In Rolesville, those too young to remember 9/11 pause; a survivor recalls day of terror

Joel Brown Image
Saturday, September 11, 2021
In Rolesville, those too young to remember 9/11 pause to pay respects
Friday night football at Rolesville High School was a red white and blue affair as students -- born after the 9/11 terror attacks -- held a moment of silence

ROLESVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Friday night football at Rolesville High School was a red, white and blue affair. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the school invited students and fans to wear their patriotism on their sleeves and held a pre-game moment of silence for the nearly 3,000 Americans lost that day.

Riley Lovelace and Hailey Brown both came to the game decked out in the flag. These RHS ninth-graders are both 14 years old; born six years after the attacks.

"It doesn't hit me as hard as it would other people because I wasn't there and I didn't experience it. But it definitely does hit," Lovelace said.

Her friend Brown added: "I had a lot of family in New York and other relatives. My dad had moved here a few years prior."


Before starting her new life in Raleigh, Christina Jones was working at the Pentagon 20 years ago. She was in her office when Flight 77 crashed into the building's outer ring. Jones was thrown to the floor and frantic. She was picked up and carried to safety by a man she didn't know. She emerged outside alive -- and in a hellscape.

"To actually be there and actually see the area where the plane hit and I could see it. All I could think was this must be a dream. Terrorism is real," Jones recalled.


The terror was real and it changed the nation forever. The attacks set off 20 years of war, fighting terrorism abroad and on the homefront.

For the teenagers back in Rolesville, it's is the only life they've known -- even if they weren't here for what started it.

"I had a lot of people in my family who served in the military and they need to be remembered in a good way," Brown said.

The moment of silence for 9/11 was not just held in Rolesville. It was district-wide on special orders from the Wake County school board.

FULL SPECIAL: Remembering 9/11 Twenty Years Later

Here are the stories of North Carolinians who were in the middle of the attacks and many who were here but making an impact.