Kelsey Knoop, an Eastern Michigan University freshman, said she mostly remembers the confusion.
“I was in second grade and my mom signed me out of school,” she said. “I really had no idea what was happening or why everyone was so upset, but I knew it was serious.”
Daniel Harrington, an EMU sophomore studying political science and international studies, was also in elementary school when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks occurred.
“I remember being too young to understand what was going on, but my brother, who was in sixth grade, tried to explain it to me,” Harrington said. “My parents made me sit down and watch the news that night when I really just wanted to go outside and play. I’m glad they did, because I will never forget what it was like when I first saw the planes hit the towers. I’ll never forget that, ever.”
Jacob Gore is a freshman but served in the Army before coming to EMU and completed a tour in Iraq as an infantryman. He was in middle school when the attack occurred.
“My teacher got everyone under their desk, and nobody could come out until the parents came and picked us up,” he said.
He said the anniversary made him stop to think about the innocent civilian lives lost, but he didn’t dwell on the sadness.
“Eventually you have to put the past in the past, and keep moving forward,” he said.
Captain Nathan Harmon recruits at EMU for the Marines’ officer program and he specializes in aviation logistics. He just completed boot camp when he heard the tragic news.
“I remember thinking, ‘I joined the Marines to get some school money, and now I am going to be at war.’ I knew the next four years were not going to go as I had planned,” he said.
The memorial on campus was visited by some students who wanted to show respect to those lost in the attack.
“I just found out it was here, and I really wanted to come today to check it out because I live close by,” said Amanda Mayer, an EMU senior studying dietetics. “It makes me want to become a more patriotic person.”
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