Students Recall Day of Tragedy

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recounted the day when the World Trade Center was struck on Sept. 11, 2001. And to some, the memory is like a movie.

Denzel Hayes, a sophomore at UWM, says, “The only thing I remember is coming home from school and watching my parents look at the TV screen as if they just found out the world was ending. It was hard to believe.”

Hayes describes the experience as “troublesome” and “heartbreaking” due to all the innocent lives that were taken. He says, “The memory of 9/11 is like a movie, except I came in on the ending, when people were standing around crying.”

Hayes explained that he felt bad for the people who died during this explosion, but did not necessarily feel as though it impacted him personally. Going back to his depiction of 9/11 being similar to watching the end of a movie, it explains why he does not feel as though it has impacted his life. When you walk in on the end of something, you will not have the same understanding as someone who saw everything from the beginning to the end.

Today marks the 12th year anniversary of Sept. 11, but for some it’s a blurred memory of the past, which they can barely remember. For the others, it’s a day that changed their lives forever.

Hayes and Emily Joseph, a senior at UWM, are examples of how early college students have limited perception and emotions about the attacks, while later college students have more vivid memories about the fall of the World Trade Center in New York.

Joseph was 10-years-old when the World Trade Center fell. She says, “I was at a friends’ house watching the news. One moment I saw planes hitting the buildings, the next there was dark smoke clouding the sky.” She added, “How could something like this happened?”

Joseph’s curiosity to find out who was at fault for Sept. 11 provides insight into how connected she felt to what occurred. Although she describes her feelings as “disbelief” and “upset” that our country had experienced such a tragic event, Hayes struggles to find a connection due to his lack of knowledge of what actually occurred.

When Joseph was asked what she will remember about 9/11, she said, “I will never forget that day.”