Remembering 9/11

I was in my third grade classroom getting ready to meet with one of the reading groups when I got a call on my cellphone from my sister. She told me a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. I quickly went to the cupboard to pull out the black and white television I stored to watch special events. I plugged it in near my desk and told the class what had happened. I had 23 students at the time and they crowded around my desk to see what was going on. I called the school office to tell them and they turned on one of the school TVs. I also told the other teachers in my building.

I was flipping around the channels but ended up on ABC. Some students hung around and others went back to completing their work. I am a flexible teacher and I know that this event was much more important than any work I had assigned.

I called my sister and found out that there was concern about my niece, Sarah, who was a congressional intern at the time. No one had heard from her yet and there was fear that a plane might be heading for Washington DC.

We were watching when the first building collapsed. It was so hard to believe. Students asked many questions but there was no panic. We stopped and prayed. Thankfully, we did not see anyone jumping from windows. You knew the second building was coming down and it all seemed so surreal.

My students left for lunch and I talked with other faculty members, most of which hadn’t seen any footage, so we gathered around the TV in the office watching.

After an hour or two we heard from my niece. At first, they were told to stay inside but then everything was evacuated. She said it was wild with so many people rushing to get out of DC. She couldn’t get cell service and headed for the Metro. Of course, being underground she still couldn’t get service. We all breathed a sigh of relief when she called and said she was back in her apartment in outside DC.

My other sister and her family were in Disney World with some close friends and it was important to get in touch. There was that sense, that day that you needed to hear the voice of all your loved ones. They were fine but as air travel was shut down they knew they couldn’t fly back home. They also wanted to leave and just be home so they rented a van and drove back to MD.

When my students came back to the room, after lunch and recess, Will commented when he saw the TV was still covering the event, “Is that still on?”

Nick, wise beyond his years, turned and said to him, “Will, this is history we’re going to be hearing about this for a long time.” I reached over and ruffled his hair, thinking how true that was.

That class graduated from high school this year and I went back to South Carolina for the graduation. Only four students from my original class were there and I had a picture taken of me with them. I knew I had to go back for this graduation as they were My 9/11 Class. We talked about that day and I reminded Nick of what he said.

Yes, we are going to be hearing about this for a long time. My mom talks about the effect the bombing of Pearl Harbor had on her. She and her friend sat on her marble steps in Baltimore City crying that their fathers were going to have to go to war. Her generation has not forgotten and may we not forget.

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Check out these other posts I have linked up with…. Always Remember Never Forget. Thanks to Sunshine Praises and Totally Temberton for putting together this link up!

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27 Responses to Remembering 9/11

  1. dilee says:

    Thanks for posting your thoughts!

  2. Deb Dorrington says:

    How perceptive was Nick for his young years. 9/11 is like when President Kennedy was shot in that we will always remember where we were and what we were doing when the first plane hit the towers. The world has changed and I don’t see it going back to the way it was before 9/11, innocence lost.

    • Janice Hidey says:

      Yes, I remember when JFK was shot. I was home sick and my grandparents were living with us at the time. I thought I would get to watch television and was so disappointed when the only thing on the was his death. Later, I realized that was really special as my classmates only found out when an announcement came over the intercom at the end of the day. My family had not been Kennedy supporters but we were glued to the television through out all of it: the speculation, the funeral, Oswald, and Jack Ruby. Just like 9/11 we were all drawn together.

  3. Rebekah says:

    I was not as wise as Nick… I had absolutely no idea we were watching history! I thought it was cool that we got to pull the TV out in the middle of class, but the excitement soon wore off. I was one of those students who went back to work (typical). I remember going home that day and seeing how upset my parents were… that’s when I actually started to understand. It’s hard to believe that was 10 years ago.

    • Janice Hidey says:

      Rebekah, it was interesting to see all of your responses that day but you were only 7 or 8 years old. I was glad that you all didn’t understand as it was so hard for us as adults to process. I did think it was important to have the television on, though I was aware that people were jumping. I kept a close eye on the coverage in case anything like that came up but it never did.
      I was teaching second grade during the Challenger explosion and we were watching it. Though we teachers knew the astronauts were dead, students thought they might have lived. We did not challenge that and students prayed for them. Just like with 9/11, I let parents know that we had watched the Challenger take off and explosion in case questions came up.
      I, too can’t believe it has been 10 years either. Some of those memories seem so fresh.
      Thanks for your comment.

  4. We will never forget, and we will have this forever in our minds and hearts.

  5. Josia says:

    I was still in high school. I was in shock. I honestly thought that it was a movie. It took a long time for it to register that it was real. Long after the second plane hit. I remember seeing it hit live. I never went to sleep that night. I live in Australia and that moment haunted me in the days that followed.

    They will forever be in our hearts. We prayed and cried with you all. And i still find myself thinking of those that died in that tragedy everytime I go to an airport or think about travelling to new york. I live in Australia and I felt the impact even there.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Jacque says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I am glad I came to read your story. :) Amazing to read other perspectives all these years later. You are so right – it was a tough subject for the adults to deal with – much less try to explain to children what was going on. It’s still difficult to describe it and explain ‘why’ these things happen to the kids. The world is definitely a different place because of events like the 9/11 attacks.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for stopping by Our Homeschool Zoo blog!

    Young Nick was so very right, wasn’t he?

    May we never forget…

    • Janice Hidey says:

      Nick and I had a conversation a few years ago and he couldn’t remember saying it but said it did sound like something he would say. He is now in college and also working for the fire department, training to be paramedic I believe. So he is going to be one of those first responders.

  8. Stacie says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. What a wise little boy you had in your class! I’m so glad to hear that your family was spared that day. Thank you for visiting my blog!

  9. What insight Nick had! It’s one thing for an adult to grasp the magnitude of what happened, but it’s surprising this little one did.
    Than you for sharing your story!
    I also love the fact you went back to their graduation. That’s truly awesome!
    Have a joy-filled week…

  10. wow! what an amazing story & to see your third grade class at their high school graduation. thank you for sharing your story.

    • Janice Hidey says:

      They are a special group of kids and actually were bugging me to return. They are in SC and I now live in MD but with things like FB it has been easy to keep up with them. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, for your thoughts on my post and for sharing your post with me.
    You are a wonderful teacher to return for their graduation as you have such a special bond with these young men and women. Nick was so right, this will always be our generations “where were you when…” moment.
    God bles you, your family and our beautiful country.

  12. Katy says:

    I’ve seen a couple of different references to students’ 9/11 teachers. Isn’t it amazing how one day can have such a long-reaching affect on your life?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday.

  13. Lynn says:

    Oh wow – what a post. My kids were not even born yet when it all happened and they are glued to the tv even today! It’s just so hard to even comprehend even still.

  14. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. We did have similar experiences! Nick is very wise, and smart to pay attention. This will forever be a part of our history.

  15. Such an interesting point of view.

  16. Jen says:

    Thank you for stopping by. I remember all those details just like they were yesterday. I can’t believe it has truly been 10 years. I remember the challenger as well. I was at home with my grandmother watching it on the tv. Thank you so much for sharing your story. :)

  17. Rebecca says:

    Nick was truly wise for his young age 10 years ago. I’m glad you were able to be a part of your 9/11 class’ high school graduation. I know that 9/11 created an unique bond between you and those students.

  18. sebastian marshall says:

    when i was older to know what happen to the towers my heart sank,and a tear fell from my eye and anger fill my heart and to this day every time i see that clip a tear fall from my eye.

  19. Ruth Hill says:

    Wow–I hadn’t thought about the fact that the classes I taught then would have graduated or would be soon or already had. Thanks for sharing your story. Here’s mine:
    http://mydevotionalthoughts.net/2011/09/this-day-in-history-september-11-2001-2.html

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