A shattered world

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the flagstones of Cross Campus glistened in late summer sunshine. Plazas rang with the footsteps of students, professors, and staff bound for meetings, labs, classes.

By 10:29 a.m., the lawns and courtyards stood empty, blanketed by silence.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Yale secretary Linda Lorimer was aboard a plane thousands of feet above New York City, headed for Texas.

By 10:29 a.m., she was being grounded in North Carolina. She rented a car and sped toward New Haven.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Brian Kim ’04 left his room for class.

By 10:29 a.m., his class canceled, Kim was walking back to his Branford suite when he saw somebody sitting on a curb, weeping. “I’m never going to forget that,” Kim told the News.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and state Sen. Martin Looney woke up steeled for a showdown in that day’s Democratic mayoral primary, the most talked-about city contest in years.

By 10:29 a.m., voters were trickling into the polls as if dazed, the urgings of campaign volunteers muted. Extra police officers lined the streets.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Metro-North trains ferried commuters from Union Station to Grand Central Terminal as they did every day.

By 10:29 a.m., as trains flowed into New Haven, passengers from New York were bursting into the station in waves, fighting tears as they found waiting friends and family.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, history professor John Gaddis was preparing to lecture to his Cold War class of more than 400.

By 10:29 a.m., Gaddis had something new — something far more important — to say. “Focus on the things that have not changed: faith in your family, your friends, your country,” Gaddis told the crowd in the Art Gallery auditorium the next day. “What happened yesterday, Sept. 11, 2001, is going to be for your generation what Dec. 7, 1941 was for your grandparents’ generation. What Nov. 22, 1963 was for my generation. It is a defining moment.”

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, nine Yale graduates woke up early and went to the World Trade Center. That morning, they probably straightened their ties, packed their lunches and kissed their children. They went downtown for breakfast, for meetings, for work.

They were nine in more than six thousand, everymen of Yale alumni.

By 10:29 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, their lives were likely over.

Comments

  • The Anti-Yale

    Beautifully expressed.