After 9-11: One Alumnus-Soldier’s Story
Bingham Jamison had his life all planned out 10 years ago. As student in U.Va.’s McIntire School of Commerce, he had spent the summer between his third and fourth years in the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate School — not because he planned to become a Marine officer, but because he thought it would give him a leg up in securing a lucrative Wall Street career.
Then came 9-11.
When the second plane hit the World Trade Center, the plan for my life that I had worked so hard to craft and to execute to that point vanished. Like so many others that day, my life was forever changed: witnessing the destruction of the heart of Wall Street, both literally and, for me, metaphorically; consoling loved ones in grief; and feeling that nauseating realization that America was at war.
Shaking with rage and overcome with grief, I felt utterly helpless as we sat and watched the horror unfold. I remember watching the particularly disturbing footage of people leaping from the burning buildings to their deaths, and at that moment I decided to put my investment career on hold. I was being called to serve my country in Her time of need, to join the Marines, and take part in my generation’s fight against terrorism.
You can read the rest here, in an essay he wrote in May for Time magazine. It was penned in the days after the death of Osama bin Laden, but it has great resonance this week as we begin to observe the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that changed the course of modern American history.