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College commemorates 9/11 anniversary

This week nearly 400 of our Public Services, Sport and Travel & Tourism students from Maidstone and Medway came together to hear 9/11 survivor Charlie Gray share his experience of the attack.

For many of us, the events of 11 September 2001 are an important and memorable part of modern history, but most of the students in attendance during this presentation had not been born in 2001, so we are very grateful that Charlie took the time to visit us and tell his story.

Students heard about a very ordinary day that was dramatically interrupted when the first plane hit the World Trade Centre North Tower, where Charlie was working on the 26th Floor.

What followed was an honest account of his evacuation from the building and to safety. Charlie’s story highlights the incredible efforts that emergency services personnel went to as they tried to rescue and support people, touchingly remembering that many lost their lives while trying to save those working in the Twin Towers, and that others still suffer from long-term medical conditions as a result of the trauma, dust and toxins they were exposed to that day.

Thank you to Charlie for his presentation, and for spending over half an hour answering questions from students including the nature of communication issues immediately after the attacks, further details on the specific support that emergency teams were able to provide, marking the events with acts of remembrance, and the longer-term impact on himself as well as family and friends.

For students preparing for careers in travel and uniformed public services, the opportunity to hear about these events first-hand from Charlie was invaluable for their development, increased their understanding recent historical events, and added meaning to the news coverage that they will see this week related to the attack.

Our students benefit from guest lectures throughout the year. If you work in a subject area that we teach and would like to share your experiences with students, please contact us and we’ll introduce you to the relevant department.