Where were you on that ominous day thirteen years ago? The day so momentous that now when people hear 9/11 they instantly know where they were or weren't because some, like my current students weren't even born yet. Still without hesitation, my students can tell me exactly what 9/11 is. They also instinctively know that this is the day that the United States of America stood still and changed forever. Millions of us stared blankly at our television sets in disbelieve that such a heinous act could have occurred. I was one of them. I was a young mother with two beautiful daughters who were safely spending their day in our neighborhood elementary school. I was waiting for my very good friend to pick me up to go out for breakfast. She too was a young mother with two beautiful daughters in the same neighborhood elementary school. My phone rang. It was my friend. She said, "Turn on your television." I did, just as a plane went into the second Twin Tower. I literally couldn't absorb what I was looking at. Nobody yet understood what was happening. My friend and I didn't know what to do, so we kept our plans and went out to breakfast. We didn't understand. We were numb. I'll never forget the eerie car ride. Well travelled, main roads that were normally filled with cars, were today practically empty. Life seemed hollow. We learned that our daughters were safe in school but were in lock-down, which meant that no one could go into or out of the school. We went home, each to our own homes and waited. We waited and prayed. We prayed that our own children would remain safe. We prayed that everyone's missing loved one would be found safe. We prayed that no one died, even though we knew they did. We prayed for the families who had loved ones who died. We prayed for all of the brave firefighters, policemen, and rescue workers that they would not be harmed. We still pray, because even if you didn't know someone who was influenced personally by 9/11/01, you were still affected even if you weren't born yet.
Thirteen years ago today, life changed forever in the United States of America. I think that we all became a little less trusting and more suspicious of strangers. I think though, that too our hearts grew too. Our hearts grew to help grieve for those who were suffering. Our hearts grew because we knew that our children's lives would not be quite as innocent as they had been only yesterday. Our history books grew too because a new chapter was started that day. This chapter is still being written. People are still suffering. We still pray. We pray for all of the brave men and women who have kept us safe during the war on terrorism. I pray for a happy ending in this chapter but fear that this may not happen.
So, where were you? Where are you now? What does your heart tell you? What do you tell your children or students about 9/11/01? In my daily links, I've included educator and/or parent resources on 9/11 to help explain this fateful day to children. Today I pray for love, peace, and tolerance.
Educator and Parent Links:
Resources to Help Teachers Explain 9/11
911 Materials for Teachers
Daily Book Review:
Today I am reviewing one of the most endearing books I've ever read, Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War. I chose this book because
the author, Yukio Tsuchiya so truthfully tells the story of how war touched the Ueno Zoo in Japan during WWII. I cannot read this story without tearing up. Faithful Elephants, explains why and how three elephants, who were so deeply cared for, at the Ueno Zoo died.Yukio Tsuchiya wrote this book to let children know how deeply war touches everyone, even innocent animals. His hope is that through stories like his, world peace may be achieved. I hope so too.