The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Sharing memories provides understanding

 Sharing memories provides understanding
Sharing memories provides understanding

Sharing memories provides understanding

“Today our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature,” said President George W. Bush only hours after terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center in New York City.

Minutes after the attack, the entire world’s ears rang with the news of what happened in Manhattan early in the morning of September 11, 2001. For years to come we will never fail to feel the impact of this attack.

The World Trade Center stood as a symbol of strength and financial stability in America. When these towers fell, America did its best to maintain itself economically but the public feared much.

People withdrew their money and stopped spending.

The economy suffered, but did not fall. Besides the concern of the economic world, lower Manhattan was still covered in dust and debris for weeks.

The New York Fire Department worked continuously rescuing and helping victims of the attack. The American public hailed these workers, and many more who died on Sept. 11 as heroes.

In the fallen’s honor Americans donated money and raised funds. Posters appeared all over the city with “Missing Person” ads and pictures of loved ones. News concerning the attack on New York City and the assumed terrorist, Osama bin Laden, flooded all avenues of the media. Amidst the immediate terror and fear, the world remained calm.

Despite the unsettling events in Manhattan, life continued as usual at SMU on that Tuesday morning.

Classes were still in session, and faculty and staff did their best to keep everything in order. Students comforted one another at prayer services offered that week.

The flag flew at half staff in memory of all U.S. citizens killed in the attack. Though everyone stayed collected, they all felt the impact on Sept. 11. Similar to the John F. Kennedy assassination, people remember exactly where they were when they heard the news.

I was walking out of my 8 a.m. Spanish class and I happened to pull my cell phone out of my purse and noticed that I had a message. My boyfriend had called, which was unusual because it was so early in the morning. As I listened to his message I slowed my walk and came to a stop.

He began, “Sweetie, don’t worry, I’m OK.

You aren’t going to believe what just happened, but two planes just crashed into the World Trade Center!”

Indeed I could not believe what he was saying. My boyfriend, Collin, was a student at New York University and lived only one mile from downtown where the attacks occurred. I did not hear from Collin again for several hours and my only comfort was this one message.

His mother and I spoke, both in tears, as we feared for Collin. Later that evening, much to our relief we discovered that he was OK, and were able to hear a personal and frightening account of the events of that day.

Collin had just begun his second week of classes as a first-year when he found himself caught in the midst of this attack.

Collin was downstairs in the cafeteria of his dorm, eating breakfast, when he and several friends heard a loud noise outside. He said, “we thought it was the construction crew across the street. It sounded like they had dropped a big pipe.”

Looking out the window, they realized the noise belonged to a very different source.

Crowds began to gather in the streets and people stared south down 5th Avenue. The boys rushed outside and saw something they never could have imagined – as the realization hit them, slight gasps seeped from their mouths. The landmark of New York City, the tourist attraction to thousands, and the work place of hundreds of businesses – the World Trade Center – was crumbling before their eyes.

At that very moment, Collin darted up to his room, searching frantically for his camera. When he ran back out into the street, he was not the only one capturing the moment on film. Only hours later these buildings fell to the ground and were never to be seen again. All that remained was miles of debris, rubble and dust.

I am so thankful for that phone call he made, ensuring me that he was safe. Luckily he made it on a flight home to Dallas only days after the attack. All of our lives stopped immediately when we heard of the terrorist attacks, and even more so when we had a loved one involved.

Since the event, many people have published articles, photographs, and letters in an attempt to remember that day. Like these people, Collin took many photographs as well.

I believe that many of them help us to understand and to capture the emotion and fear that defined Sept. 11. Even a year after the attack, such perspectives help us to understand what Collin, Manhattan, and the entire world experienced. No one will ever forget Sept. 11, 2001.

At the time, many people compared the attack on the World Trade Center to the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.

Americans exhibited a sense of pride and patriotism that they did not know existed before. The country did not break under pressure and as a result we showed the world our strength.

Sharing memories provides understanding

More to Discover