10 years ago today I stood before a room filled with students in my 9th grade American History class when another teacher entered my room and quietly told me that a plane just flew into the World Trade Center. Immediately I remembered back to when terrorists bombed the WTC in 1993 and couldn’t help but wonder if this was yet another terrorist incident. I prepped the students with a few words before turning on the news and within one minute of doing so we watched the 2nd plane slam into the South Tower live. It took several seconds for the reality of what was going on to sink in and I remember looking out into a classroom of students sitting eerily quiet in their chairs. My mind was racing as I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility to help the students understand that the United States was under attack, yet I felt such a deep sense of helplessness all at the same time. I remember turning off the TV for a brief moment and standing up muttering something about how “America as we have known it will never be the same…” I then joined the students on the floor of my classroom and remained there for most of the day as we watched the horror of the day unfold. It was the most significant moment in American History that any of us had ever experienced and I know without a doubt that I’ll never forget the looks on the kids faces and their undeniable fear of what else might happen as the day wore on. Although it’s been 10 years I still recall the details of that day as if it were yesterday. Even after all these years I can still see the faces of the students that filled my classroom that day. It was a sad, horrifying, yet hopeful day as we watched firefighters, police, and military personnel put their lives on the line to rescue people in the war zone. Before my students left that afternoon we spent some time reflecting on the events of the day and the overwhelming consensus was that America definitely is the “Land of the free and the home of the brave”.
So, on this day, 10 years later I made a special “Patriot’s Day” breakfast for my boys. This one is dedicated to all the men and women who serve our country faithfully to keep us safe and to preserve the freedom we all enjoy each and every day. Thank you all for your service!