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The Miami Student Oldest university newspaper in the United States, established 1826

VOLUME 139 NO. 6


By Sam Kay

Editor in Chief

For most current Miami University students, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 was half a lifetime ago. As the nation prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, The Miami Student offers a glimpse into the immediate aftermath of that day’s events on the Miami community.

Shock and confusion Political science professor Adeed Dawisha was entering his POL 221 class when news coverage of the first tower being struck began. “We turned on the TV in the classroom, as students were coming in there was a buzz in the air. After 20-25 minutes, we got on with the class,” Dawisha said. During the class, the second tower was struck. By the time the class ended, Dawisha and his students turned the TV back on to see both buildings burning. Richard Little, then senior director of university communications, said the first overwhelming reaction on campus was shock. “I was in the president’s office. Students would just wander in upset, not knowing exactly what to do or how to react,” Little said. “Given what was going on, we were all walking around in shock.”



‘You will remember this day for the rest of your life’

Steve Snyder, executive assistant to the president and secretary to the Board of Trustees, said adrenaline kicked in and everyone from administrators to faculty and students began to take action. “It’s hard to experience human instinct while trying to manage a situation for 15,000 students,” Snyder said. “There was a lot of confusion, phone calls from parents, students from New York City. We needed to find a way to communicate with them.”

Coming together In the late morning or early afternoon, Dennis Dudley, a member of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, called Snyder on behalf of the Religious Communities Association at Miami University (RCA) offering to hold a prayer vigil. “Everybody pitched in,” Snyder said. “It was a very grassroots type of effort, a coming together of the community.” Offers of assistance poured in from all quarters and by late afternoon, about 1,200 students gathered on the back patio of the Shriver Center for the vigil. Somber groups of students sat and stood, comforting one another and crying. Two women led the crowd in a Jewish prayer of mourning, the mourner’s Kaddish. There were readings from

scripture, singing from the Miami Collegiate Chorale and remarks from President James Garland. The event and others like it served as a time for people to come together, according to Snyder. “When something like that happens, you don’t want to be alone,” Snyder said. One of the most potent moments of togetherness came as the group gathered behind the Shriver Center sang “My Country Tis of Thee.” “Most of the students were sitting. When we starting singing, they all stood up,” Dudley said. “At that point, I almost lost it. There were students standing all around just sobbing, you saw groups of students holding each other. It was incredible. The process of singing together is such an emotional experience. There is something in the American psyche, maybe the human psyche, when you all of a sudden feel like we are one, like we’re united. For that moment, we felt a sense of unity and appreciation of what it meant to be an American, without demanding revenge. I did not want to see revenge.” Over the course of the next few days, more events were held across campus to allow the community to come together. Administrators decided not to cancel classes on the

9/11, SEE PAGE 3


This iconic image, one of many that emerged in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, continues to resonate with a generation whose world has been defined by the events that took place a decade ago.

Special coverage of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks can be found on the following pages: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8.

Senior’s poem helps heal nation’s wounds Oxford police sergeant holsters career after 33 years By Hunter Stenback

Online Editor

While most Miami University students understand the impact of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011, few have offered as much inspiration to those affected by the tragedy as senior Aaron Walsh. As an 11-year-old sixth grader in suburban Cincinnati, less than a month after the twin towers fell, Walsh

was prompted to write a poem in English class based on the prompt, “I hold in my hands.” Walsh, who said he usually wrote about his soccer and basketball games, rarely filling a full page in his composition book, chose a heavier topic than most of his classmates: the 9/11 attacks. “It was immediate,” Walsh said of his decision to write about that fateful day in American history. “I start-

ed writing that second and I still remember that moment when I started writing it. It was profound.” By the end of the class period, Walsh had completed a work of prose that would resonate far beyond the walls of his Cincinnati classroom. “I hold in my hands ... The dust ... The dust and wreckage of the towers,” his poem began. “I can still feel it ... It has damaged my hands with dirt ... It has damaged my

I hold in my hands... The dust. The dust and wreckage of the towers. Even though I wasn’t there, I can still feel it. It has damaged my hands with dirt. It has damaged my heart with sorrow. It has damaged my body with fear, and it has damaged my life with war. I hold in my hands... My life. My life could soon be filled with war, cruelty at its worst. Miles away, I can hear the planes’ roaring engines, gliding through the air. I hold in my hands... My future. My life ahead. Whether it will be filled with war or peace, we will not know. My future keeps me going from dawn to dusk. I hold in my hands... Hope. Hope for the future. Hope for peace. Hope for my country’s freedom. And hope for America to win this war on terrorism.”

- Aaron Walsh, 2001

heart with sorrow ... It has damaged my body with fear and it has damaged my life with war.” Hundreds of miles away, flight attendant Tanya Hoggard was volunteering at Ground Zero when she began collecting encouraging letters and artwork sent to firehouses by children. “She found all these letters from kids all over the country and all over the world, postcards, flags, all kinds of stuff,” Walsh said. “She was going to put together this big memorial because otherwise it was all going to go in a garbage can.” Back in Ohio, Walsh’s teacher had directed him to share the poem with his parents, who in turn shared it with extended family. Walsh’s aunt shared it with her former college roommate, who sent it to a friend: Hoggard. “I didn’t even know that it was in circulation, like I knew my grandma would give it to people like her bank teller because that’s what grandmas do, but we got the call from Tanya, and we were like ‘well how did she get a hold of it?’” Walsh said. “It’s hard to imagine.” Ten years later, Hoggard’s collection, including Walsh’s poem, is set to be displayed permanently in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. Hoggard and Walsh will also take part in a commemorative ceremony this weekend in Cincinnati, which Walsh will close by reading



By Bethany Bruner News Editor

English churchman Robert South once said “If there be any truer measure of a


man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.” If Oxford Police Sgt. Jim Squance’s retirement celebration on Tuesday was any indication, Squance gave an awful lot to the city of Oxford. The celebration, held at the Oxford Courthouse prior to Tuesday’s City Council meeting, recognized Squance’s 33 years of service to the police department. Community members, fellow officers, members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity Sqance advises and family members all came to wish the retiring sergeant well as he begins a new chapter in his life.

“It’s better to say it in person,” Sean Talbot, a member of Kappa Sigma, said. “We wanted to come by and thank him and wish him well.” “He’s supported us through the years, so I wanted to come out and support him,” fellow Kappa Sigma brother Will Mcintyre said. Squance joined the Oxford Police Department on Sept. 11, 1978 and was promoted to Sergeant in May of 1982. He has worked as a supervisor for the Talawanda Local Schools resource program, began the “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” campaign and helped the Annual Pig Roast become the event it is today. Most recently, Squance has been the public information officer for OPD. His job makes him the go-to guy for public relations at the department. “He’s been the face of the police department for 10 years,” OPD Chief Steve Schwein said. “He’s well known, but he’s just as well known in his private life. He knows just about everyone in the community and a lot of students too.” Talawanda Local Schools Coordinator for Community Development Holli Morrish said having a celebra-


Profile for The Miami Student

September 9, 2011 | The Miami Student  

September 9, 2011, Copyright The Miami Student, oldest university newspaper in the United States, established 1826.

September 9, 2011 | The Miami Student  

September 9, 2011, Copyright The Miami Student, oldest university newspaper in the United States, established 1826.