September 11, 2011

On September 11th 2001 I was living in the Oglethorpe dorm on The University of Georgia campus. My friend Katie and I had gone to breakfast at Espresso Royale in downtown Athens. While we were drinking our coffee a random person ran into the coffee shop and shouted to everyone that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and then ran out. We all kind of looked around, commented that it was strange, and assumed he was just a crazy person. It wasn't until we got into the car where NPR was reporting the attack and playing live audio from Ground Zero that we realized the man who ran into the coffee shop wasn't crazy.

My friends and I watched the news together on the TV in our dorm later that morning. We ate lunch together in the O-House dining hall where they were playing the news over the radio so we all would know what was happening. Everyone ate in silence as we listened to the news. Class was canceled the next day and I have a distinct memory of going to sit out on the quad, sun shining, to take some time away from the radios and T.V.s that were continually giving us the news. I remember thinking how strange it was for everything where I was sitting to feel just like every other day but knowing that it wasn't the same at all.

I wasn't a photojournalism major yet, but I did take a point and shoot disposable camera around town in the following days. A group of us took candles to light at The Arch and I took a photo of the memorial set up there by students, teachers, and community members. I took the second photo of The Georgia Theater a couple days later. I'm grateful for these photos now. They represent a time of unity in a place I love. That time of unity seemed to dissolve so quickly to the divisive place our country is today.

As I step back to reflect on September 11th today, I hope we can remember a time when we came together as people despite our differences. It is one of the strongest impressions I was left with from this time.

1 comment:

kathleen greeson said...

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.