Special Assembly – 9/11

The recent prominent anniversary of the fall of the Twin Towers has bought the terrible events of that day to the forefront of our minds. We put lesson 3 on hold this Wednesday and invited guest speaker and ex NYC Firefighter, Nelson Haerr, who was there on 9/11 to share his experience.  This was one of the most moving assemblies we’ve had of late and was embraced by pupils as part of our resilience theme for this term. Pupils had lots of questions and came away with a deeper understanding and respect for the thousands of people effected by the events of that day.


We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to Nelson for sharing his experiences. Our thoughts are with all of the people effected by 9/11.

The day after

After the assembly, many students felt they needed to write to Nelson to thank him for his bravery and time but also many were inspired to write their own thoughts and share them with others. Here is a selection of some of those thoughts and ideas:

You used different words to say important things.

Fire truck. Fire house. Buddies.

You told us they were flattened.


We watched you hit by images-

“All the shoes."

We asked, ”Did you think the towers would fall?”



“No…I didn’t get to do my job.”


We held your helmet in our hands.

The weight. The door stop. The weight.

The glass too – so thick –

A piece of the World Trade Centre in our hands.

In our hands.


“ It was like being on another planet,

Under a dark cloud of dust.”

They told you the sun was out somewhere else.


You have a letter in your hat.

“Thank you for doing your job.”

Words that helped you recover.

Words that speak so much:

“It’s good to see you.”


We knew you didn’t want to come.

But you did. You told us:

“Being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared."

We held your glass in our hands.

And clapped because -

It was good to see you.

I felt bad when he got emotional, and I felt thankful that he talked about it.

It was very interesting that Nelson came to share his story with us. I knew what 9/11 was but Nelson’s story made me more aware of what actually happened and put me in his perspective.

I’m very grateful Nelson shared his story, especially when it was such a difficult thing to talk about, because it gave me an insight into what it might have been like that day. It was amazing to hold a piece of glass actually from the World Trade Centre.

Categories: Events Senior School


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