Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Remembering 9/11

On Sept. 11, 2001, University of Wisconsin senior Richard Dovere got on the 4 train on 86th Street in New York City, running late on the first full week of school.

Dovere said he arrived at school just as the first tower was hit.

"No one really understood what was going on," Dovere said. "No one had taken it seriously."


In the weeks prior, Dovere said someone had parachuted onto the Statue of Liberty, so when his class heard a plane crashed into the World Trade Center everyone believed it was an equally "moronic Cessna pilot."

However, Dovere said they soon realized this was not the case when everyone inside the school was moved to the dance studio and told to sit and wait.

Soon after, Dovere said they moved everyone again into the gym, before telling students they could go home.

Dovere, in a car with a friend's mom, began his trip out to Brooklyn on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway by the time one of the towers had already fallen.

"We watched in shock as the second tower collapsed," Dovere said. "There is really nothing more that can be said about watching that building fall. It was there, and then it was not."

Six years later on the anniversary of this tragedy, Dovere, who now lives in Wisconsin, said the normalcy that existed before 9/ 11 has once again been restored, yet the memory of the day lives on.

"Memories of that day and of the World Trade Center become increasingly salient when you look at New York," Dovere said. "But [the memories] become increasingly bearable when you realize the resolve and desire that New Yorkers just do not give up their lives."

Like Dovere, many members of the UW community recognize and honor the significance of this day.

UW senior Suchita Shah, vice chair of the College Democrats, said today's anniversary is not only symbolic of the attacks and those who died in them, but also of how it was a turning point for our society.

"We can't separate the memories of that day from how it has affected our lives, others' lives, foreign policy and domestic policy," Shah said. "A single day, the anniversary, isn't the only time we remember this — we are faced with these shifts in attitudes and changes in policy in almost everything we do."

Despite the fact that UW draws its students predominantly from the Midwest, Shah said Sept. 11 has different connotations to each person. Regardless, she said all the recollections will be layered with emotion, either about the day itself or the policies that have resulted from it.

"When you remember those that died in the attacks, also remember the innocent Muslim families throughout America that are being unjustly discriminated against because of their religion," Shah said. "When you feel national pride, also remember that democracy is something that people are dying for — not just our soldiers, but others throughout the world, from Burma to Iran."

Shah also said she realizes freedom for U.S. citizens is something that needs protection.

"When you appreciate your freedom, remember that human rights are being curtailed right here in the U.S.," Shah said, "equality for gays, the rights of women to their own bodies, decent health and education for all children."

According to UW junior Sara Mikolajczak, chair of the UW College Republicans, the purpose of today is a remembrance — for both Democrats and Republicans — and to memorialize the lives lost.

"I think we don't feel as emotionally connected as a lot of us should," Mikolajczak said. "A lot of people choose to disregard it because it happened six years ago. … It was an attack on the country as a whole, not just something that happened in a field in Pennsylvania, or in New York or D.C."

UW Dean of Students Lori Berquam agreed this day has strong significance for students on this campus.

"Events of 9/11 can trigger different things in different people," Berquam said. "Students should reach out if there is something that is needed and just be good friends."

Berquam urged students to come out and attend the events today, which include an invocation ceremony conducted by Father Eric Nielsen from St. Paul's Church at 5:45 p.m. on Bascom Hill, followed by a discussion on the topic of Sept. 11 led by Lt. Col. Krenson, the United States Liaison to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Two minor corrections were made to this story on Sept. 11, 2007.

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