I’m sure we will all remember where we were on September 11, 2001.
This is my story…
I worked at an elementary school. After being there a few minutes on the morning of September 11, 2001, I started my day like I did every other day. I happened to be walking past one of the rooms without students, and I wondered why teachers had a TV on, set to actual TV and not a video. We weren’t usually allowed to watch TV in our classrooms. I didn’t pay any attention to it after walking by, but wondered why the teachers and aides were gathered around it.
I went about my morning going from classroom to classroom checking on students, and when I was in one of the 5th grade classes, one of the teacher assistants came up and handed me a note. The note said one plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York City, and then a second plane hit. My first thought was sorrow for the people on the planes, what those people went through up to the moment of impact. As I read further, the note said it was a suspected terrorist attack. There were rumors of more planes which turned out not to be rumors.
My widened eyes must have given me away, and I must have gasped. I’m not sure what I did, but the kids in the desks near me all asked what was wrong. I looked up at the other teacher who had just read the same thing. We were so stunned, but didn’t say anything to the kids at that time.
At 11:10 I went out to lunch and turned on the radio in my vehicle. They were just replaying the 2nd tower falling. Can anyone really describe the feeling, knowing there were people on the planes, and all the people in the towers? Reading this writing again, I can feel the same terror, the same gut-wrenching sorrow I had then. It was an attack on our country, an attack on my AMERICA!
My school went into a lock down. No one could get in, no one could go out. But we had to man the doors because parents came and picked up their kids. We couldn’t stop them, of course. We hardly had any students left in the building that day. I can understand because the first thing I did was call my boys, and they’re grown, but it didn’t matter. I wanted to know they were okay and to hear their voices.
We got word from the Board of Education that we couldn’t tell the kids. At the end of the day, the principal made an announcement to the students, saying when they went home they’d see and hear some things in the news. She told them to go straight home, but they were safe, and what happened didn’t happen here. Many of our students would have to go home to an empty house. Horrific images would probably be the first thing they’d see when they turned on the TV. She wanted them to know they were okay.
That night I was out, and since I lived near an airport, I was accustomed to seeing many planes in the sky all the time. But not September 11th. The sky was empty. Very strange and kind of frightening. Way high in the sky though, I saw one plane, and the feeling was so eerie, because I knew it could only be a military jet because nothing else was allowed in the air. Later at home, glued to the TV, tears in my eyes, I watched until I couldn’t stay awake any longer. It took days for the shock to go away, but I couldn’t stop watching day after day. It was like watching a horror film over and over, and I don’t like horror films.
The next day at school, the 5th graders were upset with us because we couldn’t tell them what happened the day before. They felt they should have been told. I agree with them in a way, but it would have upset and scared them. In the days to follow we would hear from different kids saying they had relatives, friends, or knew of someone who had been on one of the planes or in the towers.
Maybe this horror is something none of us will ever forget. It was an attack on my country. It was an attack against each of us. That’s my opinion, and this is what I was doing on September 11, 2001.
I’ve turned off sharing buttons for this post. No need to reblog. Maybe I’m posting again for my own therapy.
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