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UISD students learn about the terrifying events of 9/11

Posted Date: 09/14/2023

UISD students learn about the terrifying events of 9/11

Students packed in the Lyndon B. Johnson High School cafeteria on Monday to watch the terrifying 9/11 events unfold in a video that highlighted the plane crashes and last conversations recorded for loved ones.

The “Remembering 9/11” tribute marked the significance of the world-changing event to students who weren’t born when planes crashed into the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania on 9/11/2001.

The video included live media footage and showed New Yorkers fleeing as the Twin Towers collapsed. It also had the recordings of stunned dispatchers who grappled with what was happening.

The students fell silent as they watched the chaos from that day 22 years ago.

Joshua Llamas, a social studies teacher who helped coordinate the event, said the students’ lives have been forever changed because of this act of terrorism. The extra security measures at the airport that they have lived with are a direct result of the attack, explained Llamas.

“It’s always something we should never forget, this event,” he said after the presentation. “This is very tragic - it changed our lives forever … We just want to make sure our students never forget.”

Llamas remembers he was a student at Zaffirini Elementary when 9/11 happened.

“I was a student at Zaffirini Elementary and I was old enough to just know what was happening on TV at that point. Mrs. Perez - I will always remember her - came in the classroom and started teaching. I remember just listening to our teachers and seeing them … scared being strong for us. (They said) Hey, you all are going home. Something is happening in your country,” he said.

The students were released and he remembered going home and watching the events on television and explaining them to his grandmother.

“I will always remember seeing my grandmother and she didn’t know what was happening,” he said.

Webb County Fire Marshall Felix Nunez, a first responder for more than 40 years, delivered a presentation on the important role that firefighters and police play in the community.

At the presentation was a wreath honoring those lives lost. The Junior ROTC Navy gave the presentation of colors and Taps was played.

Other people in UISD remembered that tragic day as well.

Communications Specialist Sonya Sanchez was living in Virginia and commuting to Washington, D.C. for work at the Department of Commerce.

“The feeling was like somebody in your family died. I had lived in New York City just before 9/11,” she said, adding that she was familiar with the area and how densely populated it was. She immediately knew that a lot of people were going to die on that day.

Sanchez was eventually evacuated from D.C. with her colleagues and she witnessed the billowing black smoke coming from the Pentagon.

“The most shocking thing was how beautiful the day was … no one expected something tragic like this to happen,” she said.

Sanchez took a four-hour cab ride home, where she found many messages waiting for her, including a call from Laredo Morning Times. She shared her story with the newspaper and remained in close contact with her parents.


picture of Sonya Sanchez in New York

Sonya Sanchez of UISD’s Public Relations Department lived and worked in New York City just before the attacks on September 11th 2001. She was working in Washington D.C. on that fateful day.


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