Oral History Example Topic: Sept. 11th, 2001 (remember your topic must be in the range of 1950-1979)
September 11, 2001 is a day in history that Miss Albanese will always remember. She was eighteen years old and had just recently settled into her freshman year of college at Bloomsburg University. That particular Tuesday morning has forever left an imprint in her heart and mind.
She recalls waking up in her dorm room around 10:15. Her roommate, Meggi Rothermel, had already left to attend class. Miss Albanese was the lucky one who didn’t have class until 11:00 am. She went through her normal morning routine. She walked down the hall to the bathroom to brush her teeth, checked her computer for any new instant messages, and listened to music while she got ready for class. In the meantime, Albanese had no idea that two planes had attacked the World Trade Center. Just as she was finished packing her bag for class Katie, a friend who lived in the room across the hall, had just turned on her television. She frantically ran into her room yelling, “Oh my God, we got attacked! Turn on your tv!” At first Albanese thought she was just kidding around. She had no idea what she was about to see. She turned on her small thirteen-inch television that sat atop her roommate’s closet and watched in disbelief. How and why did this happen? Who did this? Was this an accident? So many thoughts, questions, and emotions came at once.
She then questioned whether or not she should go to class. After all, it was some German Cultures and Civilization class that was so boring to attend, but Albanese needed the general credit requirement. After pondering for a couple of minutes, she decided to go to class just in case. At this point she still didn’t fully understand what was happening in New York City. When she got to class her teacher was obviously upset. In a chaotic way and with tears in her eyes, the professor told everyone in class to go home and watch the news because an important part of history was unfolding. At this point the severity and urgency of the situation began to sink in. Albanese and her roommate went back to the dorm and watched the news for the rest of the day.
The images have stuck forever in her mind. Did she really just see someone jump from a window thirty stories high? A few girls that lived on her dorm room floor had family or friends that worked in the trade center area. The girls couldn’t reach their loved ones on their cell phones. All the lines were busy. After hours or worry and fear, their friends and family members were okay.
Albanese doesn’t remember exactly everything from that day, just bits and pieces. For comfort, she called home to talk to her family. She and the girls in the dorm stayed up and talked until late in the night. No one wanted to be alone. For the first time in her life, Albanese felt that America was vulnerable. An attack on our own soil was once something that seemed so unlikely. She was scared, confused, angry, upset, and homesick all at once. Albanese knew the world would never be the same. Whenever she thinks back to her college experience, that Tuesday morning in Lycoming dorm will always be remembered. Since then all of Ms. Albanese’s dorm friends from Bloomsburg have gone their separate ways in life, but they are forever bonded by the 9/11 experience.