Witnesses to Terror

Notre Dame and the attacks of September 11, 2001

The tragedy of September 11, 2001, lives forever in the national memory. The events of that day left an indelible imprint on Notre Dame’s institutional memory as well. From the initial shock of watching the events unfold, to the fear and uncertainty that gave way to common resolve and solidarity, here is how the University experienced 9/11 and its aftermath.

The University of Notre Dame marked the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States in several ways Saturday (Sept. 11), including a prayer service on the South Quad.

An archive photo of piece of paper with a photo of the World Trade Center and We're praying for you... surrounded by candles at the Grotto.

Deaths in the Family

This Notre Dame Magazine feature provides names and details of the lives of those Notre Dame family members lost in the 9/11 attacks.

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An archive photo of the front page of the Observer with a photo of the World Trade Center on fire. The headline reads Terror Hits Home, Thousands feared dead as nation begins recovery from strikes in New York, Washington.


Most every newspaper in the country featured a photo of the attack on the front page of its September 12 edition.

Hundreds of small American flags stuck in the Quad, with the American flag at half-mast on the flag pole.

Domers who Survived

From one who saw the second plane hit, to another who spent nearly an hour descending the stairs of the World Trade Center, this is an account of the many alumni who survived the attacks.

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Archive photo of Mass on South Quad after the terrorist attacks. The Dome and Basilica can be seen in the distance, and the US flag is at half-mast behind the stage with the altar.

Wake of 9/11

Sept. 11 was more than just a date. It was a season. Here’s how 9/11 and the days and weeks afterward felt on the Notre Dame campus.

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A black bunting hangs above the fire department garage door. A fire truck is inside. Outside on a bench sits a firefighter coat and helmet.

Memorial at Notre Dame Fire Department

Notre Dame Thomas Coleman Fire Station draped in black bunting and with a firefighter coat and helmet outside on the bench in memorial of the firefighters in New York and Washington, D.C. on September 12, 2001.

U2 at the Joyce Center

A month after the attacks, one the most famous rock bands of all time played at the Joyce Center. U2 ended the show by bringing members of the New York Police and Fire Departments on stage for its final song, “Walk On.”

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A screengrab of Rev. Malloy giving his homily.

Father Malloy Homily: 10th Anniversary Mass

The University of Notre Dame observed the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States with a special Mass on the Hesburgh Library Mall on September 11, 2011. The homily was given by Rev. Edward A. “Monk” Malloy, C.S.C., Notre Dame president emeritus.

A hand places a yellow rose on the Ground Zero memorial on a snowy day.

Shamrock Series in New York

The Notre Dame football team played its Shamrock Series game in New York in 2018. Observances were held at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan, as well as Ground Zero, to honor members of the Notre Dame family who died in the attacks.

An archive photo of Mass on the South Quad after the attacks. Congregants have their arms around each others shoulders and look towards the altar and the US flag at half-mast.

Fr. Malloy Reflects

In this episode of the Notre Dame Stories podcast, Fr. Malloy offers his reflection on the events of 9/11 and what followed for the campus community and himself.

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