Remembering September 11, 2001

Sep 11, 2023

Dear HCC Family,

Today is the 20th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, please join me in pausing to reflect on how our nation was transformed on that day of unimaginable tragedy

The attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on Flight 93 saddened our nation beyond measure. The images that played out on our television sets shocked and disturbed us. Yet, before the smoke of destruction cleared and embers cooled, the nation came together. Though we mourned, we exhibited collective resilience and solidarity. Heroes emerged and citizens from all walks of life stepped up to support one another in a clear demonstration of our inherent courage, compassion, and commitment to shared values.

Our world was reshaped by those events, leaving us to think about our national and personal security, the importance of global cooperation, and a renewed appreciation for those who serve as first responders or who protect our safety and freedoms in the armed forces.

HCC responded uniquely with the creation of the Public Safety Center. Today, the Public Safety Center provides basic, intermediate, and advanced certificates and licensing for first responder professionals from more than 75 law enforcement and 35 fire and EMS agencies and private ambulance services across the region.

On this anniversary, let us also recognize how educational institutions like Houston Community College play a vital role in providing mutual understanding, empathy, and tolerance. All of us— faculty, staff, and students—help to promote dialogue and inclusivity through our belief in education and its power to change lives and communities. Together, we contribute to a world where unity triumphs over division and justice and peace can prevail.

As I look back, I still recall the words of Sandy Dahl, wife of Capt. Jason Dahl, the pilot of Flight 93 who lost his life. In her grief and sorrow, Mrs. Dahl articulated compassion, positivity, and goodness. “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy,” she said, “we learn that life is short, and there is no time for hate.”

What an important lesson for us all to remember.


 Interim Chancellor Margaret Ford Fisher Signature

Margaret Ford Fisher, Ed.D.

Interim Chancellor

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