Remembering September 11

Image published alongside The California Aggie's story on September 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (UC Davis Library/University Archives)

Image published alongside The California Aggie's story on September 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (UC Davis Library/University Archives)

“The events of September 11, 2001 will stay with us for the rest of our lives,” wrote the leaders of the UC Davis Jewish Student Union three weeks after the Twin Towers fell (The California Aggie, October 2, 2001). For many of us who lived through the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil — even if we lived through it from thousands of miles away in California — that’s been true. 

Whether you were there or not, whether you knew anyone who was there or not, it was a national tragedy that we all experienced together.  

As students returned to campus for the start of Fall Quarter just weeks after the attack, then Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef published a welcome message in The California Aggie (October 1, 2001) that emphasized the power of new beginnings to “remind us that we can and will go on.”

Chancellor Vanderhoef's welcome to returning students published in The Aggie on October 1 2001The California Aggie, October 1, 2001

Now, 20 years later, we are preparing to return to campus in the wake of another shared trauma. In some ways, the events are polar opposites: the COVID-19 pandemic has dragged on for more than a year; the 9/11 attacks unfolded in less than an hour. But both events changed everything, because they changed us.

Here at the library — a place where we preserve history — we have been looking back at how the UC Davis community responded to 9/11. And in those stories, the spirit of unity, resilience and tolerance that come through in the archives from 20 years ago still echo strongly today. 

Resources for Understanding 9/11

More from The Aggie Archive

The Aggie's 5-year anniversary story on 9/11 attacksThe California Aggie, September 11, 2006
Photo montage with the headline A Day of Remembrance published in the California Aggie commemorating the one-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacksThe California Aggie, September 23, 2002
Article from The California Aggie on October 30, 2001 - Opinions, tolerance should be fosteredThe California Aggie, October 30, 2001
Story from The California Aggie with Jewish Student Union response to 9/11 attacks - published Oct 2 2001The California Aggie, October 2, 2001