Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/2001, A Day That Changed Life in America Forever

Today, we pause out of our hustle and bustle and remember, if for a fleeting moment between watching football and juggling life, what happened 10 years ago in New York, Washington, and Shanksville.

Today, we look back at the moment we heard the awful news that America was indeed under attack. For some of us, the videos will bring back haunting memories and remembrances of those that survived and were lost. In one way or another, anyone that was alive on 9/11/01 or that has been born after has seen life in America be much different than it was before that terrible day in American history.

For me, I remember much about that day. It started for me like many others. I went to work. ISTEP testing was going on at Ben Davis High School, and I was asked to sit and watch one of the umpteen doors into the school building. Shortly after the first plane hit the WTC, the choir secretary approached me and asked me if I had heard what happened in New York. I told her no, and she explained to me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. At that point, neither of us suspected terrorism. It was a few minutes later when I heard that another plane had hit the South Tower and many people had seen it happen live on TV that I knew we had a much different situation on our hands.

The rest of the day was spent watching news coverage on a small TV monitor. I could only get Fox in my classroom, but the students and I crowded around the small TV screen. I had one student whose grandmother worked in the Pentagon. It took him some time, but he would find out that she was ok.

In the weeks that followed, there were various tributes and events including a stuffed animal drive that filled an entire large display case with stuffed animals to send to a NYC elementary school that was near the site of Ground Zero.

As far as where we've come since that day, I don't know. I think it's very difficult to say. In many ways, we are safer. In some ways, we are just as vulnerable as we were that day. That's a discussion for another day.

Today, let's just remember the victims, the survivors, the first responders, and all those that were directly and indirectly affected by that horrible day.

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