Continued from Page 1
and I didn't understand why she would cancel class. I didn't
understand what they were talking about."
While Gomez had spent part of her morning going about
business as usual, other students were confronted with the
news more abruptly.
"I literally more or less stumbled to the front desk," said
Lund, who was a Residential Advisor in Alice Lloyd. He
had woken up groggy and needed to return his duty keys
from the night before. The second plane hit the World Trade
Center at 9:04 a.m., while he was at the desk.
He heard it on the radio.
"At first I thought it was an accident, and then the second
plane hit. I didn't even know what to think," Lund said, talk-
ing about the initial confusion many experienced during the
18-minute period between crashes and the following hours.
"We had an emergency meeting 10 minutes later. Even now,
it's hard to believe."
Though students heard about the attacks at different times
and in different places, their reactions were mostly the same,
going from confusion to shock to fear to sadness.
"It didn't feel like that could happen to us. You didn't feel
like you could be attacked on our own soil," LSA senior
Andrea Goff said. "It really hit home. Nothing really felt
normal for a long time. It feels like something kind of unex-
plainable will never be the same."
Some felt angry, but didn't know toward whom to direct
their anger. Newscasters narrowed the list of possible sus-
pects as students crowded around TVs. Those without tele-
visions gathered in public places and sat with friends and
strangers, watching the scenario unfold in front of them.
"You felt like it was a movie," Goff said.
Others stayed away from their television sets, instead
turning their attention to their phones. They called family
and friends in New York, but phone lines were jammed,
causing some panic and frustration.
"My family is from New York, and my first thought was
to call them," Gomez said. "When we walked out, everyone
the michigan daily
was on their cell phones, trying to call. But you couldn't get
Across campus, reactions from students varied. Some,
male and female, cried. Some remained silent, eyes and ears
glued to the TV. Others, including Architecture senior Ben
Littrell, turned to their faiths.
Littrell had heard about the crashes while in class and
went to collect his things in another room, where a friend
"I asked him if he wanted me to pray with him and he
said yes, so I did," Littrell said. He spent the rest of the day
working in the Art and Architecture building. "I didn't know
what else to do."
Students were directly affected in different ways. Some
lost friends and family working in the Pentagon and the
World Trade Center or flying on flights. Others had never
seen the city or its famous skyline and were saddened
because they would never get their chance.
The death toll was first estimated in the tens of thousands
and classes were canceled for the day while students tried to
rationalize what had happened. What-ifs sprang up in some
people's minds. Many hoped some good would come from
the attacks, while others feared the upcoming backlash.
"People that were frustrated with us were saying some-
thing," Littrell said. "In one sense I hoped that things would
change. I expected that people would realize that our culture
impacts the rest of the world. We don't live in a vacuum."
Littrell said he believes things have changed, but not in
the way he had wanted.
"I think it's just that people are more afraid of the world,"
As the day went on and the shock began to fade, students
turned to each other for support. Mass e-mails spread
throughout the day, resulting in a 15,000-person candlelight
vigil on the Diag.
Officials said the event was the largest vigil or rally to
ever take place at the University. Students said they still
remember the unity and camaraderie they felt that night.
"I was amazed at the silence and attentiveness of so many
thousands of students. It was unbelievable," Gomez said.
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