August 31, 2021

TCU Presents: How to Remember

Twenty years have passed since 9/11. The memories still hold significant power.

August 31, 2021

TCU Presents: How to Remember

Twenty years have passed since 9/11. The memories still hold significant power.

The TCU Alumni Association and TCU Magazine hosted a virtual panel about 9/11 memories.

Deborah Ferguson ’87, NBC 5 Today anchor, moderated a discussion that moved back and then forward in time to illuminate how recollections shape the future. Joining her were cultural memory expert Ron Pitcock, the J. Vaughn and Evelyne H. Wilson Honors Fellow and interim dean of the John V. Roach Honors College, and TCU senior Meredith Casimes, who lost her father on 9/11.

Twenty years have passed since the shock of that Tuesday morning, but everyone who was alive remembers where they were when they first heard about the rogue planes. These memories are intensely personal, full of loved ones, former homes, personal fears and projections of what the future might hold.

Ferguson was on a motorcycle trip that day and rushed home to return to the newsroom and be with her colleagues. People needed information, as the world was looking to the media to help inform what they should do next.

At some point 9/11 became a collective story, where personal narratives combined as people banded together with a united purpose.

Watch the Panel

Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Quotes From the Panel

“Even though 9/11 was 20 years ago, which seems like such a long time ago, it is still affecting my every day life,” said Meredith Casimes, a TCU senior who was 15 months old when her father was killed in the Pentagon.

“He was so dedicated to his work and was just so driven and motivated,” Casimes said about her father Lt. Cmdr. David Williams who was killed in the Pentagon on 9/11. “I don’t know anyone who didn’t like him or love him.”

“I think it’s more powerful to see what firefighters were facing and to hear their voices and to see their bravery — that tells us much more about that day than the actual violence,” said Deborah Ferguson ’87 as she moderated TCU Presents: Honoring 9/11 Memories.

“As tragic as that day was, there were a lot of people who we can celebrate, we can remember. That’s the process of healing, but also the process of remembering,” said panelist Ron Pitcock.

“We need to work to celebrate the things that link us, that we share, and build on our similarities and not let the things that we disagree on divide us,” Pitcock said.

Your comments are welcome


  1. I took my dad to the doctor in Dallas. It was 11:00 am and no traffic on Stemmons Freeway traffic anywhere. Downtown Dallas was empty…it was so strange.

  2. I was recovering from surgery in a hospital in Alexandria, VA, not far from the Pentagon and was watching the Today show while waiting for my physical therapy session. When the Pentagon was struck, the hospital immediately suspended the day’s routines and shifted into preparations for mass casualties, which included moving patients into shared rooms to free open rooms and beds. I spent the day watching the news and worrying about friends who worked in the Pentagon. I gradually learned that all of them were safe. It was such a frightening day that I still cannot bear to see replays of the news broadcasts.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.