ALA Teacher Shares Personal 9/11 First Responder Story

ALA Teacher Shares Personal 9/11 First Responder Story

Imagine that you were in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Imagine that you watched one of the Twin Towers start to fall, ran through the debris that was shooting down the streets, and inhaled the smoke after the Towers were hit. ALA Queen Creek Junior High history teacher, John Rowan, didn't imagine this. He survived it. Mr. Rowan was an NYC police officer during the tragic events of 9/11. 

Mr. Rowan told his story to a group of elementary ALA students. 

"Someone started yelling, 'It's falling,' and we all started to run. And I ran as fast as I could," Mr. Rowan said.

Mr. Rowan injured his foot while running down the street, trying to escape one of the falling towers. 

 "I ended up stepping on a part of the airplane from Flight 175, and then I started hopping as fast as I could to keep going," he said.

The first tower had fallen, and a massive amount of grey and black dust filled the sky and streets. 

"You could no longer see the sun," Mr. Rowan said. "It was just as sunny as it is today, there, and for what seemed like forever, I was just pitched into absolute blackness."

Mr. Rowan gets himself, and a woman with a broken leg to safety as the events of 9/11 continue to unfold. 

Watch our video to learn more about Mr. Rowan's story and how his experiences inspired him and his daughter to write a children's book called "Jake the Bombed Out Bomb Dog," a story about a dachshund who learns to overcome a disability to become a police bomb dog.