Sept. 4, 2011 | WMU News
Like communities across the nation, the Western Michigan University family waited and then shuddered in horror when news about the identities of the victims began to filter out in the days after Sept. 11. An alumna and the brother of a then-student were among those who lost their lives. Another WMU graduate lived to describe the terror he experienced as a survivor of the World Trade Center attacks.
Barbara Edwards, 58, grew up in Wyoming, Mich., and was a French and German teacher at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas, Nev. She was born in Germany and moved to Michigan at age 10. She graduated from Kelloggsville High School in 1961 and from WMU in 1965. She was traveling on Flight 77 when it was crashed into the Pentagon.
Bradley Hoorn, 22, from Richland, Mich., was the brother of Kara Hoorn, who was a WMU junior in September 2001. He grew up on Gull Lake, graduated from Gull Lake High School in 1997, and attended Yale University. He was a research associate with Fred Alger Management and was working on the 93rd floor of Tower 1 at the time of the attacks.
Bryan Charles, a 1996 alumnus, was working as a marketing copywriter at Morgan Stanley in a cubicle on the 70th floor of Two World Trade Center, the south tower. He climbed down 70 flights of stairs to escape the tower, walked for miles to get away from the site and returned to Michigan days later. Once safe, he wrote down everything he could remember about the attack, starting from the moment he opened his eyes that day. Just nights later, he read the piece at WMU as part of a benefit to raise money for the Red Cross. He has since written a memoir that includes an in-depth account of his 9/11 experience.