Sept. 11 remembered ...Clayton
Clayton State honors victims during candlelight vigil

By Curt Yeomans


The ghost-like faces remain vividly in the mind of Sunita Caton seven years after she saw them.

Caton was visiting family members in Brooklyn, N.Y., in early September 2001. It was her first time in a city like New York, and she was awestruck by the bustling life of the big city. However, on one Tuesday morning -- Sept. 11 -- Caton got a frantic phone call from her mother, pleading with her to get out of the Big Apple by any means possible.

New York City was under attack, from the sky, and the twin towers of the World Trade Center had just fallen, killing everyone who could not escape from them.

It's what Caton saw when she went down to Flat Bush Avenue, which will forever haunt her.

"The worst part of that day was seeing the buses coming over from Manhattan," said Caton, who is now a junior at Clayton State University. "Everyone in the bus ... There were no white people, or black people, or people of any other nationalities. They were just covered in that gray dust. Everyone was just so quiet, and all you could see was their eyes. I still see their eyes."

Clayton State's Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a candlelight vigil on Thursday in memory of the people who died on 9/11. Nearly 3,000 people died in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and aboard a plane that crashed in a field in Shanksville, Penn.

Clayton State was one of many places across the nation where life paused to remember the events of that day. Caton was one of the speakers at the vigil, and she briefly shared her memories of that fateful day.

"For a city as vibrant as New York, it was so quiet on that day," Caton said. "It was really eerie."

Darius Thomas, president of Clayton State's SGA, said it's important to remember what happened on 9/11, because America is still dealing with the after-effects. "I would say it's still relevant because we are still at war, and that was one of the events which led us to go to war," said Thomas.

Chevonder Caesar, a junior at the university, who started the annual vigil last year, said the victims of the attacks should never be forgotten because they are a reminder of the importance of human life.

"Even though it's in the past, people need to remember what happened," said Caesar. "Sometimes, people take life for granted, and we don't want to ever forget something that tragic."