Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reflections of 9-11

Whenever I see a clear blue sky I can't help but think "This is a 9-11 day". Although I was in Utah at the time of the attacks, our weather across the entire country was clear and sunny, the same type of weather they were having in New York. 

I had just arrived at school, having missed my 7:30 a.m. faculty meeting because I had overslept. I remember a fellow teacher came into my room around 7:45 and told me to turn on the television, that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. My first thought was that it was a small plane that had hit it, until I turned on the t.v. and saw the burning buildings. My brain was trying to make sense of what I was seeing.

 I remember on NBC they were talking to people on by phone who were trapped on the top of the buildings. They were inhaling smoke and it was very hot and they were panicking. I kept thinking, there's no way the fire fighters are going to reach them in time. And then, the first tower collapsed.....I remember crying out, covering my mouth, and thinking "No!!" Disbelief....Then my real world crashed in. 

The bell rang and I had to go pick up my little first graders and bring them in to start the school day. I had to turn off the t.v. and go....and I didn't want to. I wanted to stay glued to the t.v. As I was bringing the children in the building one of the teachers came up to me and told me the second tower had just fallen. Shock. I had to stay emotionless for my students. Unfortunately, that day we had scheduled a field trip to a local farm. As soon as we took attendance we loaded the kids on buses and we were gone for most of the day. 

I remember sitting behind the bus driver so I could listen to the radio. We learned that all planes were being grounded. That a plane had hit the Pentagon. I remember looking up at the sky and seeing and hearing no airplanes later in the morning. I remember feeling anxiety that I was cut off from the television. 

I remember some of the kids saying to me as they came into school that morning that they had seen a plane hit a building and the building was on fire. I had to tell them that it had happened very very far away and that they were safe. For days after 9-11 my students drew pictures of the planes and the burning buildings they were seeing on t.v. in their journals. My focus when I was at home was on what was happening at Ground Zero. My focus when I was at work was to protect the children and make them feel safe. 

It does not feel like it has been ten years since that day. I remember it so clearly. I remember the students who were in my class at that time. I remember the feeling of wanting to be close to my family, to fly my flag, to be united with my country. 

Where were you on 9-11? Please share your experiences in a post below....


  1. I turned on the TV just before leaving to work out at the YMCA. I saw the first hit and then Katie Couric saying oh no, another plane has hit the towers. I went on to the Y (amazingly) worked out and came home to utter world chaos! After calling family, the ones I could reach at that time of day, I remained glued to the TV. Crying, horror, disbelief!!! It is another one of those vivid memories of horror, right up there with the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and John F. Kennedy!!

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  3. Just found an email from Becca written on 9/11
    "I am sure we have had many moments of reflection throughout today...A moment out of my day which I will remember for as long as I live happened in my classroom with my 19 beautiful was the experience of hearing the daily bugle call over the intercom go off just after 8:30 am, moments after I had learned of today's horrific events and watching my 19 little ones automatically stop what they were doing, stand at attention, and in unison say the Pledge of Allegiance. It's had to explain how I felt but tears welled up in my eyes as these innocent little ones spoke... "I pledge allegiance to the flag...

  4. Thanks for sharing all of that! I had forgotten about the email about the Pledge.

  5. Oh, and I scrapbooked 8 pages in the 2001 volumes of family photos! I wrote a full page on that day (12x12 paper) This is a little ow what I wrote. "All the children called, just to say "I love you" (all 6 of therm!)
    "I felt shock, numbness, a need to be with others and to be by myself- a need to pray!"
    Friday 9/14: "There was a memorial service at Chandler Park - the Flags of Love were flying. Kay & Don Norton sang and we all sang God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner. The children of St Paul's School sang "Let There Be Peace"! Paul, Deb, Zach and I went together. (Christopher took photos) It was moving and beautiful!"
    (had to make a correction!)


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