Five years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Marc Appel ’08 still recalls worrying about his uncle, who worked close by the World Trade Center, in the aftermath of the catastrophe.
“It will take even more than five years for it to move into the past,” Appel said.
Nandi Chihombori-Quao ’10 remembers sitting in her eighth grade English class when she found out. She immediately started worrying about her mother, who was in New York on business.
“It is one of the few full days that I can remember,” she said.
While no current undergraduates were enrolled at Yale on the day of attacks, many recall where they were and what they were doing on Sept. 11, 2001, and say it is important to commemorate the anniversary of the deadliest attack in U.S. history. Today’s memorial service, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Beinecke Plaza, may not match the campuswide outpouring of grief that occurred the evening after the attacks, but it will, some hope, keep the attacks on the minds of the Yale community.
Five years ago, the shock the world felt following the attacks reverberated across campus. That morning, as news of the tragedy spread, lecture halls sat empty while students crowded into TV rooms and radios across campus announced the events that followed the attacks. Despite the good weather, courtyards were deserted. Hours later, as the sun set, more than 1,000 students, faculty and staff gathered on Cross Campus in silence.
This year’s event, which echoes the first Cross Campus ceremony, will feature reflections, meditations and music from Yale faculty and students along with a presentation of colors by the Yale Police Department. The gathering is being organized by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and co-sponsored by the Yale College Republicans and the Yale College Democrats.
Though current Yale undergraduates were scattered across the globe when the attacks took place, a thread of commonality runs through all of their experiences.
“The events of Sept. 11, 2001, remind us all of our global connection and interdependence,” University Chaplain Frederick Streets said in an e-mail. “The power of Sept. 11, 2006, lies in how it has forever influenced our understanding of ourselves, wherever we live and from wherever we were born.”
Nine of Yale’s own perished at Ground Zero: David Berray ’84, David Berry ’80, Bennett Fisher ’66, Elizabeth M. Gregg GRD ’77, Bradley Hoorn ’01, Richard Lee ’91, Charles McCrann LAW ’72, Christopher Murphy ’88 and Stacey Sanders ’98.