A decade of memories

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At 8:46 a.m. on a clear day in New York City, everything changed.

American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into Tower One of the iconic World Trade Center.

Less than an hour later, United Airlines Flight 175 hit Tower Two.

By 10 a.m. the Twin Towers were gone and an estimated 3,000 people were lost or injured. The attacks in New York, coupled with the attack on the Pentagon, forever changed the country.

Ten years later, the reality of the attack continues to be ever present in the lives of some student and staff members at San Joaquin Delta College.

Director of Admissions and Records, Coordinator of Troops to College Program and mother of a veteran, Catherine Mooney was one impacted by the attacks.

As an administrator of Delta College, Mooney was inspired to start the Troops to College Program by a 2006 conference where she learned of the program.

“The Troops to College Program is a safety net for the student veterans,” said Mooney.

The program seeks to aid active and former members of the armed services with a team of support to help them succeed in a college setting.

“Sept. 11 changed the mentality of America. Prior to the attacks people rarely thought of veterans, afterwards veterans were brought to the forefront,” said Mooney.

With the needs of the student veterans being addressed by the Troops to College program, a Veterans Resource Center was created, and is located in Budd 310.
The center is a place for student veterans to mingle and build friendships with fellow veterans.

The Veterans Resource Center includes computers with ample space to mingle and study.

Veteran Ron Justice, 36, a former Marine, welcomes students as they enter the center.

Justice served as a reservist and was put on active duty with the enactment of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I was enlisting just before Sept. 11, 2001 and was in boot camp in Oct. 2001, where the drill instructors cut us off from the outside world,” said Justice

Former Marine and student Ryan Dinkel, 31, a veteran with two tours in Iraq.

“The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, changed my perspective, and made me want to do something,” said Dinkel.

Dinkel did not join because of the Sept. 11 attacks.

He was motivated by the Kosovo Conflict.

This year Dinkel and other students who are members of the Ride2Recovery group, a cyclist group that helps raise money for injured veterans across the country, will be visiting Ground Zero.

After a memorial, the group will be riding from New York City to the Pentagon in Washington D.C. to raise funds and memorialize those fallen because of the Sept. 11 attacks.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, the Associated Student Body Government held an event in remembrance of Sept. 11.

A local ceremony will be held on Sunday, Sept. 11 beginning at 5:20 a.m. at McLeod Lake at Weber Point Events Center.