Photo courtesy of Nirvik Parajuli

Laub recounting his story to his fifth period English class.

      Every September 11th, our country mourns the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack committed on US soil. And every year, Kevin Laub, English teacher, tells his story to his students. As a 9/11 survivor, he captivates his classroom with his experience. Each year, students listen in awe, making sure to catch every detail. 

      On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Laub was going to work as usual at the 62nd floor of the North Tower. At that time, he was working as a billing and account manager for Morgan Stanley, a prominent investment firm. At 8:46am, he heard an explosion, but did not think much of it. Along with others in the building, he calmly began to descend the staircase. When the group arrived at the 25th floor, the second plane crashed into the South Tower, shaking the building and causing chaos. Laub realized at that moment that the country was under attack, a paralyzing thought, but he had to keep moving. By the time he exited the building, he was in such a subdued mindset that he could not even notice the pool of blood beneath him, or the distinctly red bottoms of his shoes.

      The attack put life into perspective for Laub, and he realized that his current job did not give him much satisfaction, and he could not imagine working at Morgan Stanley for the rest of his life. After a couple of years, he decided to become an English teacher, an old aspiration of his, and began his tenure at Westfield. In fact, today, he is the head of the English department.

      The events of September 11th will always be remembered, but most high school students today were not alive when the event occurred. This creates an emotional distance between kids today and 9/11; the day, to some, blends in with the rest of history. However, by telling his story each year, Laub helps students grasp the significance of the event, the largest attack on the United States which took almost 3,000 victims, and remember that it affected and continues to affect people all around the country. 

      For many students, Laub’s story leaves an impact on them, even well after they have finished English 9.

      Claire Schottle, Westfield graduate and former student of Laub’s, keeps him and his remarkable story in mind every year. 

      This year, to commemorate the event, she said, “Today my heart goes out to those affected by the tragedy of 9/11. My heart also goes out to my 9th grade English teacher who was in one of the towers and escaped. I love you Mr. Laub.”