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15 Years Later We Still Remember

With the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, MBU Timeline staffers conducted spot interviews with several individuals on the Missouri Baptist University campus regarding where they were during the attack, what it was like growing up after and how they think the attack shaped the world today.

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Photo Courtesy of Pixelbay

Officials stand on the ruins of Ground Zero days after the attacks.

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JORDAN COX
assistant professor of music

What do you remember about that day 15 years ago?

“I remember being in my freshman English class with my teacher Mrs. Becker, and it was first hour, and the history teacher Mr. Mayviews came to the door and talked to her silently for a moment. And she was a very stoic person, and so she just kind of walked in (she always chewed on the end of her glasses) and she just said what had happened. None of us really grasped what it meant, but we were like, ‘That was weird.’ The rest of the day was strange; some of the classes, I remember watching TV throughout the school day, and others, it was class as usual.”

What are the implications of that day?  

“I think it opened my eyes. As a freshman in high school, you’re pretty consumed with yourself and what’s going on in your own little town, own little world, so I think that was a day that opened my eyes to the world and to start looking to see what was going on other places. It was an eye-opening experience because it said, ‘Other stuff’s going on in the world besides just where you are.'”

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HALEY BIRKNER
junior psychology/human services major
Edwardsville, Ill.

What do you remember about the day?

“I was 4 years old, at home, watching it on the TV.”  

What are some of the implications of that day? What has it meant in your lifetime?

“At the time, I didn’t really understand it. But now, I realize the loss as I’ve gotten older. We’re still grieving.”

How do you think 9-11 has influenced your life growing up?

“It was such a major event. It makes you realize how broken of a world this is.”

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RACHEL CROWLEY
sophomore music education major
Rolla, Mo.

How would you say 9-11 has affected you growing up?

“It scares me to think that there are people who would actually do something like this and that happened in our own country.”

Has it scared you away from flying?

“I’ve only flown once, but I am really scared of it.”

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JOHNATHAN WHITE 
campus minister
professor of Bible

With it being the 15th anniversary for 9-11, what do you remember about that day?

“Well, I was in seminary working a security job, and I remember it coming across the radio that a plane had hit a building in New York City. At that point people thought it was a small plane, or a plane malfunction. As they were reporting that a second plane hit the other building. It was then reported as a terrorist attack. All the reporting started coming out that it was airliners. I was at work so I had to wait until I got home to catch the full story. By that time they were reporting the film over and over. They later reported the building falling, which came as a full surprise.”

With you being a minister do you think this event affected the world spiritually?

“Yeah, I think shortly after people were shocked. Thinking thoughts like the world could end. They also thought Jesus was soon to return. Churches were flooded, but as time went on people went back to their old ways of living. In teaching and preachings we are reminded that the things of this world are temporary, and everyone surely needs Jesus.”

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WILLIAM HARRINGTON
senior criminal justice major
Kansas City

How do you think 9-11 influenced your life growing up?

“When I was a kid I did not know much about it. But over the years, it shows what a great nation we have and the impact it took on this world. It showed the U.S. what it brings to us and not as a culture but as a whole nation.”

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DAMARIS WYAND
sophomore business administration major
St. Louis

What do you remember about 9-11?

“We were living in an apartment at the time and I was in the living room and my mom was putting away groceries because we had just gotten back from shopping and one of her friends called her and was crying on the phone … my mom was trying to find a station on the TV. … I don’t remember my mom telling me what was going on. I was overhearing. I don’t think I really understood it at the time but I understood my mom was really upset.”

How do you think 9-11 has influenced your life growing up?

“Restrictions on the airlines are a lot heavier now. That’s something I notice when I travel. I think as a culture we are kind of weary of terrorism. If it happens once then you think it will happen again. Terrorism is still the thing that holds the biggest piece of our hearts when it comes to fear in America. People would not be united as much. I think we are very divided but I think if another attack happened, it would pull everyone together. We would all be afraid together.”

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ANDREW KYLE
senior elementary education major
O’Fallon, Mo.

How do you think 9-11 has influenced your life growing up?

“I think it opened our eyes to the fact there is evil in this world. There are people that will use any means necessary to inflict pain and destruction to accomplish their own goals. It showed us that we live in a world where everyone doesn’t play by the same rules, and that we need to step up our game in order to combat this.”

How do you think 9-11 has affected our day-to-day lives?

“Well, now when we see certain individuals we might have a bias against them where we’re looking for dangers. We don’t feel safe anymore. Before we were untouchable. We were the United States. Who dare would touch us here? Now we don’t have that same level of comfort.”  

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RACHEL JUHLIN
freshman music education major
Cape Girardeau, Mo.

How do you think 9-11 has influenced your life growing up?

“It’s definitely taught me to watch my back, not take anything for granted, because you never know what’s going to happen … even in America. 9-11 showed that we’re not invincible, and nobody’s invincible, so you have to watch out for that.”

Does today’s airport security make you feel safe?

“Sometimes … because they don’t check everybody. Like we have the TSA or whatever, so lots of people don’t get checked, but the people that do get checked, then the flights are safe, I think, half the time.”

So you think everybody should get checked?

“That would be the safest option. It’s definitely time-consuming and it’s a hassle, but I think that’s the only way I would feel 100 percent safe.”

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CHRISTIAN ROBINSON
senior public relations major 
West Frankfort, Ill.

How do you think 9-11 has influenced your life growing up?

“I think it’s made us more aware of all the dangers that are out in the world because it brought it to home when we were attacked. We were made aware of the actual impact that all of these attacks are having. You can see it on the news but you don’t really understand until you feel the impact yourself like what all the attacks and terror are doing to the lives of our people.”

How do you think 9-11 has affected our day-to-day lives?

“It made us realize that we may not be as safe as we think we are. We’re more on alert. I think it’s getting better now because we haven’t had a huge attack in awhile. I think we’re still more aware of our surroundings and that we’re not completely safe because we live in America.”

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KELLY KENNEALY
graduate assistant/athletic trainer

What do you remember about that day 15 years ago?

“I was 10 years old in fourth grade.  The fourth grade and up were pulled to the cafeteria to watch it on TV.”

How do you think 9-11 has influenced your life growing up?

“It didn’t really influence me as a kid, but it later influenced travel and security.”

What are some of the implications of that day? What has it meant in your lifetime?

“It was a huge historical moment. It started a war, and my dad was in the military.”

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ELIZABETH BUSEKRUS
Writing Lab coordinator

What do you remember about this date 15 years ago?

“I was in sixth grade, I had a very limited sense of world view back in that time. I was very sheltered, I remember going to school seeing this event. We had the TV on, which was something that rarely happened. We talked about it at home with my parents and they helped me process how someone could do something horrendous.”

How has 9-11 affected the world?

“I feel like 9-11 influenced us for the good and bad. For the good it has helped people come together and it also hindered us and caused us to be biased to certain cultures of people.”

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JENA TROMBLEY
communications graduate

How do you feel 9-11 affected your life growing up?

“That’s a tough one … I was just a kid when it happened so I guess it just made me more aware of the safety precautions … I mean it hasn’t really affected me majorly because I wasn’t old enough to know what was going on. It just made me more aware of other countries … of our own safety.”

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JAYLEN WALKER
sophomore, broadcast/journalism major
St. Louis

How do you think 9/11 influenced your life growing up?

“Influenced me by being more aware. To watch everyone, because everyone is not who they say they are. I didn’t know very much about 9-11 growing up, but with growing up and learning about it we lost many lives and we should have open arms for these families.”

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HEIDI WOLFORD
sophomore elementary education major
Greensburg, Ind.

What do you remember about 9-11?

“I was 4 years old … I remember being picked up from school by my older sister and she was crying and I asked her why she was crying. She explained the short version that something happened today and there was a plane crash.”

How do you think 9-11 has influenced your life growing up?

“It’s affected the country security-wise … airports … schools … to keep them more protected … I think about the anniversary.”

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BRITTANY GRAELER
assistant to director of First Year Experience

What do you remember about 9-11?

“I was a senior in high school. I remember walking into my English class and they had the news up which was unusual. That moment the second plane crashed into the tower. At that point we didn’t know anything. It was an eerie, quiet day. I went home and I live by an airport so it was weird having no airplanes going on for two weeks around my house. It was very quiet and eerie.”

How do you think that day influenced your life?

“A lot of things have changed. The biggest difference I noticed immediately was security. Even just around Busch Stadium and flying. Flying before and flying after was very different. It used to be you could go up to the gate and watch planes take off and you didn’t have to buy a ticket or go through security. You just went through. Now, we have to get to the airport three hours early just to get through security. I have a 10-year-old and just trying to explain to her because she sees it on TV shows, and she says, ‘Oh, is that pretend? And I’m like, ‘No, that’s real.’”

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Contributing to this interview story were: Jessica Moore, Jill Burroughs, Glory Castello, Colin Baillie, Sean Muzzy, Kati Attaway, Josh Eaton.

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