September 11, 2008

On 9-11-01...

I was newly engaged, student-teaching a class of first-graders. I was leaving school to go to my afternoon college class. I was going to celebrate my one-year anniversary with my fiance (now hubby). I heard the radio in the school office. I didn't understand.
I listened in my car on the way to my class, and had to pull over onto the side of the road. My aunts worked at the Twin Towers. My dad travels to the Pentagon as part of his job. I didn't understand.
Classes are canceled for the rest of the day as those around me burst into hysterics. I walk into my house and turn on Fox News; I sit for hours watching the clips replay over and over. I didn't understand.
I hold a stack of worksheets painstakingly done by six-year-olds. I find myself writing the sequence of events onto one of the papers. I sense what I am seeing and hearing is important. I didn't understand.
Seven years later, I know the sequence of events, I know what happened. I know the motivation, I know who was responsible. I know what we, as a country, have done to support each other in the aftermath. But I still don't understand.


  1. Something so terrible really does defy understanding. Only God knows why.

  2. My children must have eaten over the period of three days that followed, but I can't ever absolutely say that I was the one who fed them.

    I was trying to understand, too.

    I remember my eyes burning when I finally closed them to go to sleep. I don't know if it's because they were fixed on the TV for so long, or because they were tear-burned, or because I was trying to understand, too.

  3. I was in college. I was at class that day. Afterward I joined a crowd of others around a large TV in a rec room.

    Why had they done this? I just wanted to bomb SOMEbody that day.

  4. I was teaching a fourth grade class at Destin First Baptist Academy. Our pre-school coordinator had come in to tell me (we were an hour behind EST) a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. I saw the 2nd plane hit. Even when the kids came, I couldn't turn the TV off. We were having morning prayer time - all heads were supposed to be bowed, but one little girl was watching the muted screen. "It's falling," she cried out and my eyes opened to see the first tower falling. Those kids are in the 11th grade now - what the children of the world have had to witness in their lives!


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