While I'm sure a lot of people are doing this sort of post today, I feel the need to do one as well, as it feels like barely any time since 9/11 happened, and I can't believe it's been ten years already.
September 2001 was my first year of university. I'd just moved from my hometown of Peterborough, ON, to attend university at York University in Toronto. I'd always been fairly close to my family, so it was really hard for me to move away so far from home and be in a new place where I didn't know anybody. I was that girl that cried the whole way there in the car and sort of wished I hadn't made the choice to leave. I recall things were made a bit harder by the fact that my move-in day was a bit of a drop things off and leave occasion, as my grandma was in St Mike's hospital battling a bout with colon cancer and we had to go visit.
At any rate, September 11th, 2001 was my first full week of university classes, and I recall having gotten up and gone straight to class. I heard about what happened from another student in the class, who had a radio with him and was listening to the radio broadcast with a headphone in one ear. I find it somewhat interesting now that the class I was in was a Philosophy one, called "The Meaning of Life" and that was where I first heard what had happened, and got a bit of a play by play as things happened. I always remembered that student for being the one who told me about 9/11. I often saw him after that class was over, and years later we even lived in the same apartment building in Toronto, but I never knew his name, and thought it would be sort of weird for me to stop him and tell him his role in telling me the news, so I never did. I also find it interesting that tomorrow I'm also heading back to university again, having been out of full time study for a long time, and I'm wondering how my thoughts of this anniversary are going to affect my experience of that.
9/11 was a big turning point for me in terms of my thinking about my life, just in that so many changes and hard things were already going on, and the planes hitting the towers were really the apex of all that feeling for me. It was weird too, living in a larger city when it happened, at a large university whose population included a lot of students from the Middle east, and the weird atmosphere of the university immediately, with televisions on in the halls replaying the news footage, and the buzz of students worrying that York might be a target, what action governments might take, how things might change and everyone commenting that watching the footage was like a clip from an action film.
I don't think any of us could see at that point the scope of the change that would come, or how 9/11 would become a fixed reference point in history that would demarcate the pre and post feelings of the world. I don't want to get into much of my thoughts on the war and what should or not have been done or what still needs to be done, other than just to say that this event changed everything and played a big part in how we think about things, our values, our beliefs and our conceptions of what matters most. Let's not forget how important it is not to waste the time we have, to keep it in the back of our minds that we don't have all the time in the world, and that we should always be trying to make the most of this life that we have.
And in closing, I'll leave you with this thought from Matt Barber, whose music I love and whose tweet this morning resonated with me: