Before I start, this is a request that this thread stay respectful, and politics are left out. If there is any kind of wankage in this thread, it will be deleted, and warnings will be issued, if not worse.
Ugh. I'm originally from NYC, my entire extended family lives there, and my dad works there. It was my second week of college, and the second week I had EVER spent away from home by myself. It was also one of the first times in my life where I was living so far away from NYC that I couldn't just walk a few blocks and see a great view of the skyline (or else, when I was really young, actually be in there.) Also, at the time, some of my best friends were from the city - one was in NYU and his dorm was not horrifically far from the towers. I was in my World Literature class which was my favorite course at the time, and it was a lecture on chinese poetry, or something. Someone came in to the class maybe a half hour in, whispered something to the professor. He looked unhappy, but he continued. A bit later though, the person came in again, I think to say that classes were canceled. They told us a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, but they didn't know if it was an accident, or what. I remember leaving and trying to get through to my mom, but being unable to. At first I thought she was online or something, but then I realized it was more serious when I went to the library, and got online to see pictures of the damage. Then I got on a bus to get back to my campus (Rutgers New Brunswick is made up of four of them), after hearing these jets swoop over head quite loudly.
I did manage to get in touch with my mom and eventually my friends. I don't know how I got so lucky, but thank god, everyone was safe. My dad's bus had to turn around at the Lincoln tunnel. My uncle who was with the FDNY had not been on duty, though he went in after the incident happened. He lost people in his house, he was mistakenly on the missing list for a while, but he was okay. I had another uncle who worked on the wreckage in the following days, but yeah, by then the majority of the danger had passed. My friend's dorm was pretty much unlivable for weeks after, possibly months. I remember him telling me that if you looked out the window, which normally had this beautiful view, you saw nothing but soot and smoke.
I think the most frightening this however was being alone. My internet wasn't up yet (and connections around campus were shady at best) and I didn't know anyone besides my roommate at this point. I was still weeks away from meeting the people who would later become my best friends even after college. I couldn't go home if wanted to, because the way I took to get home back then was to take a train into NYC Penn Station, and walk to the Port Authority bus terminal. (this was before they had made a junction station which made it soooo much easier.) They weren't letting people into the city. That weekend my parents drove and picked me up. We went to this little shopping place for lunch, and they played James Taylor's Fire and Rain, mixed with sound bytes from the news. Only then did my mom and I finally break lose and cry, we had kind of been holding it back.
Ugh…sorry for the novel here, but now that I've gotten that out, I think I'm going to try to move on and enjoy my day. It was good to get that out though.