9/11 Survivor to Speak to TAHS Civics Students

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The world changed on September 11, 2001 when 19 terrorist hijackers attacked the United States, resulting in the death of over 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington DC and in central Pennsylvania.  

For Mr. Andy Perry of Mechanicsburg, PA, September 11th was the second terrorist attack that he experienced while working at the World Trade Center (WTC)  in New York. Perry was present at the WTC on 9/11/01, and also was there for an earlier, though less remembered terrorist attack on the WTC center in 1993.

“In 2001, I was eating breakfast in the World Trade Center looking over the Hudson River…(then) the building shook. I knew it was just as bad if not worse (than the 1993 bombing). It was weird seeing all the stuff falling. I quickly ran down the stair and two blocks away before the second plane hit,” said Perry.

In 2001, I was eating breakfast in the World Trade Center looking over the Hudson River…(then) the building shook. I knew it was just as bad if not worse (than the 1993 bombing). It was weird seeing all the stuff falling. I quickly ran down the stair and two blocks away before the second plane hit”

— 9/11 survivor Andy Perry

On Friday, March 31, Perry will be at Tyrone Area High School to share his experiences with a group of TAHS students.

Perry is a family friend of current TAHS sophomore Anna Beck. After studying the events of 9/11 in her US civics class in the fall, she approached US civics teacher Todd Cammarata about having Perry in to speak to his class.

Perry is originally from East Norwich, New York. In 1993, he worked as a Wall Street Trader at Dai Ichi Kangyo Bank. In 2001, he worked for Morgan Stanley-Dean Witter.

“[In 1993] we were stuck inside for several hours the smoke got really bad and you couldn’t get out because of the fires, it felt like you couldn’t breathe and you were going to die,” said Perry, “I had to walk down the stairs in pitch black because the lights went out. You had to put your hand on the person in front of you.”

His experiences in both of these events changed Perry’s life forever. Since 2001, Perry has delt with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as a result of the experiences of that day. PTSD is a disorder you can develop after being involved in or witnessing something extremely traumatizing.

“I wasn’t able to work in Manhattan anymore because all the people and noise would really make me freak out,” said Perry, “We took a trip out to Hershey Park and found that everything was half the price it was [in Manhattan] so we moved here. I still have nightmares and a lot of triggers still. It’s been hard on my family. It’s getting a lot better. It’s changed my whole outlook on life.”

Perry is looking forward to sharing his story with students at Tyrone High School. “I hope the students have a better insight on a really world changing event, and recognize how many people really perished on that day,” said Perry.


   

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