I remember September 11th, 2001 like it was yesterday.
I wasn't in New York, or DC, or in a field in Pennsylvania.
I had just turned 21 and was starting my senior year at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
I had just moved into an apartment by myself.
My then-boyfriend lived in Newark and had graduated the year before.
I remember thinking what a beautiful morning it was as I walked to my engineering class.
I remember being really confused when my professors first words to me were "If you have family in New York you can leave to call them". I had NO idea what he was talking about. I hadn't watched the news that morning and had no idea what he was referencing.
I remember them making an announcement that closed the campus for the day. I remember thinking, oh fun!
I remember a few minutes later walking by a TV in the library and stopping to watch. I felt immediately guilty for thinking that it would be a fun day off.
I remember frantically calling my boyfriend to see how he was, to see how his brothers and sister-in-law were as they all worked in NYC. I remember his response "We're all fine, I don't know what you're so upset about". I remember thinking I should break up with him, but I would wait as maybe he was just in a state of shock. (Turns out he was just an asshole and would continue to be for the next year I dated him).
I remember calling my mom and just sobbing on the phone with her. Between the two of us we didn't know any of the victims personally, thought we both felt as if we were victims ourselves by the fact that we were American citizens.
I drove home on the 12th up an empty 95 and stayed home until the next weekend. I was glued to the TV for the remaining days.
I still cry when I see footage on TV, though that hasn't stopped me from watching the entire coverage this morning.
It doesn't matter at all where I was, or who I knew or didn't. What matters is that I remember.
I will never forget.