Jovian Irvin, Class of 2005 president, reads the names of honored alums during the dedication of the Class of 2005 9/11 Memorial Garden at UNC-Chapel Hill. The garden honors the six who were killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001. In this video, Carolina faculty, staff and students describe how the UNC community reacted to 9/11 and how the University honors the six alumni who died that day.
Student Matt Davis paints his message on a memorial wall erected around the flagpole on Polk Place for the University community to express feelings after 9/11.
James Moeser, left, holds hands with other speakers on September 12, 2001, as 10,000 people gathered on Polk Place.
Jovian Irvin, Class of 2005 president, reads the names of honored alums during the dedication of the Class of 2005 9/11 Memorial Garden at UNC-Chapel Hill. The garden honors the six who were killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Carolina remembers 9/11
On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, people throughout the world can recall where they were and how they reacted to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93.
Watch as Carolina remembers the day when six alumni died, the healing and community that developed after the tragedy, and what we learned from that day.
Soon after the news came, James Moeser, Carolina’s chancellor at the time, invited the campus community to gather on Polk Place the next day for a time of reflection. There, 10,000 people found support in each other.
Moeser recalls, “It was critically important to bring the campus together, to invite people together, to give students, especially our faculty and staff, students who are away from home, an opportunity to come together as a community, to show that we’re all grieving, we’re all sorrowful, we’re all terrified . . . and that there was strength and solace in coming together as a community.”
Psychology professor Barbara Fredrickson, who researches positive emotions, sees value in that process. “Those moments of connecting with others produce good feelings. People feel relieved, feel more inspired, feel hopeful, in addition to feeling sad and angered and anxious. And it’s that mix of the positive with the negative that we’ve found that allows people to bounce back.”
The campus learned over the ensuing days that six UNC alumni died that day. They were:
Karleton Douglas Beye Fyfe ’92
Mary Lou Hague ’96
Andrew Marshall King ’83
Ryan Ashley Kohart ’98
Dora Menchaca ’78
Christopher Quackenbush ’79
To honor the six who died in the attacks, the Class of 2005 established a garden on campus.
Ronda Manuel, a member of the Class of 2005, recalls hearing of the attacks on her way to ROTC class. She returned to her room and could not contact family members for news about her father, a Pentagon employee. New friends consoled her until she saw her father on television helping someone onto a stretcher at the Pentagon.
“I think that day was the day I first learned what the Carolina family was all about,” Manuel says.
For many of today’s college students, 9/11 marked the beginning of a different world. Sophomore Amelia Smith of Charlotte, a fourth-grader then, says, “It was probably my first experience realizing that really bad things can happen and that there are people in our world who hate each other and do things irrationally, and I never had had any chance to experience that before it.”