The Harbinger Online

Remembering 9/11: Students Recall Their Experiences from 2001

What do you recall from that day?

“It was in second grade and half way through the day [my teacher] told us that something had happened really close ‘cause we were two hours away from New York City. They said that we were going to have to stay in our classrooms but call all of our parents to make sure our parents were okay. A lot of my friends parents worked in New York City. Then after our parents personally had to come pick us up from school.” Ree Ae Jordan//Senior

“I was about seven, I was in the first grade and I was at school. It was playing on the TVs in our classrooms. I remember people were talking about it in the halls. A lot of the fifth and sixth graders.” Sam Tulp//Junior

“I remember Richie Wagstaff one of my little freshman at the time, saying, “Ms. Beachy do you think this means we are going to go to war?” And I looked at him and I thought, Gosh if we do, would kids like him? Would my students have to go fight and be recruited? That was really hard, that was here, that was something I could see, the fear on their faces.” Laura Beachy//English Teacher

How were you notified, what did they say?

“A colleague of mine who doesn’t teach here anymore came in and I remember her face and her exact words. She said, “Oh my God Laura, a plane flew into a building in NY.” I really didn’t think that much of it. I thought, “Oh well that’s a bad accident, strange things happen all the time.” She looked very shaken up and I didn’t understand why.” Laura Beachy//English Teacher

“I was in school, they didn’t tell us what happened but they just said something bad happened then all of our parents came and picked us up.” Sam Tulp//Junior “My mom explained it to me. I was at a picnic in second grade and I remember seeing all the planes fly back to the KCI airport. I remember seeing the actual footage of it and I thought it was a movie or something.” Zach Jacobson//Senior

What was your reaction?

“It was more like I didn’t quite understand because I was really young. My parents tried to explain it to me it was like all over the news so I know my parents were constantly watching it so it was more like i just didn’t understand what was going on.” Ree Ae Jordan//Senior

“My mom was in the news at that point so when I got home she was busy and running around; it was a pretty hectic day.  My dad still had to go to work and he was busy; he worked with the banks so Wall Street was shut down at that point. It permeated my life for that period.” Sam Tulp//Junior

“I was actually really naive about it. I came back into my house, walked upstairs and both of my parents were just sitting on the couch watching the news. They just kept repeating the same video of the towers falling down. I just kind of looked over there and was like, “Oh, so, Hey I got out of school early.” Then my mom kind of took me aside and said, “Mark, do you know what happened?” Then she told me everything and I was like. But in my second grade self by the next day I had completely forgot about it.” Eli Mitchell//Senior

How do you feel the country is still dealing with the aftermath?

“Well we obviously have the debt crisis and that began all our debt because we went to war. It led to all the jobs that were lost, it is just like a chain.” Zach Jacobson//Senior

“I mean, it affected what we did after that point. We went to war over it. We were focusing on that event, and our reaction really shaped the US. It still matters today—it is obviously very important, it affected nearly 3,000 lives, which is quite a few people.” Sam Tulp//Junior

“I still feel like we’re the same people but we just have a lot more regulations and restrictions on freedoms just because it’s like, if you’re wearing a turban in the airport you have a bomb. Our mind-set has sort of shifted. It shifted to like, “We hate Arabs.” And then finally now we are kind of shifting back once we realized that they don’t have weapons of mass destruction and it was only Osama Bin Laden.” Mark Towster//Senior

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