Commemorating the 14th Anniversary of 9/11: The Advocate’s View


14 years ago, the tragedy that was 9/11 struck our entire nation. With Montgomery College being fairly close to D.C., the students were hit especially hard. Take a look at the Advocate’s front page article from the week of Sept. 11, 2001.

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The Terrorist Attack on America

Story by Tony Kandiero

“It was a day that all of us will remember for the rest of our lives. What happened on the morning of September 11th was the most unexpected nightmare that we only expect to see in movies. But this was real, it was happening, it was shocking, terrifying and quite frankly every student at Montgomery College was in shock and disbelief.

Early accounts, (approximately 8:45am-9:30am) of two airplanes plowing through into the World Trade Center in New York had the whole nation, at least people who were up and early at the time, in a high intense panic. So was the case here at Montgomery College as students rushed to the nearest TV set to find out what was happening. What they saw on television were horrific images of airlines crashing into the twin towers in New York and then minutes later into the pentagon and Pennsylvania. It was now obviously sinking in that we might also become a target. Students and members of faculty immediately got on to their cell phones to call their loved ones.

At 11:30 the College was officially closed after President Bush declared that this was “apparently a terrorist attack on America” and that this was a “national tragedy”. Students gathered outside in a confused state wondering was was going to become of them. It seemed like everything became hectic and minds were lost. The car park was in a frenzy as everyone wanted to get home. People who took public transportation were in a jam. We were informed of closure on the beltway and most of the roads going towards downtown Washington D.C.

“I was on my way to wok, and i was scared…naturally,” [sic] said Kulechi Upkabi who works in the bookstore right here at the College. There was definitely mixed feelings and reactions as people were sort of in denial and a certain feeling of hopelessness and anger crept in. Classes had been disrupted and what was to follow, nobody had a clue.

“They’ve closed all the roads to my house, so I will just sit here and wait and see what happens. In fact I was planning to go to New York this weekend to see my folks. I just don’t know what’s going to happen,” explained a worried and anxious student.

The continuation of the original article

A student who was evidently disgusted and frustrated with what happened said he was not worried because the culprits behind this terror would be brought to justice in no matter of time.

Student Sure Corle shadowed her six-year-old son, Tyler, to school on Tuesday morning after the planes flew into the World Trade Center in New York City. She watched from her car as Tyler, his friend and that friend’s mother walked to Barnsley Elementary School in Rockville.

“People were stopping in their cars, yelling,” about the attacks, Corle said. She wanted to make sure Tyler arrived at the school safely and without hearing about the attack. She sad she would have taken Tyler home for the day if someone had stopped and called to the mother who walked with Tyler. At the time of the interview, she wondered in Tyler’s school was closed and were the children okay.

“I just don’t want them to be scared,” she said.

Corle, 34, a psychology major, said, “I want to catch [serial killer] Jeffrey Dahmer types” adding, “I’m very interested by this [bombing]….What kind of mentality does it take? What kind of a culture?” she asked. “How do we get back from this?”

She thinks the timing of the two planes was done on purpose, that the attacks were timed so that the television cameras would be tracking the first attack while the second one happened.

“These people, they wanted us to watch that.”

Matthew Bauer said his heart started pounding and he had a massive headache on the way to an interview at about 8:55 a.m. Tuesday.

“Next thing I know, a plane crashed into the World Trade Center,” he said. He thought, “the first plane might have been an accident, but the second plane, no way,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to be as extensive as it was.”

Hearing and watching this has pushed him toward military service. “Serious consideration of going into the army now,” Bauer said. The 20 year old is not currently enrolled in classes at MC in order to work to pay bills.

However, the music therapy major who wore a guitar on his back said, “I’m not going to take this lying down.”