The Day 10 Years Ago

Mr. Marco Clark reflects on how the 9/11 attacks affected the McNamara community

Amanda Wilson ‘13 | News Editor

September 11th, 2001: Just another normal school day. The students walked in, went to their lockers, got their books, went to their homerooms, and their day began. After homeroom was over, the students walked to their classes, sat down and started learning; it was just like a usual day.

Later that morning, students heard an announcement over the PA system, calling Mr. Clark to the main office. “As I arrived I was told that a plane had hit one of the World Trade buildings. Like most people, I thought it was a small plane flown by a novice pilot.” said Mr. Clark. He had no idea that it was an organized attack on the U.S.

Click to visit the National 9.11 Memorial website. (Credit: Amy Dreher)

“As I turned on the TV, I saw the second plane hit the second building and as I stood there in disbelief, I immediately turned my attention to responding to this crisis for our school community,” Mr. Clark told the students. Mr. Clark and the administration continued to watch the TV to see if anything else would occur and they saw that a third plane had hit the Pentagon

“Even though we didn’t turn on the TV’s or make any announcements yet, the word began to spread very quickly and many rumors began to circulate: we were being bombed, the capital was under attack, the President of the United States was being targeted,” Mr. Clark said.

A short while later,“I went onto the PA system and announced the morning’s tragic event and together as a community, we prayed. We prayed for those lives that were lost, we prayed for their families, we prayed for calm to enter into our hearts, we prayed for our parents and brothers and sisters and aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends,” Mr. Clark told the students

“And what I witnessed here at McNamara was one of the most inspired moments of my life. The presence of the Holy Spirit was obvious that day as students supported one another, teachers came to the assistance of families by going from classroom to classroom to retrieve students as their parents arrived, impromptu prayer groups formed and within a few short hours every student in our building had been picked up and were home safe with their families,” Mr. Clark said.

After a few days went by, the students returned to school. When they returned to school, a mass was held for the whole school. “I personally never felt so violated and less secure about our safety,” Mr. Clark commented.

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, there were many things that were done to commemorate the day of remembrance. Because the anniversary was on a Sunday, McNamara held an assembly on Monday, September 12th. The assembly was put together by the Teens In Action group. There were numerous speakers, including Mr. Dougherty, Justice Walker, Delegate Braveboy, and Mr. Clark. These speakers talked about their point of view on the attacks and how it directly effected them. They also talked about how it impacted them personally and how they felt.

Mr. Clark not only spoke at the McNamara assembly, but on Tuesday, September 6th, 2011, he appeared on “Catholic Matters” WMET 1160 radio. There he spoke about he felt on 9/11 and how it impacted him as the principal of McNamara as well as a father with children.

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