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Remembering 9/11

Photo by Christy Porter
SPO Jeff Kinder explains the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11 to Candice Shepherd’s fourth grade class.

By Christy Porter, Managing Editor

In remembrance of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, SPO Jeff Kinder visited with Candice Shepherd’s fourth grade class on Monday.

Kinder shared the sequence of events on that day when al-Qaeda hijackers with suicide bombing intent took control of four domestic airliners resulting in the crashes into the twin towers in New York City (the first at 8:46 a.m. and the second at 9:03 a.m.), the attack on the Pentagon near Washington D.C. (at 9:37 a.m.), and the crash in a Pennsylvania field (at 10:03 a.m., after passengers attempted to overpower their assailants).

While giving the details of each attack and why these locations were targeted, Kinder emphasized the heroic efforts made by citizens of the U.S. and emergency response personnel on the scene. He recognized that the loss of life continues even today with 9/11-related illnesses suffered by responders and those at the scene.

While most of the U.S. watched in horror and disbelief as the attacks were aired on live television, response efforts at state and regional levels were being initiated.

Kinder, then a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer, was working the night shift and was asleep when the attacks happened. After being awakened by his wife, he too watched the events as they unfolded on television. The Missouri State Governor declared a state of emergency and MSHP patrolmen went to 12-hour shifts to help provide security to government entities and necessary utilities.

He explained the impact of the attacks as creating a different world for the fourth graders, even though they weren’t born yet. Heightened security measures in airports, in government buildings, and in so many aspects of life were never lowered or done away with.

It also resulted in the Afghanistan War, the Homeland Security Act, the Patriot Act and the Iraq War.

Kinder answered questions and heard personal stories from the students related to 9/11 before leaving the classroom.

The fourth graders finished their class by writing thank you notes to SPO Kinder.

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