I Remember

I remember September 11, 2001 like it happened yesterday.

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I was student teaching in a 4th grade classroom.

I wore a lavender quarter length, v-neck sweater from Express to school that day. 
And a long, black skirt.
(That's not important, but don't you think it's crazy how we remember the smallest of details of a traumatic, life altering event?!)

Our team sat down to plan after we dropped our kids off at specials.

The secretary walked in and told us there was a plane crash at one of the Twin Towers.  Someone on that 4th grade team had family in New York or knew someone who worked at the Twin Towers.

We shakily rushed to turn on the TV in the classroom.

5 minutes later, we watched in horror as a plane slammed into the 2nd tower. 

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We screamed.

And then we froze.

And then we cried as we saw a second screen pop up on the bottom right corner of the screen  showing the explosion at the Pentagon. 

Our voices quivered and we wondered aloud what the next target would be.

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We were told to go back to our classrooms as if nothing happened so that we wouldn’t cause the kids to panic.

We were terrified.

I remember sitting at my desk wiping away the tears that streamed down my face.  I couldn't let the kids see me like that.

Parents started coming in by the dozens to take their kids home.

An emergency staff meeting was called after school.

I don’t remember everything that was said, but I remember that NO ONE said a word. 
We were told to leave and go be with our families.

I had NO family in town and I was so scared.  I remember thinking, “What if I never see them again?”

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I shook in fear as I drove the 45 minutes back to my apartment.

I remember looking up at the sky more than I was looking at the road ahead.  I kept waiting to see another plane take aim at our skyline.

There was so much uncertainty.

I hugged my roommate when I got home and we cried together.
We couldn’t stand to be alone together so we went over to one of our best friend's apartment. 

We ordered pizza, but none of us could eat a bite.

We watched the 9/11 coverage all night in total silence except for the frequent soft whimpers and sniffles we couldn't contain.

My roommate and I went home and fell asleep in our own beds with wet eyes and heavy hearts and woke up to tear stained pillows the next morning.

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I remember going to church the Sunday after 9/11 and it was standing room only.  The sanctuary was filled with sad and worried people wondering if this was the beginning of the end and looking for comfort and reassurance.

On September 11th, 2001, life as I knew it changed forever.  More so for some than others.

Lives were lost.  Heroes were born.  Hearts were changed.

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It’s 14 years later and I still remember it like it was yesterday.


I will never forget.

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 I will FOREVER be grateful for the men and women who so selflessly sacrifice for the freedom that we enjoy and too often take for granted today.  Those brave men and women…and their families…are in my prayers today and always.  And the families who lost their loved ones 14 years ago continue to be on my heart and in my prayers today as well.

May we never forget.

3 comments:

  1. Cara,
    I come from Australia and I too remember the terror that was happening in your country. I remember it was midnight here and I was deep in the land of nod when my brother rang me and said, put your TV on, they are bombing America. I never slept that night. I know I was on the other side of the world but here in Australia we felt the pain for America. Australia remembers and our hearts and prayers go to the thousands of lives that were changed in an instant on that day.

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  2. I can't imagine being a teacher on that fateful day.
    I was a graduate student - studying broadcast journalism - of all things. It was a nightmare. I was living in NY state at the time.

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