TWU student veterans remember the 9/11 attacks
Sept. 3, 2021 — DENTON — Each year, members of TWU’s Student Veteran Association place flags near Brackenridge Hall along Administration Drive to mark the anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, but this year’s 20th anniversary event holds special significance.
Like the fall of the Berlin Wall or the disaster of the Space Shuttle Challenger, people remember where they were when they first heard the news that airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Many watched their televisions in horror and disbelief as the twin towers collapsed, changing the New York skyline and the United States forever.
Keeping that memory alive takes on special significance when the majority of TWU’s first year students were not living at the time the United States was attacked. Even some members of TWU’s SVA were very young, and while memories of the event may not be easily recalled, the significance of the attacks cannot be overstated.
Jennifer Shealey, a member of TWU’s SVA and a Navy reservist said she was in kindergarten when the towers fell in 2001 and had no idea what happened, but the event impacted her life in ways that are often immeasurable. When she joined the armed forces, she says she became part of a family--one that is approximately 7% of the U.S. population--and that takes on special meaning on Sept. 11.
“Fast forward to my time in the service, the memory of Sept. 11 is a reminder to never slack off, to train with purpose and to be prepared to fight for my family,” she said.
Several members of TWU’s Student Veteran Association remember the attacks, but this year, they are also mindful of the recent loss of the 13 service members--their family and brothers in arms--who were killed in the Aug. 26 attack at the airport in Kabul.
Alex Pritchett, a former Marine and TWU’s Student Veteran Association president, reflects on both tragedies:
“Despite it being the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, it feels like yesterday to many of the veterans on campus at TWU. It was the event and the effects of that day that caused many of us to join the military and serve our country. As always, we would like to honor those that lost their lives in the attacks on Sept. 11. We also believe that it is also important to remember and honor those that lost their lives because of the attacks on Sept. 11, especially this year due to the events that transpired this past week. We will never forget you.”
In addition to the small flags placed on the TWU grounds, SVA also plans to place 13 larger flags to commemorate the lives lost Aug. 26. The flags will be on display Sept. 7-17.
Page last updated 12:55 PM, September 8, 2021