Heritage, 2009, Volume 3 Page: 10
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On a prominent hill along the west side
of town, amid a tightly-clustered com-
plex of buildings with vistas stretching
out across the Hays County seat and be-
yond, students of Southwest Texas State
University (now Texas State University)
made their way to morning classes. It
was near the start of a new semester and
a new school year, but most of the stu-
dents were already settling into a stan-
dard regimen dictated by courses, study
time, work, friends, and campus activi-
ties. Everything seemed normal.
For teachers, students, administrators, and other staff, it began
as any other school day at the university. Within hours, though,
everything had changed dramatically and, in many respects, per-
manently. Students gathered around televisions and radios to
learn the latest news or called their friends to share what they
knew or to see how they were coping. Teachers gathered as well
for the same reasons-security, sharing, communication, and
concern-and many prepared to scrap their planned lessons for
the day in anticipation of the inevitable questions from students.
And across the campus, administrators and staff began putting
into place the crisis management team. The members knew their
assignments, and all were on full alert. The day was Tuesday, Sep-
tember 11, 2001-now known simply as 9/11-and as history
records, it was a day like no other.
The central events of 9/11 signaled the most devastating attack
on U.S. civilians in the nation's history and, as with other bench-
mark days, it dominated the news for weeks, changed the order of
daily life, and almost seemed to slow time. Much of the national
struggle in the days and months immediately following 9/11 is
now well known and documented, given the recent occurrence of
the events and the realization that in many respects the national
response continues to unfold. In a broader context, 9/11 remains
a story in development-one that is dynamic and not yet trans-
generational. While the visual images and the contemporaneous
news stories of that tragic day are myriad and acutely vivid in our
collective memory, the individual memories of how 9/11 played
out across the country in towns like San Marcos are largely unre-
corded and therefore represent a valuable, untapped resource.
With that realization in mind, a select group of Texas State
University students took on the challenge. In January 2009, as
part of a graduate public history course on oral history theory and
practice, four students who dubbed themselves Team Turbo first
met to plan out a semester-long research project. The members-
HE RITAGE Volume 3 2009
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2009, Volume 3, periodical, 2009; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254214/m1/10/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.