September 11 remembered, 7 years later

Rescue workers remove a body from the debris of the World Trade Center on Thursday, September 13, 2001, in New York.
Photo illustration by David Swanson / Philadelphia Inquirer

It’s been seven years now, but the thoughts and images of 9/11 still cross the minds of students and faculty at Fresno State, with the question of whether or not the world has changed since then.

History professor William Skuban was in Fresno at the time the tragedy took place.

“I came in to teach a class after it happened,” said Skuban.

Freshman Rameez Hasan, mechanical engineering major, remembered the impact of that Tuesday morning.

“It was a big thing. That wasn’t a small thing,” Hasan said. “When you saw it live, it was really horrifying.”

Hasan was playing cricket outside when a friend told him of the breaking news in New York City that day in September.

“My friend told me this plane crashed into a building,” he said. “We weren’t really familiar with the World Trade Center at that time. After like a couple of minutes, in front of our eyes, the other plane crashed into the building, which was really shocking.”

Student Manak Mehtan thinks about the collapse of the Twin Towers through the media.

“When it approaches September 11, I kind of remember what happened and what all these people have been through when they show the videos,” Mehtan said.

Junior liberal arts major Amy Roselius felt that military protection was exposed when the terrorists struck.

“We think that we have a whole lot of military protection, but obviously not because they were able to get in and attack us,” Roselius said.

Senior Kylie Pipkin, a deaf education major, once in awhile thinks about what happened that day, but thinks about another conflict going on with America.

“I’m more concerned with the war that’s going on right now,” Pipkin said. “I probably have a little more of a radical view than certain people.”

Pipkin believes that freedom plays an important role in today’s society.

“We need to protect our freedom, but not necessarily from people overseas because I don’t believe that the war right now is a good thing. I think we’ve been mislead in it,” Pipkin said. “Yet we need to protect our freedom against our government as well, as far as with the Patriot Act and certain things that have happened in that sense.”

Skuban believes there’s work that still needs to be done in the post-9/11 world, despite the fact that he’s seeing some changes.

“It’s changed, but it’s still a work in progress,” Skuban said.

Fresno State President John Welty wanted his campus to take the timeout and remember this Patriot Day for the men and women who were lost, especially two former Bulldogs.

“We must never forget those who were lost,” said Welty in a press release yesterday. “Two were Fresno State alumni: Navy Lt. Cmdr. Vincent Tolbert, who died in the Pentagon, and Todd Beamer, the passenger on United Flight 93 credited with saying, “Let’s roll,” as he and other passengers stormed the cockpit and overpowered their hijackers, sacrificing their lives when the plane crashed.”

The university president believes that despite the horrors of that day and the changing landscape after 9/11, America remains strong.

“Our American spirit was bruised, but not broken that day, and it is fitting that we remember the dignity, courage and sacrifice so many of our citizens made that tragic day,” Welty said.

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