Six years ago, our world changed forever.
I was in class at the University of Rhode Island. I left, stopped to get gas, and drove home in silence. The release mechanism on my radio face had broken over the weekend and I had dropped it off to be fixed on Monday. I made my lunch (grilled cheese, Italian wedding soup, milk, and pistachios) and sat down to watch Unsolved Mysteries. At 12:30 I shut off the TV and jumped into the shower to get ready for work as an assistant store manager at the mall. When I went to get dressed I realized my (now) husband had brought home someone else's clothes from the laundry mat. I called him, outraged, wondering what the hell I was going to wear. He was incredulous that I was even going to go to work. He asked if I had seen the news yet, saying, I don't think you're going to work today. I asked him if there had been a fire at the mall? Then I asked what channel to turn on. Any channel, every channel (except Lifetime apparently).
I was stunned at what I saw. In one moment that lasted a year I watched both towers collapse into rubble and saw an enormous hole in the Pentagon. I hung up and called my parents. My brother was enlisted in the Marines at the time & stationed in Japan. No, they hadn't heard from him and no, they didn't know where he was. Then I started the frantic phone calls to friends and family, I was lucky, everyone was safe. I later found out that a friend from college is alive today because her alarm clock malfunctioned. I called the store I worked at and found out we were closing for the day. We had a shop in tower one and apparently, the company president was in NYC that morning.
I spent the rest of the day in the office of the local movie theater with my best friend (also an assistant manager) watching the towers collapse over and over again, waiting for any bit of information about her fiance, who was enlisted in the Air Force.
In the months that followed my brother and a very close friend were both deployed to Iraq. My best friend moved her wedding up a full year and moved to California, where her new husband was now stationed. My brother has since left the Marines, but my friend is on his way back for the third time.
Where were you?