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Remembering 9/11

September 11th, 2008 · 4 Comments · college life, random, the hottest girls at USU, tina

In honor of the events that took place on this day 7 years ago, I thought I’d take a minute to share my experiences from September 11, 2001.

That particular school year I was living in “skankies” with the hottest girls at USU. Any of you that know these girls know that there was never any lack of excitement around our apartment. I had one roommate, Amanda, that was particularly dramatic.

I remember waking up that morning to Amanda screaming that the world was coming to an end.

I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went, but having known Amanda for many years and remembering her antics quite well, I am going to try to share the conversation as it might have been (I doubt I’m too far off).

A: “Teeny, wake up. The world is coming to an end.”
T: “What?”
A: “Get up! We’re being bombed. There are terrorists, we’re going to die.”
T: “What are you talking about? Leave me alone.”
A: “I’m serious. The world is over, we’re all going to die. Its going to be the second coming.”
T: “Calm down. We aren’t all going to die.”
A: “Please teeny, I’m scared. We are all going to die and you are just going to lay there and sleep. Get up!”
T: “Amanda!”
A: “Seriously. They’ll already bombed all of New York… this is it, the world is over. Teeny! Please.”
T: “Ugh! Fine. What is going on?”
A: “Come here” (dragging me into the living room toward the television)

When I got to the television the first plane had hit the North tower, coverage of the second plane unfolded as I watched. I think I was in a state of shock. I wasn’t really sure what I was seeing, and I don’t think I was fully convinced that it was real. Some strange movie perhaps?

By this point Amanda had succeeded at waking up the rest of our roommates and we were all watching the television is disbelief.

Amanda proceeded to tell us that the terrorists were probably coming to Logan next and that none of us should go up to campus, because we might get bombed. She tried to tell us that a big University like Utah State was very likely one of the next targets of these terrorists. Despite Amanda’s words of warning we all attended classes anyway.

It wasn’t until I was driving up to campus and saw the flag on Old Main Hill at half mast that I think it really started to set in for me.

When I got to campus it was nothing but a lot of solemn faces. People seemed to move in slow motion. There were large screen televisions set up in many of the common areas of the student center and in several other buildings around campus. Large groups of students gathered around the screens to watch, some only pausing momentarily on their way to class. No one really said anything. It was just a lot of silence. Some tears. A lot of gasps.

Many professors canceled classes. Some tried to hold discussions about the mornings events. And still others were business as usual. My classes that day fit into the former two categories.

I had the opportunity to visit New York City about 9 months prior. I’d toured the towers, and remember the view from the top of the towers. I couldn’t help but remember being there and remembering the height and vastness of the buildings. Watching images of the towers crumble to the ground was surreal. The images were shown over and over again that day, and in the weeks and months that followed.

I was blessed to have not lost any loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, but knew quite a few people that did.

Campus was no less dreary the following day. In addition to the numerous televisions replaying the gruesome footage, newspapers were now also plastered with headlines and images from the events just a day prior.

I still have one of those newspapers.

I remember attending a seminar months later in the ballroom on campus. A New York photographer that had taken some of the more iconic photos during the attacks and in the aftermath was there sharing his images and his experiences. It was interesting to relive the events through his work. But is also really made me want to visit ground zero. I’ve yet to make it back there.

In effort to lighten things up just a bit, lets fast forward one year…

September 11, 2002

As the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of the prior year was approaching, the news was again filled with images from that day. Information about clean up efforts, memorials, and death tolls were also shared.

And people were afraid to fly. Airlines were experiencing lower than normal volumes. I think that people feared additional attacks.

As a result, a couple of small no name airlines were offering low fare flights. National airlines was one such airline, offering flights for just $1 on the anniversary of 9/11. The only requirement was that both departing and returning flights be made on the same airline. Taxes and fees were additional. Destinations were available all over the United States. All just $1.

I wanted to visit New York. To see ground zero. I thought it a very appropriate day to do it too. But other locations included D.C. and Florida, Washington, Oregon, and California (to name a few).

A couple of good friends/former roommates and I decided to take advantage of this sweet deal.

UNFORTUNATELY, National Airlines didn’t fly out of Salt Lake.

But it did fly out of Vegas.

We decided that since we had to make our return flight on the same airlines, and since all flights on the 11th were only $1 that we’d just choose a destination that allowed us to make both departing and returning flights on the same day. That meant that New York was out.

It didn’t take long to settle on California. LAX, here we come!

We picked the earliest flight out, and the latest flight back.

9/11/02 fell on a Wednesday. So we left Logan on Tuesday evening and headed out on an 8 hour drive to Vegas. We probably made it into the city a little after midnight. Since we were all about going cheap this trip we passed on a hotel in favor of crashing on the ground at the airport. Each of us had a backpack and a beach towel. The backpacks made nice pillows, the towels were our blankets. We slept (or at least tried to) until our plane was ready to board around 6 am.

We weren’t the only ones on the plane with the great idea to take a day trip. A group of old men in plaid pants were also on our flight… headed out for a day of golfing.

When we landed in Los Angeles we headed to Fox Rent-A-Car (also having a sweet 9/11 anniversary deal) and picked up a rental car for $10 for the day… plus another $20 or so, since none of us were 25 years old then.

The rest of the day was spent at Venice beach. We played in the sand and the water, checked out the little shops along the beach, rented boogie boards and bicycles, and got really sunburned. We got some fun souvenir shirts and took lots of pictures. On the way back to the airport we stopped at Pizza Hut and filled up our rental with fuel.

It was a super-fun and way relaxing day!

We landed back in Vegas around 11:50 p.m. that day. We were exhausted and in pain from the tomato-red sunburns on the backs of our legs. It hurt to sit. The last thing we wanted was another 8 hour drive back to Logan.

But two of us had tests the next morning (in 7:30 a.m. classes), so we had to get moving. We probably drove a little faster than we should have… since we made it back to Logan around 6:30 a.m. AFTER having dropped off one girl in Orem.

It was just enough time to shower, attempt to wake up, and rush off to class.

It was a crazy long day, but it was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat!!

Between gas to/from Vegas, $1 airfare + taxes, the rental car, boogie board/bike rentals, t-shirts, and pizza hut… we spent less than $60 each. Not bad for a little mini vacation!


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Michelle Johnnie

    THat is awesome (about the vacation.) You are so adventuresome. I stayed in school because I “can’t” let myself miss a class. You rock!

  • Kellee

    I never heard about the $1 deals. Of course, I was a boring mom with 3 kids and probably wouldn’t have done anything about it :)

    I was pregnant with Savannah and on my way to a music class on 9/11. It was an unbelievable feeling. Our teacher tried to have class as normal, but some students had little radios and we were all trying to get updates. I remember feeling like the signs of the times were definitely here, but not that the world was going to end or that we were in danger. Your poor roommate!

  • Dustin

    I remember you had a lot of fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen those photos from your trip. It’s great to see you’re doing so well, these 6 years later.

  • Mother of the Wild Boys

    I love your pictures! It sure looks like ya’ll got lots of sun. :)

    PS-National is the airline I worked for.

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