Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 11, 2017.
Dear Campus Community,
As we watch with deep concern the devastating hurricanes pummeling the southeastern United States and Caribbean, we pause this morning to remember the acts of terror on American soil 16 years ago today that stunned and forever changed our nation.
Many of our students were so young at the time that it is unlikely they recall the chilling details. Dennis and I were working and living in Michigan at the time, but I subsequently served for twelve years on campuses in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and repeatedly encountered the painful, personal aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
That pain was no stranger to the San Jose State community. Captain Jason Dahl, ’80 Aeronautics Operations, was at the helm of United Flight 93 when it crashed in western Pennsylvania after passengers and crew fought back against terrorists’ efforts to commandeer the plane.
Aviation program faculty, students and staff have paused each September 11 to remember Captain Dahl. Today, in honoring the memory of all who lost their lives on that fateful day, we especially remember one of our own for his heroism and bravery.
It also would serve us well in these times to recall what his widow, Sandy, said the following year: “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”
Dr. Mary A. Papazian