University of Missouri lays wreath in honor of events on 9/11

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COLUMBIA - The Switzler Hall bell rang out 18 times on Wednesday to commemorate the thousands of lives lost on September 11th 18 years ago.

Many adults still remember exactly what they were doing the moment they found out about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center that morning.

University of Missouri Provost Latha Ramchand said she has a personal connection to the attacks. Her brother worked across the street from the World Trade Center. Her family waited hours to hear from him. 

"It was chaos," Ramchand said. "It was like nothing else I've ever experienced."

MU employee Katie Hays said her friend told her in between classes that day a plane flew into the twin towers.

"My jaw hit the floor," she said. "It was not what I was expecting."

Hays was in high school when she heard of the first plane hitting the towers that morning. 

But some people were just making the transition from crawling to walking on their own.

#NeverForget has become the motto for 9/11, but younger generations are too young to remember in the first place. 

ROTC student Mike Todd was only two years old in 2001.

"I've got no memory," he said. "But I do remember certain ways it has shaped our growing up."

Hays said she thinks the wreath laying is "a way of saying you were important and we want to remember you."

"It's incumbent on us to pass these traditions, these memories and these values to the next generation," Ramchand said.

9/11 is viewed as a catalyst for change for the United States.

"It's kind of like when you throw a rock into water, the ripple effect is still going on," Missouri State Fire Marshal Tim Bean said.

Bean said 9/11 was not an isolated event and it still has implications today. He said it changed the way emergency officials now approach certain situations. 

"From that day, going forward, we are better prepared as a nation and as first responders than we were," he said.

Provost Ramchand said the way the country has bounced back and moved forward is what makes 9/11 still relevant today.