11 years later, Hofstra remembers 9/11



As the nation marked the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks, Hofstra students gathered at the quad on campus to share their memories.


Imagine walking in high heels along train tracks after being stuck in Grand Central Station for over eight hours. That’s how one Hofstra student’s mother got home on that day 11 years ago.

Steven Leone, a senior public relations and geology major, recalls his mother’s reaction on Sept. 11, 2001. The Westchester native lived 30 minutes from Manhattan via the Hudson line on the Metro North.

He remembers his mother coming home hours later than usual disturbed by the chaos and destruction that she’d witnessed. She rode the 8:40 am train and the attack occurred at 8:41 am. Only 10 years old at the time, Leone’s 5th grade teacher explained the situation going on in Manhattan.

“All I knew was that my mom had worked in the city,” Leone remembers. He called his mother’s office, but got no response. Leone’s father assured him that his mother worked in Midtown and would not have been anywhere near the World Trade Center at her job.

Leone’s father could not reach his mother either because she did not have a cell phone at the time. That night, Leone’s mother came home distressed and uncharacteristically quiet.

“To me, my mom was this invincible lady,” recalled Leone. “When I saw she was afraid, I was afraid.”

Another senior, Rick Rissetto, from Floral Park, also recalls what happened to his family on the day.

His father worked just three blocks away from the site of the Twin Towers on Warren Street. Rissetto remembers his teacher giving the class a brief account of what happened.

“I started to break down,” Rissetto said. “My dad was everything. I was worried sick. I didn’t know what would happen when I went home.”

As a 5th grader “for the life of me I couldn’t understand it.” Rissetto remembers his father coming home and running to hug him.

“That moment was so surreal because you just didn’t know.”