On that day in 2001, I was studying Social Work at Canadore College in North Bay. My friends and I had just gotten off the bus. The student centre lounge was on the way. Someone yelled about what was on the massive projection screen. We crowded around to see the live unedited footage of bodies hanging out of buildings that were on fire. We watched as people began falling. We stayed there until it was time to go to class.
We didn’t learn anything in our classrooms that day.
Announcements were made advising us to head home as the college would be closing until more information was available about the attack on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.
That campus is near the military base. Since North Bay was a major NORAD location, no one who was born in the city was surprised we were being sent home.
All we knew was that a major North American financial institution had been struck and that many Canadians also worked there. We went home to watch the news because it was all we could do. We didn’t have cell phones to check if our loved ones were OK. The Internet wasn’t as huge then. We mostly watched flash videos and did research for school assignments in those days.
We had seen war on TV before, but it was always footage from distant lands.
On that day, it was close to home.
It was affecting our daily lives.
Many thought our base could be a target as well.
We didn’t know if or when school would be open again.
All we had was each other and the news.
Several other locations were targeted and many lost their lives that day.
It’s been 16 years since that day, but there is a lot of turmoil going on and I’m nervous as I head off to school once more on September the 11th.