Instead of completing Battle Stations in boot camp to become a sailor in the U.S. Navy this morning, I’m heading to class.
I’ll be interviewed for a Forbes writer’s podcast instead of watching fellow sailors wail over the attacks we initially thought were horrible accidents.
I will watch the TV coverage again silently, because I wasn’t able to watch it then, and still did not learn what truly happened until over a week later, apart from the rumors floating around the Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes. At the airport, headed to J-School at Fort Meade, I bought every magazine I could find. I still have them.
Instead of giving up my phone call so another recruit could call home, I’ll probably call my parents for no reason.
Instead of embracing another recruit who was unsure if her mother, a custodian at the North Tower, had survived, I’ll hug my husband and cats, grateful for the opportunity to do so. I never knew her mother’s name, and it still almost haunts me to know whether or not she survived. We graduated boot camp and this recruit still didn’t know. Her family had no phone.
As I walk to class today, the flags will be at half-staff. They were at half-mast by afternoon at RTC.
And eleven years later, so much has changed and stayed the same.