What do you remember most?
The fires and the smoke. Watching the craziness on television, then going outside and smelling the smoke. For days and weeks afterwards you could still smell smoke. I watched on television as the mini-mall literally next to my friends house burned to the ground. I saw my friend and his roommates on the roof of their house with hoses trying to protect it. On the news I saw buildings burned to the ground that were one block from my apartment, and yet I could do nothing – I couldn’t go back, I couldn’t contact my friends. Everyone had scattered and I really had no idea if I had an apartment to go back to. Afterwards, when I had gone back, I spent days driving around the city looking at burned out buildings and wondering how it all happened. Also the looting. I think that shocked me the most about the devastation was people trying to profit from the damage. Lastly, we graduated from USC a short time later. Our commencement speaker canceled (of course) and there were National Guard snipers on all the rooftops. It was quite a day.
– Suzanne Bultmeyer