9/11 Flag Raising Ceremony
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
For Student Life Secretary Marsha Bronson, the images of that day are seared into her memory.
Bronson was living in New Jersey during that time and walking through the World Trade Center on her way to the subway as part of her daily routine.
And Sept. 11, 2001 was no different.
She’d just walked through the WTC and boarded the subway to her job as an executive assistant with a power plant company in Manhattan 10 minutes away.
“I had just gotten off the subway and was at a deli when I noticed everyone was watching breaking news on TV,” said Bronson, 42 at the time. “I just remember everyone telling me that an unidentified airplane had just crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.”
Bronson, who’s been living in Harlingen since February 2012 and working at TSTC since Oct. 2012, finally made her way to her office on the 38th floor of her office building.
“Everyone was gathered in a rear window with a view to downtown and we could see the smoke billowing over the tower,” Bronson, 53, recalled. “I got on the phone with a pastor friend of mine when someone screamed that a second plane had just hit the other tower.”
At that point, Bronson said her building was evacuated and everyone rushed to the subway to make their way home.
“It was a mass exodus,” Bronson recalled. “Women were running barefoot with their heels in their hands…there were so many people on the streets. The subway system was shutdown, the trains weren’t running…no one knew how to get home. People were buying bicycles at sporting good stores in order to get home.”
During the time that Bronson was wandering the streets trying to figure out a way to get back to New Jersey, the two towers had collapsed.
“Every now and then you’d see individuals walking around covered in dust from the buildings,” Bronson said. “They were in a daze…expressionless. They didn’t look human.”
Twelve years later, memories of that day still stir up emotions for Bronson.
“Any time anyone mentions Sept. 11 or 9-11 I can’t help but get sad,” Bronson said. “it was a life-changing day for the whole nation not just us living in the East Coast.”
On Wednesday, TSTC honored the memory of those who perished that day with a flag raising ceremony and a moment of silence.
Rudy Garza was in the seventh grade at Resaca Middle School in Los Fresnos on September 11, 2001 and was sitting in class when he and the rest of the nation heard news of an airplance crashing into a building in New York. Minutes later there was a second airplane.
“It was devastating,” said Garza, now 25 years old and a cadet with the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council Police Academy at Texas State Technical College. “No one knew what was happening and they dismissed us early from school.”
On the 12th anniversary of that fateful day in New York City, Garza and the rest of the cadets along with the TSTC Police Department and about a dozen TSTC faculty and staff came together for a flag raising ceremony outside of Building A , where the TSTC PD is housed.
A moment of silence was also observed at 8:46 a.m., the exact time when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The flag was raised all the way and then lowered to half staff.
“Even though it happened 12 years ago, a lot of us still remember that day vividly,” TSTC Police Chief Aurelio Torres said. “It’s important to take some time out of the day to remember that day and all those who perished that day trying to save others. Knowing that there are ceremonies like these all over the country this morning brings some type of comfort on this day.”