“I thought it was a movie,” recalls Nou Xiong, 19, on the day of Sept. 11, 2001.
She can still picture being a 7-year old-student sitting in class when Twin Towers went down. Xiong, a sophomore at UW- Milwaukee majoring in Pre-Pharmacy, remembers sitting in class watching the television seeing the planes going into the towers.
Right after recess, her teachers in class had told them that there was something important on the television that the class had to see. Her most vivid memory is being in shock with her classmates and the silence afterwards.
This year marks the 12th anniversary of Sept. 11. On the UWM campus, flags in Spaights Plaza are placed to remember the lost. As the upcoming class comes in, many of the new generation have limited memories of what happened.
At 19, Xiong felt that it was “a lesson learned for America.” She believes the aftermath of 9/11 have brought the country together. Now there’s a better understanding and sadness.
Xiong see lives that were lost and events that followed made America more cautious and stronger. The attack on 9/11 showed how America could be vulnerable and not invincible. She see this a day to remember the lives that were lost and the people that are still fighting because of it. America can only learn from this and became stronger.
Luis Gonzales, a senior international student, recalls sitting in his classroom and watching the events unfold on the television screen. At the time in 5th grade attending elementary school in Texas, he remembers that being a “scary moment for kids witnessing it.”
Gonzales recollects that each classroom had the television on and the teachers being called out for a meeting and then having them explain what was going on. “I hadn’t heard of terrorism or terrorist,” This day was going to be a day that would be in the history books. Emotions recalled by Gonzales were those of shock, confusion, not fully understanding the situation occurring. September 11th was a day that he wouldn’t forget and still remembers today.
Gonzales, an international student studying at UWM, sees 9/11 differently. He still sees 9/11 as a day of honor and remembrance of the fallen.
Have living in Mexico, he sees 9/11 not as shocking. Having moved to Mexico from Texas, he sees violence commonly, mostly with the drug cartel wars. Gonzales feels the events of 9/11 were tragic and should be remembered.