Sharing experiences

None of us will ever forget how we felt on 9-11, or how we found out, or how we dealt with the whole situation. We will always recall with great detail the events following the attack. These are just a few personal experiences shared by students at UM.

“I was in second period in my high school back home in Orlando. The administration made an announcement over the loud speaker telling the teachers to turn on their television sets. No one could believe it. We watched the news reports until we received a bomb threat during third period and were forced to evacuate the school. When we returned to our classes we found that the towers had both collapsed and that was when my teacher started crying. Many parents pulled their kids out of class or called to give them permission to leave early. All I could think about was how long it would take to rebuild the buildings, it hadn’t even dawned on me at that time how many people had died.”

-Stephanie Smith, freshman

“I was working on the information desk in the UC when the planes hit the towers. I had clocked in at 8 a.m. Both television sets in the UC lounge were tuned on to the news. A few minutes after the second plane hit, we were bombarded with calls from students asking if classes were cancelled. Then at 9 a.m. more and more people gathered in the UC to watch the latest reports and to see the latest pictures from ground zero. By 10 a.m., this place was full of people. Everyone was wondering what would happen next. And then at 1:30, the announcement came that classes would be cancelled for the rest of the day. Shortly after, President Shalala held a briefing to try to bring light to some of the worries and rumors that had been circulating around campus.”

-Oscar De la Pena, senior

“When the attack happened, I was studying in Florence, Italy. I didn’t find out about the situation until a few hours later when I heard an American woman screaming down the street: “We’re going to war! We’re going to war!” It was then that I realized that something horrible had happened. I remember that my friends and I were receiving a lot of misinformation, particularly because of language differences. All I could do was watch the replaying of footage on television until the cell phone lines opened up and I could finally contact my family.”

-Jessica Popovice, freshman