she just pointed at the tv. I came further into the apartment to better see the tv and saw what she was watching in horror. Footage of a second plane slamming into the second tower kept replaying on every station.
While we couldn't quite grasp the enormity of how this one event would help to shape many aspects of the rest of our lives, we knew without a doubt that the world as we knew it had changed. Before I was 20, my ignorant, safe, naive little world was split wide open and I truly became aware of the terror and horrendous nature of some people.
There was fear, disbelief, shock, grief......
Images from that day are still sharp as photographs in my mind. Ten years later, I remember with an ache in my heart and sadness for all those that lost their lives, those that lost family members, and those that sacrificed their safety and time to search for survivors and later, bodies.
While I am not an American, I do mourn and remember this pivotal day in history.
To our neighbours to the South- we remember with you.