As today marks 14 years since Sept. 11., university students take a moment to reminisce, pay their respects and, most importantly, remember.

Computer Engineering Freshman Justin Lehr

“My parents worked in the government, and so my dad worked through the night that night, and my mom came and picked me up from school. We sat in the basement watching the news … I was uneasy. It was different for my dad to be gone and doing work while all of it was happening.”

Freshman Laura Spitalniak, A journalism major

“Well I was very fortunate to not have any connections up there. My dad, at the time, was trying to find an airplane ride for his boss and him to travel on, but obviously that didn’t happen. But I have stories, more than memories. People have told me what happened, but because I was so young, I don’t have any personal memories.” 

Flags are decorated across the Mall in commemoration of Sept. 11. (Julia Lerner/Bloc Reporter)
Flags are decorated across the Mall in commemoration of Sept. 11. (Julia Lerner/Bloc Reporter)

Engagement Manager of The Clarice, Jane Hirshberg

“I was living in Exeter, New Hampshire and I was telecommuting for a touring dance company. I was at my house, and I had just walked my two small children to school. I had started working and then I saw what happened and I was very nervous for all kinds of reasons. I didn’t quite know what to feel but we had dancers traveling that day and they were leaving from Washington, so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where they were. Once we figured out that they were safe, we were able to, sort of, move forward with the company work. But then at home, I felt compelled to go get my girls and bring them home. But the school people encouraged us to have them stay so that there wouldn’t be more disruption to their day. I was really really profoundly sad. And scared. And I think those were the predominant feelings.” 

Sophomore Matt Houston, Undecided 

“I was in kindergarten. That was a long time ago. I was in school. I don’t really remember [learning about it then]. I was too young for it. Thinking about it now, though … I’m currently a firefighter in Maryland, so it hits home pretty hard.”

Freshman Emily Franzone, Undecided

“I was in kindergarten, maybe? I remember it was on the TV, but no one would explain to us what was happening because we just couldn’t comprehend it. I think we went home early, and the news was on at home, but I just really didn’t get what was going on. It’s a crazy feeling [now]. Just sitting here and thinking about it, it’s mind boggling that this happened and it’s just so crazy … It’s crazy just imagining it and imagining the chaos and all the people involved.”

Julia Lerner is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at

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