Montrose Reflects on the 9/11 Tragedy: For the Victims, Survivors & the Nation

Meagan Flynn '19, Contributing Writer

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What comes to your mind when you hear 9/11? Fear? Terror? Remembrance? Fifteen years ago, this most dreadful terror attack occurred in New York City. Eleven Islamic terrorists hijacked four planes: 2 planes  slammed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The first plane clashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:45 AM, creating an immense hole between the middle of the Tower and leaving floors 100 and above trapped higher than the impact. In a short span of time, a second plane smashed into the South Tower at 9:03 AM. There were flames and bodies everywhere. Both Towers collapsed within an hour of impact.

A third plane smashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, an hour after the first plane hit the North Tower in New York City. A fourth plane  crashed uneasily into a field in Pennsylvania after citizens attacked the terrorists to prevent another, what many assumed, was a targeted hit planned for the Capitol Building in DC. The total death toll was 2,996, with another 6,000 wounded.

Montrosians joined Americans throughout the country in remembrance on 9/11. The Looking Glass reached out to the community to share these 9/11 reflections. Below is a sampling of the responses.


What do you think of when you hear 9/11?

“Vulnerability” -Mrs. Lombardo , “thousands of innocent lives were stolen”-Maggie Gilbert’18, “destroyed families” -Aine Ford ‘18, “black smoke” -Mrs. Young, “new and sad phase in our nation’s history” -Mrs. Hofer, “American pride” -Ciara Dunn ‘18, “terrorism” -Mrs Whitlock, “Bravery”- Izzi Frank ’19, “emergency contact number” -Brooke Harrison ‘19, “world can change in an instant” -Mrs. McGowan, “meant our country was under attack and we were at war” -Mrs. Irwin, “patriotism” “should be the greatest nation on earth!”-Mrs. Sullivan, “community” -Mrs. Roberts.

Did you know of or someone personally who was affected by 9/11?

“Every year my family flies out to San Francisco to visit family. My family and I flew out on 9/10, but if we had flown a day later, we would have been in the plane that hit the Twin Towers”- Elizabeth Ling ‘18, “friends in Washington, DC, saw the plane strike the Pentagon and flames erupt. The smoke was visible for miles. The father of one of my children’s friends was killed” -Mrs. Foley, “My dad gave a talk there just a week before, and he was on a conference call with someone in the towers during it” -Abby Navin’19 “Dear friend was working there. He was one of the lucky ones and was able to get out” -Mrs. Galasso, “My dad’s cousin cleaned up people’s bones” -Anna Kearney ‘21, “My uncle was on one of the top floors, but was able to escape. Both of my parents and my brother were living in New York at that time”- Amanda Belger ’21, “I was teaching outside of Washington, DC and one of my student’s dad died in the Pentagon attack” -Mrs. Osborne,  “The father of a family friend was supposed to be on the flight that flew into the first tower, but was stuck in traffic and missed it.” -Ms. Thordarson, “My uncle, who worked for the Department of Defense, was called down to New York after 9/11. His family didn’t see him for two weeks and they couldn’t be told what he was doing.” -Mrs. McGowan, “My friend was a flight attendant on a plane that flew by the twin towers just as the first one went down!  She’ll never forget that sight!” -Mrs. Sullivan,  “Lost 2 family members” -Stephanie Ciampa ’20.

If you were old enough, do you remember where you were at the time of 9/11?

“My daughter was at Hofstra University in NY that semester and she could see the Twin Towers from her dorm room. She was traumatized by the death and devastation nearby” -Mrs. McAvoy, “Yes, I had four children. I was home with them, and a friend called to tell what had happened. I hesitated a long time before telling the older girls. I wanted to pair tragedy with heroism so they could see the good with the bad.” -Mrs. Whitlock, “I was in the middle of teaching my class.  I got called out into the hall by the dean and he told me what had happened and told me to keep the kids in my room until parents could be contacted.” -Mrs. Osborne, “I had just started the 7th grade at Montrose as a new student and I was home sick from school that day. I’ll never forget the fighter jets flying around overhead.” -Mrs. McGowan, “I was upstairs in my house, making beds and listening to some program on the TV in the background.  As I became aware of what had happened, I remember sinking down to sit on the end of the bed and being riveted to what I was seeing.  A neighbor called me to see if I was aware of what was going on, and we were both glad to hear each other’s voices.” -Mrs. Sullivan.

Have you been to the 9/11 museum and memorial in NYC?

About half of the respondents said they have visited the museum and memorial. To honor the victims and the horror of the terror attack, people visit the 9/11 memorial and museum in NYC.

What do you do to remember victims every year?

“A moment of silence at time that 1st plane hit 1st tower”- Aine Ford ’18, Tess Farr’ 22, Brooke Harrison ’19, and Mrs. Osborne, “Run in a race for my son’s friend’s father.”- Mrs. Foley, “Watch services on TV.”- Mrs. McAvoy, “Hang a flag” -Ciara Dunn ’18, “I used to go to a memorial ceremony in the town center, but the last few years I set aside time to pray for our world.”- Mrs. McGowan, “I try to take a moment of silence to ask God to look in on all the family members who were left behind and help them to remember their loved ones and keep their memories alive and help them continue to live meaningful, enriched lives in spite of the tragedy.”- Mrs. Sullivan.


Every year, Montrose students, faculty, and families pray for the victims and the families of 9/11. For  the sake of the victims and the survivors, as well as our lingering wounds as American citizens attacked on native soil, we should all plan on ways to remember and transform tragedy into strength.


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