Day 142: “Remembering 9/11”

There I was just as lost as ever staring at a math exam inside a classroom at Northern Virginia Community College. I was sitting near the front of the classroom because I heard that students who sit closer to the teacher are less distracted and may be able to learn a thing or two. This wasn’t the case for me….I was staring at the math exam in front of me and I didn’t have a clue. I still have a hard time adding and subtracting integers in my head. My Dad even sent me to Sylvan Learning Center and hired a professional math tutor while I was in high school to help me learn and I still didn’t do well. It required studying and I wasn’t about to pick up that nasty habit.

The professor had just finished handing out the remainder of the exams and some students in the back were still putting their books and laptops away, one of my classmates in the back was still online and started to freak out about what he was seeing and reading. I didn’t think much of it until another student got online and confirmed that the Twin Towers and the Pentagon had been hit by airplanes, and it appeared to be a terrorist attack. Our professor dismissed class and I was happy that I didn’t have to take the exam. I was hesitant to believe that there had been an terrorist attack, but when I saw the fear in peoples eyes leaving campus that day, I knew that something terrible happened.

I left the campus and tried to call my Dad, and Thomas (we were still together) and I couldn’t get a hold of either of them. At the time, I was living with roommates in a town house near campus and Thomas was at VA Tech for the semester.  The phone lines weren’t working and I started to panic and worry about my brother. He was in middle school near Pleasantville and I wanted him out of that school and safe in his home. I drove like a bat outta hell to his school and practically forced the school to release him to me. Of course, I had to unleash my inner Hulk before he was released to me, but he was in my car on his way home within minutes upon my arrival.

We watched the news and later found out that our father was in the Pentagon for a meeting at the time of the attacks. Naturally, we freaked out and were relieved when we finally got in touch with him. He confirmed that he was safe and sound at the Country Club (which is walking distance from the Pentagon) it was chaotic at the Pentagon and he was told to leave the building immediately by a higher ranking officer. As a retired Naval officer, he got the hint and left. My family got lucky, and my heart goes out to the men and women who weren’t so lucky, and to those who lost loved ones.

Here’s to what could have been 224 Days, Veronica Graham, It was a frightful event that took place that day, and my prayers go out to the victims and their families.

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