HOMETOWN HEROES: Oro Valley school brings in first responders to talk about 9/11

Leman Academy of Excellence invites first responders to help educate students about 2001 terror attacks

HOMETOWN HEROES: Oro Valley school brings in first responders to talk about 9/11

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Many of us remember where we were or what we were doing on Sept. 11.

But most children today have no memory of the tragedies that happened in 2001. The Leman Academy of Excellence is making sure children understand the sacrifice first responders made that day.

In a gym, students sat quietly with their eyes glued to a stage on Wednesday. It was similar to how we all say in front of our TVs 18 years ago when America was attacked.

After the assembly, the students had the chance to meet with and get autographs from first responders.

“We come out in solidarity with those that we’ve lost as well as all those who continue to be on the job,” said J.R. Colby, a paramedic at Golder Ranch Fire and father to a Leman student.

His son was wearing his firefighter helmet as he collected signatures. In 2001, many other helmets were worn.

Chondra Babb, a 9/11 survivor who works at Lemon Academy, was in New York when the attacks happened. She worked just blocks away from the World Trade Center, and said she frequently walked through the towers to get to her office.

“Around 9 o’clock, I noticed papers were flying around in the air behind me,” Babb said.

She stayed in her office, after the second plane hit the second tower.

“Then, we watched it crumble, and it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen," she said. "At the same time, so frightening because that cloud just rolled, that white cloud…we watched it come toward our building. For at least two hours, we were engulfed in complete darkness.”

She can share her story with students, so even if they weren’t there to experience what happened, they will never forget what happened on Sept. 11.

“It helps the children remember that this is what these people do, this is what they sacrifice their lives for,” Babb said.

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