By Mitch Word
Originally published Thursday, September 13, 2001
Barbara Evans is a multi-subject teacher at Decatur High School. Tuesday morning’s terrorist attacks hit close to home for her.
Evans’ 25-year-old daughter, Ashley Stewart, works for Bank of America in New York. Her normal place of business is the Merrill Lynch Building, located inside the World Trade Center in New York.
Evans said that she and her daughter talked by phone about 6 a.m. Texas time as Stewart was driving to work.
“We talked about normal things, when she was coming home for the holidays, things like that,” Evans said.
During her economics class that morning, Evans said the class was finding it difficult to get on the Internet for information.
A teacher then came into the classroom and told her what had happened in New York.
“I immediately got on the phone and tried to call my daughter’s cell phone,” Evans said. “I couldn’t get through to her and I was pretty shaken up by that.
“Then I talked to my husband, who said he had gotten a call from Ashley. She was all right.”
Seems that Stewart had to go elsewhere before she went to work. When the horrific attack took place, Stewart was 50 blocks away from the scene instead of right in the middle of it.
“If she hadn’t gotten that call through, I don’t know what I would’ve done,” she said. “I would probably have been out in my car having a wreck or something.”
Evans said her thoughts immediately turned to her daughter’s co-workers and friends that were in the building when it was struck.
“I am so concerned about her friends and people there. This is so terrifying,” she said. “I’m lucky she wasn’t there, and I’m relieved.”
Apart from the personal affects of the tragedy, however, Evans said her students will absorb a rich amount of information.
“I teach economics, and the World Trade Center is the heart of this country’s financial district. When New York shuts down, the world shuts down,” she said. “Also, I’m a history teacher, and we have history unfolding right before our very eyes.”
Evans also has a psychology class. Due to the attack, her class has a specific direction it can now take.
“We’re talking now about the profile of a terrorist, about their functions and disorders” she said. “This type of thing is all religion based. The kids have a really hard time understanding how people could believe so strongly in something.”
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