There are very few events that occur in our lives when we remember exactly where we were. The Pearl Harbor bombing, the JFK assassination, the Challenger explosion, and, most recently, the September 11th attacks. My grandparents could remember Pearl Harbor. I wasn’t born when President Kennedy was assassinated, but my parents remember it clearly. I was in fourth grade when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up right after take off. I can remember our teacher rolling into our class the old tube TV after it happened so we could watch.
I very clearly remember the September 11th tragedy. I was in my third year of dental school and I was sitting in a classroom waiting for a pharmacology lecture. Two of my friends walked in to sit down by me and told me that an airplane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. I just assumed it was a small plane that accidentally hit the building. But their mood and demeanor clearly showed it was something worse. They said it was a passenger plane and it was not an accident. At the moment, it felt like the world changed. The oral surgeon that was teaching our class that day came in and tried to articulate what had just happened. He paced back and forth while he did, and was clearly distraught. Most of us in the class hadn’t seen the video of it yet, but none of us were focused on pharmacology.
The rest of that day was a blur. I was in Milwaukee and the tallest buildings in the city were evacuated. The Sears Tower in Chicago was also evacuated. When I got back to my apartment that night after school my eyes were glued to the TV, as I’m sure most people’s were. I couldn’t focus on studying or any homework. I called my mom that night and when she answered she started crying. It was a tough day, as most of you reading this probably remember. When President Bush went live on TV that night, I remember feeling somewhat consoled, but many things haven’t been the same since. Too many lives had been taken. These tragedies were thrust upon us. We didn’t get to pick where we were or who we were with.
Those tragic events can be contrasted with many memorable happy events also. Events such as the Berlin Wall being torn down, our favorite sports teams winning championships, and, of course, Star Wars are memorable for better reasons. With The Force Awakens being released in a few short months, for the most part we can pick when, where, and with whom we see it for the first time. How incredible is that?! It is not often that we get to craft our memories. We still don’t know how much we will enjoy the new movie or how we will react to it, but I do know who I plan on going with and how many times I plan on seeing it the first weekend.
Last month, I wrote about how amazing this Star Wars journey has been for me so far, and the movie hasn’t even come out yet. Now as we get closer to December 18 it is all starting to feel real. Force Friday has come and gone, we should have a full trailer in the next few weeks, and Star Wars merchandise is everywhere. It feels like 1999 all over again, but better. I never thought I would have a chance to experience this with my family. And with all the tragedy that happened on this date 14 years ago, many bright spots emerged. Hopefully, with all the turmoil in the world today, Star Wars: The Force Awakens can give us a bright spot to look forward to.
What do you remember about September 11th? What are you most looking forward to with The Force Awakens release? Email me at email@example.com or contact me on Twitter @ryderwaldrondds. Thanks so much for reading my blog. I always appreciate it. You can also find me on the Idiot’s Array podcast. And most importantly, remember:
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