I was going to blog today about a craft and fall DIY that I had done, but I will be doing that tomorrow. Somehow, it just didn’t feel right to carry on, business as usual. I’ve never committed this story to written word. I’ve shared it with students each year, but I don’t believe I’ve ever written about it.
14 years ago, as a junior in high school, I woke up with a stuffy head. Even though I was feeling poorly, I chose to go ahead to school. I was sitting in my first period class, which was Air Force JROTC, when someone came in and told Sarge and Colonel to turn on our TV. Upon turning the TV to CNN, we noticed that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center North Tower.
At first, we assumed what everyone assumed- it was an accident. It was a pilot whose navigation instruments had failed. We realized, as we watched the second plane hit the South Tower, that this was no accident.
Our Colonel’s son worked about a block from WTC, and due to the crowded telephone circuits, it would be several hours before he’d hear from him. He was alive and uninjured.
Before the bell rang and the class changed, we witnessed both of those 110-story buildings topple to the ground. I’ll never forget the CNN anchor watching the growing dust cloud and exclaiming, “There are no words.”
For me and the high school students surrounding me, this statement summed it up perfectly. In each of our classes for the rest of the day, all we did was watch CNN and try to make sense of what we were seeing. I remember going to the office and seeing so many parents in there that I could barely squeeze in the door. People had come to pick up their children.
There are no words to describe the sense of loss and of despair that blanketed our nation in the days following 9-11. One of my strongest memories is how all life seemed to stop- I remember radio stations not having morning shows or music for over a week. I remember seeing throngs of students praying together, and American flags everywhere.
Since 9/11, our world has changed in ways that my children will never understand. I can’t believe it’s been 14 years, but the images I saw on the TV that day are burned into my memory. I will never understand what kind of evil can cause someone to murder nearly 3,000 people just because.
Today, let”s take time to reflect on 9-11: those that were lost, those who’ve been lost in the years since, and those who lost their loved ones.