Nineteen-year-old Ellen Malone, from Wales, WI, was only seven and in second grade at the time of the Sept.11 attacks. She remembers her mom driving her to school that cold, windy morning when the news broke on the radio that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.
“I didn’t realize how important it was,” Malone said. “I just thought it was a plane crash in New York.”
When she got in school and saw that all the television sets were on and only watching the plane crash, the severity of the situation grew on her. It wasn’t until she saw older students in the hallway until she realized that this wasn’t just a plane crash.
“I kind of remember seeing a group of older students in the hallway crying,” she said. “I was very confused, but realized that it was a lot more than what I had thought.”
This sort of vague memory of the 9/11 attacks is occurring more and more with freshman and sophomore students here at UWM. They are the first generation of students on campus that do not have a good memory of the attacks. These kids were only in first and second grade at the time.
Malone realized that something was happening, unlike freshman Jade Jackson, 18, from Milwaukee, who said that she didn’t even find out about what the attacks until after she came home from school.
“I don’t remember seeing or hearing about it at all while I was at school,” she said. “It wasn’t until I got home and my mom and dad were watching it on television and sat me down to tell me what was happening.”
Well, that’s how 9/11 has become a vague memory to these younger students.
“I think that the school didn’t want to scare us little kids, so they didn’t focus on it,” Malone said.
Jackson has a different view of 9/11 compared to when it first happened.
“I think it a tragedy,” Jackson said. “Being older now, you realize what actually was happening and how serious it really was.”
Malone now has a similar recollection as well.
“I now realize that this day will go in the history books,” Malone said. “I was just 7 at the time, so I didn’t grasp just how serious it was.”
The photo is of Jade Jackson driving. I totally forgot about the picture part of the story and took one before she left.