Sept. 11 returns to a normal day for many students

Brady Averill

On her way to the Gophers football game Saturday, graduate student Jessica Ennis said she felt guilty she didn’t realize it was the three-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“In one sense, it’s good we’re not dwelling on it,” she said. “In one way, it’s being selfish in not thinking about the people who died.”

Saturday came and went normally for many people around the University, despite the attacks’ anniversary.

In Stadium Village and Dinkytown, people ate, drank, socialized and enjoyed fall weather. Some played soccer on the mall.

In other places, weddings, political events and football games took place.

Dental student Tracy Wendland said her friends got married. It was almost a little eerie, she said.

In honor of the anniversary, several places in the metro area held memorials. There was a moment of silence at the Gophers football game, and the marching band played songs honoring New York.

The anniversary was on Wendland’s mind, she said.

“That’s the first thing I saw in the paper today,” she said. “I think it affects everybody.”

Epidemiology graduate student Sarah Naeger said she watched a memorial service at the World Trade Center site Saturday morning.

Sophomore Ashley Henning said Sept. 11 is a day to remember, but people should carry on.

The students said they recall what they were doing when they heard of or saw the unforgettable events.

“Everybody knows exactly what they were doing when that came on the radio and the news,” Wendland said.

She was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and said she remembers being in the bathroom listening to her favorite station when the news broke.

Questioning whether the news could be true, she said, she joined her roommates to watch the breaking news on television.

“It was kind of a frantic time, even being so far away from it,” she said.

During her first class, students watched the news. Many cried. Shortly following, classes were canceled.

Naeger said the anniversary made the day feel different and reminded her that life for many Americans has changed since the attacks.

Still, she said, people remember the day differently.

“It probably just depends on their circumstances of 9-11 and how they reacted to it,” she said.

Ennis said it seemed more memorials were held last year.

“Suddenly over one year, our mentality has changed,” she said.