New Wakonda student has unique perspective of Sept. 11 terrorist attack Editor's note: Ally Eckert, a new student at Wakonda High School, shares her unique memories of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the East Coast. She was living in Pennsylvania at the time. One of the hijacked airliners destined for Washington, DC crashed in that state when passengers stormed the terrorists in the cockpit.
by Ally Eckert
Everyone remembers where they were when they heard about a plane crashing into one of the twin towers. Everyone thought it was just an accident but when the second tower and Pentagon were hit people started to really worry and speculate on who or what caused this.
In South Dakota, not as many people were as affected by the happenings on that day as there were in Pennsylvania. Many people from the northeastern part of the my state worked with or knew someone who worked or lived in New York City.
The day started out like any normal day, but between classes people talked about how a plane just crashed into the twin towers; nothing really dawned on any one until they saw the news.
People were just blown away by what was happening. Some people had recently been to the World Trade Center or to Washington, DC before school started and now they were both in flames.
People started talking about who was doing this and then the towers started to fall. I can remember the large gasp that was let out by my class at that time.
That day we did nothing in most of my classes. In my biology class, a girl was nearly in tears because her father was flying out of the airport in Newark, NJ which is where two of the hijacked planes took off from, and she couldn't contact him.
The father of one of my friends was a pilot flying the Newark to Los Angeles route. Even some firefighters from my area were sent up to help.
On the way home on the school bus everyone talked about what might happen next because the events just seemed to unravel around us. My hometown, Nazareth, PA, was close to the middle of everything that was happening and everyone worried that our town would be next since it was very populated.
By 4 p.m., everything died down and everyone watched the clean up and rescue mission going on in New York, Washington, DC and western Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania was still feeling the wake of all that had happened, even in early 2003. Starting around January the schools in my area started a new policy. All schools would have to have enough food to feed the entire student body and faculty for three days.
Students also needed to have a three-day supply of medication in the nurses' offices. These were precautions because there was always a fear out there that there would be an attack on Nazareth or the surrounding area.
In the Midwest, the attacks on Sept. 11 just didn't seem as real as they did out there.
They literally happened in my backyard.