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Fort Worth mayor, principal retire flags during 9-11 memorial

09/09/2011 11:34 AM

09/11/2011 2:27 PM

Mayor Betsy Price was the county's tax assessor-collector and sitting in her office the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. She remembers being in shock after planes hit the World Trade Center in New York. Like many, she wasn't sure what was happening and only wanting to be with her children and family.

McLean Middle School Principal John Engel was a fifth-grade teacher then on his way to school listening to news reports in his car.

"How was I going to explain this to my students," Engel remembered thinking. "What were they going to think is happening? My mind was racing. I just knew that our world was going to change."

Engel and Price were among those at McLean Middle School's 9-11 memorial service today where the two joined Fort Worth fire men and military honor guards in retiring older American flags in a burning ceremony. A wreath was placed in honor of those who died 10 years ago in the terrorist attacks.

Though many students were too young to remember, Price told students it was important for them honor the day and learn about what happened. "We don't want history to repeat itself," she told them.

Seventh graders Sam Schaefer and Paige Bachand were only 3 when the towers fell. Schaefer said he just remembers his dad eating toast, glued to the television news for days.

"For me, I think about all the innocent people that died and didn't deserve to die that day," Sam said.

Paige said the day makes her grateful to the firemen who died trying to save others. "And I think about my grandfather's friends who died in the towers. He was living in New York then and had a lot of friends who died. It was very hard for him," she said.

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