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WMU remembers Sept. 11, 2001

WMU honors the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States with 10 stories of remembrance: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

We all remember where we were

by Thom Myers

Sept. 4, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of flag lowered at Western Michigan University Sept 11 2001.
Noon Sept. 11, 2001
Western Michigan University
At noon Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, all classes and public events at Western Michigan University were canceled, and all University offices were closed in response to terrorist attacks on the United States two hours earlier.

Classes resumed and offices opened the following day, but all public events, including all varsity sports, were suspended through Sunday, Sept. 16.

Two vigils were held in Kanley Chapel. The first was held on the evening of the terrorist attacks. A second was held at noon Friday, Sept. 14, as part of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. Counselors from campus ministry and the counseling center, as well as staff from student affairs, were present to meet with students, faculty and staff.

Photo of National Day of Remembrance at Western Michigan University Sept 14 2001.
Sept. 14, 2001
Kanley Chapel
By 10:40 a.m. Sept. 11, all WMU aircraft from the College of Aviation were accounted for and were on the ground—some at airports across the state, as student fliers curtailed cross-country flights and responded to the Federal Aviation Administration closing of U.S. air space by landing at the nearest airport. WMU planes remained grounded for two weeks.

As one of the nation's top pilot training centers, WMU's College of Aviation was investigated by the FBI and was briefly the focus of national media coverage Sept. 12 as people learned that the terrorists had trained at U.S. flight schools.

WMU's football game at the University of Michigan, scheduled for Sept. 15, was rescheduled with considerable difficulty for the following week. It proved to be one of the more reaffirming events of a tragic month for the nation and University.

News of those who died in the attacks was slow in coming, especially from the rubble in New York, but by the end of the month, we knew a Western Michigan University graduate and the brother of a student had both been killed—one in the attack on the World Trade Center, and the other in the attack on Washington, D.C.

At the end of September 2001, WMU joined dozens of other colleges and sent a truck loaded with classroom furniture to New York City to assist the Burrough of Manhattan Community College. Located next to the World Trade Center, much of BMCC was destroyed when the twin towers collapsed.

One year after the terrorist attacks, WMU dedicated an employee memorial in Goldsworth Valley, funded by contributions from local businesses and every employee group at the University. More than 3,000 alumni, students, faculty and staff participated in events to mark the first anniversary of 9/11.

WMU honors the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States with 10 stories of remembrance: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10