Remembering 9/11

Students and staff recall the horrors of that day


Sydney Kinzy

Senior Kathryn Bonzon was not old enough to remember 9/11, but still believes it was a huge tragedy for Americans. “It’s definitely one of the things you don’t understand until you see it happen, so I can imagine it and feel for people, but I will never truly relate to the people who saw it,” Bonzon said.

Claire Smout

Where were you when on September 11, 2001? West High students were too young to remember the events of that day. But for those who were old enough, it is a day that they will never forget even, fifteen years later.

“9/11 is kind of a flashbulb moment for me,” English teacher Casey Holland said. “I will always remember exactly where I was when it happened.”

Holland was a sophomore at Diamond High School in Southwest, MO  at the time of 9/11 and remembers watching the news all day, even at school, as the story unfolded.

“I was young enough that I didn’t really realize the significance of it until watching the news. I was really confused. It was a loss of innocence moment,” Holland said. “It was one of those moments where everything became real and I realized how dangerous people can be. At that point, I had this naive view of the world and that kind of took that from me.”

Other members of the community experienced the tragedy first hand. Senior Nicole Brautigam and her family were living in New York at the time, and her dad was working in the building next door when the planes hit.

“The building he was working in became a mess of broken glass and debris from the twin towers. His building actually ended up coming down too,” Brautigam said. “I can remember my dad recalling what he saw that day, seeing people jump out of the window. It is something that is completely terrifying and something he won’t forget.”

Social Studies teacher Nancy Sachtleben remembers watching the event on the TV with her class and feeling a sense of comradery in the midst of chaos.

“We couldn’t believe it. It humbled us. You felt for the people who were there. They say that 9/11 made everyone feel like a New Yorker and it really did. Our hearts went out to them,” Sachtleben said.

Fifteen years later, Americans still remember that day. There is now a memorial where the World Trade Center once stood that commemorates the lives that were lost. Sophomore Kate Goebel visited the memorial this summer.

“There are big square fountains where the buildings were. On the edges of the fountains are all the names of the people who died,” Goebel said.

The monument, which includes a museum, was opened on Sept. 11, 2011. People come from across America to experience the memorial.

“It was a very emotional atmosphere, at the memorial. I think that monuments like this are really significant because it is a good way to honor the people’s lives and recognize that this terrible thing actually did happen,” Goebel said.