16 years later, locals reflect on 9/11 - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

16 years later, locals reflect on 9/11

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CARBONDALE -- Memories of the September 11th attacks remain as vivid to many of us, today, as 16 years ago. News 3 caught up with people who remember where they were, and what they were doing when they learned of the attacks. 

Retired teacher Julie Bohnsack still remembers how the 9/11 tragedy unfolded in her classroom 16 years ago.  

"I went and got a TV and brought it into my classroom, and that's pretty much what we did the rest of the day," said Bohnsack. 

Her class watched the news, but her thoughts remained on her daughter in New York City.

"I tried calling and calling and calling her to be sure she was okay, and I wasn't able to get to her till later on in the afternoon," said Bohnsack. 

She visited New York City two weeks later, and says the smoke still billowed where the towers once stood.

Her most vivid memory though were signs posted all over the city. 

"'Have you seen this person? Have you seen that person?' It just was so heartbreaking, and then there was ash all over, all over everything," said Bohnsack. 

Jeremy Followell, then a freshman at SIU, watched the coverage on the front lawn of Altgeld Hall.

He says, he knew that day, America changed forever.

"I think it was the ending of a peaceful period. I mean, look at where we are standing now, compared to where we were then," said Followell. 

Alan Walters sat at home listening to the radio, stunned by the news.

"It devastated me like every other American who would see people jumping out of the tower to their deaths," said Walters. 

16 years later, Julie woke in a somber mood not only remembering those who died, but another group who never got to see the world before that tragic day. 

"Young adults, like 12 to 16 who don't even remember it, who don't even know.  I think they really need to learn about it, its part of our history," said Bohnsack. 

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