FOREVER CHANGED: Alabama National Guard members recall 9/11

Local News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — Most people that are old enough remember where they were during the attacks of 9/11, and one group of military members say it’s a day they’ll never forget.

Jeff Bonner was a high school teacher and football coach on Sept. 11, 2001. He was in the middle of teaching when news broke.

“We go over to our auditorium and pretty much the whole school is there, and we’re sitting down … and that’s how I learned of the attack in New York City,” Bonner said.

Bonner was a member of the Alabama National Guard at the time and was considering getting out.

“I took the job in July of 2001, and before the season ended, of course, September happened and changed the course of my professional career,” Bonner said.

Fast forward to after the attacks, he was sent to Virginia and later to Afghanistan.

Ronald Welch was a member of the Alabama National Guard at the time and was trying to make sense of the first attack.

“Initially, we thought it was a mistake because the aircraft flying too low hit a building,” Welch said.

Days after, Welch was sent to Virginia to begin planning in case another attack happened.

“In all my military career, we also planned on going somewhere for the fight, not to be in our backyard,” he said.

Now, the flags at the state Capitol are at half staff to remember that day 18 years ago.

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