The Journal Register (Medina, NY)


September 9, 2013

BALABAN: Recalling a day the world changed.

Medina Journal-Register — This week people across the country will go about their business.

It will be life as normal for the vast majority of us.

Just like it was 12 years ago this Wednesday.

Every generation has a day that we all remember. For me, and the people of my generation, it’s September 11, 2001.

My parents’ generation had the JFK assassination, and their parents — the Greatest Generation — had Pearl Harbor. 

It was a day that started out as any other day.

I was a senior in college, and it was a day with no classes on my schedule. Normally, my non-class days included working on campus at the fundraising call center (yes, I was one of those people) or working off-campus with the local AHL hockey team.

It was a few minutes after 8 a.m., and my phone rang. My supervisor from the on-campus job was on the other line, wanting to know if I planned on coming to work, since it was a come whenever you want type of job. Then she told me not to bother because something was going on in New York City. A plane had struck one of the Twin Towers.

We exchanged good-byes and hung up. I watched the news coverage intently, and even turned on the radio for extra coverage. 

Every station — classic rock, country, jazz, alternative, etc. — had some sort of live feed of news coverage.

As the morning progressed, some of my residents started streaming back on to the floor, each of them mentioning how their morning class was cancelled mid-class.

The lounge TV was on we were all glued to it, watching our lives change in some way.

As the towers collapsed, we all had a feeling of dread.

Many of us knew people or knew people who knew people who worked in that area. For example, one classmate I knew had an uncle on one of the four hijacked planes that day. I personally have a cousin who worked just a couple buildings away. He saw the second plane hit.

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