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Sep 10, 2011 4:20 PM CST
Gone But Not Forgotten
|I was teaching and my first 2 hours were spent with my home room class, a mix of juniors and seniors, most excellent students and certainly one of the best classes I've ever had. We were on block scheduling which meant that the first 15-20 minutes of the morning we took care of home room business, watched the school announcements on TV and then we went right into a combo painting/art history class. Same students, but with about 20 minutes of business and 90 minutes of classtime. We watched the school announcements then I went to my office, just off my classroom, to finish morning paperwork. I could still see and hear the students in the classroom.
Suddenly the class was dead silent, but I hadn't turned the TV off and national news came on after the school news and I realized the TV was silent too. We are in central time here, so my 8 a.m. is NY's 9 a.m. I stepped back into the classroom. Mouths of my students were drooping in disbelief, their eyes as big as saucers. Wes, a senior, saw me.
"Ms. Brown, somebody's bombed the World Trade Center with a plane."
I'll never forget those words, it was happening as we watched. And watch it we did, as it played out in front of us. It was a nightmare for the students as well as for me. I was thankful I was with them, thankful that I was not alone and that they weren't. We all had a shocking dose of reality that day.
Wes, nor I, realized at the time that it was a planned event. He thought it was a bomb on the plane, there had been hijackings before. It took days for the reality and the repercussions to hit home. I remember for the rest of the school year our students wore those little American flag lapel pins. And if they didn't have one, they made replicas in the art classroom. Everybody wore those flags. And nobody forgot.
I know where most of my students from that year are now. I see them on Facebook often. And tomorrow, no doubt we'll all have the same memories, the same tears, the same patriotism that might have been forgotten somewhere along the way.
I wiped enough tears that day to last a lifetime, and shed many of my own. And now I sit remembering and it starts all over again. I hope the programs devoted to 9/11 bring the patriotism back home to all of us again. I hope we all learned something from that event.
Thank you, Ginger.
Sep 11, 2011 8:52 AM CST
| Thank you, Sharon for sharing your thoughts and memories. I have been watching today while the tears fall.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Sep 11, 2011 9:03 AM CST
|My job relocated me from San Antonio to Atlanta during Labor Day week of 2001. I spent Labor Day week writing a new class for the client, a one-day class with 8 full hours of technical training on some new equipment they were buying from us. Taught the class for the first time on Sept 10... that entire week, my students would be our client's higher-ranking management types -- they would tell us if we needed to tweak the material at all.
So on Tuesday 9/11, I was teaching that new class for the 2nd time -- class started at 8, and we took our first break around 9am eastern time. I was filling up my coffee cup when one of the employees saw me and said "Oh...you've been in class, so you haven't heard. Someone hijacked a plane..." I grew up in the 60s/70s, when it felt like planes were constantly hijacked and flown to Cuba. She went on to say "They flew it into the WTC."
Break was over right about then, and as the instructor (and a contractor), I had to set a good example. So I was first back into the classroom, but as soon as we were all together, we took a field trip to the break room upstairs where all 3 TVs were tuned to CNN. We got there in time to watch the 2nd plane hit. I remember watching one of the towers fall, but can't tell you if we saw it live or as a replay.
I can pretty well guarantee that none of my students remember anything from our class that day. I didn't have the authority to cancel the class, and it would have been almost 2 months before they could have retaken it if we had cancelled it. So we continued on, but all of our 10 minutes break were 20 minutes that day, and we had more of them than usual.
Most of the folks that I met here in my first 2 weeks in ATL were transplanted new yorkers. One of my co-workers here was from NYC, had 2 aunts that worked at the Towers, and a cousin or niece that attended school at that elementary school. He went home as soon as he heard the news. They later found one aunt in the hospital with a broken back, the niece/cousin was not in school that day and was safe with her grandmother, and his other aunt was never found.
My entire support system was in San Antonio, where I'd lived for the previous 11 1/2 years. I was alone in a strange city, in a hotel room, just me and the tv news and my laptop, wishing I was still in the military so I could help go after the people who attacked our country. In the 10 years I'd been out, it was the only time I seriously wished I were still in.
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Sep 11, 2011 11:56 AM CST
| thank you for posting. So sad for the families whose loved ones were never found. Hopefully thay can find some sort of closure now that the "voids" where the pools are have been finished and dedicated and open to visit. So very sad.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
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