Students Gather to Remember 9/11

Heather Brown

Eight years seems like a long time, yet I’m sure we can all remember when we heard the news that a plane had somehow hit the World Trade Center in New York City.

For those of us who are seniors, most of us were in the eighth grade and it was just another day. I was in history class, by far my least favorite subject. The teacher all the girls thought was cute (there’s always one) came in and whispered to my teacher while he reached up and turned on the TV. He flipped to the news channel and we saw a sky scraper on fire.

I’m from Attleboro, Massachusetts (40 minutes from Boston) so not many of my fellow students knew the layout of New York City nor the names of the buildings. My first reaction was that it was a movie, not that it was live. We were then told that the building on TV was the World Trade Center and that a plane had crashed into it just minutes before.

We continued to watch while a second plane hit the second tower, everyone cringing as we saw it hit. The school disconnected all of the TVs in the building after Tower Two collapsed, but there was no returning to our lessons after what we had seen. We were all told that this event would change history, but as an eighth-grader it is hard to comprehend how something we see in TV can affect us all so deeply. Some parents came and took their kids out of school. Some had family members in New York that day, or family members that flew out of Boston headed for the West Coast.

The school was subdued for the rest of the day, the bus ride home was almost silent and our parents hugged us when we got home.

Now we can look back and fully understand the magnitude of what happened on September 11, 2001. If there is someone here who has not been affected by the events of that day, I will be shocked (please remember that this is predominately a criminal justice and forensic science university). The attacks have changed the way that many of us will do business. None of us can ever forget what we witnessed in our classrooms eight years ago and so it is only right that we continue to take time to remember those people who lost their lives that day. Last Friday the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) and a committee of students came together to remember those victims and heroes.

Students and faculty who wished to get an inside look at what the firefighters of New York City went through that morning eight years ago. The documentary “9/11” included footage from inside Tower One of the World Trade Center and the only known footage of the plane hitting Tower One.

After the documentary was completed all were welcome to join Professor Marty O’Connor at the fireplace in Bartels Hall for a moment of reflection and prayer. Members of the Allingtown Fire Department were present during this part of the ceremony. Students were also welcome to sign a banner all week that will be sent either to a 9/11 remembrance museum or a fire house.

The remembrance event was the perfect blend of real pictured from that day, personal reflection, and prayer.

To all of those who helped out, to the USGA, and to the 9/11 Remembrance Committee, thank you for making it possible!