I was an undergrad in electrical engineering at the time. I started watching before the second plane hit and had to go to my senior design class not long after the towers collapsed. It was very quiet and somber in class. The professors asked whether we should continue or cancel class. Everyone made it clear we wanted to continue, and so class went on.
Todd Atadero, undergraduate laboratory support engineer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
I heard about an airplane hitting one of the Twin Towers and found the nearest TV to watch the second airplane hit the second tower. I said to myself, "We're going to war." Seeing the carnage that occurred that day, I called my unit and asked where they needed me. It was a couple of months later I found myself in Afghanistan, serving with an amazing crew of soldiers and heroes. I will always be grateful I was able to serve with these fine warriors in protection of my country.
Al Armonda, LTC Retired, Military Science Instructor
Like everyone, I felt shock, horror, powerlessness and yet a closeness with families, the brave folks on that plane and the firemen and people in health care working for days was surreal. There is a lot I don’t like to recall, the hours watching TV and wondering what would happen to the U.S., my family, friends and if our lives would change. I recall how shocked my international colleagues were and the many kind emails they sent in solidarity and friendship.
Diana Wall, University Distinguished Professor, Inaugural Director of SoGES
I was on campus, and we were in a meeting. None of us could believe what had happened with the WTC and thought it must have been a horrible accident. Then, we heard about the second tower. It was very strange and hard to comprehend.
Dr. Dean A. Hendrickson, Professor of Surgery, Department of Clinical Sciences
I was on I-25 driving to campus for a morning class when NPR reported the tower hits. It was a brief announcement, bothersome for sure, but the detail and severity didn't immediately sink in. I had my morning class as usual with little to no discussion of the event. It was during the rest of that day and the coming days and weeks that it all sunk in.
John Straayer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science
It was my first semester at CSU, having come here from New Jersey. I grew up about 25 miles from NYC. I was leaving my office in the Clark Building that morning to go to class, and I saw the images on the TV in the hallway. Students were in the hallway staring up at the screen. I remember thinking about whether I knew anyone who worked in that part of the city.
Robert Duffy, Chair, Department of Political Science
I was in the middle of a 35-minute commute from home to work when I heard the news of the 9/11 attacks on NPR. I remember being horrified, realizing instinctively that this was a hugely important event and struggling to get my mind around the implications so I could try to talk about it within the hour to my classical social theory students.
Pete Taylor, Chair, Department of Sociology
On 9/11, I was driving to work, and I remember hearing on NPR that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers – I still remember Karl Kasell’s voice from the newscast. I pictured a small plane but didn’t understand the magnitude of what was happening until more details came out later that morning. We were in our offices in the College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Office in Gibbons as we all tried to process the horrible events as they unfolded.
Gretchen Gerding, Communications Director, College of Health and Human Sciences
I was two or three weeks into my graduate program in the English Department and was on my way to class when news was passing around the student body about something happening in New York. Many of us ended up in the amphitheater classroom in Eddy Hall, where someone was broadcasting the news. At that point, we weren’t going to class but instead finding places we could gather together for support.
Beth Etter, Communications Director, College of Liberal Arts
Every time I go to the Arkansas Valley Research Station, I remember 9/11. I used to occasionally drive my motorcycle out to assignments and on my way to Rocky Ford. I stopped at a gas station in Brush. I went in and heard on the radio that the first plane had hit. At that time, they still thought it was a small plane, a random accident. I went to get some breakfast and everyone in the diner was pretty entranced with the news. I remember stopping at a Radio Shack and buying a little portable radio for the rest of the ride. I was photographing a water quality research project that Civil Engineering professor Timothy Gates was heading up. We were all still in a bit of disbelief, but we had a job to do so we went ahead and did it. As I was photographing the researchers, I remember thinking how empty the skies were.
Bill Cotton, Retired Photographer, Marketing and Communications