Remembering September 11th

American FlagOn the 10th aniversary of September 11th,  the world remembers the heroes, victims, and survivors of that day. Two Prospector staff memembers recall what the were doing on September 11th, 2001, where it has brought them, and how they look back in rememberance 10 years later.

Americans Remember

By Maddie Conway
Ten years ago today, I sat at my desk in Miss Hoffman’s second grade classroom at Windsor Elementary School. Working on some handwriting practice, I wasn’t paying attention to what the teachers in the room were doing, even when the classroom phone rang and I heard whispering after the teaching assistant had answered it.
But even my 7-year-old mind could pick up that something was amiss when the adults in the room all gasped, almost in unison, and my teacher put her hands in her face before walking out into the hallway, only to come back in a few minutes later with the shocked expression still on her face. I couldn’t have even tried to guess, though, what she was upset about.
I needn’t guess, however; just a minute or so later, the principal’s voice filled the room as an announcement that will haunt my memory forever came over the intercom. I can’t remember the exact words, but the message remains clear: “There has been a terrible tragedy in our country.” And she went on to, briefly, explain what had happened.
My memory of the rest of that day blurs together. Bits and pieces, though, stand out in my memory: making an American flag pin out of beads in class that I didn’t realize was symbolic, saying the Pledge of Allegiance twice that morning instead of once, coming home to a special edition of The Chicago Tribune with photos of burning, smoking buildings taking up most of the front page.
Even when my parents tried to explain it to me, I didn’t truly understand what that day in history meant until years later. As they watched footage of the airplane hitting the World Trade Center on CNN, I sat motionless, wondering how the pilot had lost control — and, after seeing more planes hit more buildings, what those pilots had been doing, too.
I knew something was wrong, but not how it was wrong. It was all confusing, and I couldn’t even begin to comprehend any of it. Why couldn’t I watch cartoons? What were my parents insisting on watching, again and again, on the news?
The next few years, though, it all started to make more sense. As our generation, then kindergarteners and first graders and now high school and college students, has grown up, we have also grown up with a different perception of our country than our parents and grandparents. Security, for us, means something different. Patriotism, for us, means something different. The day Sept. 11, for us, means something different — and it forever will.
As the 10th anniversary of that terrible day passes, let us both remember the almost 3,000 innocent lives lost and thank the brave firefighters, doctors and police officers who fought to save them.
Reflect on what you remember of that day — and how the world has changed since then. It’s our duty to remember — and to move forward with a sense of hope to unify all of us, regardless of race, religion, gender or otherwise. We’re all Americans, and we can all remember together.

Memories and Memorials

By Jenny Johnson
News Editor
10 years ago I was in first grade learning how to tie my shoes. We were then told to go with another first grade class as teachers started to talk.
When I went home my parents sat me and my older brothers down and tried to explain what just happened on Sept. 11, 2001, sugar coating as much as they could.
I don’t remember much about that day, except for seeing how upset people were getting. I never left my fathers sight.
As the years went on, my father and I would always watch the history channel specials on 9/11 such as “Flight 175: As the World Watched”, “Heroes of the 88th Floor” and “Flight 93”. He would tell me what he was thinking that day as we would watch.
Now that I am older I get why this day is so important. Around this time, I think about the families and friends that lost their loved ones. Not only them, but the people that survived and everyone that had to watch and couldn’t do anything about it.
On Ground Zero there is a new way to remember the victims of the attacks called the 9/11 Memorial. It is located at the site of the World Trade Center and occupies approximately half of the 16-acre site. It has two waterfalls and reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, set within the footprints of the original twin towers. It opens Sept. 12 to the public.
According to, the 9/11 Memorial Museum will be open Sept. 11, 2012, to give people the opportunity to learn about the men, women, and children who died.
Even if I can’t remember this day very well, I still remember all the people that died on 9/11.