9/11 stories from our own hometown residents

By Julie Giyer
Kern Valley Sun

Zac Boyd – Engineer/Firefighter @ Station 72 in Lake Isabella

Boyd was 18 years old and in his first year of college when his roommate awoke him and told him of the first plane crashing into one of the towers. At first they thought it was an accident. When the second tower was hit by another plane they knew this was intentionally. He was glued to the television during the entire event. As a teenager he never intended on becoming a firefighter. Now, looking back he’s glad he did. Boyd explained how each firefighter carries a patch on their SCVA’s and when one of them stops moving it gives off a warning, that will eventually sound to an alarm.

He heard stories of rescuers hearing alarm sounds from all over the wreckage, an orchestra of beeps signaling the deaths and injuries of many. He shared a heartwarming story with us about a firefighter named Stephen Siller. Siller was a firefighter from Brooklyn’s Squad #1. He gave his life to save many. In honor of his service, The Tunnel of Towers Foundation was created. This foundation provides assistance to the 343 fallen firefighters as well as post 9/11 veterans.

Boyd said he admired the amount of patriotism that went on after the events of 9/11. He stated that it was important because it showed true American defiance. It showed that Americans were not going to take it, and stand together. That’s the silver lining of it all, no matter what Americans still come together on this day every year and stand tall.


Michael Alves-Sheriff’s Support Technician @ Kern Valley Substation in Lake Isabella
Submitted by Michael Alves

I was at high school in N.J. It was my junior year. My classmates and I were in our first period in print shop and our teacher brought a television into the classroom and told us what was going on and let us watch it. About an hour after the second plane hit we were all sent home for the rest of the day. While we were all watching it happen on television it didn’t seem real, it was like we were watching a movie. None of us could believe it. At first we all just thought a plane crashed into one of the twin towers. We had no idea it was a terrorist attack until we all saw the second plane crash into the other tower. I’ll never forget watching it with my classmates. I was nervous because my grandparents lived in Kearny, N.J. which was just minutes from N.Y.

They used to take me to the end of this one street a few blocks away from their house where you could see a perfect view of the twin towers. So knowing my family was so close to this attack made me nervous for their well-being and it also kind of angered me. I remember calling my mom and dad and asking if my grandparents were alright and how everything was there. I also remember all flights being grounded and my mom coming and picking me up from school and talking with her on the way home. I wasn’t really too scared because like I said it was just really hard to believe it was actually real. After a while when it kind of sunk in what exactly happened all of the shock wore off and my main feeling was anger that this happened. So I was mainly just mad that the attack happened at all and I was nervous of future attacks happening. It’s crazy to think this was 18 years ago, now. Can’t believe it’s been that long and it is still kind of hard to believe that it happened at all when you look back on it. Just like how we all originally felt while watching it. Still feels like a movie.