Ten years ago the regular hum of busy campus life came to a standstill. Lesson plans were put on hold as students, staff and faculty crowded around television sets to witness history.
The World Trade Center fell to terrorist attacks on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Ten years later, students and faculty remember where they were on campus that day.
Dr. Jeanene Reese was in the campus center mailing letters when she got news of the attacks.
“I looked up and saw the airplane hit the first tower, and then I thought, ‘What is that,'” Reese said. “It was so perplexing. Then I saw the second one coming.”
After calling her husband on the phone from the information desk in the campus center, Reese continued on to the rest of that day’s classes.
“We met with our students that afternoon in our afternoon classes, and it was, as everybody experienced, a horrible day, trying to make since of something so sinful,” Reese said.
On the other side of campus, Jaclyn Woolf, then aÂ junior political science major, was sitting in her 9:30 class when her class caught news.
“We just sat in class the whole time and watched footage of the towers,” Woolf said. “In fact, we watched the second tower fall live. It was pretty horrifying.”
Woolf, now an instructor of political science,Â said the mood on campus that dayÂ was extremely solemn.
“Every class I went to, people were just quiet, in shock and crying,” Woolf said.Â “We continued to have classes that day, but teachers just set aside lesson plans that day to talk about what was going on and to pray.”
One faculty member’s reaction particularly stood out to Woolf.
“I remember we prayed at the beginning of band rehearsal,” Woolf said.Â “The band director just gathered everybody and began praying, even rebuking the spirits of evil that were trying to attack our country.”
That day,Â the president of ACU made aÂ special recognition during Chapel.
“Dr. Money just stood quietly for a minute or two before he started with the Bible verse, ‘Who knows what a day may bring for us,'” Woolf said. “I don’t remember Chapel having been that full or that quiet in a long time.”
In light of suffering, Reese encouraged students to remember what is important and what it means to take up the cross.
“I don’t want to live in some cozy place where I’m unaffected by the things of the world,” Reese said.Â “I want to live in a place where I’m on the front line, showing people a different way to live, the light of Christ, being distinct and different and letting discipleship be really costly. That’s what I live for.”