Ten years ago, I was sitting in my early morning chemistry lab at Georgetown. It was my Freshmen year and I'd been in DC for about three weeks. Around 8:30, a TA ran into the room and said "we've been attacked." A bit of pandemonium ensued as the 15 or 20 of us tried to figure out what had happened. We turned on the radio, which first said Reagan National Airport had been hit. As I looked out the window, a huge plume of smoke rose into the air.
Our TA asked that we finish the lab as quickly as possible. When the news corrected itself and said that the actual target in DC had been the Pentagon, things got worse. Our TA's father and fiancee both worked in the Pentagon.
By 9:30, we'd all finished up the lab as best we could and went racing back to our dorms. Everyone was glued to TVs. About one out of 35 phone calls was going out. The RA was coming around making sure all of us could get hold of our family. I finally got a hold of my parents after an hour of trying.
My floor organized a prayer circle, where we prayed for the worst to be over, and for the families of all those lost. We had no idea how many had died at that point. We had just watched both towers fall.
Later, my roommate and I just sat and watched HBO - we couldn't watch the news anymore. We watched "Where the Heart Is." When it finished, the same movie began again and we just sat there.
Georgetown canceled class that Tuesday afternoon, but was adamant that school would resume the next day. Many students had loved ones working in the towers or the Pentagon. One boy on my floor had lots of family working in the twin towers. He spent most of the rest of September home in New York attending funerals.
I still do not understand how any person can hate that much or be that sure to use other humans as weapons to kill other humans.
Today, I pray that such acts of terrorism lessen and finally cease. I pray that humanity can grow closer together and learn to live with one another.