By Amanda Edwards Shahadey ’03
Amanda was a junior living in Le Fer Hall at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College when the attacks happened.
I remember waking up for class and hearing on the radio that there was an attack. I walked to class, not knowing what exactly was going on. As I walked to my psychology class, I was scared and horrified.
I passed my suitemate, Julia, and she was in tears. She said her mom was flying that day, and she thought it was to New York. I hugged her and told her to call her mom’s cell or her father to see. She said that she was going to the room to try to call. I continued to my class to see what to do. The professor talked to us and told us that he wasn’t quite sure what was going on other than a plane had flown into one of the twin towers.
He told us class was canceled and to contact our loved ones. He was there if we needed him. I went to my room and checked in on my suitemate to see if she had heard from her family about her mother. She had not.
I called my mother, and we discussed what was happening. She was living in Wyoming, which is where I live now, and we discussed where we should meet if things continued to get worse. My boyfriend at the time, my husband now, came to the dorms and sat with me while we watched the news.
We watched over and over again in horror what was unfolding before us. We prayed, we planned and mainly, we just watched in disbelief. We watched the news feed and what was happening all over the world and the first responders that risked their lives to save people.
After we found out Julia’s mom was flying that day but not to New York and that she was safe, Matt and I went to his family’s house with all of his family. I remember driving by the grocery store. It was packed with people panic-buying supplies. I remember driving by the gas station and seeing huge lines with people filling up their tanks just in case. I remember people gathering with their families and loved ones.
I called all my family and friends to check on each other and remind each other how much we loved them and that they were all safe. This was before we all had smartphones and social media, so we couldn’t see all of our friends’ and families’ statuses to see if they were safe or not.
On September 11, I had just turned 21, it was my junior year, and the whole world changed in an instant. Every year we watch and remember the events that happened because we will certainly never forget them.
The outpour of love and support that The Woods community showed during 9/11 was overwhelming and helpful during the difficult time for all of us. The professors and staff were always there to help us sort through our thoughts and feelings.