My first 9-11 memory is from October 12, 2000.
My ex-boyfriend Jonathan and I were on our way to Pittsburgh PA to attend the wedding of Jonathan's best friend Rich - Jonathan was in the wedding party. We were driving my red VW Beetle through the Pennsylvania countryside and we stopped at a rest stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Route 76W.
I was sipping coffee in the parking lot and we were stretching our legs standing next to my car and the radio was on. And we heard a report of the bombing of the USS Cole.
Most people, it's pretty safe to say, don't remember where they were when they first heard the USS Cole was bombed. I've certainly never been an expert on Middle-Eastern/US affairs but for some reason I remember thinking at the time that this was important and ominous. Maybe it was because al-Qaeda claimed responsibility and I had heard something about them and knew they were serious trouble.
But we got back in the car and went to the wedding weekend and I really didn't think much about the bombing of the USS Cole. Until September 11, 2001, when I heard that Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville PA.
The rest stop where I had a bad feeling about the bombing of the USS Cole and al-Qaeda was ten miles from Shanksville.