Remembering a Day America Will Never Forget

Ten years ago I had just turned 21. I was in my junior year at Emporia State University. The year had started off to a rough start and I was starting to think about changing my major. I told all my professors that I was going to be gone on Tuesday. Monday night I headed home to my parents to gather my thoughts. Little did I know, the next day would not be normal.

I woke up early and headed to my old high school in McPherson. I went to the band room and watched the band rehearse. I was standing in the band room when the principal came over the intercom and announced that the twin towers and the pentagon had been hit by planes. As I stood there, I went into a little bit of a teacher mode and watched the director and how he would handle this situation. He heard the news at the same time the students did.

I ended up going back home and watching the television with my grandpa. We sat and watched the tapes of the planes going into the buildings. Pictures were starting to come across. Then, as we sat there, we watched the first tower fall. We just couldn’t believe it. It was so unreal.

That afternoon my father called and told me to get to the gas station to fill up because news of price hikes were coming through. Gas prices around the state were going up by three or four dollars. I rushed to make it before there were any lines. I then had to make it back to Emporia for dinner.

As I entered Emporia, all the gas stations had lines around the block. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I didn’t know what to think about the day. I didn’t have any direct connection to any of the tragedy, but knowing that fellow Americans lost their lives and thousands more would never be the same. . . . I was effected.

As the years have gone by, it’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years. I looked at pictures that National Geographic chose to share from the day. (Look at them here) I remember seeing them for the first time, and yet today, they still made me cry. I can’t believe everything that happened that day.

On Friday I had students interviewing me about the day and my reactions and thoughts. I started to get moved and cried while I explained my emotions in September and October of 2001. It’s amazing how you can still relive those days when you sit and think about it.

May God Bless America and all those effected by the tragedy of 9/11/01.


About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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