April 2, 2020
This Fenwick alumnus, who visited campus back in February, remembers the traumatic period following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 — and has an important message for today’s students.
By Dave West ’98
Mr. West spoke to students in Fenwick history classes this past February.
I was a senior at Duke preparing for a public policy class when the attacks of 9/11 jolted us all around breakfast time on a Tuesday morning. School abruptly shut down as did the country, and we quickly learned over the next few, confusing days that several graduated fraternity brothers, parents of classmates and thousands of others were killed in the towers, in the planes or in the Pentagon.
As a senior, thoughts quickly turned to what other attacks were next; how we’d ever get back to life as usual; whether there would be any jobs for us; and even whether a military draft might be brought back and we would all need to prepare to fight a new enemy halfway around the world. Our grandparents were “the greatest generation”… would we be good enough and up to the challenge?
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