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Lynn McSorley Open Letter
Lynn McSorley
Lynn McSorley
Lynn McSorley

Author's Name: Lynn McSorley

Title: "DC-9 and Sr. Joann 1969"

Sr. Joann Malone and 8 other people broke into Dow Chemical headquarters in Washington D.C. on Saturday March 22, 1969. They came to be known as the DC-9. On Monday March 26, 1969 I was a Junior at Nerinx Hall High School. I was in a morning class when two men, a TV reporter with a microphone and a cameraman, walked into class and started asking questions. He wanted to know what the teacher thought about what Sr. Joann had done that weekend. She did not know what he was talking about. They left the classroom. The principle, Sr. Helen Jean Siedel, had to call the Webster Groves police to remove the reporters from the property.  e continued with classes.  I was in the library prior to lunch time. After retrieving my lunch from my locker, I headed to the cafeteria. I thought it was odd that the hallways were empty. I could hear someone yelling near the cafeteria.  As I rounded the corner a teacher, Miss Vogt, along with 40-60 students, had Sr. Joann backed up against the wall yelling questions at her. "Why did you do this to the school. How could you do this to these girls." At that point Sr. Helen announced over the loud speakers that school would be closed until further notice. The school re-opened the following Monday,

I have attached a letter from the DC-9, including Sr. Joann. My brother Mike, age 23, had recently enlisted in the Army. He became a 1st Lieutenant and served a year in S. Korea.  My oldest brother B.J., age 26, was serving in the Navy on a destroyer escort on a West PAC tour.  I had friends in the Marine Corps (2 in Vietnam), Air Force and Coast Guard. My sentiments at time were conservative.  I wanted to support my brothers and friends. I could not, at the time, accept that any deaths were in vain.  (I even voted for Richard Nixon in 1972 with the belief that he would get us out of Vietnam fast.)

The privilege of growing up in Webster Groves and going to Nerinx Hall protected me. However, the teachers taught me to think for myself and to question the status quo. I graduated knowing how to face and question different views of life. 

This is a small story compared to those that served, were injured or did not return from Vietnam. However, this one event in 1969 did have a far reaching effect on a myself, the school, the city and country.