Mary McKiernan


Mary McKiernan

MY connection to 9/11
  • I was serving in the military on 9/11

Where were you when you first heard about or saw the 9/11 terrorist attacks?

I was working for the state of Rhode Island as a Child Support Enforcement Agent. We had no television in our office but we heard it on the radio. These horrific events led me to be mobilized to Fort Dix, NJ to help train all Army Reserve and National Guard Units going overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan. It forever altered the course of my life as I uprooted my two young daughters and moved to New Jersey. For quite some time I felt badly that I was not deployed but mobilized stateside. In hindsight, I know I did everything that our nation asked and needed me to do. I am forever grateful to my military service for letting my path cross with so many amazing Veterans. Had it not been for the events on 9/11, I have no doubt I would still be living in Rhode Island and not sharing this tale. Currently, I am fortunate enough to be able to teach Army JROTC at Martin Luther King High School in the East Oak Lane section of Philadelphia. My Cadets are amazing. We have six that are newly sworn in service members and we continue to mentor our current Cadets. I plan to continue this phase of my career for the next five years or so. Thank you for letting me share my experience on that fateful day.

How did the events of that day shape your life and inspire your service to this country?

It altered my path forever, but in a fabulous way. It brought a great perspective and beautiful diversity to my life.

What are you excited to contribute to your community, however you define it, for the next 20 years?

I seek to continue to mentor and guide our young people. Especially those who are marginalized and often not heard.