Call it a literary time capsule.  

Nearly 600 pages in six binders capturing the words and feelings of Kent State students and others who came to Risman Plaza on the Kent Campus in the hours and days immediately after 9/11 and who took the time to memorialize their thoughts.

Kent State Today reviewed just some of the pages written in those binders, which are kept in the Special Collections area of the University Library. 

Two decades later, their words take us back to a time when the whole world was processing this tragedy and trying to find the right words to share the impact of the attacks.

Below are some of the examples of what the Kent State community was thinking in those first days following the tragedy, as written in those public notebooks, as well as photos from a candlelight vigil that was held on campus.


“As international students and scholars, we wish to express our deepest sorrow and sympathy following the tragic events of this past week. Like anybody else our words may fail to convey the depth of our grief, but our hearts are breaking along with yours. Tragedies like these affect all of us, regardless of nationality. Please allow us to share our grief with you and to help you in the coming days and weeks. [Banner Signed by International Students and Scholars Kent State University, 2001]”

To learn more about the September 11 Remembrance Project papers, visit