Damien Teacher Shares 9/11 Story With Students

David Watson
David Watson
Solomon Wong-McKee
Solomon Wong-McKee

Sep 11, 2006 11:54 PM

by Joann Shin

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A 9th grade teacher at Damien Memorial School, David Watson prepares for a difficult lesson.

"It was awful incident. It completely confounded me. I didn't know how to take it in," explained Watson, a native New Yorker.

At the time, Watson was a financial engineer in New York City.

He was on his way to work just minutes before the first plane hit.

According to Watson, "I cruised by on a bus, past the World Trade Center, shortly before."

The horror of that day is still fresh in his mind.

He escaped the chaos by getting on to a fishing boat.

"Hoards of people running, crying, people bleeding, it was awful," recounted Watson. He added, "As I was cruising through I saw a huge smoke plume where the buildings used to be, but they were no longer there."

Solomon Wong-McKee also remembers that day.

The 9th grader said, "When I got to school and turned on the news and they were showing the planes in building."

Wong-McKee was just 10 years old.

His father- a Honolulu firefighter reported to ground zero just days after.

"I felt bad for all the people dying and I got scared because my dad had to go too," said Wong-McKee.

Though painful to recount, Watson hopes this is one lesson that students will take with them.

"Through injustices that occur from this it's good for the students to know we have to be more empathic," said Watson.

Wong-McKee said about Monday's lesson, "It gives me more insight about how I would feel if I was there. I pray for all the people who passed away and all their families."