A strange day in Chicago 

Date Submitted: 9/13/2016
Author Info: Eric (Evanston, Illinois - USA) 
Occupation: Student 
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No 
Knew someone who perished?: No 

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I was a senior in college in September 2001, I just started my senior year and I got up and did my normal routine, take a shower, eat breakfast, and get on the bus to school. I went to Northwestern, which is in Evanston, Illinois, literally 5 minutes outside of Chicago. I started my first class (political science) and it had no televisions in the room, so we had no idea and I didn't see the second plane hit. Our class was interrupted by another professor and he said something that sends chills up my spine to this day, "The World Trade Center is under attack!". Due to the fact we were close to a major city, we automatically were cleared out of our classes and gathered near the largest TV. Everybody just sat in awe, some were crying, but it was just a shock across the entire campus. It was unusually quiet. But, then ABC showed people being pulled out and the panic of the people on the street. That is when it hit me that this event would change the entire world. Everybody was getting an influx of calls and I was getting calls from my parents, my brother, my roommate telling me what was going on. As I was talking to my brother, the South Tower collapsed and then the panic hit us watching. There were some people crying. I went back to my apartment and when I turned on the TV, the North Tower collapsed. My girlfriend and my roommate came in to watch it and my girlfriend started crying. We heard on the TV that the Pentagon had been hit and then claimed there was another plane over Pennsylvania that was hijacked. I was praying for everyone to be okay. The next week was one of the strangest weeks ever. Even in a big city like Evanston, the world was unusually quiet. There was literally nothing to talk about, all we saw were pictures of Ground Zero. There was no sports, no movies, no TV shows, nothing. Life had just stopped. The sting of the attacks didn't wear off until about Summer of 2002. The entire world grieved and we realized that this was JFK and Pearl Harbor of Gen X.  

 

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A million thoughts raced through my head. And then I witnessed the most horrific thing I've ever witnessed in my 36 years of life. A TV had been set up in the break room, and we all watched in horror as first one, then both Towers fell. I can't describe the sadness, the feeling was too intense to justify in words.

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