By Sonny Billotte
The 9/11 attacks on the twin towers was one of the most tragic events that has occurred during many college students’ lifetime. William Klingbeil, a junior at UT, reflects back on that day, remembering every detail as if it was yesterday.
Klingbeil was in his 4th grade history class in Ohio on the day of September 11th, 2001. “The principal of the school told all the teachers to turn on the TV,” said Klingbeil. “We saw that the twin towers had been hit, I knew it was bad but was too young to really understand the significance.”
It was not until he got home from school and saw his parents’ reaction that he realized how serious this was. “All of my family sat in a very small den room and watched the news the whole night- my parents were in shock at what had happened,” said Klingbeil. “School the next day was canceled.”
Eleven years later, with the anniversary being this week, our country continues to fight a war that was triggered as our response to the 9/11 attacks. “I think originally why we went to war was for the wrong reasons. Now we are so caught up in it and spending too much money on our military and not enough on our education,” said Klingbeil. “I think China is surpassing us in the sciences.”
Klingbeil touched upon other ways in which our country has been affected since 9/11 as well. “Our transportation system has seen a huge change since that day. Security has had to really buckle down, which is unfortunately necessary to ensure safety,” said Klingbeil. “We used to be at the airport 20 minutes before a flight, now it’s more like 2 hours.”
“It was one of those major moments in my lifetime, just as Pearl Harbor was a major moment in my grandfather’s lifetime, and just as JFK’s assassination was a major moment in my father’s lifetime,” said Klingbeil in response to the significance of 9/11.
Although he was only in 4th grade and roughly 9 years old at the time the 9/11 attacks occurred, William Klingbeil still remembers exactly where he was and what he was doing at the very moment the towers were hit. “In conclusion, I think it really brought America together and will do so every year, regardless of people’s beliefs and political opinions,” he said.