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Teachers remember Terrorist Attack


n Sept. 11, 2001, lives were forever altered when terrorists crashed two hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center, casting a wave of shock and mourning across America. “I wanted to go to my daycare and pick up my kids [when I heard about the World Trade Center being hit],” English teacher Elizabeth Miller said. The official death toll from Sept. 11 is now 2,753, since one more victim has been added to the list, Jerry Berg. At aged 63, he died from lung complications this year as a result of inhaling debris from the collapse of the towers. The disastrous effects of that day still affect people a decade later. The world found out early that morning that the first plane hit the North Tower, and a fire erupted from the impact resulting into explosions. Soon people were in a frenzy of disbelief, and that is when photojournalism teacher, Cary Conover, who lived in New York on 9/11, grabbed his camera and ventured out into the streets. “My first reaction was I want to get this; I don’t want to miss this. I want to capture all of this, and I almost did miss the second tower getting hit,” Conover said. Around 8:45 a.m., the first plane crashed between the 93rd and 99th floors killing everyone on board and inside the building. Emergency services immediately responded and were dispatched to the World Trade Centers. A neighbor came and told Conover about the attack so he ran onto the roof of his building and starting shooting catching the second hit on his film. “Other teachers asked me to explain the full scale of the tragedy they were watching. It was one of the hardest moment of my career because it was hard to explain and comprehend it myself,” social studies teacher Joel Schaefer said. At 9:03 a.m. the South Tower was hit by another hijacked plane between the 77th and 85th floors, again killing everyone on board. This time though the plane had nose-dived into the South Tower losing altitude at a rate of roughly 5,000 feet per minute. People that were in shock already stood in complete disbelief wondering if this could be actually happening on American soil. A third plane was reported hijacked and soon crashed into the Pentagon and killed 39 on board and 125 in the Pentagon, 106 severely injured in the

Photojournalism teacher Cary Conover was living in New York and working as a photographer when the Twin Towers were hit and he captured the tragedy through his camera. Photo by Jacob Highfill

resulting fire around 9:37 a.m. This latest attacked called for a Nationwide Ground Stop at 9:42 a.m., where planes were grounded from flying over or bound to the United States. “I think about it [Sept. 11] all the time. I wouldn’t say I’m scarred, but that day is definitely burned into my memory,” Conover said. Another flight, United Airlines Flight 93, got word out that they had been hijacked as well. Learning about the attacks on the World Trade Center, it is thought that these brave passengers voted to try to fight back and gain control of the plane again. It is believed that the hijackers crashed the flight in order to prevent the passengers from winning back Flight 93. The surreal events continued when, at 9:59 a.m., the South Tower collapsed, killing 600 people in and around the building in the 10 seconds it took the Tower to fall. “It just seemed a pivotal event that you should be with your family and friends for,” Miller said. Barely five minutes later, Flight 93’s crash was reported in a field outside of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The site of the crash was roughly a 20 minute flight away from Washington D.C. The last flight did not reach its target, thought to be the White House or

Capitol Building. “That day was so bizarre. So many stories were being put out because it was real time coverage and you had to watch it the full day to understand what was actually happening, it almost felt like a day of rumors, but when you heard about the people who fought back, you were really impressed,” social studies teacher Seth Anderson said. As the day progressed, rescuers located a few lucky souls were able to walk away with their lives and went home. Due to the damage to the lower Manhattan’s waterlines had been compromised, preventing FDNY could not get water to the flames and the World Trade Center Build 7 collapsed at 5:20, after burning for hours. Thankfully no one had been in the building due to an evacuation earlier that day. “There was that structural absence of the Twin Towers, which hurt. I loved looking at them,” Conover said. At 8:30 that night, President Bush addressed the nation and made a statement in his speech: “These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved




Where were you when you found out about 9/11?

“Kindergarten classroom. I came home, and my mom was freaked out.” {kaleyHALLMARK,9}

“I was outside raking leaves, and my dad yelled at me to get inside because he didn’t know what was going on.” {maddieROUTHIER,10}

“I was in first grade “I was outside playing at school and didn’t with the neighbor kids know until I got home.” and came in, and my dad was staring at the TV in a daze.” {lincolnBLIZZARD,11} {alexGROMMET,12}


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Where were you when you found out about 9/11? alexHERNANDEZ {lincolnBLIZZARD,11} {kaleyHALLMARK,9} {maddieROUTHIER,10} {alexGROMMET,12} Phot...

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