Not sure I can relay all my turmoil remembering 911 here. But if this is how I am feeling, and I am just a witness who experienced 911 from such a distance, I cannot fathom how those who experienced the actual event must be feeling today. My heart goes out to them, and to everyone affected in every way by this tragedy.
Like many, I was teaching and at school, and besides managing my own horror, I had the responsibility of deciding how to deal with informing and talking with my students who could tell something was happening, and were asking. It changed the day, the week, the entire year.
But this wasn’t even a drop in the bucket compared to my friend Bob in New Jersey, who teaches in a private school along the river across from NYC. He told me about all of the teachers and students going outside to see what was going on, and watching as the second plane flew into the 2nd tower and exploded on impact. He and his students had mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, and other relatives working in those towers, and on the hundreds of rescue teams inside. They watched the towers across the river explode and fall. He teaches Grade 7 students like mine. But unlike mine, some of his students actually watched their parents and friends die before their eyes.
That single insight has given me a deeper appreciation of the effects of your home and family being attacked in a war in your own land. So today, my special thoughts and prayers go out to Bob Tarencz and all of the teachers and students who watched in horror that day. 11, 12, or 13? They’d be around 22 now. Who are they now? I know it changed their lives forever, but the biggest question for me is, WHO have they become?
Some weeks from now, I will call Bob, and I will ask him.