Mich, NW and myself were on the road, making the trek back to Champaign-Urbana. We had just graduated from U of I that May, but being without a job we decided to go back to school to check out the job expos that were taking place that week and to visit friends that still remained. The day started out leisurely enough. We were in no particular rush. We just hit the road with a stack of cds and I watched the familiar scenery pass by as Michelle drove.

Then Michelle got a call. From her tone I could tell something was very wrong. Once she got off the phone she says “These planes just crashed into the World Trade Center! They say it’s terrorists! It’s all over the news!” Since we were listening to cds during the whole ride, we were so completely unaware of what was going on in the world. We then turned on Newsradio 78 and listened in shocked silence to the live news reports. Absolute craziness. Back in Chicago, the downtown highrises were evacuated, the express lanes in the highway changed direction midday and my parents were frantic.

We continued on to Urbana anyways and the tone on campus was quite somber as well. Since all flights were grounded, a good chunk of the companies coming in for the job fairs cancelled, leaving the Union ballrooms looking empty. CNN was on in the Courtyard Café nonstop and the DI later had notices from the Emergency Dean regarding students from the military. When I wasn’t glued to the tv at Byron and Gen’s place, I sat in a pew at St. John’s and said a little prayer for all those people in the WTC and for the world.

A picture paints a thousand words. Check out this photoessay from Time and also Shattered. Still quite moving 4 years later.

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