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WMU remembers Sept. 11, 2001

WMU honors the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States with 10 stories of remembrance: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

U.S. flags in places you'd never seen them before

by Cheryl Roland

Sept. 4, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of flag at Western Michigan University's Miller Auditorium September 2001.
In the hours and days following the terrorist attacks, then WMU News editor Thom Myers, now director of electronic communication, took dozens of photographs on campus.

"Except for the memorial services, there wasn't a lot to photograph," says Myers. "I was hoping to find some iconic photo of students and faculty gathered, but for the most part, there was no one to be seen."

"Across campus, there were U.S. flags in places you'd never seen them before and poems and prayers pinned to campus landmarks, but the people who put them there were gone."

Photo of sculpture near Waldo Library September 2001.
Offices reopened and classes resumed the day following the attacks, but there was little traffic on campus. "We went to work, we went to class, and we went home. It's hard to remember now, but I think a lot of us spent quiet time with family and friends, and a lot of time on the phone making sure that family and friends were okay. We didn't go out a lot."

There was a sculpture on campus near Waldo Library, installed long before the attacks, ironically titled "Skyscraper on crutches." Someone placed a flag on the sculpture and a handwritten prayer, "...That a nation of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Throughout the day, Sept. 14, students and faculty stopped to read Section 2(c) of the War Powers Act of 1973, which someone had written in chalk on the sidewalk in Fountain Plaza near Sprau Tower. The final 18 words were highlighted in a different color chalk.

Photo of sidewalk near WMU's Sprau Tower September 2001.

"The Constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."

WMU honors the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States with 10 stories of remembrance: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10