This project began in late 2019 with a few basic observations:
- The twentieth anniversary will be an important occasion for both personal memories and professional assessments.
- 9/11 and subsequent responses changed our world, and many can remember exactly where they were when they heard about the first planes.
- Almost twenty years later, many remember in precise detail that Tuesday’s clear blue sky, the look on someone’s face, or the anguish of uncertainty.
- But unless they are veterans or non-traditional students, today’s incoming college freshmen have no personal memories of the 9/11 attacks.
- Alumni, faculty, and staff of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University were on the front lines on 9/11 and were leaders in responding to the hijackings.
- More broadly, members of the Embry-Riddle community found themselves restoring aviation, serving in military action, and developing new counter-terrorism strategies.
- Together, these men and women have the ability to tell the story of 9/11 in all its complexity and drama better than any other community in the world.
- Indeed, every member of our community has a meaningful story to tell about 9/11, either a direct memory of events or an experience of learning about the attacks as a child.
- Such stories of anguish, compassion, struggle, professionalism, improvisation, and leadership need to be told – and they need to be recorded so that current and future generations and learn how to respond to the crises they will face.
Hence, the 9/11 Research and Remembrance Project.
We respect the many times people suddenly paused when telling the stories presented here, those times when the memories became too powerful, the loss too real, or the gratitude too deep.
* * *In the two videos here, project members – a staff member and a student – share why their work has been so meaningful.
Bill Thompson, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Kirsten Bauernschmidt, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University