Where Were You?
Many Americans remember where they were and what they were doing during the Sept. 11 attack, including teachers at Legacy. Mr. Howard Ritz watched the damage caused by the first plane crash from his classroom at Burleson High School. When the second plane hit, the whole room became silent.
“I thought, ‘This is unbelievable,’” Ritz said. “I couldn’t believe it was happening”.
Ritz’s daughter lived in New York City at the time, only blocks away from the World Trade Center. After repeatedly calling her and never hearing back, Ritz began to worry.
“I had no way of knowing where she was,” Ritz said. “I was numb and in denial.”
Ritz finally received a call back from his daughter saying she was fine. She had been busy working, unaware of what had occurred.
Ms. Debbie Larimore was working at Worley Middle School at the time of the attack. She found out about the first plane crash when one of her co-workers asked for a television to watch the news. While Larimore and her co-worker watched, the second plane hit.
“I was crying,” Larimore said. “The whole world changed.”
That night, Larimore played Bunco with her friends and donated all the money to the Red Cross to help with the devastating damage done by the attack.
While getting ready for work, Mr. Jonathan Szostek heard about the attack after a radio announcement reported that an airplane had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. After learning that another plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, he realized that it wasn’t just an accident but an act of terrorism. Later while driving through downtown Dallas, Szostek noticed the lack of traffic on the road, seeing only three or four vehicles the entire drive.
“It was like a ghost town,” Szostek said. “It was literally like the world was standing still to see what would happen next.”
By Alanna Zaskoda and Ben Townsend
Several things have changed since the shocking and disastrous attack on the World Trade Center 13 years ago. Some changes are obvious while some the average civilian wouldn’t notice.
Airports: Airports throughout the United States made some major changes following 9/11. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has taken airport security to a higher level, including such measures as:
-Full-body screenings and increased pat-downs
-All baggage must be screened
-No liquids above 3.4 ounces allowed past the checkpoint
-Shoes must be taken off during the scanning process
-Thorough I.D. check before entering the terminal areas
-Cockpit to remain locked during the flight
-Federal Air Marshals to be put on certain flights
Emergency Services: During the events of 9/11, police, fire, and ambulance services from all over New York were dispatched to the scene. However, at the time none of them could communicate with one another. This made things challenging and slowed rescue missions. Today, each emergency service department is required to have a certain frequency which can be used to communicate with other emergency services.
Event Security: Whether it be major sporting events or concerts, stricter security has been put in place since 9/11. Large bags are checked before entering the site, and an increased number of security officers work these events.
Shelene Anderson (Social Studies Teacher)
“I was terrified. My mom called me and said turn the TV on. I was on the phone with her, watching the TV and I had the horrible sinking feeling that I was going to be called back to duty. I was an Arabic languish in the military, and I knew we would go to the Middle East after this. I was terrified that I would be pulled back in and horrified that it happened in the first place. If I could say one thing to the families of the people that were lost that day, just I’m so sorry. We were all victims that day. It was horrible.”
John Davis (Physics Teacher)
“I was teaching at Mansfield High School at the time. It was in between classes and these kids came running in saying ‘They’re bombing New York!’ I pull in the TV, and I turn it on as the next class came in. We decided to watch because it was history. It was very surreal. When the second plane hit, we thought it was a replay. It was crazy.”
Jonathan Szostek (Pre-AP Chemistry Teacher)
“While I was getting ready for work I heard about the attack after a radio announcement reported that an airplane had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. After the second plane hit I realized that it wasn’t an accident but an act of terrorism. Later, while driving through downtown Dallas I noticed the lack of traffic on the road, seeing only three or four vehicles the entire drive. It was like a ghost town. It was literally like the world was standing still to see what would happen next."
Jeremy Ferman (Theater Director)
"My wife and I were on a trip to the Florida Keys with her father. We were deep sea fishing off the coast of Key Largo when the skipper received a call that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. When we got back to shore our phones were full of messages. We turned on the television just as the second plane hit. We sat for five minutes in awe of what we had just seen. Then, it was action time. We worked out a way to get the last large car, we were in a Mustang convertible, from the Miami-Dade Airport and drove straight through the night from Miami to Dallas listening to everything unfold on the radio as we drove. I will never forget."