Remembering 9/11: The 20th anniversary
CSUN Veterans Resource Center holds memorial; Sundial alumnus recalls 9/11’s impact.
September 11, 2021
Twenty years ago on this day and at the exact time of the publishing of this article, 8:46 a.m. EST, American Airlines Flight 11, departing from Boston and bound for Los Angeles, crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
Seventeen minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175, also departing from Boston and bound for Los Angeles, struck the south tower of the World Trade Center. Thirty-four minutes after that, at 9:37 a.m. EST, American Airlines Flight 77, departing from Dulles International Airport in Virginia and bound for Los Angeles, crashed into the Pentagon.
The exact number of lives lost due to the attacks are unknown. Some people include the 19 hijackers involved and some don’t. But it is estimated that nearly 3,000 people were killed as a result of attacks, including those who died attempting to retake control of United Airlines flight 93.
Memorial and tribute at CSUN
On Thursday, the Veterans Resource Center in the University Student Union held a memorial and tribute commemorating the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
One of the organizers of the event and manager of the VRC, Mayra Plascencia, expressed how the Sept. 11 attacks impacted her as a veteran of the Iraq War.
“The events of 9/11 drastically altered the trajectory of all who served during and after the global war on terrorism,” Plascencia said. “As someone who served and deployed in support of [the global war on terrorism] that includes me.”
In addition to the event, yellow roses were placed on the Matador statue in preparation for the 20th anniversary.
Inside The Daily Sundial’s coverage of 9/11
Managing editor for The Daily Sundial, Tony Seybert, woke up the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 a little later than usual. He usually got to the newsroom around 6 a.m. but for whatever reason, this day was different.
He walked onto campus, noticing nothing unusual, and made his way to the Sundial’s newsroom located in Manzanita Hall. He went into then-Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Lee’s office to see what was on the day’s agenda.
“I walked into Jen’s office and she had this kind of, sick smile on her face, like she was still kind of stunned,” Seybert said. “Then she was like ‘well, what are we gonna do? How are we gonna handle this?’ And I was like ‘what are you talking about?’ … She thought I was kidding.”
If 9/11 happened today, Seybert probably would have known about the attack almost instantly. But in 2001, Seybert didn’t have a laptop, at-home internet, or even a cell phone and hadn’t turned on the news before he left. He had no idea what had happened.
Seybert says the news team immediately got to work, had a quick meeting, decided on what type of stories they wanted to cover, and worked to make the deadline before sending it to the printer.
Being early September, the semester had just started at CSUN. Many of the reporters were brand new and many of the editors were just assigned to their positions.
“The way it goes is that you have two weeks to do the first issue, which is published on Monday, you have three days to do the second issue, which goes out on Tuesday, and after that you got 24 hours to do everything else,” Seybert said.
The Sept.12, 2001 issue of The Daily Sundial was just the third publication that the new staff had worked on. They had only a few hours to make it, and it was arguably one of the most important issues in the publication’s history.
The issue featured reactions from faculty, staff and students, a full-page editorial capturing the opinion of the editorial staff, Associated Press wire stories, perspectives from CSUN psychologists, and a response from the CSUN Muslim Student Association.
Seybert was candid when he recounted the individuals that worked on the issue, even delving into some of the newsroom drama that’s now 20 years old. But one thing was clear among the stream of memories: everyone was very new and inexperienced and showed remarkable improvement following that day.
One of these stories was of a young photo editor whom, Seybert says, had virtually no experience.
“She hadn’t been a regular staff photographer, she hadn’t been a reporter, I think she had taken a photography class the semester before … I remember Jen talked her into being the photography editor,” Seybert said. “It was horrifying for her.”
But he said that she learned very fast, as did the rest of that staff and that looking back on the issue in retrospect, after 20 years, he still feels quite proud of the work they did that day.
To read the Sept. 12, 2001 issue of The Daily Sundial click here.