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Remembering 9/11: Rochester University Professors Reflect on the Attacks

by Chloe Bachman

Digital Director

September 11, 2001 is a day in history Americans will never forget. Every year we remember the terrorist attacks that occurred on that day, the many lives lost and how it changed our nation forever. Two Rochester University professors reflect on this day and what it means to them.

Rochester University students gather at the flags after being told about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001

Every person who was in America during the twin tower attacks can remember what they were doing and where they were when the attacks happened. This tragic event changed our country forever. Professor and Chair of Mass Communication Dr. Carol Cooper said, “I was with fellow teachers having morning devotions when our pastor came in and told us what was happening. We stopped and prayed before some went into the youth building and turned on the TV. I was teaching Pre-K at the time and throughout the morning several parents came to pick up their children.” Cooper is not the only one who recalls what emotions they felt when hearing about what was happening in New York City.

Although Associate Professor of Education James Dawson is not an American citizen he still was on his way to Rochester University when the attacks happened. Dawson said, “I was on I-75 at 12 Mile Road heading to campus. When I went into chapel at about 10:45 a.m. the TV was showing the news reports, but many students hadn’t heard about the attacks and were carrying on conversations with their friends and not paying attention to the TV; until it was drawn to their attention by the person conducting chapel. The environment quickly became very somber,” said James Dawson. The attacks of 9/11 were felt worldwide.

The terrorist attacks affected more than just the adults. Cooper said she had made an appointment with the principal because the school was not equipped to handle the number of students in distress, stating that one boy was hyperventilating and sent to the hospital because his grandfather lived in New York and he did not know if he was alive. These terrorist attacks are something that even the youngest kids at the time will always remember because the world they grew up in would now always be different than the world that their parents knew.

A large characteristic for America is patriotism and after the terrorist attacks Americans became more patriotic than ever before. Dawson said, “This feeling certainly intensified after 9/11. More flags and patriotic symbols were displayed.” American citizens were bonded more than ever before after 9/11.

20 years later and the pain 9/11 caused to the United States of America will be something that will never be forgotten. What we will remember is the bravery of fellow American citizens whose lives were lost on that day.



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