I was in a college english class when it happened. I remember walking into the cafeteria to get a drink afterwards and there were a hundred slack-jawed people with blank faces staring at the t.v.s. Everything was dead silent. It was like something out of the X-Files. I immediately reached for my tinfoil hat and panicked when I realized I had left it in the car. I cursed myself for having become so lazy and complacent. Luckily I had been taught to think on my feet under extreme pressure, however, and I quickly purchased two cans of diet soda from a nearby vending machine. Holding one against each of my temples to fend off malicious signals I worked my way towards the exit on the far wall, never taking my eyes off the brainwashed crowd before me. Never again would I let my guard down, I thought to myself as I slipped away unnoticed. I didn't know until I arrived home that someone had merely flown a plane into a building, and then another, and another.
I found it all very exciting. I never really went through the stunned "OMG America is under attack" phase that so many others did. I never felt outraged or saddened. I still don't really care, other than being affirmed in my belief that people are egocentric, non-thinking sheep a good portion of the time. I'm not going to adopt an eagle or wave a flag or gnash my teeth because of the "them" killed one of "us." I view us as a species, making patriotism a largely useless concept.
i had a personal near miss, know many with near misses that day, and also know a handful who weren't so lucky. i was traveling out West, and my family and I changed our flight from Boston-LAX to PVD-Salt Lake, and the plane from Boston would have been the one we were on. My best friend was late going to his office...in the West wing of the Pentagon. I had friends who were late to work or had cancelled interviews in the Towers that morning. I also know a lot of people who are still in therapy (through the loss of loved ones, or debris/body parts hitting their windows). This is generally a rough day for me.
That being said, I'm not doing anything special today. It's a day for me to personally reflect on, mostly internally- I will be calling some of my friends to give them a long-distance hug. I think though, that my world view has changed since that day and my attitude of tolerance and respect has matured since that day. I have a lot of friends from India/Pakistan/Turkey/etc (I used to play field hockey with former olympians from out there), that are scared to be in this country because of people's ignorant attitudes towards 9/11, and that upsets me.
Why doesn't google have a nifty graphic to remember the day? They make one for everything else. Google must hate 9/11 victims.