Foran Teachers Remember 9/11

Rowley Organizes Fundraiser Which Proceeds are Donated to the 9/11 Tribute Museum


Honoring the 20th Anniversary of 9/11: 9/11 Tribute Museum and lanyard fundraiser information. Photo courtesy: Rachel Rowley, September 2, 2021

Jenna Supple and Victoria Koenig

     On September 11, 2001 terrorists hijacked four planes. Two of the planes flew into the World Trade Center. As lower Manhattan became engulfed in debris, fear and uncertainty gripped the hearts of Americans.

     A total of 2,977 Americans were killed and thousands injured in three separate attacks on U.S. soil that day. September 11 affected many people 20 years ago and still continues to have an impact on Americans’ lives. Many of the teachers at Foran remember exactly where they were that day and continue to tell their stories.

     Mrs. Rachel Rowley remembers being in her senior year of college. She was sitting in class when they got news of a plane crashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. She states, “Everyone thought it was an accident at first until someone screamed that there was another plane.”

     Rowley continues, “Even though 9/11 was a horrific event, it made everyone nicer and more polite to each other. It taught us all that every day is a gift that we cannot take for granted.” 

     Every year for the past 10 years, Rowley has done a fundraiser for 9/11. This year, she sold lanyards to the students and faculty. Each lanyard is five dollars. The money raised is donated to the 9/11 Tribute Museum where survivors or family members of survivors share their stories and educate others. For anyone interested in buying a lanyard, Mrs. Rowley is still selling them in red hall.

     Art teacher Mr. Henry Czajkowski was working at Foran on 9/11. He found out about the attacks while scrolling through the internet. He then watched the news and listened on the radio with his students and soon realized that it wasn’t just an accident. 

     He states, “Things got worse and worse on the news on my computer and we all knew it wasn’t an accident but we were being attacked. Early reports said up to 10,000 could have been killed, but the fact of how early in the day it was, not everyone was at work in the buildings then.”

     Czajkowski’s former student and Foran alumni, Michael Miller, was killed on 9/11. Czajkowski states, “I remember 9/11 by praying for the totally devastated parents of Mike Miller, a wonderful man and student, and their only child.” 

     History teacher Mr. Austin Cesare remembers everything like it was yesterday. Cesare states, “I felt absolute horror when I first saw what had been going on.” Even though neither his family nor himself was directly affected by the attacks, he still found ways to remember 9/11 through teaching his students and telling his story.

     Like many others who gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks, President Joe Biden spoke of unity when he issued a recorded message through social media on Sept. 10. He recalled how Americans stood united against terrorism, but he pointed out that not all Americans were treated equally after the attacks.

     “We also witnessed the darker forces of human nature: fear and anger, resentment and violence against Muslim Americans, true and faithful followers of a peaceful religion,” Biden said. “We saw national unity bend. We learned that unity is the one thing that must never break. Unity is what makes us who we are: America at its best.”