Ten Years Later: Mason Remembers September 11

Posted: September 6, 2011 at 1:04 am, Last Updated: September 6, 2011 at 8:15 am

Text and video by Paul King

When asked about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Mason freshman Kyle Imperatore had one word to say, “Tragedy. That’s the only word I can think of.”

It’s a word many would use to describe the events that took place 10 years ago. Most of Mason’s freshmen were only in elementary school when the attacks took place, but they have memories of the day’s events.

On that day in 2001, Mason freshman Anthony Williams was just getting to his elementary school when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York.

“I got to school and the news was on, and we could see the twin towers and the hole where the plane had hit. And then we saw the towers fall,” Williams said.

Within the same hour, hijackers crashed a second and third plane into the South Tower and the Pentagon.  What unfolded before America’s eyes was something that most Americans will never forget.

“More than anything, I just remember feeling just stunned and numb to the shock and enormity of what was happening before our very eyes,” Mason Press Secretary Dan Walsch said.

Freshman Hannah Menchoff recalls parents picking up students from her third grade class and wondering if her mother was safe.

“I remember my mom saying, ‘We thought you’d be safer at school than coming home’,” Menchhoff said. “We’ve made a lot of changes in 10 years, and it’s pretty amazing it’s already been 10 years.”

The still images in the video are from the September 11 Digital Archive, created by Mason’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.

Write to mediarel at gazette@gmu.edu