In keeping with Kathleen's project remembering 9/11, I am challenging all of you Project Playes to create your own 9/11 Memorium. It can be a LO, project, tag - whatever you choose. (I have a WTC die cut and the words to Have You Forgotten in a file to use for this LO, and I think this challenge may just get me to finally do it!)
If you have been to the Smithsonian since 9/11, you may have been to the rememberance exhibit where you are asked to write your own experience from 9/11 on a piece of paper and add it to the exhibit. I did write my experience there, and while I haven't scrapped it yet, I would like to share it with you all.
I was teaching Middle School English that morning, and was 6 1/2 months pregnant with my first child, Eli. I happened to be sitting at my computer while my students were taking a test or doing their journaling - quiet time anyway. My email alert popped up saying that I had a new message and it was from the church secretary (it was at a Christian school that was part of a church) saying that a plane had hit the WTC. Pray for the victims and their families.
I immediately turned on the TV to the Today Show and we watched live as the chaos ensued. The second plane hit and then the towers fell. Some of my 6th graders understood a little of what was happening, but not the enormity of the situation. I remember thinking that I was bringing a baby into this world and how I would so rather keep him inside where he was safe.
We went through the day in a haze of questions watching the news coverage, listening to the status of the 4 planes that were still unaccounted for, then seeing the field in Pennsylvania where one of them went down. I called my husband who was watching at work and I remember just wanting to be with him and feel safe again.
It was a very rainy day here as we had some sort of tropical system nearby and the weather mirrored all of our moods. The school was on lockdown, parents coming to pick up their children and go home to familial safety.
All we wanted was to feel safe.
We were dismissed early once the students had all been picked up and Bryan and I went home to watch with the rest of the world. My first call was to my roommate from college who worked at the Pentagon. I couldn't get her so I called her mom and dad. I found out that she had had to walk several miles down the interstate to get to a place where she could make her way home.
All we wanted was to feel safe.
Those days after 9/11 felt very ethereal. We were instructed not to turn on our classroom TVs anymore because of the stress to the children. I can only imagine how the people of NY, PA, VA and DC felt during the hours and days that followed. I was fortunate enough not to know anyone who was lost that day, but I still, like most Americans probably, felt personally touched by the events of 9/11 and I still do. How could you not?
I feel sad for my children that a part of their innocence was stolen from them on that day. I feel angry that someone could hate me enough, not even knowing me, to do something so atrocious.
Looking back now, I remember too how many flags were flying for weeks and months afterward and wish they were all still flying today. I remember going to buy a flag for my car and them being sold out. I've always loved my country (though there is a good bit of gypsy in me that would love to spend years travelling the globe!), but Septemer 11th made me a patriot. That is what I will take from 9/11.
(and since I know we have alot of UK members, if you would like to commemorate 7/7 rather than 9/11, please feel free)