Jim West and John Anderson have posted their reflections on 9/11/2001. Though this blog post may say 9/12, it’s still 9/11 (albeit 10:17 pm) where I am in the Northwest US. I still remember 9/11 too, and I thought I’d offer my reflections.
I was a freshman, living in dorms at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC, Canada. I remember my RA coming into my room and waking me up quite frantic. “They’re bombing the World Trade Center,” he said. I got up in half a stooper and joined the half a dozen other American students from my floor. We went to our RD’s office (the closes TV with cable) and watched as they showed, over and over again the second plane hitting the south Tower.
I remember having to go to my intro to philosophy class. My professor was so affected by the events that he said he didn’t know what to say. So we spent a few minutes in prayer and then he dismissed the class. Soon after that, a notice from the university was sent out canceling classes for the whole day.
I went back to my dorm, still in shock, and watched more of the news. I must have seen that second plane hit the south tower three dozen times that day.
Shortly after that, that same day, they held a special chapel. There was a short message (from the President of the University, I think). Then, they asked all of the American students to stand up. The Canadian students and faculty then gathered around us and prayed for us. I remember being very moved and feeling that the whole experience was very surreal.
The rest of the day was busy finding out about this friend and that friend’s family member who was in New York, and figuring out if they were ok.
I remember most, being an American in Canada and the feeling when the Canadians in chapel prayed for us. It was a profound moment. I felt the sense of tragedy most, when us Americans were prayed for by our fellow Canadian students. Strangely, I felt that I could deal with that sense of tragedy best in that same situation. Maybe it was their sense of empathy. Maybe it was because in that moment we were not Americans and Canadians, we were humans. I’ll never forget it. I still remember too.