On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 individuals lost their lives when members of the terrorist group Al Qaeda flew two planes into both World Trade Center towers in New York City. Although it was one of the deadliest attacks on American soil, today’s average undergraduate student was only three to six years old when the event took place. WSN spoke with NYU students about how they commemorate this tragic day in American history and how their perceptions of 9/11 have changed 15 years later.
“I was only three when 9/11 happened, so I can’t remember much of anything, but my parents have told me I was at preschool, just dropped off when the attacks happened. I went to a Jewish preschool, and they had to end the school day early.” — Noah Weitz, Tandon freshman
While the event may be a bit out of focus for those of us who grew up outside of New York, students who were raised in the Empire State can recall the day as if it just happened.
“That was probably one of the worst days of my life. I remember seeing the attacks first hand, the planes, the explosions, the people. I saw more than what anyone would ever want to see. I felt like I couldn’t stand on my two feet, and I was crying excessively. It took me a long time and love and support from my family to really get past this attack.” — Akash Das, Tandon sophomore
Although one of the most tragic events in American history, Sept. 11 is also remembered as a time when the entire country united behind the red, white and blue to support fellow countrymen and women. It is often said that we were all New Yorkers that day.
“I think it’s really amazing how something so tragic can pull a bunch of people together from all walks of life, people who would generally never talk, they all band together to create something that is stronger than the hate against them. And I think it’s amazing that through the years, there’s still that camaraderie, that was even back then, that still keeps people together.” — Sophie Szczotka,
While we commemorate the event by visiting the One World Trade Center, the reflecting pools and the 9/11 museum, we also see lasting effects of the tragedy in our day-to-day lives even 15
“As you get older and you start to understand the gravity of the situation, you start to feel an emotional connection, especially for the families of people who died. But you also… see things as you go through the airport. There’s this increased airport security. It makes you reflect on how things changed, caused by 9/11.” — Branson Tibbs, Stern sophomore
Wherever you are from, studying at NYU gives us the privilege of understanding the tragedy with a
“It wasn’t until I arrived at NYU that the reality of the tragedy entered my purview. Walking past the World Trade Center on the horizon by Thompson Street every morning, I could then only process the magnitude and sheer scope of the fateful catastrophe that consumed the world I was raised in… As well, watching the emotionally-charged but cathartic “Reading of the Names” every year is not only healing, but helps me acknowledge the powerful community values New Yorkers espouse — irrefutable resilience and the strong will to keep moving forward.” — Daniel Brioso, CAS sophomore.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 12 print edition. Email the news team at [email protected]