KSC community commemorates 9/11

Kaitlyn Coogan

Equinox Staff


Sept. 11, 2001 was a Tuesday and like every Tuesday people went to work and went to school until tragedy struck; a tragedy that shakes the lives of people still today.

The events of 9/11 brought people to their knees in prayer and confusion; not understanding what just happened and why. People who once walked the hallways of the Twin Towers lost their lives that day and now live in the memories of their loved one.

It has been ten years since that frightful day and the events still feel just as raw.

9-TEN-11, a KSC project, hosted a commemoration in the Mabel Brown Room consisting of remembrances from students, alumni, veterans, and community members as well as a dance and a reading of a children’s book. 9-TEN-11 provided a place for students to discuss their experiences with the events of 9/11 and, with the support of faculty and staff members, to share their reflections.

Students, faculty, and community members walked into the Mabel Brown Room to the soft sound of music. As they found their seats, the introduction started.

Dancers Riley Ahern, Richard Ouellette, and Adam J. Berube walked on stage and took their positions. The dance, The Architects, is an excerpt from Buildings choreographed by Marcia Murdock and Distinguished Teacher of the Year, William Seigh and was performed to World to Come I by David Lang.

The dance started with slow movements but soon turned into fast steps resembling the chaos of the day. As the dance began to come to an end, the movements became slower, expressing the somber feeling people felt when the day was done. At least that is how freshman Natalie Riddel saw it.

The dance was followed by a reflection from KSC President Helen Giles-Gee. She explained that people need to understand the tragedy, especially those who were very young or not even born yet when 9/11 happened. She described that 9/11 has changed the way people feel about being safe. Security was a big issue after 9/11 and still today people worry about the safety of the nation.

In remembrance of the nearly 3,000 lives lost that day, Giles-Gee hosted a moment of silence during her speech.

Journalism professor Rose Kundanis and education professor Nancy Lory explained the 9-TEN-11 project and its mission “to capture the impact of 9/11 on the generation of students who are now in our midst.” Kundanis expressed the realization that ten years from now people will not remember Sept. 11, 2001 the way people today do.

A reflection from KSC student Kristy Mastropietro expressed how she felt that day. “Everyone was at a loss of words…I feared what was coming next…Fear forever remains,” she said. She remembers fearing that her house would be next, that it could have easily been her hometown that perished.

After Mastropietro’s recollection, David White took the podium. He looked over 11 children books that took the 9/11 events and explained them to children in a way that they may understand.

White chose a story titled September Roses, written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter. This book described two sisters who grew roses and were preparing for a rose show in New York City. They hopped on a flight, but when they got to the airport they were not allowed to leave because something bad had happened. They stayed the night in the airport. One man came up to them and said they could stay with him. The women looked at the man with appreciation and said that he could have the roses. The man said there was a perfect place for those roses. He brought them to Ground Zero where people were crying. The girls took their nearly 3,000 roses and laid them in the formation of the Twin Towers; their tears fell on the roses.

The illustrations were of vibrant colors until the women were stuck in the airport: those colors were black and white. The vibrant colors soon appeared again when they made the rose Twin Towers. “I like the simplicity of this one,” said White.

Reflections from Nicholette Burns, KSC Alumna, and Antonino Hunter, KSC student and veteran, came up next on the agenda. Hunter was already deciding to enlist in the military but as the events of that day unfolded in front of him; he saw a greater need to join.

Burns remembers being in class and walking out with two friends to find chaos taking over the school. People were running everywhere and one friend of Burns came up to her, pale in the face, and said that a plane had hit the Twin Towers. Burns and her friends ran back to their apartment to find her roommates crying and sitting in front of the television.

“[I felt] panic then closely followed by fear. It was a different type of vulnerability no one has ever felt before,” said Burns.

Counselor Brenda Esperanza gave the closing speech and thanked the people who reflected on their memories, the dancers for putting such a horrible event that cannot be described with words into dance, and thanked the reader for trying to “explain such an unexplainable event.”

Esperanza noted that people may be feeling afraid about the security of the U.S., or sad about the thousands that died that day, or maybe relief that no one they loved was in the area at the time but that if anybody needed to talk, there were counselors available.

“It’s hard to conceive that future generations will only be reading it in textbooks but it is also a good thing. I hope my kids whether they are 10 or 24-years-old won’t have to deal with something like this,” Burns said.


Kaitlyn Coogan can be contacted at kcoogan@ksc.mailcruiser.com.


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