Eleven years ago today. What a horrific day. It started out like any other. My youngest son was a sophomore and had already left for school. I was a teacher at the same school but didn’t have to be in till later in the morning so I was meeting a friend for breakfast. My gas tank pretty much on empty but I knew I had enough to get to school and get gas after classes. Who could have known?
I had the Today show on while I was getting ready. The only thing I heard before I left to meet my friend was something about a plane crashing into a building. There wasn’t a lot of information yet and it just seemed like a terrible accident.
By the time we were at the restaurant, our waitress seemed rather distracted. Apparently they had a TV in the back and the news was just breaking about the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Then of course the Pentagon. And later about the news of the fourth that was intended to crash into the US Capitol Building but, thanks to the bravery and sacrifice of passengers, instead crashed into a field somewhere in Pennsylvania.
What a horrific day. So many people lost their lives. So many families devastated. I can only imagine the horror of parents who lost their children after kissing them goodbye and leaving them at daycare while they went off to work. Husbands and wives who lost their spouses, children who lost their parents. So many, so many.
After breakfast I went to work. I had the TV on in my classroom that day. Computer applications was far from our minds. The students of course wanted to know what was going on. I watched with them in stunned silence as the news poured in. I’d never seen a group of 15-year-olds so quiet. They were so quiet.
After school that day all sports practices were cancelled. We did not go home, however. My son, along with many of his friends, gathered at one of their friend’s house. No one wanted to be alone. They needed to share this. I was at the same house, the house of the friend I had met for breakfast that morning where we first found out what was going on. I had talked to my other two children, both in college at the time, one in town the other away. I had to assure myself they were both fine. They were. My children and my husband were all healthy and alive. We stayed there for hours, watching the news, talking and speculating until it was time for everyone to go home to be with their families for dinner. I still had to stop for gas that I had put off until after schoo,l never imagining what the day would bring. The wait was over an hour to fill up my empty tank. Who could have known how much things would change over the course of one day?
But even through all of this, the strength of America shines through.