Freshmen recall 9/11 reactions

 

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the former twin towers in New York City. This momentous disaster took its toll on the country, and we remember it with each passing year.

The new freshmen were merely in second grade at the time of the crisis. Some offered their thoughts on the event, what they remember, and how it affected them.

Communication arts major Josey Petz said, “I was in second grade when it happened, and my teacher did not really explain anything, but put on the news during class. When I got home from school that day my neighbor ran over and said WWIII was starting.”

Other freshmen shared their mixed fear and confusion about the situation.

“I was playing outside and my mom came outside and called me in,” said music education major Jeremy Morris. “She seemed kind of worried and she came in and she told me to look at the television and see what was going on.”

From left to right Josey Petz, Andrea Maier, Josh Campbell and  Jeremy Morris reflect on 9/11. (Photo by Kaitie Fox)

“My 7-year-old mind definitely didn’t grasp the severity of the situation, at first. I thought it had only been an accident – the pilot had just lost control of the plane.” Early childhood education major Andrea Maier said, “I’m not sure exactly when it hit me that it had been on purpose, but I saw my parents watching so intently, and my mom shedding a tear or two, so I knew it had to be serious. That’s when fear set in.”

As the years pass, these students have grown to understand the full implications of that fateful day, although stuck with hazy memories.

Math and computer science double major Josh Campbell said, “Now that I actually understand what happened, it makes more sense, but I don’t really remember it any differently.”

Maier said of her recollection, “I don’t feel that my memory has changed much, but my understanding of the event has grown enormously.”

As major attacks on American soil, the events of Sept. 11, 2001 affected every American citizen, including these students.

Morris said, “I think it’s affected me in about the same way that it’s generally affected most Americans. The fact that we’re in the middle of a war that we don’t know when it’s going to end, but [it’s gone on] for far too long, and our priorities have gone off from what they should be.”

“I was just a child trying to live through a very difficult and confusing time,” Maier said. “But whenever the conversation comes up, I turn into a little girl again. I get scared, I get confused, and more than anything, I just want to be home with my parents.”

Campbell, along with many others, understands the indirect connection with the attacks.

“I didn’t have too much connection with it,” he said. “I’ve known people that were really close though, and their stories are very interesting to hear.” said Campbell.

This tragic event has affected every citizen, regardless of age. Even as impressionable second graders, the memories associated with 9/11 have stuck with these students. Today we remember those who were lost, and our sincere condolences go out to their families and loved ones.

Maier seems to speak for a large group of young 9/11 observers when she said,

“These are my memories, and this how I know 9/11 to be. It may not be the most organized, most educated, or most insightful opinion. But they are true and honest- just what you would expect from a child’s eyes.”

Ian Chandler is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.

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