The Quadrangle

The Student Newspaper of Manhattan College | Since 1924

Jasper Community Reflects on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

20 years ago, almost 3,000 lives were lost in the 9/11 attacks. Every year Manhattan College honors those who lost their lives that day by placing American flags on the quad to represent victims of the attack. Those victims include Manhattan College alumni and parents of current students. The Quadrangle spoke to students who lost their loved ones on 9/11, as well as a student veteran, to see how the Jasper community feels about 9/11 taking place two decades ago. Interviews compiled by Madalyn Johnson.

Angelica Niedermeyer
Sophomore | Communications Major

How old were you on 9/11 and what were you told by your family and friends about the day?
I was not born until 8 months after my father died on 9/11. So, I have no memories of him and just know what I have been told and seen in pictures and VHS tapes. I was told that my father was a Port Authority Police Officer who responded to a call to go into the south tower. My mom and two-year-old brother at the time found out I was on the way after the memorial service.

How does it feel to grow up in a 9/11 generation?

Even though I don’t know anything different, growing up in a 9/11 generation is weird. Most adults who were alive remember exactly where they were and what happened. Kids younger than me don’t really understand what happened because they only see and hear news recaps or stories in their history textbooks. However, even though my story is so personal to 9/11, I was born into people grieving around me and I’ll never fully understand why or how this happened.

How has 9/11 changed your perspective on New York and living life in general?

Because I was born after 9/11, I never experienced New York before the attacks. However, 9/11 changed my life before I even had a chance to live it; my father would have been there to help raise and make memories with me.

Now that it’s the 20th anniversary of the attack, what do you think should be done to remember those lost besides what’s usually done annually?

I honestly don’t really know how to answer that one.

James Gallagher Junior | Finance Major

How old were you on 9/11 and what were you told by your family and friends about the day?

I was two months old on the date of Sept. 11, 2001. Since I was only a newborn at the time, I only hear what my family and friends recall of that terrible day. My family members say that what they witnessed on that day was their worst nightmare ever unfolding in front of their very eyes. Basically, all the stories I’ve heard about that fateful day were of deep sadness, shock and sorrow.

James pictured above with his father.

How does it feel to grow up in a 9/11 generation?

Growing up in this generation, especially with the youth, we haven’t witnessed or experienced a national tragedy of that scale since that day. After 9/11, many Americans were unsure if it was safe to resume life again, leaving some with a constant fear of going out in fear of another act of terrorism. Since Sept. 11th, I really believe that we have stepped up our national security and counter-terrorism so that our generation could go out exploring the world with a piece of mind.

How has 9/11 changed your perspective on New York and living life in general?

Having been born and raised in New York, this is my home. This is the greatest city in the world with the greatest people in the world. I’ve always enjoyed living in this beautiful state and city. Many New Yorkers have lost loved ones on Sept. 11. To see all the videos and articles about how America, and to see how this city came together as one, really makes me really proud to not only call myself American but a New Yorker as well.

Now that it’s the 20th anniversary of the attack, what do you think should be done to remember those lost besides what’s usually done annually?

It’s a really tough question to answer. Many people in the tri-state area lost loved ones that day and hold the anniversary very near and dear to their hearts. There are days that I think to myself if we could do more to pay tribute to those we lost on that tragic day. But then I see how the city really comes together every anniversary and although it’s a very somber mood every Sept 11, it makes the day so much better seeing how much your classmates, friends and family really do care about 9/11.

James Washington
Sophomore | Exercise Science Major,
Veteran

How old were you on 9/11 and what were you told by your family and friends about that day?

I was 8 years old on 9/11. I actually wasn’t told anything about 9/11. All I knew is I was leaving school early and as a child, I was completely oblivious to the reason. Teachers also did not make a point to bring it up in class nor would they to a group of eight-year-olds. I regret to say the significance of 9/11 didn’t dawn on me until high school where it was actively talked about and the war.

How does it feel to grow up in a 9/11 generation?

Honestly, I cannot say I felt a major change in how I lived my daily life. I do remember having conversations with adults and something I would always hear was, “I remember when traveling was so much more relaxed and easier to get through security,” but for me, those strict security checks and procedures were the only forms of traveling I have ever seen.

How has 9/11 changed your perspective on New York and living life in general?

I cannot say for certain that 9/11 had something to do with my unwillingness to travel into Manhattan, but in my younger years, I always had this overwhelming feeling that it just wasn’t safe to go there and so I never did. I have traveled to the city in my adult years, but I have not been to the 9/11 memorial though I want to go. I am just unable to bring myself to do
so and I don’t know where that feeling stems from. Since the 9/11 attack, I have always believed and still believe being in highly populated areas makes you a target for a massive attack and I’m actually extremely uncomfortable when I have to be in large settings like that.

Now that it’s the 20th anniversary of the attack, what do you think should be done to remember those lost besides what’s usually done annually?

I do believe that instituting a day of remembrance nationwide on 9/11 will be a way forward in paying respects to those who lost their lives and their families.

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