JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Ahead of the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, students at Annie Camp Junior High School got a first-hand account of the tragic day from a survivor with Region 8 ties.
Adam Staples, a Piggott native, was a 22-year-old Arkansas State University graduate, and just landed his first job as a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley.
He had to go to New York for three weeks of training for the new job.
When the attacks happened on Sept. 11, 2001, Staples was in the South Tower of the Twin Towers and said he wasn't scared at the time because he didn't exactly know what was going on.
"I just knew that number one, I wanted to get out of the building because it was no longer safe," Staples said. "I can remember distinctly thinking I hope my mom and dad have not seen the news and don't know what's going on because I didn't want them to know and have to worry."
That changed when Staples said he caught the tail end of a phone conversation another guy was having, saying after a plane hit the North Tower, a second plane hit the South Tower.
It was then Staples said he feared he didn't have another chance to speak to his family.
After telling his story to the students, who were not alive when the attacks happened, Staples said thinking about those dark moments bring a heavy feeling to him, especially the first few years after the attacks.
"Why am I still here?" Staples said. "Why do my parents still get to have their kid? I was so young when this happened, why do I still have all this life to look forward to and a lot of people don't. As I get older and older, you begin to have an understanding of how things happen in people's lives. Although my thing happens to be tied up in a national story, I truly just am another person with just another story in my life."
Staples has since returned to Region 8 and has a State Farm agency in Walnut Ridge.
He said he plans to continue sharing his story with students in the future.
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