The events of September 11, 2001 will forever be etched in the minds of many Americans who watched the attacks on television. APS Superintendent John L. Barry experienced the event first hand.
Barry was in the Pentagon on that sad day and saw the tragedy unfold. "We had been watching the news about the Twin Tower attacks and were concerned about an attack on Washington D.C. when we felt the explosion. My office was two corridors over and you could feel, smell and hear the impact," Barry said.
Barry worked as Director of Strategic Planning for the U.S. Air Force at the time of the attacks. "We evacuated, ensured everyone got out on our floor, assisted folks who needed help and then accounted for all the folks who worked for my office. As you can imagine, there was a lot of chaos and all the cell phones were overloaded and no one could get through. I did get an email to my daughter on my portable device so I could assure my family I was okay," he said.
On Monday, Sept. 11, from 10-11 a.m., Superintendent Barry will take part in a commemorative event at Vassar Elementary School. He will join police officers, firefighters and the men and women of the military. Barry will share his experience with students, staff and community members. Students will also share their thoughts.
APS students are reflecting about the event as we approach its 5-year anniversary.
“I was in middle school at the time and remember not knowing what was happening. I now understand how that day changed our country forever.”
--Justin, Gateway High School senior
“I don’t think that anyone will ever forget where they were when they first heard the news of 9/11. I’ll still remember that long day when I am 90.”
--Jordan, Hinkley High School senior
The public is invited to join Barry, students, parents and community members at the event on Sept. 11.
Barry and students will be available for interviews.
Vassar Elementary School is located at 18101 E. Vassar Place, Aurora, 80013.
For more information, contact Communication Services at (303) 344-8060, ext. 28015.