Isn't it interesting how you remember the exact details of where you were and what you were doing when you experience a life changing moment, like a disaster?
I lived in the Bay Area during the 1989 7.1 earthquake. My brother Joe and I were sneaking powdered donuts from the kitchen and my oldest brother was upstairs when it started. Joe and I ran to the bathroom doorway to be safe and Jake ran outside to watch the tidal waves in the neighborhood pool. My parents were out of town and my Grandpa Tobler, who lived in Utah, had been on the phone doing business and so he was able to call us immediately before the phone circuits were down to make sure we were okay. Our babysitter was at work and didn't make it home for several hours, but our neighbors and their mom were so scared that they came over and even spent the night. I was ten.
I remember several tornados in Minnesota. They blur together but I remember hiding out in the space under the stairs in the Crystal house. I remember Mom trying to make it seem "fun" and like camping with treats while she snuck upstairs to see if they could see it outside.
I remember when our street flooded and we got to ride down the street in inner tubes.
I was a freshman in college when the Columbine Massacre happened. We sat in the dorm lounge all day watching the news, coming and going between classes. It was mind blowing to me at that time, that people my age could do that. I guess it still is, it's just happened more times now.
I remember where I was on 9/11. I called my Dad before classes at USU and told him I needed a prescription refill and he stopped me and asked if I was watching the news because I was obviously clueless. I ran to a neighbor's to watch. I went to my first class but it was canceled so we gathered in the TSC (student center) and watched the news all day long.
I was at home last night. Will had gone to church to install a new computer program and M was in bed already. Our home teacher called and asked if W had made it home from work all right. I was surprised and asked why. He told me that the 35W bridge had collapsed into the Mississippi River. W was fine of course but we wondered if his sisters who live near there were. They are fine too luckily. I don't know anyone who was involved. When I was in grad school, I drove across that bridge everyday. I have explained to family multiple times since then how far removed we are from that part of town right now, but as I drove home from work in worse traffic than usual it was clear that things have already changed as a result of this disaster.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were affected by this tragedy.