Teachers, former 5th graders share 9/11 experiences with students

Posted at 6:42 PM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 21:15:26-04

WESTFIELD, Ind. -- The next generation is learning about the tragic events that took place on 9/11 in a new way. Not from a textbook, but from former 5th graders themselves.

Students at Westfield Intermediate School participated in a question and answer panel that allowed them to learn more about the attacks that took place nearly 15 years ago.

On September 11, 2001 Mary Robinson's 5th grade class got news of the terror attack.

"I was extremely scared, I remember crying a couple of times. My dad was in the army so I linked the traumatic event to what he was doing. I was all worked up," said Wesley McKinney, now a geography teacher at North Central High School.

Another former student Danny Gronde, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, said after seeing a video of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers, he knew he wanted to serve the country.

"I knew from that point I wanted to serve and become a police officer or join the military," said Gronde, who showed his many scars from being hit with roadside bombs.

Robinson said she isn't surprised by her student's actions.

"That American spirit really came together, I love that. I love in my US history classroom for them to feel American and proud to be American," she said.

The students who heard these stories said they were inspired.

"It's inspired me to just think about how the heroes went in while everyone was coming down to save the people. Ever since then, it's inspirational for me to do that too," said 5th grade student Taylor Strack

Several remembrance ceremonies will take place across Central Indiana on Sunday. Gov. Mike Pence has ordered all flags to be half staff that day as well.