A heavy silence hung over the Pit Sunday night as students and administrators paused to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Peering through the hazy glow of candlelight, students listened to the harrowing stories of their classmates as they recalled the events that warped an ordinary Tuesday one decade ago.
Senior James Ding spoke of his father, who has been wracked by survivor’s guilt since Sept. 11. Ding’s father worked for the insurance company Marsh and McLennan on the 96th floor of the World Trade Center.
“Not a single person who was at work that morning made it out,” Ding said.
“My dad was not in the tower because he was taking me to my second day of fifth grade. I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to my dad’s colleagues.”
The ripples of 9/11 and the fear it provoked were felt beyond the United States’ borders. From a Korean international student to a senior who had recently immigrated to the U.S. from Zimbabwe, students’ stories illustrated the worldwide echoes of the attack.
Senior Josh Ford, who lived in upstate New York that year, recalled asking his mother why firefighters were running toward the burning buildings.
“I’ll never forget what she said,” Ford said. “She said, ‘Joshua, they’re showing the world what America is about.’”
“It didn’t matter the color of your skin … or who you prayed to,” he said. “On display for the entire world was American spirit.”