Just the date (the calendar date that is) | Do Try This at Home: Just the date (the calendar date that is)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just the date (the calendar date that is)

I was all set to press publish the normal laughing at life's absurdities last night when I found midnight had passed me by unnoticed. I'm sort of torn between not posting at all today which fits in well with my "no crying on this blog" attitude and my inability to keep quiet. I figure the best compromise might be to keep it short (also a near impossibility for me).

To that end I'm only going with only my most poignant memory of 9/11. I was teaching first grade (six and seven year
olds) in public school at the time. On the actual day our instructions had been not to breath a word of what was happening to the children. There's a balance, I think, between what my daughter's school did (turned on the news for the six year olds to watch) and stonewalling the obvious hysteria, but I've promised brevity...

The following morning we were allowed to discuss what had happened during class time, the assumption being that their parents had already had their shot at providing comfort and explanations as they saw fit. The children didn't have many questions. In fact, only one hand went up. "Was it on
purpose?" I will never forget their collective gasp at my answer- the sound of an entire classroom of children having their hopes dashed at once.

10 comments:

DJ Kirkby said...

I was driving to work as a community midwife in England and heard it on the radio. As soon as i got to work I turned the tv on as no one else knew anything about it and we all watched, shocked, saddened and worried about relatives.

Bastet said...

My office turned the tv after the news spread and ended up watching the second plane hit. We heard rumors about a 3rd plane being in the air in Pennsylvania and due to the fact that I work in Harrisburg, we were told to evacuate. Then because there were thousands of people trying to leave the city, at one time, I was stuck in a huge traffic jam, ended up parking my car and walking 15 blocks to my apartment.

After I got home I called everyone I knew, and made sure they were ok. I will never forget that day.

disa said...

personal anniversaries are an odd thing. the collective ones like this are even stranger. at the time you really lose track of your own personal moment and what youre doing. later thats what you remember.

SJ said...

It must have been tough seeing those children's reactions.

Christine said...

We live an hour and a half from DC, between a naval base and a nuclear power plant. Every time I heard a siren, that day, I was sure we were the next hit. I had to remind myself that people have heart attacks, buildings have electrical fires, stuff happens, even when the world looks like it is about to end.

My mother in law lives across the street from FBI headquarters. It took hours to get her on the phone, to make sure she was OK.

My uncle was on a cross-country flight. Again, it took hours to be sure he was OK.

What else do I remember? All day long, watching the news, I kept expecting--almost REALLY expecting--Spider-Man to show up and fix things.

and afterwards, we found out that my husband's cousin had a breakfast meeting scheduled for that morning, in the restaurant in the tower. What was that, Windows on the World? He was running late, so he missed his meeting. He's still alive today, and thinks it's because he was goofing off. But I know it is because he is the same cousin who saved my children's lives, a couple years before.

Heather said...

I taught third grade that year and found out after a staff meeting and minutes before my students, who watched it on tv, arrived. Children are brief and to the point. The motive doesn't matter but accident or on purpose does. If only adults could see so clearly.

Roger said...

Jeezz that must be tough to explain...Hey I have a outhouse I took photos of for you to review Jill here is the link http://idahodailyphoto.blogspot.com/2007/09/western-outhouse.html

toners said...

I was 3 months pg w/DS and hubby was on a business trip to Denver; I called him and woke him up and we were on the phone together for hours while watching the news. The spooky thing is that DH was in NYC the week before 9/11 and got the same number flight back as one of the hijacked planes :(

John C said...

I was working on a bank's vault wall; don't ask; when one of the guys said a plane had hit somewhere.

A few minutes later I had the truck radio turned to a Fox live broadcast.

I know what I heard, as well as the story of the Pa. crash is...just a story...but you can't tell old Americans new truths, can ya?

Irisi said...

My idiot of a history teacher decided to turn off the TV after the second plane crash and attempt to educate a roomful of terrified high schoolers about Black American History. On a positive side, I guess I'll never forget about the horrors of slave ships.

In my next class, my choir teacher tried to get us to sing. I left the room and wandered the halls until I found someone with a TV on, and watched in shock, holding a classmate I didn't even know, who's brother was working in the tower, sharing her grief.

What I remember poignantly from that day was the pregnant silence... High school hallways and lunchrooms often resonate a dull roar. Full of students, the halls and lunchroom were dead silent, save for the low murmur of whispers that rippled throughout the student body.

It was creepy. I honestly thought the world was, in fact, ending. I can't imagine what it was like having to tell those children that no, it wasn't an accident..

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