Mason Kletter ’22, one of more than a dozen fire science students in a University of New Haven Living Learning Community who recently visited the 9/11 Memorial, reflects on the poignant experience.
April 25, 2019
By Mason Kletter ’22
Recently, I was one of 16 fire science living learning community members who visited the 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan. We were very excited to be going on this trip, as some of us hadn’t been to this important landmark, though some were lucky to have been there before.
As we got off the bus, we immediately went inside the museum, which is built into the foundation of the original World Trade Center. Upon descending the escalator into the museum, all the smiles and laughs originating from our large group faded. It is very dark down there, and there are ominous voices from some survivors playing over a PA system.
There is no shortage of artifacts in this museum, including pieces of the planes, destroyed emergency vehicles, and various pieces of the towers. As we passed one section of the museum, there was an enormous piece of steel that was seemingly unscathed from damage. Some of the other students and I stood in awe, amazed by just how intact the beam was.
Personally, I know a lot of people who were in the city on September 11, 2001, and I’m lucky enough to say that I don’t know anyone who perished on that fateful day. Yet, in the fire service, a lot of firefighters talk about brotherhood and sisterhood, so even though I didn’t know any of the 343 firefighters who died, I still mourn for them.
"It’s trips like this one that complement my education, making attending the University of New Haven that much more enjoyable, valuable, and meaningful for me."Mason Kletter ’22
There is a lot of knowledge to be shared in this museum. In our classes, we learn about things like building construction and fire protection/suppression systems. These are also parts of exhibits in the museum.
I didn’t know much about building construction before coming to the University, but after taking a class on the topic, going to the museum, and seeing how these 100+ story buildings are constructed, I fully understand how important it is to have as much knowledge as possible when going out to the workforce.
It’s trips like this one that complement my education, making attending the University of New Haven that much more enjoyable, valuable, and meaningful for me.