There are very few events that I remember EXACTLY where I was for. Usually it’s just a hazy recollection of being in a general place at a general time. Like most people, I remember in vivid detail — down to what I was wearing and who I was talking to on September 11, 2001.
I remember getting on the shuttle bus to the metro shortly after the first plane hit when no one even imagined it was anything more than a horrible accident.
I remember talking to my mom on the phone as I walked from the metro to the National Museum of American History, where I had started an internship about a week prior.
I remember walking into that building when everyone was realizing that this was not a horrible accident, but a planned attack.
I remember the boom when the third plane hit the Pentagon, and watching smoke rise from the window in our office.
I remember trying to call my mom on a Nokia cell phone and not being able to get through. I remember my boss finally telling me to use the landline.
I remember assuring my mom that no, there was not a plane down on the National Mall, I could see outside the window.
I remember walking outside the building and thinking it all looked like a scene from a movie, cars everywhere, people streaming toward, anywhere, trying to get out of the city, to find loved ones, to just get away.
I remember a security guard telling me the basement of the American History Museum was a bomb shelter, and maybe I should stay put.
I remember sitting in an abandoned replica of a turn of the century Ice Cream Parlor/museum exhibit eating pastries out of the case. I remember catching a glimpse of the TV coverage in someone’s office.
I remember coming up from the metro and being even closer to the Pentagon. I remember huddling together with my classmates in one of their rooms flipping channels and watching replay after replay of the day’s events.
I remember the friends, family, loved ones who reached out with concern for my well being, and the coworkers who offered me their families because they knew I was far from mine. I remember that my memories are not unique. I remember that we were all impacted in some way that day, and most of all, I remember that WE remember. #neverforge