My story isn’t unique. I’m sure that we all remember where we were, what we were doing when we heard about the attack on the World Trade Center.
I was working at an elementary school in Knoxville, TN. I remember having lots to do that morning, phone calls, copies to make, and lessons to plan. One of my co-workers told me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. I was standing in the copy room and I thought she was mistaken. She turned on the Today Show. There were images of smoke billowing out of one of the towers. We talked about how odd it was for a plane to hit a building. Had the pilot suffered some sort of health issue and was not able to fly the plane? Had there been a terrible mix-up by air traffic controllers?
As the tragedy of the attack on this country unfolded that day, I felt fear, shock, anger, and confusion, as probably most everyone did. We were told to not say anything to the children, as our principal felt it was their parent’s responsibility to make the decision on how to handle telling them. We were told to act normal for the children. Oddly enough, acting normal is what I think got me through the day.
That night, and for weeks afterwards, I was glued to my TV. I couldn’t stop watching the non-stop coverage. I remember being very disturbed by a report by Rehema Ellis on NBC where victim’s family members were pleading with the public to help them find their missing loved ones, showing worn and tattered pictures or make-shift missing posters. The desperation of these people has never left me.
Tate eventually made me stop watching TV. We bought our first house a few weeks after the attack, and the stress of moving made me focus on something besides the loss and devastation. I’m sure the news will be filled today with stories and reports from September 11. I still can’t really watch this stuff, the wound still feels fresh. I’ll always remember.
I’m going to hug my children and my husband a little harder today. I’ll count my blessings. Back to my regular scheduled bitching tomorrow.