September 9, 2023

On the morning of September 11, 2001 students at Lee’s Summit High School gathered in their American History classrooms. What started as a normal class quickly changed as teachers were informed of a plane crashing into one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.

Teachers turned on their classroom televisions and students went silent as they watched the second tower struck and the continued tragedy of the terrorist attacks. The silence weighed heavily in classrooms that day. Several teachers, looking for some action they could take, asked their students to turn to the blank pages in the back of their American History books and write their thoughts.

Each year for several years on the anniversary of 9/11 these teachers had their students add comments to the ones recorded by previous students. These textbooks have been retired by the school district. One of the teachers, Duane Fleck, brought these books to the History Museum to be included in a temporary exhibit “ Remembering 9/11.”

Terrorists flew two planes into the Twin Towers. A third plane was flown into the Pentagon. A fourth plane was forced down in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, when passengers and crew members attacked the terrorists and saved a fourth target, possibly Congress, from being hit.

The September 11, 2001 attacks killed 2,977 people. Sadly two Lee’s Summit residents who were in New York on business that day lost their lives. Julie Geis was on the 105th floor of the south tower when it was hit by the highjacked passenger airliner. Randy Drake was evacuated from a building near the disaster, but he was hit on the head by falling debris. He died from his injuries a few days later.

A temporary exhibit of the Lee’s Summit High School students’ thoughts on that day and newspaper articles will be on display through the first week of November at the History Museum. The museum is located at 220 SW Main Street and is open Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit the museum and post your own memories of 9/11 on a board near the exhibit.

For further information on museum exhibits and events check the website or follow the museum on Facebook.