On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower at 8:46 a.m.As a thick cloud of smoke masked the Manhattan sky, Brenden Beer was in South Windsor, Conn.
“I was in middle school health class,” said Beer, now a sophomore at Castleton.
Twelve-year-old Beer knew that it wasn’t a typical school day.
“I knew it was important, but I didn’t understand the implications at the time,” Beer said.
He and his classmates were able to watch what was happening on the television before being sent home early from school.
“It was surreal to watch because it was actually happening,” Beer said.
Kieth Haley, a Castleton sophomore, took a moment to think about what he was doing that day.
“I was young so it’s hard for me to remember everything,” Haley said.
He was also at school watching the attacks on television.
“They were constantly showing video of the twin towers smoking, replaying it over and over,” he said. “It still hasn’t hit me.”
During an interview, psychology professor Terry Bergen was one building away from where he first heard of the attacks.
As he briskly walks the halls of the Stafford building in a brown leather coat and a Castleton baseball cap, he recalls what happened without delay.
“I was teaching my Research Methods course in Jeffords South, room 213,” Bergen said. “A grad student named Christina came to the door and said ‘a plane just flew into the World Trade Center.'”
Bergen suggested to his students that they finish class, but they were “horrified” by his response.
“The students were upset and wanted to go turn on TVs and watch the news, so I let them go,” Bergen said.
When United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m., Ashley Haggerty, a faculty assistant at Castleton, was working at the corporate office of Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo’s in Denham, Mass.
She was still unaware of what was happening 212 miles away.
“A co-worker that was running late walked into work and said ‘has anyone seen the planes hit the buildings,'” Haggerty said. “After that we all went into the president’s office to watch it on TV.”
She also called her brother, who travels regularly, to make sure that he was okay.
Sitting at her desk nine years later, Haggerty said “it seems like just yesterday.