When terrorists attacked the United States six years ago on Sept. 11, current CSU students were doing any number of things.
Some were in middle school and watching the news unfold before their eyes. Others were in high school or sitting at home with family.
Although each story is different, one thing remains the same: students can clearly recall what they were doing when they learned of the sad news, and they can remember how it felt to be an American on that day.
Isra’a Blegasem’s life changed dramatically after the towers fell. Blegasem is a Muslim, and after the attack people were not very tolerant of her religion, she said
“My family felt really sad and really scared (after the attacks),” Blegasem said. They were scared because the terrorists were Muslim.
Blegasem, who is a senior psychology and human development major, realized that people were going to start looking at her and her family differently.
“My parents had to make sure my sister and I were home at a certain time,” Blegasem said of the precautions her family made.
It was harder to wear her scarf out in public after the attacks, she said. Some women started wearing hats instead of scarves because they were being harassed.
Travis Fry, a sophomore nutrition and food science, was in middle school and remembers watching the news.
In his classes, he watched the footage of people falling from buildings and police and firefighters rushing into the burning towers, he said.
“I had friends who had family there. They were pretty shaken up about it,” said Fry.
For Erin Ramsay, a junior exercise science major, the day was a sad one.
“People didn’t know what to say or how to react to it,” Ramsay said.
Fortunately, she didn’t know anyone affected directly by the attacks.
Heather Winner was working at the public radio station KUNC when the towers were hit.
“I got to hear about things well before it was on TV,” said Winner, a graduate student studying student affairs in higher education.
Along with the rest of the team at KUNC, Winner had to decide whether to cancel regular programming to air news alerts about the attacks.
Since the attacks Blegasem has seen an increase in people’s knowledge about the Muslim lifestyle, she said.
“A lot of people became educated about Muslims,” she said.
It is important for people to realize that, although Blegasem is Muslim, they live in the U.S. and are part of this nation, she said.
“We are all Americans,” Blegasem said. “We are also very scared.”
Staff reporter Anica Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org