September 25, 2020

Capital Professors Reflect on September 11th

Three Capital professors reflect on September 11th, 2001, a day that the United States of America will remember forever. 

Four different passenger planes went down across the country: one landed in a field in Pennsylvania, one struck the Pentagon, and two destroyed the World Trade Center as acts of terrorism. 

This tragedy has resulted in countless changes to national security, including but not limited to taking your shoes off at the airport, extensive pat-downs, and a ban on liquid bottles. 

The emotional toll of the attacks was extremely high, whether it was experienced in-person, on television, or even on the radio.

Photo of the 9/11 Memorial by Brian Kyed on Unsplash.

There are a few professors who were at Capital on the day of the attacks and are still teaching at Capital today. 

Dr. Steve Bruning, professor of public relations and marketing, was one of the professors of whom was on campus that day. He describes the feel of campus in that moment.

“That emotional fear was more often than not in the form of shock and horror, however, it seems that most of the scars from that terrible day have healed to a great extent. The general atmosphere on campus before the attacks seemed to be rather similar to how it is on campuses across the country today,” Bruning says. 

Capital’s campus the morning of September 11th, 2001 was normal as usual. It was not until Dr. Andrea Karkowski, professor of psychology and assistant provost, noticed the atmosphere in the hallway changed, that something just wasn’t right. When she found out about the attacks, her response was led with disbelief and then horror. 

Courtesy of Dr. Andrea Karkowski

Karkowski mentions some of the ongoings that happened later that day. 

“Classes were canceled for the rest of the day. People were watching the news in their offices and in classrooms with others – I think people wanted to know that they weren’t alone…religious life offered services and support for the community,” Karkowski says. 

Dr. Lois Foreman-Wernet, the Chair of the Department of Communications and professor of communications described the moment she found out about the attacks while working from home that morning.

Courtesy of Dr. Lois Foreman-Wernet

“I dropped what I was doing and went to watch the news coverage from there…I was glued to the TV until bedtime – along with everyone else in the country”, she says. 

The day following the attack, Capital students spent most of the time in their classrooms discussing the events that had happened, along with discussing their personal experiences and opinions.  

While the scars from one of the worst days in American history have mostly healed, that day will never be forgotten. 

  • Josh Conturo is a reporter for the Chimes and a sophomore studying emerging media with an emphasis on journalism, and loves all things related to cars, coffee, and comedy.

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