Based on a true story...
In September of 2001 I entered college a fresh-faced kid determined to make my mark and launch myself into the important future I was destined to...but there was no rush. After all, I had four years ahead of me and as long as I didn’t indulge too much in the temptations and vices that entice every student before they discover the overwhelming pressures of Final Exams and picking a Major, I was going to be just fine.
Through orientation and classes I found my early group of peers, and while we pretended we were all a bit cooler than we really were, each of us was working hard to build a new identity. So naturally, the most important activity became hanging out and doing as little as possible. We were away from home and weren’t about to let college get in the way of our good time.
And then September 11th happened.
Two weeks into the school year my group found themselves huddled together in the darkness of a dorm, daring the sun to rise on September 12th, if only so that we could change the dates on our calendars. Five college freshman started the day spread throughout the campus in various classes and activities and slowly throughout the day we came together and found our way to that central location, my dorm room.
We began to share our fears and worries, not just about the day’s awful events, but about our parents' divorces, our SAT scores, and our first loves. We shared the true stories of who we were and where we had come from as we began leaving our childhood behind.
For many people, crossing that bridge into adulthood begins with a first job or a first apartment. In the first dark hours of September 12th, 2001 we shared our beginning with the nation in ashes. The people I spent that day with have found their way into new jobs, moved to new cities, and started new families, and yet I know down in the core of who I am that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them, and them for me. After all the dust had settled in New York and the Freedom Tower had been built, and after the Pentagon gathered men who sent our Armed Services to War, and after all the debris was cleared from a field in Pennsylvania, September 11th left me with the story of friendship.
Ryan Frost '05