Local couple recalls watching towers fall


Life as we knew it changed forever eighteen years ago.

While millions of Americans watched the 9/11 attacks on television, Faith and Ron Klassen saw it too closely.

“The World Trade towers were straight across from our kitchen window,” Faith Klassen said. “There are just so many stories and it’s still hard to believe.”

The Wichita couple lived in Newark, New Jersey for decades. Neither one saw planes hit the two towers but from that kitchen window she mentioned, they watched both towers collapse.

“It’s beyond comprehension that those buildings would come down the way they did,” Ron Klassen said. “That they compressed into dust and people disappeared.”

“Families wanted to be together, they wanted to be with their children, wanted to be with their husbands and wives,” she said.

And life afterward was just as unsettling.

“We lived close to Newark we could see planes from Kennedy, Laguardia and there was nothing. It was silent. There was nothing,” she said.

“Later after, there was a fear of other attacks, you would hear the faint whistle of a fighter plane going over head,” Ron Klassen. “You never did see it but they were patrolling.”

They knew of friends who lost loved ones but their family was safe. One thing they especially recall was the unity in the weeks after.

“I was amazed whenever you’d cross bridges or underpasses, there were so many American flags. On cranes, on buildings, people were drawing together.”