This seems to be the question of the day. It amazes me how fresh a memory can be ten years later. So many people have come and gone in my life. I've sailed to exotic foreign ports and participated in debauchery. I purchased my first home. I traveled solo through New Zealand. Where was I on March 3, 2003? No clue.
Where was I on September 11, 2001?
I was a freshman at Maine Maritime Academy. I had been at school for less than a month - I was still wearing my MUG blues - and had to run everywhere if I was by myself...if I was with a fellow Midshipmen we could walk together in step. I was feeling shell shocked and very, very far away from home -Maine Maritime was not what I had expected.
I was at the waterfront in Castine, ME. I had just completed a 4 hour nautical science lab - we were rowing monomoy's - approaching and breaking away from the dock. I got a little wet so I changed into some dry clothes - I didn't feel like walking all the way to the changing room so I ducked into the sail loft (years of beaching it has allowed me to be able to change my clothes anywhere).
As I was coming down the sail loft stairs one of my MUG Mates (those are the MUGs who are in your company) said, 'Have you heard that the World Trade Center was bombed?!'.
Sadly, do you know what my first thought was....where the hell is the World Trade Center?! I had honestly never heard of it. All I really got was bombed.
The lab instructor just happened to be driving past at that moment and I hailed his car down. He rolled his window down and I screeched, 'Capt. Weeks, Capt. Weeks! You have to turn on your radio! We're being ATTACKED!!!!'.
More of my MUG Mates showed up and we all huddled around the window of Captain Weeks car listening to his radio while he sat in the driver seat.
As the situation started developing I realized that my family had no idea what was going on because it was still the middle of the night in Hawaii (by this point I also figured out where the Twin Towers were - and what a big deal this was).
I sprinted up the hill to the dorms as fast as I could and called my Mom and then I called my Dad. I made them turn on their televisions. I was convinced that Pearl Harbor would be next and that I wouldn't be able to get home if more bad things started happening.
Classes were cancelled, phone lines were tied up as Midshipmen tried to get in touch with family, and common spaces were packed with students just needing to not be alone.
I finally hung up and went to The Waypoint (this was the little cafe on campus) to watch TV. Virtually the entire freshman class was there - because none of us were allowed to have TVs in our dorm rooms.
I remember sitting in a large group of people staring dumbfounded as the video clips rolled thinking, 'I'm really, really not supposed to be here. I'm just absolutely too far away from home. This just isn't right.'
Where were you?