Sunday, September 11, 2011

Memories

I have my memories of the day we were attacked. You may have seen, read, heard all the memories you can handle by now. I won't mind if you skip here today. Ten years have passed and I don't dwell on what happened. We've talked about it in school on the anniversary and I can general anticipate the questions and we can have a rational discussion. This year we were sent a video we were supposed to show the students and then discuss it. I previewed the video Thursday afternoon before showing it on Friday. For some reason it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in tears and couldn't seem to stop. Maybe it's all the '10th' anniversary talk, maybe it's because my LJ lives there now and works near ground zero. Like most moms I can't help wondering what if he had been there then?

The children I teach were a year old or less when this happened. To them it's much the same as the Civil war or Pearl Harbor. I talk before the video, I knew I couldn't afterwards. It was hard and I did cry a little but I had their complete attention. I wanted them to realize as they watched that it wasn't like an episode of 'Myth Busters' where you say "wow" or "cool explosion". I needed them to realize that this happened to ordinary people, going to work, traveling to see their family. I want them to watch it with respect for all those lost. And my student did.

This is what I was doing the day it happened.

On September 11, 2001, I was teaching. We were giving a state mandate test where we could not be disturbed. On the way to the office to turn everything in an aide said “ We're under attack, turn on your TV.” My first thought was 'attack' what is she talking about? When I got my TV on both towers had been hit and I was standing there in a room full of 11 years olds asking what’s going on.

I was stunned. I certainly did not know what to tell them. I was trying to form some explanation when another news flash came on – the Pentagon had been hit. I started crying as I realized that the attack was still going on. I know my crying upset some of the children but I couldn’t stop. I thought back to my first grade experience when my teacher had burst into tears upon hearing that President Kennedy had been killed. The bell rang sending my student off to other teacher while I had planning. I had never seen 800 students move so quietly.

I stood in the office with my principal and some other teacher in total silence and watched the towers fall. I wanted my children, my own. I thought of calling Mollie at her school but she was too little. I would have cried when I heard her voice which would have been the worse thing. LJ was at my school though, in the 8th grade. I walked to his room not knowing if he would want his mother to intrude. Every classroom had it TV on. When my son’s teacher saw me peeking in the door he motioned me in. My son reached out and took my hand, his was ice cold. I felt better for having seen him but the rest of the day was mostly a blur.

I do remember a few of my students asked if they could go out in the hall to pray once they came back to me. I went out with them but let them lead the prayers. I remember all those kids, I always will. We shared history. Although I remember I am not yet ready to see movies about the events. I don’t mind them being made, I just can’t watch. Maybe someday.

Written by PK at 12:05 AM

11 comments

11 Comments:

At 12:16 AM, Blogger AngelBrat said...

I bet Morgan would be in your class. She was 4 1/2 months old when it happened, and I remember holding her, sitting with Nick and watching the second tower fall and just crying and wondering what on earth we'd done bringing a precious baby girl into this world.

 
At 5:16 AM, Blogger Paul said...

PK, I remember, but as I said elsewhere, I remember too many incidents of mans inhumanity to man.
Love and warm hugs,
Paul.

 
At 7:19 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I was in 7th grade English class when it happened. I watched it played on tv in the cafeteria with other students from my class. My parents came and picked us up so we could all be together...for a few hrs we panicked because we have family in New Jersey that worked in NYC and we hadn't been able to contact them. Thankfully all our loved ones were safe, but many others loved ones were not. I didn't fully understand the gravity of what had happened, but I remember being sad. I still can't believe ten years has passed!

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger abby said...

I also was teaching that day, a group of 8th graders. A day we shared that created a strong bond.
Watching the TV coverage as I write this, I have tears in my eyes. abby

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger ronnie said...

We all remember where we were that day.

I was at work when I heard the news and went home turned on the TV. I couldn't take my eyes of the TV for the rest of the night. It was like I was watching a film. I just couldn't believe it was happening.

Love,
Ronnie
xx

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger nancy said...

I was at home. My younger children were at school. My husband at work. When, my mother-in-law called and said turn on the TV we've been attacked.
My beautiful nine year old granddaughter(who painted my nails brilliant blue the other night) was just a tiny unborn baby.
I remember. I can't watch movies or read books about it yet either.

Nancy:)

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Terpsichore said...

I remember the day vividly. I was at home. I turned on the tv. I never watch the news but for some reason on that day I did. I watched wondering how what I was seeing could possible be real and that it must have been an accident. Then I watched as the second plane crashed into the other tower and I knew. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. I am not ready to watch recordings of it, but I remember and I hold all those people and their families in my heart.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Rogue said...

I had a meeting that couldn't be canceled. I shook thru the entire thing, wanting so desperately to be home. Two men had flown in and when we finally finished, we were all scrambling to find them a way home. Their wives were calling, simply hysterical, making certain they were okay. It was a nightmare day for all of us.

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger Emily said...

It was my senior year of highschool. I didn't realize the significance if what was going on being I woke up to the tv on thinking it was another history movie.

It took an afternoon of watching the news to figure out what happened.

 
At 6:14 PM, Blogger kiwigirliegirl said...

i was getting ready to go to work when it was broadcast here in NZ....i remember watching in stunned horro and silence - and waht got me the most where those pictuers of people in the towers with no hope of survival throwing themselves out of the windows...... it will be with me forever

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger PK said...

Tracy,
Always a scary feeling when we have children. We want them to be safe always but we know the world isn’t like that.

Paul,
It’s the same for all of us. The longer we live the more of this we see.

Heather,
I know families wanted to be together that day. It would have been so scary to have had family there at the time. If LJ and Collin had been there then I would have been a basket case.

Abby,
I can’t really remember what I said to the children that day. I hope it was somewhat comforting and helpful.

Ronnie,
It helps know that while one group of people wanted to inflict as much trauma as possible most of the world was with us and shared our pain.

Nancy,
It seen like yesterday and it seems like a life time ago.

Terps,
It brought us together for a time. Like you I’ll remember but I won’t watch over and over.

Rogue,
I can only imagine how scary it would have been for those wives or anyone who had a loved one away and flying.

Emily,
I understand, I knew what was happening and I was still having a hard time getting my mind wrapped around it.

Kiwi,
I guess the whole world was in horror that day.

 

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