2021 marks 20th anniversary of 9/11


Delilah Ballard

Cathy Barker teaches about 9/11 in her humanities class. Many DMS teachers have stories about where they were when the attacks occurred.

By Delilah Ballard and Charlee Lafee

There are some moments people will never forget.

At Duncan Middle School, many of the teachers could tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the 9/11 attacks. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York, the destruction of the Pentagon and the demise of the flight United 93.

In total, 2,996 people lost their lives, resulting in the largest terrorist attack in United States history. Members of al Qaeda hijacked four passenger planes. Two hit the Twin Towers, one hit the Pentagon and was crashed in a field in Pennsylvania before reaching its target, the White House.

Cathy Barker was teaching fourth grade at Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Duncan, that day. Barker, who now teaches humanities at DMS, said the 9/11 attacks were for her what World War 2 was for her grandparents.

“It was a very pretty day,” Barker said. “It was very sunny and a good day for a walk in nature.”

Eighth-grade English teacher Brenda Hurley was also teaching when the attacks occurred. The topic still remains emotional for her, and she considers the 9/11 attacks as a moment in history that should never be forgotten.

“When it happened, I was on my off period, and I was in the DMS conference room watching it all on the news,” Hurley said.

For Hurley, the day is still fresh in her mind, despite being 20 years later. She said it’s hard to believe how much time has passed, describing as feeling “like yesterday.”

Not all of the faculty members were teaching when the attacks occurred.

David Alston, eighth-grade social studies teacher, was 29 years old when the 9/11 happened, and he hadn’t entered the teaching field yet.

“During the time, I was working at a channel station while watching what was happening on the many television monitors,” Alston said.

Resource officer Chris Perkins also remembers the attacks vividly. Perkins was 30 years old at the time.

“I had just gotten done with my homework from college, and I was on my way to the police station for work,” he said.

Following the attacks, the former site of the World Trade Center, also known as Ground Zero, became a memorial for the victims of 9/11. The attacks also resulted in stricter protocols at airports.

While many of the faculty members may find it hard to believe 20 years has passed, they won’t forget where they were when they first heard about the attacks.

“9/11 is very tragic, and it’s very upsetting our country is forgetting about it,” Perkins said.

This story was originally published on Demon Direct on September 11, 2021.