Beautiful, teenaged Melissa Ashley Van Ness, daughter of The AFA's Director of Development Lisa Van Ness, interviewed me yesterday about the events of September 11, 2001. This was for a school project requested of students in North Carolina. I am so grateful to Melissa for reaching out to me for this interview, because she opened my heart up. I have been avoiding feeling, and have been dreading this Sunday. I feel better now. Here are her words. - Corey Whelan
9/11 Oral Report
By: Melissa Ashley Van Ness September 8, 2011 4th block
For my oral report I interviewed my mom’s co-worker, Corey. She was one of the people who saw the towers go down and watch the airplanes go into the World Trade Center. Here’s my interview from beginning to end. Let’s begin.
Hi Mrs. Corey, I was calling you to tell you that I am doing an oral report on the 9/11 attacks. I was wondering if I can ask you some questions. She said, “Sure why not.”
1.) What were you doing when you heard about the attack? - She said she didn’t hear about it. She was getting off the subway taking her daughter to school. She saw smoke. She went home and turned on her TV and she saw that the first plane hit the first tower.
2.) How did you react when you heard about what happened? - She said she was horrified and in disbelief. Then as she was watching TV the second plane hit. She tried to get a hold of her kids from school, but her oldest son was in Manhattan. Her other daughter was on her way home.
3.) Do you know anyone who was a firefighter, police officer, or a witness? - Yes. She said her cousin Eugene was one of the firefighters and died that day. He was on his way to the beach, and when he saw what happened and turned the jeep with his friends around and headed for New York City. After that they never heard back from him.
4.) Did you go anywhere when everything was happening? She said that she didn’t. When she got her 6 year old daughter home, her daughter was freaking out. She was trying to distract her by putting on her Halloween costume that she just got a couple weeks ago. After that she brought her outside. Not the very brightest idea she had because when she went outside ash was falling from the sky. So she went back inside.
5.) How close or far away from the 9/11 were you and how far where you from it? She said she was 6 miles away.
6.) If you were the President how would react when you found out about the attack and what would you do?- She said she would do everything to keep Americans safe and that she would react with anger to the people who tried to hurt us. As President she said she would make sure that something like this would never happen again.
7.) If you had to evacuate your own home that day would you and if not why? She said she would evacuate if she can bring her family and dogs. Just kidding. She said that her home is just walls and that she would do what she had to do, to keep her family safe.
8.) How do you think 9/11 changed the country?- She said it changed everything. Corey thinks that this generation learned two important things. There are people out there who hate Americans and that the United States is not invincible and that we can be hurt.
9.) Every year Corey runs a race called Tunnels to Towers for the people who died on 9/11. She and her kids run in the fireman’s footsteps who ran the Brooklyn Tunnel to get to the Twin Towers to help that day. When they run they donate money to helpless kids. At the end of the race there are firefighters who hold up pictures of the firefighters who died that day. She always walks up to the person who is holding up her cousin’s picture and shakes his hand. She runs in the footsteps of the firefighter who ran to rescue people that day.