I was in my first class, a Sports Marketing class, at the U. The prof walked in, late, and excused his tardiness due to watching the news as someone had just hit the trade center with a private plane. I completed that 40 minute class and walked in to my internship with women's athletics marketing roughly a block away from my class, and in my walk, the second plane hit. I was ushered into the building by the Williams Arena head security guy, and he told me that I was going to be the last one let into the building as they were going to lock down the campus.
While Williams Arena has beautiful screens to project the current game going on, the only receiving screen in the place was a tiny little screen in the video editing room, where we had a dozen staff gathered as the Pentagon was hit. My direct supervisor's mother worked in the Pentagon, but was at some conference or something that day, so the immediate dread and then relief was an incredible experience.
We got information from Papa Johns as to how to get into their booth at the Sports Pavilion, and we made pizzas for lunch...and then supper. Finally, at about 8 PM, I was allowed to go home. My residence hall had all CAs on alert, so me being gone all day had a lot of folks worried. I was given a radio, and we took shifts sitting with students in the TV lobby, watching coverage of the news, many crying, multiple from New York or New Jersey.
The U was shut down for the next 3 days. I was scheduled to sing the national anthem at the volleyball game that would end up being the U's first sporting event after 9/11. A few notable people contacted the U to ask to either do that game or the football game the next day. The AD came into my internship the day before to tell me that he had no intention to change me, unless I was uncomfortable doing it. I sang that anthem straight, which is always what I did, no goofy accidentals that didn't need to be there. After I finished, I got a hug from Coach Mike of the volleyball team, along with a hand shake from every one of the volleyball players. I got off to the side of the stands, and one of the senior citizens who provided security for the women's athletics events came up to me, tears running down his eyes, and thanked me for honoring the country and proceeded to tell me about his military service in Korea. I didn't appreciate the moment near as much then as I wish I would have now looking back as the rest of the night is a complete blur. The next day, two former teammates, Ben Uttecht and Preston Gruening, led the national anthem at the football game, one of the only times that tradition has ever not been followed in the anthem with the football game.