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Students and faculty reflect on tragedy

Published: Friday, September 23, 2011

Updated: Friday, September 23, 2011 15:09

CSM students and staff reflect on the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, the effects of which are still evident 10 years later.

"I woke up in the morning. I went downstairs and my family was watching the news, and my dad just told me ‘watch what's happening because it's important,'" said Middle College student Ani Chechopoulos, 16. "I was in first grade."

Others, such as student Andrew Lau, 19, remember 9/11 through footage. "It was pretty disturbing watching the planes crashing into the (twin) towers and people jumping out because they would replay the scenes," said Lau.

"It's disappointing how people can't get along," said student Jorge Romero, 19. "Violence isn't going to solve any problems."

Many students remember 9/11 through civil servants such as the firefighters who fought that day, hundreds of whom lost their lives. "Those (firefighters) are my brothers and sisters," said student Shawn Green, 21, a fire technology major. "We're all one big family."

The losses America suffered that day proved to have far reaching consequences."(The events of 9/11) made the future very bleak because my generation and the generations to come will be paying for this," said Gerson Benavides, 23.

The invasion of Afghanistan, which was the U.S. government's official response to the attacks, has been a great source of controversy since it began in October of 2001.

"I think it's time to start bringing (the troops) back," said Lau, "Really, what was the purpose of the war in Iraq? I don't believe in killing and violence, but I honor the men and women overseas for risking their lives for our safety."

In the years following 9/11, the rationale behind the attacks has continued to be explored.

"In the 10 years that have passed it's become apparent that many Americans still have difficulty distinguishing among the varieties of Islam and their practitioners from those few who in the name of Islam have terrorized and are intent to continue to terrorize westerners, including Americans," said history Professor James Robertson. "Our military responses abroad have made painfully clear that the sacrifices of war are no longer borne equally but reinforce class divisions in America and, further, that continued support for American service personnel in body, mind and spirit will be the moral obligation of future generations."

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