UNF student veteran George Wolfe remembers 9/11

Darvin Nelson, General Assignment Reporter

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Today, 18 years ago, tragedy occurred; a tragedy that continues to heavily impact the United States. There are people who carry their experience from Sept. 11, 2001 with them every day – even some people here at UNF. . Navy veteran George Wolfe is currently pursuing a mechanical engineering degree at UNF. 

Wolfe was scheduled to transfer to New York State the week of the disaster. He was at the Kings Bay Military Base in Georgia preparing for his transfer.

“I was just kind of roaming around the office that we worked at,” said Wolfe. “They turned on the TV and you see one of the towers burning and everything’s crazy. I remember watching the second plane. And that’s when you were like ‘holy cow! did that really just happen? That’s just insane.”

In response to the disaster, the Kings Bay Military Base went under a  lockdown and put up restrictive barriers. Guards were wearing vests, helmets, and some carried rifles, Wolfe explained.

 “Just the initial impact, watching the news, and seeing the towers fall – it was kind of a really crazy feeling,” said Wolfe. 

After holding his transfer date due to the destruction of the twin towers, Wolfe arrived in the freshly wounded city three days after the towers fell. As he was driving along the New Jersey/New York Turnpike to his next duty station, Wolfe noticed the remaining damage. 

“You could look over at the city and see the smoke coming up from the crash site,” Wolfe said. “This was friday evening, three days after the [attacks]. The amount of smoke that was still just continuing to come up from that crash left a very gut-wrenching and eerie feeling.” 

“It’s amazing that something so tragic could happen.”

On Sept. 11, 2001, the American perspective and experience was shifted. This tragedy was unprecedented and remains with us 18 years later.

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