The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Finding reason in tragedy: A 9/11 memory

The+Appalachian+Online
The Appalachian Online

Like most 20-year-olds who lived in North Carolina at the time of 9/11, I too do not remember much.

I barely remember being in my T.C. Henderson Elementary School second grade classroom. If it were not for all of my classmates saying we were for sure in the classroom, I doubt I would remember even that.

I vaguely recall my teacher turning on our box TV up in the corner of the room by the door, searching for the channel that all the other classrooms had on.

It was not until some years later, when I was told one of my relatives was in one of the towers, that Sept. 11 really started to affect me. It’s almost as if it didn’t become real for me until then.

It became all the more real on my senior trip when some of my Rosman High School senior class visited the memorial, and I found my dad’s second cousin’s name, Marylou Langley, who worked on floor 96 of the south tower.

Part of me feels betrayed and a little selfish because I never got to meet her, much less know much about her, but nonetheless, I genuinely feel the utmost love and respect for her like the family that she is.

As she was my grandmother’s cousin, the loss affects my grandmother just as much now as it did that beautiful Sept. 11 morning when she first heard the news of the first plane crash into the north tower of the World Trade Center on the radio. She was driving on New York I-80, going to see her mother with her two daughters and her 10-month-old granddaughter.

At first, she thought it was odd a plane would come so close to the World Trade Center. She found it all the more baffling when the announcers identified the plane as commercial jet. However, when it was announced a second commercial jet hit the south tower. That was the moment she understood.

“That’s when tears started because I knew in my heart it was a terrorist attack,” my grandmother said.

After the attack, my second cousin’s husband, a New York Fire Department fireman, responded and worked tirelessly for many days at the site. No one hears him talk about it, nor do they ask.

“Marylou had a lovely, but sad funeral with a Mass at her Parish church, and a burial near her parents,” my grandmother said.

My mind, without skipping a beat, now goes to Marylou whenever I think of the event. The attack is hard enough without some reason to make it harder, to make it tangible.

My second cousin’s husband doesn’t talk about the event, my grandmother can’t talk about it without getting emotional, and I now find it harder and harder to talk about. It really is this binding glue that brings our families and our nation together. This thing that affected not one, but all of us, and still affects us to this day.

It really goes to show everything happens for a reason.

Kaitlan Morehouse, a sophomore journalism major from Lake Toxaway, is an intern news reporter

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *