Hudson Valley Students Reflect On Pain of September 11th

Ashley Elston

Staff Writer

“It means a day of remembrance, a sad day. A time to reflect and a time that the world kind of stopped,” said Louis Coplin, Director of Student Life.

This Sep. 11 marked the 13th anniversary of one of the largest terrorist attacks to occur in the United States. Hudson Valley began a 9/11 memorial service around noon, organized and moderated by Coplin.

“We had a little black and white television in, what was considered the student senates work space. Someone said ‘oh wow an airplane just crashed into one of the towers.’ I remember running to the television,” said Coplin.

“I have a close friend whose son perished in the accident and I have a cousin who worked in one of the towers and luckily escaped that tragedy.” Coplin continued, “After the first plane crashed into the building he immediately started to evacuate. By the time he got to the ground level he started to run and then the second plane crashed. He looked up and saw peoples bodies jumping out buildings, bodies falling all over the place.”

Although many Hudson Valley students were in elementary school when the attacks occurred, 13 years later, they still carry vivid memories and experiences of Sep. 11.

“I saw it right outside my window,” said Sahfa Said, Dental Hygiene major, “I remember my mom telling me ‘dont look’ I was only five years old at the time. We rushed to the basement.”

Said’s family resided in New York City at the time of the event. They were in the basement before the second plane hit.

She added, “I don’t know exactly what it means to me, but it just reminds me of my childhood and that scary moment. I’m Muslim and people would say ‘Oh you’re a terrorist’. I was just a kid. I was so scared.”

Hudson Valley is home to many veterans or family to veterans. “I was landscaping for 3 weeks, and we were hearing it on the radio. And I said ‘I got to go, I think we’re going to war,” said Kevin Miller, a Mortuary Science major, who was 19 at the time,  “I was right up the street from my unit so I drove to my unit and one of my buddies was outside the gate telling me to go get my stuff.”

Miller added, “If you really look at it, [war] affects everybody not just the soldier, it affects the soldiers family. For people to sit there and not pay any mind to that or not give military credit for what they do is ignorance.”

Miller was deployed to New York after the attacks for security reinforcement. Later, he went overseas, where he lost his leg.

Carrie Farley, lost her son, Staff Sergeant Derek J. Farley in Afghanistan four years ago. “I’m very proud of my son,” said Farley.

The Staff Sergeant was killed while disarming a roadside bomb. Farley now works as a Program Assistant for the Dean of Liberal Arts and Health Sciences and advises the Armed Forces Club.

Although for many students 9/11 is now just another day of commemoration, many people on campus who lost loved ones that day or in the aftermath are trapped in 9/11 for the rest of their lives.

It is reported that 2,996 people died on Sep. 11 including 125 at the Pentagon, 2,606 in New York City, and 246 onboard four hijacked planes.


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