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University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Never Forget: A Reflection on September 11, 2001

Lives lost, families torn apart and countless horrible memories that will never be forgotten. The Sept. 11 attacks can be summed up in so many words from people who lost a loved one or who crowded around their TV, watching in horror. 


Many students at Cal State LA are either too young to remember or were not born yet when the Sept. 11 attacks happened. However, faculty and staff remember that day like it was yesterday, including Student Union Director of Operations John Ortiz. 


“I was at home getting ready to come to work, having breakfast and coffee, and when I saw the first plane [go into the world trade center], I thought it was a movie or a special effect,” Ortiz said. It totally caught me off guard.”


The country stood in solidarity as the search for loved ones turned from days to weeks and then months, lasting until the rubble was cleaned up from the destruction. Most people were on edge and watching out for one another. Communication Studies Professor Priscilla Iglesias was a few months out of high school when the attacks took place. 


“I remember, it was the first time I didn’t come home from the night before,” Iglesias said.  “My parents were worried but when I got home, you can tell there was a shift in the atmosphere.” 


Iglesias remembers watching the planes crash, thinking it was all a dream.


 She said it was like something you only see in movies. Iglesias added that these types of events don’t happen, at least not in the United States.


An act of terrorism is more likely to be perpetrated by a single individual rather than a group of people, according to the Washington Institute.


Kinesiology Professor Isai Martinez was still a teenager on Sept. 11 and shared a different story. 

“I was getting ready for school,” Martinez said, remembering when he questioned whether or not it was reality.  “My mom was watching TV, and my brother and I were ready to leave the house when she said, ‘Oh my god!’ We stood and watched what was happening. It was scary, confusing, and unreal.”  


The Sept. 11 attacks happened more than 20 years ago. But the events are fresh in the minds of the people who lived through that moment in history, which will be talked about for years to come. 

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Thomas Davila, Multimedia Reporter
Thomas Davila is a multimedia reporter for the UT. I also write blogs for GER. I love to write and play and listen to music in my free time.
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