Hall remembers September 11
With the ten year anniversary of September 11th, 2001 approaching, several Seton Hall University faculty have offered their perspectives in respect to that fateful day and its aftermath.
Alfred Frank, adjunct professor of English and religion, helped report the events for The Star-Ledger where he was working full-time as the Port Authority reporter at the time of the attacks.
“For sure, the immense human loss during that bleak day is incomprehensible,” Frank said. “I remember the frenzy of reaching out to contacts I had in the Port Authority, via an early form of texting, because phone lines were useless, to determine their whereabouts.”
Eight of Frank’s colleagues never emerged, including Port Authority public safety director Fred Morrone, who he had spoken with only the day before.
He described the Twin Towers as a “second home,” having written features on aspects of the construction and history of the buildings.
According to Frank, at least two of the other victims he knew may not have left because they underestimated the stability of the towers.
After the 1993 bombing, he recalled, much was said of how well the towers took the hit and how they were built to handle the impact of a Boeing 707, but the ensuing damage of a Boeing 767 fueled for a transcontinental flight led to the collapse of the interior supports.
Another aspect that haunted him was the magnitude of the devastation which he described as being shown how ten floors worth of debris had been compressed into the equivalent of one floor.
“As for coming to terms, it took about a year-plus for me to emerge from an almost constant sadness and emptiness and flashbacks of the victims I knew and images of the place lost in the terrible cataclysm,” Frank said.
“That part of the Manhattan skyline came to be know as ‘the void.’ which aptly explained not only for the blank geographical space but also the hole 9/11 left in many of our hearts in this region,” he added.
Management professor Karen Boroff described her experience standing in a circle outside her office for prayer with other Seton Hall faculty on 9/11 and recalled people feeling the need to return home.
“The notion of evil unfortunately does exist in the world,” she said. “It was hard to think [the plane] could be such a weapon of terror.”
Boroff said reactions to the events are a “remarkable trade of the human spirit.”
Paula Alexander Becker, associate professor of management, recalled student involvement with 9/11.
“There were several students in my graduate class that semester who had been in Manhattan near the towers when they collapsed,” Becker said. “Those of us who saw the towers collapse on TV did not appreciate the full impact of the experience and the trauma on those who were there in person.”
Becker also described a situation later that fall semester when one student dropped his books causing a student who had experienced 9/11 jump and complain about the noise, saying that it reminded him of the tower collapse.
According to an email from the Office of Mission and Ministry, there will be masses held in remembrance of 9/11 in the Main Chapel at 10 a.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m. on Sunday, September 11th.
After the 6 p.m. mass the congregation will offer prayer and lay a wreath around the 9/11 Memorial Cross by Boland Hall.
The Seton Hall community especially remembers all the alumni and faculty it lost on that day:
- John Bocchi ’85
- Dean Eberling, M.B.A. ’85
- Craig Lilore ’95
- William J. Martin, Jr. ’93
- Daniel McGinley ’83
- Angel Pena, J.D. ’83
- John Pocher ’88
- Kenneth Tarantino ’83
- Anthony Infante, Jr., M.A.E. ’98
- Fred V. Morrone
- James Nelson
- Alfonse Joseph Niedermeyer III, M.A.E. ’00
- James Romito, M.A.E. ’98
- Mark Whitford ’93
(‘In Memoriam’ names gathered from Seton Hall’s fifth anniversary of 9/11 article)
Ashley Duvall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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