Sixteen years ago the two planes crashed into the World Trade Center. Associate professor of communication studies Dr. Katherine Denker and acting chairperson of the Department of English
Cathy Day remember very well. Samantha Brammer, DN File
Ball State students gather under Shafer Tower in remembrance of 9/11
Monday marked the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
At 9 a.m., students gathered under Shafer Tower on McKinley Avenue to pay tribute to the victims who lost their lives. The bells tolled continuously from 9:00 to 9:10.
For senior integrated studies major Kami Kleefisch, attending the tribute was a call to God.
"Actually, just yesterday, I had remembered that every year they do the bells from 9:00 to 9:10 a.m., and I felt called by the Lord, that I needed to come out here and pray over those lives and those families," Kleefisch said. "I wasn’t really sure anything more than that, so I called in my prayer warriors."
Kleefisch was in awe at how their message brought peace to the event.
"When we got here today, there was this sense of so much hurt and heaviness and pain on the hearts of many, so we just prayed to heal that and to spread this peace around," Kleefisch said. "Obviously, that prayer just developed and it encompassed us and that was really amazing."
Similar to Kleefisch, campus director for Oasis Campus Ministry, Austin Kreps, was drawn to the event through prayer.
"I'm here because prayer can seem like a very simple thing but powerful. From history, you see small groups of people praying and things were transformed in communities and I believe in the power of prayer," Kreps said. "It's a time to bring people together: race, religion, gender, no matter what."
For Kreps, it was a normal school day in Muncie when the Towers were attacked.
"I was in fourth grade, 10 or 11 years old. We were in the middle of a gym class and we stopped it and went back to our classroom," Kreps said. "Our teacher turned on the TV and said 'Something horrible has happened.' There was confusion, we didn't know exactly. We just knew a plane had it one of the Twin Towers and I remember it like it was yesterday."
Former U.S. Navy member, freshman political science major Geoffrey McAdams remembers very little from that day, so he relies on historical records of it to remember.
"I had just turned four years old so I don't have a vivid memory of it, but every year they play it on documentaries, videos and things of that nature. It's unfortunate to forget such a thing. Even though it's not in my memory, it's in several others," McAdams said. "It's something that's never going to go away, as it shouldn't."
McAdams attended the memorial to honor those who lost their lives.
"I'm here to honor those that lost their lives on Sep. 11, 2001, which is something I firmly believe in as far as making sure they they're not ever forgotten," McAdams said. "The way that they lost their lives, they got cut off way too soon and they shouldn't have. It's a mixture of emotions, anger and sadness."
Dr. Robert Willey, associate professor of music media production and industry, is the caretaker of Shafter Tower and rings the bells in memoriam of those who died in the attacks.
"Each year they [the university] ask me to come and go from 9:00 to 9:10 a.m. and play every ten seconds to ring the bells,” Willey said. “It makes me remember when I was home at that time with my baby son, and we were watching TV and they cut away to a picture of the tower on fire, and then shortly after the second plane flew into the tower."
The day was especially significant for Dr. Willey, who was in New York when the attacks happened.
"I was teaching in New York when it happened and many of my students had family and friends who were there,” Dr. Willey said. “I was in shock and sadness, more for my students who were worried about their families and were directly affected. They closed the school and I will always remember that terrible time."