911: Tuscarora Remembers: How the 9/11 Attacks Impacted my Father, the Fire Fighter


Ashley Elliot, Journalist

Editor’s Note

Students currently enrolled at Tuscarora were not alive when the attacks of September 11th took place in 2001, but their families, teachers, and other loved ones have experiences worth remembering. In order to ‘Never Forget’, the Titan Times staff has been working on a series of stories about people who are members (directly or indirectly with the Titan community). Our intention is to give those people a voice so that we can preserve their memories and so that we truly never forget the impact the tragedy of 09-11-2001 had on all Americans.

Ms. Kremnitzer

Co-Adviser for the Titan Times

If you have a story you would like to share, please email [email protected]


How the 9/11 Attacks Impacted my Father, the Fire Fighter


As his voice shakes, my father described the 9/11 attacks as a horendous act of terrorism. He was very unsure on what was going on at the time, with little information. Peter, my father, was a firefighter at the time of the attacks. 


On September 11th, 2001, my father described the day as a beautiful, crisp morning. Peter went into his work, as a firefighter in Washington, DC. It felt like a normal day, running usual calls. He stepped outside to get some fresh air.  That’s when everything changed. There was a commotion inside the firehouse. He went in to see that one of the twin towers in New York had been crashed into by plane. His first thought was that it was an accident and hoped that everything and everyone was okay. He got a sickening feeling about it, but shook it off. 


Walking back outside, my dad looked up in the sky, and wondered why there was a plane flying so low. With two major airports in the area, it was not abnormal to see low-flying plans, but my father thought planes did not usually fly so low over this area.  Panicking, he went inside. That’s when he heard a loud boom. 


The aircraft he just witnessed fly over his head had hit the Pentagon.

 In absolute shock, he knew right away that this was something more than an accident: this was an act of terrorism. He walked outside to see a huge cloud of smoke coming up from the building. The feeling of remorse and madness covered his whole body like hives, and sent shivers down his back.  He got ready to make a call to the Pentagon.  


As my father explains it, with tears in his eyes, he remembers the day perfectly. What exactly had happened, what he ate, what exact times he saw the planes and heard about the 2 aircrafts hitting the towers, and more. He knew that some of his firefighter friends in New York didn’t make it. Nineteen years later, my father still thinks the same way about the attacks. Working as a firefighter isn’t the same for him anymore, and nothing can compare to the wave of emotions he was feeling that day.