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I Lost My Dad On 9/11 & Now I’m A Senior In College

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manhattan chapter.

My name is Angelica Niedermeyer and I was born eight months after my father, Alfonse Joseph Niedermeyer III, died on duty as a Port Authority Police Officer in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. I will always miss a parent whom I have never met. 

When I moved onto the Manhattan College campus in New York City it was August 2020, and we had just come out of lockdown. I wrote my first Her Campus article about the impact of 9/11 and Covid-19 on Generation Z and the controversy that was lighting up the Tribute in Light during a global pandemic. Now, I am a senior studying journalism and interning in the brand department at the Port Authority of NY & NJ, in the building that overlooks my father’s, and thousands and thousands of others’, memorial. 

So much has changed over the last 22 years and I am still processing everything. Osama bin Laden, the leader of the terrorist group al-Qaeda who was responsible for the attacks, was killed by Navy SEAL Team Six on my 9th birthday. That was a weird gift. Most of the time I am OK, but then I’ll be watching the television show Friends and the mindless B-roll of the Twin Towers is a trigger, not just a ‘90’s New York staple. Or some drunk idiot makes a disturbing 9/11 joke and I have to remind myself that people my age are so far removed from the tragic day. On top of that, my generation is so numb to tragedies because of the overconsumption of negative breaking news.

But, not everyone is born with grief. Every year, like clockwork, I get anxious around September. I can never control it or skip a year. It comes whether I want it to or not as if a new school year isn’t enough commotion. Just like Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, I wish someone could “Wake Me Up When September Ends”.

This year, I can’t believe I am a senior and that I experienced a global pandemic before my degree. I would not have believed you if you told me that I would have been an intern at the agency where my dad worked. I have a lot of feelings and I will always be emotional and confused about everything. But in a world that we cannot control, I get to choose to write and create. I get to share my thoughts in a way that people can understand and learn. 

Currently, I am the leader of Her Campus at Manhattan and I take so much pride in running such a beautiful team of women writing their hearts out. I am so thankful that I found Her Campus at Manhattan on Instagram during the lockdown and took a chance on joining an online magazine. Having an outlet to write changes your thought process and can be a form of meditation. 

Thank you for taking the time to read a glimpse of my story and I encourage you to find a special place like Her Campus to be an extension of yourself. 

Angelica is so excited to be the leader of this chapter as Campus Correspondent at Her Campus at Manhattan! Originally from the Jersey Shore, Angelica is a senior at Manhattan College studying communication with a concentration in journalism and a minor in French. Angelica is also Features Editor of the campus newspaper The Quadrangle, Fashion and Beauty Editor of Lotus Magazine, and Secretary of Alpha Pi Phi Sorority. She currently interns at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the Brand and Customer Partnerships Department. You can hear Angelica hosting Soundtrack Sunshine, as she DJ’s for Manhattan College’s radio station WRCM. When she finds the time to breathe she likes to go for walks in Van Cortland Park, hang out at An Beal with friends, and watch her roomates dance at the basketball games. Angelica loves to write about anything from her deepest darkest feelings, trendiest clothes on sale, and hot button topics. She loves to share her experiences with all of you and hopes readers can take something from her insight. She encourages anyone with a story to tell to join Her Campus and take a chance on the best girl group in college! Happy reading :)