Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years later

I have not been finding a lot of extra time to write on my blog recently but felt I could not let the day end without reflecting on what today has meant to so many.


I was teaching kindergarten in Murfreesboro, TN on September 11, 2001.  I was teaching at a brand new school, we had only been opened for a few weeks.  Because it was new, the televisions had not been hooked up yet and I think we only had INTRANET.  (How things have changed in 10 years…I think INTERNET is hooked up sometimes before plumbing is completed these days.)  My planning period was early in the day, in the 9 o’clock hour.  I went to the office after dropping my kids off at music or pe or art.  I went in to collect my mail and heard the secretary say that the Pentagon had just had a plane fly into it.   It didn’t really mean much to me at the time.  I didn’t understand the significance.

The people in the office were talking about how crazy it was that a plane had flown into the Pentagon when we heard reports about the World Trade Centers.  Again, I didn’t fully grasp what was happening.

I saw no coverage of the events of the day while I was working that day.  I believe someone emailed a picture around of the planes flying into the WTC’s and I saw something similar to the picture at the top of this post.  All day long parents were coming to the school to pick up their kids, wanting them to be close to home…everyone was terrified about what would happen next. Yet, I had no real idea what was going on.

I left school pretty immediately that day and headed to my apartment.  I don’t remember if my roommate, Clair, was home or she was at her boyfriends house.  I do remember talking to my mom and sister.  I remember talking to the guy I was dating at the time and asking him to please come over.  I remember sitting in front of the television that night and watching the coverage in disbelief.  It was so heartbreaking!  I finally realized what had happened and how it impacted us all.  I listened to the President say that our nation had been attacked and we would not falter or crumble.  I, like most everyone else, wondered…would my town be next?  I realized that nothing would ever be the same.  I grieved as I watched the coverage.


Today was similar in many ways to that day 10 years ago.  I was away from my television for most of the day.  We had gone to Little Rock this weekend for a wedding and were driving home today.  Through Facebook and Twitter I knew that several stations were televising tributes today.  Many friends wrote that they could not stop crying from all of the coverage.  I, again, felt strangely out of the loop.

But, this is 2011 where everyone has some sort of access to the internet.  I pulled my phone out and watched coverage from 10 years ago.  As I sat in the car, tears pouring out of my eyes, I realized, this is the first time I had seen this!  I had never seen the morning coverage of the attacks, just the replays that evening when I got home from school.  To hear the newscasters and their shock when they saw the plane fly into the second tower was amazing.  They were professional and stunned/speechless.

The above is a picture of a father touching his son’s name at the memorial in NYC.  How much pain has that man endured in the past 10 years?  How long did he hold out hope that his son would be found?  How has his life changed from 9/11/01?  He will never forget!

And I hope that I will never forget!  I wish I could remember clearer details from that day, could recall my shock as I saw the events, could remember the general feeling as I watched the television.  Although I can’t, I do remember how proud I felt that evening to be an American and how proud I was of other Americans.  It seemed to me that everyone truly came together after that Tuesday morning.

September 11, 2001.

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