I was a junior in college.
I had recently returned from an 18-month mission to Chile.
I was working for a religious education professor.
I walked upstairs to use the lab computers. I needed Photoshop to edit pictures for a history of Scandinavian pioneers. As I walked past the main conference room, several professors stood around watching what appeared to be an incredibly violent movie.
Of course, I was incredibly confused; one of them turned to me and shouted, "Our nation is under attack!" I confess that I had to turn away quickly because the way he said it just...gave me the giggles. It still does. (Laughing is one of my unfortunate reactions to bad, tragic, scary, serious news.)
I went back downstairs and looked for everything I could online. I remember frantically trying to call my family, who lived abroad at the time, because the State Department was issuing all kinds of dire warnings to expats.
I left campus, skipped classes, and watched the news all day. Well, I watched the news for weeks. It seemed wrong to watch anything else. I remember sobbing through tributes and really not understanding the impact this event might have on me.
I'm not sure that I can identify the impact of 9/11 on me, personally. It was terrifying and, of course, it has made travel more complicated. Perhaps the impact was just a heightened awareness of the dangers in the world. Maybe it simply served to make me more in tune with those around me. I don't know.
What about you?