Casting shadows over national memories

By: Alexandra Didato

Illustration by Brian Palubiak

September 11th, 2001 is a day that stings sharply with the memories and feelings we experienced when we learned that the twin towers were under attack.

Students at The University of Akron have some very distinct memories of that day of attack a decade ago.

“I remember feeling like my heart dropped to my stomach when I saw the look on my teachers faces as they were explaining to us what had just happened to our country,” said Sophomore Jenna Brinker.

“What unnerved me the most was seeing how scared my parents were. I had never seen them like that before and I didn’t know how to deal with it. When the people you look up to are scared, it’s hard to stay calm yourself, “recalled Junior Justin Orashan.

In remembrance of 9/11, The University of Akron is holding a week of remembrance events to honor those that were affected ten years ago.

On September 6, 7, & 8th, there will be both a 9/11 Donation Drive for the Wounded Warrior Fund and Poster Display and a ‘Care Packages for Our Troops’ event from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Student Union 2nd floor Concourse. The Donation Drive is sponsored by Civic Engagement and The Department of Student Life and Zips Programming Network. The care packages are sponsored by the Military Services Center and Military Veterans Association.

September 8th there will be a ‘Resilience and Remember: 9/11 Ten Years Later’ event held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Simmons Hall Auditorium located on the first floor. There will also be the ‘Resilience and Remember Exhibit: Reflections on War, Trauma and Peace’ at 4:30 p.m. in the Center for the History of Psychology, located at 73 College Street. Both events are sponsored by The Center for the History of Psychology.

On September 9th there will be a 9/11 ‘Remembrance Ceremony and Display’ from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the Front Lawn of Buchtel Hall. It will be sponsored by The Office of the President, Vice President for Student Engagement and Success, The Department of Student Life, UAPD, The Physical Facilities Operation Center, The Department of Residence Life and Housing, and The College Republicans.

To end the week, on September 10th during the Zips VS Temple Football Game, various commemoration activities surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9/11 will be taking place. The game starts at 6:00 p.m. at the InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field. It will be sponsored by the Department of Athletics.

Many students witnessed the tragic events of the 9/11 attack at school a decade ago and the remembrance of not only the news of what had occurred but also how others near them reacted to it, has cemented itself in their minds.  Fear of the unthinkable swept into their lives, changing simple things like airplanes into weapons.

“I remember I was sitting in third grade math class and we were getting called out of class one-by-one. When I got called, I went to the office and remember staring up at the TV screen and seeing smoke rising out of one of the towers. Later that night I couldn’t sleep because I heard a plane fly overhead and got scared,” recalled Freshman Josh Zabel.

Like Zabel, Freshman Anna Stranges became cautious when hearing planes from above. “I remember a lot of students going home and thinking it was because everyone was sick. Later when I got home I saw my parents watching the same three clips of the towers crumbling. Later that night when I heard a plane, I started crying because I thought it was targeting our house,” Stranges said.

Whether you personally or someone you love has been affected in some way by 9/11, the events being held throughout the week on campus are a great way to remember those whom we’ve lost, celebrate those who have lived, and honor those who have and are still serving for our country.