September 11 memories


Juliana Shattuck

On September 11, 2001, Some of the WO staff remember where they were and how they experienced the tragedy. Then 20-year-old Instructor Steven Bowyer was sitting in his economics class in Grand Valley State University. The most common question going around was, “Is this an accident?”

  “A big surprise was when the other planes crashed,” Bowyer said. The two main emotions flooding the atmosphere were sorrow for the families and confusion. That day almost everything shut down. Bowyer spent the rest of his day with his family.

  Principal Todd Tulgestke is one of many who remembers the tragedy.  It was Tulgetske’s first year of teaching U.S History at the high school, which is now Harbor Lights. Tulgetske had a conjoined room with another teacher and he wasn’t teaching for the period, but the  teacher he shared a room with was. He was in the doorway as the other teacher turned on the television. “9/11 was getting a lot of media coverage,” Tulgestke said.  After watching the news, some parents came to pick their kids up and go back home to grieve. The next day most teachers didn’t go by their lesson plans because of the catastrophic event.

  Counselor Kristin Sherrington was 25 years old. On that day, Sherrington was at her house grading papers when her husband called. To her shock, she learned of the terrorist attack happening in New York. When she turned the television on, she didn’t understand what or why it was happening and if it was intentional or not. “It was hard to concentrate on anything else,” said Sherrington. The next day a lot of people didn’t know what to do but grieve for the families that lost loved ones. Today, we pause on 9/11 to reflect on life and remember those who we lost. “You just have to move on with life,” said Sherrington.

  Librarian Randi Melnyk was on her way to a doctor’s appointment when she heard an announcement on the radio talking about the plane crash. When she got home from the doctor’s appointment,  she found out about the extent of the tragedy. She remembers pulling her kids out of school. ”I felt sad and scared to be in the world,” Melnyk said.

  “Never Forget” is a slogan that represents 9/11 and its aftermath. It captures the reality that people who experienced 9/11 live in everyday.