Mustangs remember 9/11

Taylor McKuin works on an art project commemorating the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

CLAY TURNER – Hoof Prints Staff

While Mrs. Buck sat at her desk during what seemed to be a normal day, a bell rang signaling to the students to change classes. As her students got out of their seats and began to walk out of the classroom, another group of students ran into her room.

“Mrs. Buck,” one of them said, “turn the news on. Something’s happened. An airplane just flew into one of the World Trade buildings.”

Mrs. Buck couldn’t believe it but she nonetheless turned her television set on. As she and her class watched through the whole period, another plane flew into the other Twin Tower. It looked to be an accident to Mrs. Buck but as the day continued the news begins circulating that terrorists had struck the towers. The date was September 11, 2001.

That same morning Mrs. Hatch was doing her student teaching at Paragould. As she was typing a test that morning, the husband of the teacher she was observing walked into the classroom. He told them about the plane flying into the Twin Tower so they turned the television on. They saw the other plane crash into the second tower.

“I remember feeling sick at my stomach when I watched it,” Mrs. Hatch said.“We were feeling helpless.”

Shortly afterward there was a bomb threat called into the school as a result of what was being shown on television. Mrs. Hatch, along with the rest of the school, had to spend the rest of her afternoon at the football field.

Senior Steven Marroquin remembered getting out of school for the rest of the day. He was six at the time but after seeing the looks on everyone’s faces he knew that something was wrong. Senior Derrick Moore’s cousins worked near the site of the attack when it happened so they actually saw the smoke from the towers from their workplace.

During a trip to New York last year, Mrs. Buck had the opportunity to meet someone that had witnessed the attack first-hand. When she and her husband got into a taxi, she asked the driver if he had been in New York during the time of the attack. He said he had. He told them how he had overslept the morning of September 11 so he had to rush in order to get to work that day. The subway he was on stopped at one point, causing people to wonder what was happening. He heard soon after that that something had happened in the city but nobody knew what that was.

The subway then started back up only to stop again. There was eventually an announcement made that the subway system and the airports were shut down and that wherever the passengers were going, they would have to walk to get there.

When Mrs. Buck walked down the streets of New York, she could tell that the city had yet to clean up all the filth that the attack had caused.

“You could tell when you walked down the street where soot had covered sidewalks,” Mrs. Buck said. “And they had tried to clean them, but if you looked really close, you could still tell.”

It has been 10 years since those terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers but since then America has been positively and negatively changed as a result of the attack. People are more aware of what is going on around them. There is also greater security at airports, political gatherings and at sports venues. Many second-guess themselves whenever they get on an airplane while others have grown more prejudiced to foreigners in the U.S.

“I’m not sure that’s fair because a lot come here to be peaceful and become Americans or at least live with Americans,” Mrs. Hamrick said.

9/11 has brought our nation together and has made us stronger overall. It has also helped people to realize what’s important in life.

“It just made me realize that you never know what’s gonna happen when you wake up in the morning,” Mrs. Hatch said. “So you should always tell your family and friends how you feel about them because you just never know from day to day what’s gonna happen. If whether it be on a national or global level or just something that happens to you personally.”