It is hard to believe that 10 years have already elapsed since September 11, 2001. While most look back over what may seem to be a short time span, for us as students this past decade has encapsulated roughly half of our lives. The attacks on the World Trade Center marked a pivotal moment in our childhoods; as the towers tumbled down, no adult could assure us that it would all be fine. Nobody could deny that history had been forever changed. September 11 redefined the world in which we grew up, the world that we all continue trying to navigate.
We hope you will take some time to reflect on this momentous day and how it has affected your life. To help you do so, The Daily Californian staff has compiled special coverage to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks. We have stories on events the campus organized for the anniversary, along with footage of UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s own reflection on the day and its impact. We take a look at how film, literature and architecture produced cultural responses to this catastrophe. We tell the story of an athlete within our own community who proved himself a hero and whose mother keeps his memory alive. We hope this coverage helps students and the Berkeley community reflect on the past decade and how a single day continues to influence the world as we know it.
Tomer Ovadia Leslie Toy
Editor in Chief and President Managing Editor
Click here for a collection of articles that The Daily Californian printed in its September 12, 2001 issue.
We hope this will illustrate and convey the atmosphere among the UC Berkeley community immediately following the attacks.
September 11, 2001: UC Berkeley Remembers
College Newspaper Headlines from Sept. 11, 2001
Ten years ago, Mark Bingham helped bring down a hijacked flight. Today, his mother continues to preserve his memory.
Esteban Silva, a UC Berkeley graduate, reflects on 9/11 and how he escaped the burning towers 10 years agoBy Soumya Karlamangla
As the nation moved on, the 9/11 attacks may have faded from the foreground, but for Esteban Silva, fiery images are still burning in his mind.
His initial memories from that day are as vivid as the sky that morning — the sky that so many have said was eerily clear.
Outside his office, he noticed papers falling from the sky. Seconds later, more rushed past the window, but now the debris — flying through the cloudless blue — was on fire.
These are memories from the moment Silva, standing on the 61st floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower, realized something was amiss. They are memories of a country’s loss, memories of a day burdened with tragedy, memories he cannot escape.
“It was just timing,” he says plainly. “That’s where I was at.”
“It’s not that we felt invulnerable, whether it was in the United States or Canada, but we couldn’t imagine this happening, and it was really I think an important wake-up call for the entire western world that we don’t live completely separated from other worlds who may view us very differently than we view ourselves.”– UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau
By Jason McGill, a U.S. Army veteran and senior at UC Berkeley.
I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the September 11 attacks occurred, just like every other American. I was sleeping on a couch and woke up early for no reason at all. I turned on the television and started to watch the news, since that was the only program on that early in the morning. Soon news broke about the attack. I sat there for hours absorbing the tragedy that was unfolding in front of me. I was horrified.
By Baruch Nutovic, a junior at UC Berkeley.
Our school normally sent us home on buses. But on that day, the administration could not assume that we still had parents. We were kept waiting in the assembly room for hours while they contacted our parents, one at a time, asking them to pick us up.
I remember Sept. 11 vividly. Most of my childhood was spent in the New Jersey suburbs a commute away from Manhattan. It was the start of my fifth grade year. After a long summer break, I was getting accustomed to school again. At the school I attended, the vast majority of the children had parents who worked in the city.
The long hours I spent in the assembly room were some of the most traumatic in my life.
By Bobby Saxton, President of Students for Liberty at UC Berkeley.
So, on this anniversary of 9/11, in addition to remembering all those who died on that tragic day, we should also remember to step back and consider the tragedy’s perilous policy repercussions that have unfolded over the last decade. Indeed, we as college students should be particularly mindful, as these policies are more real and threatening to us than any other generation. We are the ones being forced to give up our civil liberties and constitutionally protected rights. We are the ones being asked to fight and die in these endless wars and to bear the fiscal and existential threats in which they result. Thus it is imperative that we, especially here at UC Berkeley, stand up and act to help change the course of our country. We must fight to elect leaders who understand the critical importance of peace and liberty and who will make these values a reality. Only through understanding these issues and making our voices heard can our generation ensure for ourselves a truly free, safe and prosperous future.
By Chasel Lee, the events director for the Cal Berkeley Democrats, and Tom Hughes, the political director for the Cal Berkeley Democrats
As we approach the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we as young people and as students should continue to actively promote an ethos of unity while evaluating the policies and events of the past decade. For those of us who have spent half of our lives or more in the post-9/11 era, it is especially vital that as we seek security at home and abroad, we continue to hold true to the deeply held values of unity, liberty and acceptance that define our nation.
New York City filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee crafted vivid tributes to a wounded metropolis
By David Liu
By Ryan Lattanzio
In literary terms, September 11 no doubt reshaped the way we consider the trauma narrative. The turn-of-the-century tragedy, and the millennium itself, announced not just the boom of postmodernism, but also a question to be answered: Where do we go from here?
By Jawid Qadir and Sara Hayden
Dramatizations of defining moments in history are nothing new for movies, or any other artistic medium for that matter. World War II and Vietnam films belong to their own subgenres of war movies, while a typical period piece always has the need to wink at viewers by cleverly referencing real life events.
But even after ten years, a “9/11 genre” has yet to make a major impact on the film scene. Sure there have been a few movies that have tackled the topic head on, namely Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center” and Paul Greengrass’s “United 93,” but neither film saw the level of devotion given to Steven Spielberg’s epic “Saving Private Ryan” or Stone’s critically and commercially acclaimed take on Vietnam, “Platoon.”
By Sara Hayden
Loss creates a void — a physical and emotional space that needs to be filled. In the case of the September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 attacks, the void is particularly severe as it affects families, a nation and the lot once occupied by the World Trade Center. Architect Michael Arad took it upon himself to fill the latter with a memorial that preserves the memory of the 3,000 people who lost their lives in these tragedies.
By True Shields
As part of a project called Operation RAILSAFE, Bay Area Rapid Transit is increasing its security presence at its stations and parking lots in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
The operation — which is designed to coordinate deployments of law enforcement officers from Contra Costa, Alameda and San Francisco counties — began Thursday and will continue through Monday.
The first Operation RAILSAFE took place across eight states and 22 transportation agencies on May 27, 2010, and was an effort to coordinate personnel to aid the agencies during emergency or heightened alerts.
By Jasmine Mausner
UC Berkeley senior Osaama Saifi jokes, “Being named Osaama, I have a connection to 9/11.” But although Saifi takes the link lightly, he said he has been perceived differently as a Muslim in America since 9/11.
Saifi is a youth leader for the San Francisco chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, and as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 rapidly approaches, he and other Muslim students around UC Berkeley — and around the world — are taking part in the organization’s initiative Muslims for Life to help restore a peaceful image of the Muslim faith.