Eight years later: looking back on 9/11

A retrospective of the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Finance and communications senior Komail Lakha

Chelsey Rosetter

Finance and communications senior Komail Lakha

Katherine Lymn

Biology junior Nathan Buerkle was at home getting ready to leave for school. University of MinnesotaâÄôs Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart was driving to work on what he called âÄúperfectly blue, beautiful day.âÄù First-year Nathan Friederichs was in Mrs. StockâÄôs fifth-grade class at Paynesville Area Elementary School in central Minnesota. âÄúOne of the teachers ran in and said that a plane ran into the World Trade Center ,âÄù Friederichs said, recalling the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, eight years ago today. âÄòI was the first one to see itâÄô Classes around the country were halted and students like Friedrich spent the rest of the day glued to television newscasts. Friedrichs recalled watching the second plane, United Airlines flight 175 , crash into the south World Trade Center tower . âÄúI was the first one to see it in my class,âÄù he said. Friederichs, who had aunts living in both Washington, D.C. and New York City at the time, said he remembers his mother calling the school to tell him they were safe. Nevertheless, his aunt in New York did not escape the dust that settled over the city during the days following the attacks. Chaos âÄúThere was an announcement over the P.A. that there had been a tragedy,âÄù English and American studies junior Annslie Rustad said. âÄúNo one had any idea of what had happened.âÄù I really had no idea [what had happened],âÄù said physiology sophomore Leonides Victoria . âÄúI thought it was a volcano that had exploded.âÄù Sociology junior Paul Buchel was confused at first too. Buchel, who serves as the Legislative Affairs chair for the Minnesota Student Association, remembered first thinking the planes had hit a sports arena, not the World Trade Center. âÄúAll the adults were really rattled,âÄù said Buchel, who attended a Catholic school in Milwaukee, Wisc. at the time. âÄúWe spent the rest of the afternoon in church, praying, praying, praying, praying,âÄù he said. âÄúI guess IâÄôm still just at a loss for words.âÄù University response University classes on Sept. 11 were cancelled for the afternoon, and then-president Mark Yudof made a statement: âÄúIt seems to be one of the more horrific events of our new century,âÄù Yudof wrote. On Thursday, Sept. 13, students gathered in Northrop Plaza to hold a vigil in remembrance of the 2,819 lives lost. The vigil was sponsored by MSA and the Graduate and Professional Student Association . In response to the attacks, the Department of Central Security was created in 2003, Steve Jorgenson, the assistant director of the department. Effects on young Islam Victoria, who was in the sixth grade in Appleton, Wisconsin eight years ago, said he thought the attacks created increased racial tension. âÄúI think it has created racism, especially here in Minnesota with Muslims,âÄù Victoria said. Al-Madinah Cultural Center President Fuad Hannon said he faced suspicious questions immediately after the attacks. âÄúPeople would ask, âÄòdo you guys believe in that holy war?âÄôâÄù said Hannon, who was eleven at the time of the attacks. Many would âÄúunderstand this wasnâÄôt your average Muslim walking down the road,âÄù Hannon said, although he said he did face snide comments, especially while out with his mother, who wore a Muslim head scarf called a hijab. Finance and communications senior Komail Lakha feels the world has since become âÄúa bit more acceptingâÄù of Islam in the time since the attacks; he felt this sprouted from a general curiosity with the religion because of the attacks. âÄòWeâÄôve all been attackedâÄô The Sept. 11 attacks shocked the United States, but many feel over time what transpired has helped unite the country. Vice Provost Rinehart focused on carrying on: âÄúIn order to move forward âĦ communication is absolutely essential and attempting to understand other peoplesâÄô perspectives is crucial.âÄù âÄúThereâÄôs more of a strong sense of community,âÄù English junior Rustad said. âÄúWeâÄôve all been attacked.âÄù