Most of today’s undergraduate students at The University of Toledo were in their elementary or middle school classrooms on the morning of Sept. 11, 2011.For some, teachers turned on the news and informed the students of what was happening in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. In those classrooms of children and young teenagers, it was total silence as they watched history unfold.
Others didn’t learn the full magnitude of what happened until they got home from school and their parents explained the planned attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Lana Thornhill, a 21-year-old senior majoring in early childhood education from Macedonia, Ohio, was in sixth grade at Bethel Christian in Parma, Ohio. She remembers being in the classroom that morning when her teacher entered the room “with a shocked look on her face, and she told us what happened.”
“We didn’t do much else for the rest of the day, and then our parents came to pick us up,” she said. “It was a sad day.”
Spencer Rizk, a 19-year-old freshman majoring in anthropology, remembers his third-grade teacher crying on the phone in class because her son was in New York.
Ellen Gregory, 17, a freshman in education, also was in third grade, but outside for a fire drill when the school was informed of what happened through the PA system.
A junior in high school at the time, Julie Studer, 26, an education graduate student, was at the orthodontist and watched the news while in the office.
Basil Lowe, a 19-year-old sophomore majoring in history, recalled, “I was so excited to turn 10 the next day, but then it became such a gloomy day.”
Basil, who is from Temperance, Mich., was in the library of Jackman Road Elementary School when a teacher entered the room looking panicked and asked for a television to be turned on.
“I saw the second plane hit the South Tower and remembered thinking, ‘How could someone hit a building that big?’” he said. “It was a horrible day.”
UT students said they planned to spend the day watching 10-year anniversary coverage on television and taking the time to remember and pray for the lives that were lost.