September 11, 2021—On the anniversary of 9/11, we remember the tragic events of that day. Below is a 2011 article featuring interviews and recordings marking the 10th anniversary, and archived news and letters going back to 2001.

blue lights shine against the night sky where the twin towers once stood

September 11, 2011

To commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, we collected reflections by current Amherst students who were grade-school children in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, and posted a new interview with Professor Barry O’Connell. In addition, you’ll find links to Amherst magazine and Amherst Student coverage of the 9/11 attacks, including remembrances of the three Amherst victims, Frederick  C. Rimmele III ’90, Brock Safronoff ’97 and Maurita Tam ’01. Also, you’ll see a collection of letters that Tom Gerety, then president of Amherst, sent to the college community in the aftermath of the attacks.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks, the college held a memorial service on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. on Memorial Hill. At 4 p.m. that day, the Amherst community met in front of Converse Hall and processed to the Amherst Town Common for an interfaith gathering. 

In addition, members of the Amherst community were invited to express their sentiments about 9/11 using markers provided in Keefe Campus Center from Sept. 9 through Sept. 12. Finally, a panel discussion, “9/11: How We are Different 10 Years Later,” took place Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. in Converse Hall with Professors Frank Couvares, Lawrence Douglas and Pat O’Hara, moderated by Dean of the Faculty Gregory Call.

Those not able to come to campus were invited to listen in on a telephone lecture with Couvares on Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. The talk, sponsored by Alumni and Parent Programs, combined the professor’s memories of 9/11, especially of his “20th-Century American History” class on the day after the attack, and a consideration of the ways in which historians have interpreted the events of that day and the years that followed.


Panel Discussion: “9/11: How We are Different 10 Years Later”

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Hear Professors Frank Couvares, Lawrence Douglas and Pat O’Hara in a discussion moderated by Dean of the Faculty Gregory Call. 

Professor Couvares Telephone Lecture: “9/11 in History and Memory”

couvares80pxProfessor of History and American Studies Frank Couvares discusses his memories of 9/11, especially of his 20th-Century American History class on the day after the attack. Read more and hear audio.

Professor Barry O’Connell on Remembering, Discussing, Teaching and (Not) Understanding 9/11

oconnell80pxThe James E. Ostendarp Professor of English helped to establish a student discussion group about questions raised by the War on Terror and also co-taught a course titled “Media, Culture and Citizenship Since 9/11.” He spoke with Katherine Duke ’05 about the group and the course, as well as broader issues of grief, memory, teaching and historical understanding. Read an abridged print version of the interview.

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From Our Archives

Amherst Magazine Articles

Amherst victims of September 11, Fall 2001

Eyewitness, Fall/Winter 2006

Eyewitness: Your Photos, Spring 2007

For the Rest of Her Life, Summer 2011

Three in 2,996, Summer 2011

Amherst Student Articles

Senate discusses response to terrorism

Town attracts unwanted attention in midst of tragedy

Foreign Policy Forum discusses implications of attacks

Students overwhelm local blood banks

News & Events

Amherst College News & Events page from Sept 11, 2001 

  • Including letters to the Amherst community from Tom Gerety