No political statement here - just a question. I can tell you exactly where I was that September morning. I was still teaching - third grade that year. I had just picked my kids up from P.E. and another third grade teacher and I took our kids into the main building to go the restroom before going back to our classrooms. The custodian came up to us and told us we needed to go up to the office, but he wouldn't tell us why. The other teacher told me to go and she would watch the kids - we used to do this, to check our mailboxes or to go the restroom ourselves, so it wasn't unusual for the kids to just see one of the teachers watching them.
When I walked into the office the TV was on - and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I asked the office staff what had happened, because at first, you have to believe it was an accident - and they told me - "We are under attack." The principal told us NOT to say anything to the students - she felt it was the parents job to tell them, but I think she just didn't know what to say. I mean, how do you explain to a school of elementary school students the insanity of what had happened when you don't understand yourself?
We made it thorough the day somehow. The students knew that something was up, but they didn't know what. However, we did our best to make it a "normal" day, whatever that meant. The next day we were told to answer any questions the students had, but not to make it the focus of our day. How do you do that? The next year we had a curriculum to teach about that fateful day - but on 9-11-01 I had to pretend that everything was fine. I couldn't call my kids to make sure they were okay - I couldn't call my mom - I just had to carry on.
I hope that we never forget the people that lost their lives on that day - including those in Pennsylvania. I wish we had the unity in our country today that we had those first days and months after the attacks, but I promised not to get political. I think that President Bush was right when he said that one day 9-11 will just be a date on the calendar, like Pearl Harbor, but I sincerely hope and pray that the lives that were lost on that day will never be forgotten.
Where were you on 9-11-01? I bet you remember.