Looking Back: National Tragedy

On Sept. 14th, 2001, the consensus below was published in the Technique in response to the tragedy of 9/11. The entire issue may be found here. It seemed appropriate to show the previous Editorial Board’s immediate reaction to the tragedy next to the current opinion, ten years later. Their shock is evident, but their call to remember those who were lost while forging ahead with life displays the same level-headed determination that should guide efforts to make the post-9/11 world a better place.

Due to the national emergency, Tech closed its doors to students and faculty at noon on Tuesday. Instead of attending classes, students banded together to pray for the victims and support each other and the community. In the aftermath on Wednesday, students returned to classes and attempted to go on with their daily lives, yet students’ thoughts continued to linger on the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The decision to cancel classes Tuesday was thoughtful and sympathetic. While there was no apparent danger for Tech or the Atlanta area, everyone on campus was shocked by the tragedy and needed to be with family and friends. Most students could not concentrate on their studies, which seemed trivial in comparison with the crisis in New York and Washington, D.C. Atlanta businesses also responded, sending many co-op students and other employees home during mid-day. Many students used this day off to travel home to see their families or watch the news with friends.

Although the events were virtually paralyzing, many students sprang into action. Blood drives were organized around Atlanta, and the MOVE Office organized buses to transport students to and from the various locations. Also, a group of students organized a vigil at the Campanile on Tuesday night.

Atlanta, as well as the rest of the country, was overwhelmed with support and prayer for the victims of this tragic event. The contributions of the Tech community illustrate that our generation is not apathetic, but rather sympathetic and proud of our country.

On Wednesday, people returned to school and work, in an effort to return to our daily lives, as President Bush recommended. Resuming our regular schedules was a good way to divert our attention from the 24-hour coverage of the tragedy at the World Trade Center, although most people in the country remained tuned to their radios and television for updates. Also, being surrounded by fellow students and co-workers was comforting.

As a result of the attack, many sporting events around the country were cancelled. The ACC cancelled all conference games, which includes the much anticipated Tech vs. FSU game on Saturday. While the ACC had good intentions when cancelling the games, they are diverting people from their normal routines. Football games are a time for friends and family to gather together and have a good time, sharing a national pastime. A game would certainly be a welcome distraction from the aftermath of Tuesday, as well as a show of our strength and patriotism. Bush wants Americans to continue with their lives, which do not only include work, but also outside activities such as football games.

Although this is a tragic event – likely the most tragic since we have been alive – it has pulled together the citizens of the United States to defend the freedoms which we fought for over 200 years ago. We as a community need to continue to respond with our support and other positive actions, but we should also not bring our lives to a halt.

Our condolences are with the victims and their families, especially those in the Tech community who have been affected by this tragedy. We hope the continuing search will bring peace to this situation and to the hearts of all Americans.


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