Students remember the chill, the eyes staring in disbelief at TV screens full of terror.
Most college students were in elementary school when the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon were under attack by men most of us knew nothing about. It was an emotional disaster, one that will never be forgotten.
Every year at this time, students ask each other the same question, “Where were you on 9/11?”
For Ashley Fox, junior from Paducah, the attacks hit close to home.
“I was in my fourth-grade art class,” said Fox. “There was an announcement in class that there had been a terrorist attack, and that we would have to be sent home early and our parents would explain.”
Fox said when she got home her mom was in a panic, trying to contact her aunt, who lived just blocks away from the World Trade Towers. Her aunt was fine, but she could no longer live in her apartment because of the debris from the attack.
When she was 16, Fox visited New York and her aunt’s old apartment.
“The stairwell was still covered in debris,” Fox said. “I remember there was a Levi Jean store there, and it was still covered in debris and shut down.”
Less than a year after the attacks, Fox’s father left his home to fight in the War on Terror. He served a year in Iraq, after previously serving several years in Korea.
The question immediately on the mind of most Americans was one of security. John Hutchinson, a sophomore from Lexington, also remembers the attack clearly.
“I was in the airport in Boston where one of the planes that hit the towers flew from,” Hutchinson said. “It was my mom and I flying back from Rhode Island. Then the police came in the terminals and shut everything down.”
Hutchinson said he remembers watching as the plane hit the second tower while in the airport. For the rest of the day, Hutchinson and his mother were told not to leave airport grounds.
“I was terrified and didn’t know what to do, it was unrealistic,” Hutchinson said.
There is a reason students can remember exactly where we were on Sept. 11, 2001. Without even realizing it, Americans have changed their outlook on life.
According to New York Magazine, 1.4 million Americans changed their travel plans in 2001 from plane, to train or car. Also, from 2001 to 2002, the number of law-school applicants rose by 18 percent, the number of Peace Corps applications climbed 40 percent and CIA applications increased 50 percent.
Even 11 years later, some of the aftermath of 9/11 can still be seen. Americans still remember a day where their outlook on security, war and freedom changed permanently.
Story by Lexy Gross, Staff writer.