NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG) - Some middle school students had the chance to hear the story of September 11, 2001- but from a unique perspective.
Alice Hoagland (back center) speaks to a class at North Central Junior High School in North Liberty. Hoagland shared the story of United flight 93, a plane crash from September 11, 2001 that killed more than 40 people, including her son. (Aaron Scheinblum/KCRG)
United Flight 93 is often referred to as "the flight that fought back." Experts believe it was that plane that was planned to hit the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. during the attacks on September 11, 2001.
For students at North Central Junior High in North Liberty, learning the history of September 11, 2001, has been a part of the curriculum the entire week. Friday served as a rare way to personify what those students were learning, meeting Alice Hoagland.
Hoagland is a former United Airlines flight attendant, but more importantly, she is the mom to Mark Bingham, who was one of the more than 40 killed on a flight originally headed for San Francisco but crashed in Pennsylvania.
Hoagland has told the story of her son multiple times, saying she is not much of a public speaker, but feels the obligation and responsibility to explain the passengers' heroic actions to thwart what could have been a much more drastic attack
But Hoagland admits Friday was much different than what she has done in the past- telling the story of her son and United flight 93 to a classroom of students who were not born at the time of the attacks. She hoped that her discussion provided a chance for them to understand the experience.
"This is a great challenging experience for me," Hoagland said. "To get out and deliver a message that is so extremely important. So because it's important, and because I love my son, and because I love the United States of America, I am willing to tell the story as long as people are willing to listen."
Hoagland said she realizes there is a chance these students have never heard this story before, but she says it is important that the story of those passengers and their fearlessness is shared- and that's why she says she will keep doing it.