Kansas City, Missouri 2021-09-09 22:45:00 –
Olathe, Kansas (KCTV)-September 11th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is of particular significance to a local woman who has escaped and her children and grandchildren in the face of fear and uncertainty.
Just days after the attack, KCTV5’s Betsy Webster introduced the Kansas family to KCI, worried about the plane landing. Twenty years later, she returned to see her family and gained their perspective of the day they would never forget.
Austin Tedder was only five years old. In 2001, he gave us an understanding of what happened at the age of five.
“Twin towers,” he said then. “In New York City, we crashed into two planes.”
“I could say that everyone wasn’t okay, and probably not,” said 25-year-old Austin.
Austin’s grandmother, Jane Tedder, was the person they were waiting for at the airport. She was in a hotel next to the tower when the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center.
“Suddenly the building shook and the lights flashed,” recalled Jane.
She went out, heard a gasping voice, and looked up at people jumping. The image still bothers her.
“Their choice was to do it or die in flames,” she said.
As she was navigating how to get out of the debris, she saw people pitching to help others. Restaurant workers took out a case of bottled water and gave it to those who went out. Men were lifting people over the fence to help them escape.
“We didn’t have anything,” Jane recalled. “No ID. No money. No credit card. But we’ve always had all this help. People were great.”
Twenty years after the attack, Austin says he studied history. And every year he focuses on remembering.
“All of almost 3000 dead,” Austin said. “Like my grandma, all first responders and everyone who helped and gave their lives to drive people out.”
Jane retired early that year. It wasn’t because she was traumatized, but because the event reminded her of how short her fleeting life was.
“I had a lot of volunteer work I wanted to do, and if I were going to do it, I thought I should get it,” Jane said.
The phrase “never forget” makes a lot of sense to this family.
Jane’s daughter-in-law, Cindy Tedder, wanted to remember not only those who were lost in the attack, but also those who survived.
“I want them to remember my family,” Jane said. “And I want them to remember the people who are still here, what they have experienced, and they want them to remember that it’s not too far away.”
Jane relies on the kindness of strangers, lives as a kind of refugee, and never forgets all those who have survived the five days of turmoil.
“What I want people to remember is the goodness of others,” Jane said.
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