Monday, September 11, 2006


September 11, 2001 is a day I will never forget. It was my first year teaching. I was teaching 3rd grade at Roswell North Elementary in Atlanta. Our principal came over the intercom and told us that we needed to check out email immediately. This was definitely a clue that something major was going on. They never interrupted our classes to have us check our email. I remember being shocked that an airplane would be so off course that it would hit a building such at the World Trade Center. It saddened me, but I didn't think much more of it. A few minutes later she came back on and instructed us to check our email again. About the time I finished the email about the second plane other teachers were gathering in the hallway. I remember we began to understand the magnitude of what was happening. We were getting scared. All we wanted to do was go home and call our families. We couldn't do that. We had children in our classrooms who needed us. We were to keep things as normal as possible. We were not to say anything. This was a difficult thing to do. They knew something was going on with us having to check email so often and then with us gathering in the hallway. After I took my kids to their support class (P.E.) I went into the library to watch the news and find out what was happening. The first time I saw the footage of the plane hitting the second tower I thought I was watching a computer reenactment. I could not believe I was actually watching the real thing. I remember the devastation I felt when I realized it was real. The tears began. Going back to class was incredibly difficult. I just wanted to talk to my mom, dad, and brother. The rest of the day was a blur. When we were finally able to go home I cried the whole way. I remember getting home and calling my dad. He didn't really know the extent of what was going on. He worked outside without tv or radio. He had gotten a call from his wife, but having not seen it he didn't really know. He thought it was weird that the airplanes had stopped flying over his head since he was working close to the airport. He was at a loss as to how to comfort me though. I tried to call my mom, but couldn't get in touch with her which freaked me out. Come to find out my grandfather had fallen and broken his hip. I called everyone I cared about that day. I began thinking more and more about Michael as well. I had to talk to him. He was the man I loved and I had to let him know that. I watched coverage the rest of the night. When I went to bed I remember the eerie feeling of not hearing the planes flying overhead, but hearing the military jets fly over. I didn't sleep. The next morning we were back at school. I can remember the scared looks of my students that morning. I had one student come in and ask me if I saw the plane hit that building and wasn't it cool. My gut reaction was to yell, but I had to remember that he was just a young child and didn't understand what that meant. I did let him know that there was nothing cool about what happened. I made the decision right then that we were going to sit down and discuss the events of the previous day. They were so scared. I was scared. We sat around our reading corner and talked about our feelings. One of my kids said that a lot of people survived because he saw them jumping from the building to get out. I let him believe. I remember thinking how badly I wished that were true. I'm still not sure how I was able to function that day.

The emotions are as raw today as they were on that horrible day. I'm not sure if it will ever get better. As much as it changed my life it changed the lives of the families who lost loved ones even more. My thoughts and prayers go out to them on this 5th anniversary and I hope they have been able to find peace.

I'm sorry for rambling. I've never written down my thoughts from that day so I'm sure they don't flow as they should.

1 comment:

Beth said...

{{{HUGS}}}} I know I needed one and thought I would share one with you :)