It’s always sad to “celebrate” a horrific occasion. Especially something as horrendous as the tragic events on September 11, 2001. Many of us remember that day just like it was yesterday. Although I didn’t personally know anyone who lost their life, our country lost a piece of its soul.
On September 11, 2001 I was teaching first grade at Hawthorne Elementary School. We had been finishing some projects because Open House was later that night. There was never an announcement over the intercom about the incidents. I had gone to the office for something and they were talking about it. I remember going back to my room and notifying my assistant.
Being a person that want to know all that’s happening around me (which is a good quality for a first grade teacher), I went to the library to find a tv. And right at that moment I saw the second Tower start to fall. And at that moment, I didn’t know what to do.
Here I had 24 bright eyed six year olds ready to learn and I’m a teacher trying to figure what’s happening in our world. Unfortunately I couldn’t combine the two emotions. I couldn’t turn the tv on and let them watch it. They wouldn’t understand and I still didn’t know what else could have happened. Talk about being conflicted.
I came up with the best solution I could. I turned on the tv, on mute, and turned it in the direction where none of the students could see it. I didn’t really get to see much that day but took pride in the fact that my students left school with the same free spirit as when they came. Without going into any detail, I simply told them “There was a really bad accident today and a lot of people were hurt. When you get home, you mom/dad may tell you more about it.” And I left it at that.
I wish the occurrings on September 1, 2001 were that simple, but we all know they weren’t. As we reflect upon the 10 year anniversary, pray for the thousands of families that were affected, and continue to affected. Try not to hold grudges against an entire group of people because of evil ways of a select few. Embrace those you love and if you’re not doing what you love there’s no time like today to make it happen!