Where Were You When Osama Bin Laden Died?

There are certain days that everyone will always remember where they are. Millennials will always remember and be asked where they were on 9-11. I was a sophomore in high school. The second tower was hit and the first one fell during my second period free. I watched all of this happen live on the TVs at the senior end of the cafeteria along with my biology class. The bell rang to end the period, we bolted up two flights of stairs, turned on the news on our bio classroom and saw the second tower fall. My bio teacher walked in, turned off the TV and yelled at us for turning it on without permission. You see, I live on CT, in an NYC suburb — many parents from my town work in the city, my father included at the time. As many recall, getting a cell phone call to go through to the city was hard that day. My dad didn’t work in the towers at the time, but he had dropped me off at school that morning telling me he’d be heading to Windows on the World for a meeting with old co-workers. (Windows on the World was above where the plane hit, no one who was there survived.) Frantic, I tried getting through to anyone. Finally, using the inter-school extensions, I got through to the elementary school my mom worked at. I asked the secretary if I could talk to my mom, only to be told she was on the other line and to please hold. Before being put on hold, I asked if she had heard news of my dad. She did — my dad was on the other line with my mom, he had caught the last train out of Grand Central to get home. My dad watched the towers get hit and fall from his boss’s window. He felt his heart sink as he knew he had friends who were hurt or dead. He packed up his bags and left, he wanted out — turned out that he ended up leaving working in the city shortly thereafter. That afternoon, my mom left school early. My sister was in middle school and my mom knew that all kids in any school but the high school needed a parent, or adult neighbor, to sign them off the bus (normally only kindergardeners need someone to get them). Not knowing if my dad would make it home in time, she came home to collect my sister and all our neighbors. While the school wanted to make sure no kids were stuck at home with no parent coming home that night, my mom didn’t want anyone we knew to sit through that. All my neighbors hung out at our house until their parents got home — fortunately, they all did. I will never forget this day.

When asked where I was when Osama died, my answer is much simpler — I was sound asleep. I went to bed at 9:30 last night, I was exhausted from a day in the sun. I woke up at my boyfriend’s house at 3:41AM. Not knowing what caused me to wake up, I checked my phone. I had 42 text messages — one from my sister and 41 from Twitter (since I don’t have Internet at work, I follow about 8 or 9 people, including local news, who I get their tweets texted to me so I don’t miss something big during the day.) I read my sister’s message first; “Osama dead go amurrca – I hope you caught the address”. In a half sleep, Osama Bin Laden did not cross my mind — I thought she meant Barack Obama and that she, a huge Obama supporter, was being sarcastic. Then I knew that’s why I had so many tweets to read, although I then found out she really did mean Osama. I slept through a huge event in life, but fortunately it didn’t take long for me to hear it all thanks to social media. Now all that’s left is for me to turn on my computer tonight to watch Obama’s address online — because I can, because today we can find everything we need at our fingertips.