Editor’s Note: St. John’s Remembers Sept. 11


Aerial view of Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The Manhattan campus is a few blocks away.

On Sept. 11, 2001, St. John’s lost 108 alumni in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Out of the 2,973 people who lost their lives that day, at least 3.6 percent of them were members from the University community.

Twelve years later, for many the pain and memories are still very raw. The images of that horrific day are engrained in their minds.

The next few pages of this edition of the Torch are a collection of stories–from a student, a professor, an administrator and a faculty member. They will recount, remember, grieve and memorialize those lost. These stories are just a glimpse of what they witnessed on Sept. 11.

I grew up in upstate N.Y. a little outside of Albany. While close to the city, I was not close enough to feel the real tragedies of that day. I chose St. John’s for many reasons, but one of the main reasons was its proximity to the greatest city in the world–New York. Like most of you, I remember seeing the images on TV. I remember hearing about the horrors of that day and about the heroes. I remember watching as New York City rebuilt and recovered, but never forgot.

As this Sept. 11 anniversary approached, I  couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like to be at St. John’s that day–or to have been in the city at all.

I am now a senior. I was in the fourth grade during the attacks and I remember it like it was yesterday. However, many freshmen were just first graders. And a few years from now, the students at this University will have no memory of Sept. 11, 2001 at all.

I wanted to do this section to not only share the stories of those who were there, but to remember. To remember those images, those experiences and those lives lost. The lives sacrificied, the heroes, the St. John’s faculty who stepped up on that day and the students who walked fom Manhattan to Queens. The students who showed strength during the scariest day of their lives.

We go to an amazing University in the best city in the world. It is important to remember our history. And to realize, even if we do not have memories from that day, for many faculty members at St. John’s and for alumni, it was the worst day of their lives.

For those who took the time to share your stories with me, thank you. I will never forget. And I will think of you on every Sept. 11 for the rest of my life.

I hope the collection of stories is also a reminder for you– St. John’s will always remember.