Alabama National Guard members reflect on 9/11 attacks


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Jeff Bonner was a high school teacher and football coach on September 11, 2001.

He was in the middle of teaching when news of the attack broke on the World Trade Center in New York City.

“We go over to our auditorium and pretty much the whole school is there and we’re sitting down and its own so some capacity, but 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,” said Bonner.

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 as well and trying to make sense of 9/11.

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

Days later, Welch was sent to Virginia to began planning in case of another attack.

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

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