I think any of us who were old enough to remember September 11, 2001, it will be a day that we can never forget, whether we want to or not. I still remember the sinking feeling in my stomach as I ate breakfast that morning before school, watching them speculate about the first plane in the first tower, as the second plane hit. The shock, the disbelief. Then having to go to school, where my first period teacher (Band) didn’t want to have us watch the footage, so we were playing as another teacher ran in yelling that the towers had fallen. Watching the replays in other classes…
It was terrifying, and I didn’t have any loved ones in immediate danger, even. My heart goes out to those who did, and still do, have loved ones who died or are in danger still from the chain reaction that was set off that day.
Most of my students can’t remember or appreciate the events of that day, as they were two or three. So, as an English teacher, I felt like it would be important to take a day to remind the students one of the greatest purposes of writing: to remember. And why we would remember this day from ten years ago.
As part of that lesson, I found this beautiful tribute on Youtube that I decided to show my students, and that I want to share with you all:
I was so impressed by how my students took all of this so seriously and maturely. I hope it helped give them a broader view of the events that they have heard about growing up, but perhaps didn’t really understand.
I also wanted to share two other things I have come across the past few days that impressed me.
First, the fact that the rest of the world still acknowledges our pain, even though many of these places have their own suffering and turmoil. Here’s the start of this article:
As America looked inward in the days, weeks and months after September 11, 2001, others around the world made extraordinary gestures toward the United States. We were all so focused on ourselves – understandably so – that many probably missed the fact that Iran’s President Mohammad Khatami condemned the attacks, that Ireland and Israel held full national days of mourning, that the Afghan Taliban told “American children [that] Afghanistan feels your pain”.
You are even less likely to have heard what could be one of the most touching reactions of all. This is the story of how a destitute Kenyan boy turned Stanford student rallied his Masai tribe to offer its most precious gift to America in its time of need.
And sometimes, even the beloved Sunday comics can stop for a moment to acknowledge the importance of today’s date.