|Centre students moved by New York City visit
"My city is not supposed to be this quiet"
RELEASED: November 21, 2001
DANVILLE, KYIt was in the wee hours last Sunday morning. Centre students Lauren Van Horn and Brandy Roberts were attending an international relations conference at West Point and, with some people they had meet there, decided to visit New York City.
It was everything Van Horn had remembered from her visit four years ago, and all Roberts, who was making her first visit to the Big Apple, had expected: Bright lights, lots of noise, and lots of people.
That was until they stepped off the subway near where the World Trade Center towers used to stand.
"It was like night and day," Roberts said. "The city life was normal, and then we went down to Wall Street and we were the only ones walking down the street."
Exiting the subway they immediately witnessed the effects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The group had to tread over ash. The Merrill Lynch Bull was covered with debris.
"We were overwhelmed by the smell," Van Horn said. "There was a strong smell from where the towers had burned."
They could hear a wrecking ball hit what was left of the towers. They noticed the recovery workers, ambulances and police officers that were still there. They took in all the memorials left at the site, even seeing a few left for Kentucky natives that died during the tragedy.
"I actually saw a woman putting up a missing persons poster," Roberts said.
The students said that businesses near the site have covered up some of the windows so employees can't look out and be constantly reminded of the events that took place there two months ago.
"It was horrible," Van Horn said. "The people we were with were having a really hard time. One of them said, 'My city is not supposed to be this quiet.' "
It was a somber end to a fun and educational journey the students had made as the events of Sept. 11 had become real in a profound way.
Van Horn, an international studies junior from Frankfort, and Roberts, an international relations senior from Jackson, Tenn., attended the Student Conference on United States Affairs at the United States Military Academy Nov. 14-17 in West Point, N.Y. There were more than 300 delegates at the conference, including cadets from West Point and students from Harvard, Yale, Columbia and many other schools.
The conference brings together outstanding students from around the world to discuss major issues and formulate proposals for American foreign policy. This forum provides an excellent opportunity for students to discuss future American foreign policy in a changing world.
The participants heard addresses from senior experts, took part in round-table discussions on U.S. foreign policy, and wrote policy papers.
There were also delegates from other countries.
"At one table there was a delegate from India, and another from Pakistan," Van Horn said. "That was pretty interesting."
The students said they were happy with how they fared at the conference.
"I've never been more proud to go to Centre," Van Horn said. "It was a wonderful, thought-provoking experience."
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