Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget...


I was just a few weeks into my 2nd year of law school. I remember sitting in Estates and Trusts class in the large auditorium classroom. Our professor was lecturing and posing questions when people started to talk amongst themselves and hushed tones started to fill the room. We wondered why people were so rudely talking when class was going on... Some students were on their laptops-connected to the Internet, and were whispering about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

The professor, a mousy, sweet woman was oblivious to the fact that nobody was paying any attention. People started to get up and just leave the room. Of course at the time we thought it was just a very tragic accident. As the class ended and we started to get more details, the gravity of the situation began to sink in.

Some people were on their cell phones trying to call loved ones who worked in the twin towers, or were in NYC. We didn't know what to do. Instinctively, we went to our next class--if nothing else, it gave us a place to sit and talk. I had Corporations with my favorite professor, Dean Sell, who had a reputation as a hard-ass with high expectations and one who never canceled class. In reality,he was the kindest and most caring teacher I had ever known in my then 19 years of education.

He walked in the room and updated us on the events as had been reported to that point. He then sent us home to be safe and with our families. With tears and a shaky voice, he hugged a few of us as we left and told us to be careful and get home. I went to the parking lot--which was chaotic, as the University had shut down. (Flight 93 had just crashed in nearby Shanksville, PA and the city was on high-alert). I called home on my way home and remember my hands shaking as I dialed. The feeling of fear and dread about what had happened and what might further occur, was overwhelming.
There are not too many world events (good or bad) that have happened in my lifetime that are burned into my consciousness. Those moments of "where were you when _____???" that I'll never forget.

9-11-2001 was one of those days.