I was a freshman in college. It was my eighteenth day living on campus, and although my first class did not begin until 11AM, I woke up early. It wasn't something that happened often.
Being of the AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) era, I learned of the attacks via a friend's away message. I don't remember my initial thought; I do remember terrorism was not it. It wasn't until turning on CNN that I realized the severity of what happened.
Classes were cancelled. My RA stopped in to ask if I was okay. When I said yes, he asked me not to use my cell unless it was an emergency.
As an American originally from the state of NY - an American with relatives on both sides of my family living and working in Manhattan - I'm fortunate nobody I know was involved in the attacks. But, living nearby has allowed me to meet people who were directly involved: people who saw the planes hit, people who lost jobs, people who lost loved ones. Their recollection of that day is far different from mine.
A decade has passed, but America continues to grieve. Many still live in fear. Many continue feeling empty.
I watched a portion of the live coverage airing the 10th Anniversary memorial ceremony. A woman who lost her brother said there is still no closure and still no answers. A girl who lost her father said ten is just a number and he would always be remembered. A man stated the names of those lost are now etched in stone, but are forever etched in our hearts. Every name is engraved. Every name was read.
The events of 9/11 affected us differently. But we all remember together.