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Appalachian remembers 9/11 after 12 years

The flag in front of the B.B. Dougherty Administrative Building flies at half-staff in honor of the lives lost as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Photo by Rachel Krauza | The Appalachian

The flag in front of the B.B. Dougherty Administrative Building flies at half-staff in honor of the lives lost as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Photo by Rachel Krauza  |  The Appalachian
Wednesday marked the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City.

On Sept. 11, 2001, two planes were flown into the Twin Towers, killing approximately 3,000 people.

The current generation that makes up the majority of Appalachian State University students, Millennials and Generation Y, were children when the attacks occurred and have spent the last 12 years watching the consequences unfold.

Junior psychology major Noelle Peyton was in sixth grade, attending a school in Long Island, N.Y., when she found out about the attack.

“I remember it was only the sixth, seventh and eighth graders who were told first and we all sat in one classroom just watching the news and talking about it,” Peyton said.

Because her school was so close to New York City, Peyton said that she knew a lot of people who worked in the city, and so did her classmates. She had to wait to talk about the news to other students because some families were waiting to hear about the news of their loved ones.

“It was just a really difficult thing to comprehend because I was so little,” Peyton said. “It’s definitely a punch to the gut every time you think about it.”

Sophomore graphic design and advertisement major Maggie Sherwood said she was 7 years old and in music class at her Tennessee school when her teacher informed her of the events.

“Our teacher was sitting there listening to the radio while we were watching a movie and then all of the sudden, when 9/11 happened, he turned down the movie and turned up the volume on the radio all the way,” Sherwood said. “We all started crying because we didn’t know what was going on.”

Geology professor Johnny Waters said he was teaching an early morning class at another university when he saw the events unfold on the news.

“I used to turn the news on for students as they came into class,” Waters said. “The news flashed to the first tower burning and we stood there and watched the plane go into the second tower live. It was pretty horrific.”

Waters said he doesn’t remember whether he canceled class or gave the lecture after. He just remembers it being very unsettling.

President Barack Obama gave a speech at the September 11th Observance at the Pentagon Memorial on Wednesday morning.

Obama remembered those who were affected by the 9/11 attacks and spoke about learning from their strength.

“Let us have the courage like the survivors and families here today to carry on, no matter how dark the night or how difficult the day,” Obama said.

Appalachian State University has helped some of those survivors by adopting the family of fallen firefighter Doug Miller who died in the World Trade Center, according to appstate.edu.

Appalachian has been in contact with the Millers for several years, and continues to support the family, who has visited campus four times and spent time with Appalachian faculty and athletes.

In a letter to the university, Laurie Miller, the widow of Doug Miller and mother of three girls, wrote that “the words thank you are not enough.”

“We are deeply blessed to be a part of your lives and continue to enjoy each new year of our relationship.”

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, News Editor
Photo: RACHEL KRAUZA, Intern Photographer

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