Sunday, September 13, 2009

Remembering. . .

I have had a very busy weekend and I haven't had the time to reflect properly on September 11. I just visited a friend's blog and she had a beautiful post about September 11 and I felt I needed to post as well. . .

As I was driving through town on Main Street last night. . . I wished I had my camera handy. Flags had been hung on Main Street and as I could see clear down the street in front of me. . .it really was a beautiful sight. It made me stop and think about that fateful day eight years ago. . .

I was standing in front of my classroom of sixth graders. . . I was still getting to know all of those young faces. . .when a friend of mine popped into the room. I stopped what I was doing and she was trying to tell me something, but I just wasn't getting it. I didn't understand and it wasn't sinking in. So, she turned around and turned the TV on. It was on Good morning America and at that time, no one was for sure what had happened. They were still speculating what type of plane it was and maybe it was an accident. That is what we were all thinking (hoping). . . maybe it was just an accident and not another attack on the World Trade Center.

I don't recall how many minutes we watched the Television before the second plane hit. But we had it on and the instant we saw it, we all knew we could no longer think it was an accident.

At some point the Principal told us it was OK to have our tvs on. . . .and so we watched the events unfold that morning.

I was standing in the hall during the passing period, talking with some teachers, when a student ran out of the classroom and said they just hit the Pentagon.

I remember feeling very scared, wondering how many places were to be attacked that day.

Eventually, we were instructed to turn our tvs off and try and resume a normal day.

Everyone knew there was nothing normal about that day.

After school, as I drove home. . . people were lined up at gas stations. . . even clear out on the highway. I didn't care how much gas I had in my car. . .as long as I had enough to make it home, then that is where I was going. I was scared, tired, and I wanted to watch the news.

I think we were all glued to the TVs for a long time. . hoping they would find survivors. . . wanting to know more details about it.

I have a hard time watching the reenactments of that day. . . it just is too real. . . though I usually do watch them.

And my cousin Bruce was in New York City that day. I believe he was supposed to have been in the World Trade Center, but thankfully, he wasn't. He was also in Florida when hurricane Andrew hit and had to hide behind a mattress in a hotel. Remind me not to travel with my cousin!

I also had a friend who was late to work that day.

Back to my classroom. . . I wrote the date on the board in the corner every day along with that days agenda. . . it only took me a couple of minutes to recognize what the date was and wonder what significance that had. And to know that my agenda had suddenly changed.

I really can't believe eight years have passed since that day. . . those children sitting in my classroom are now 19-20 years old. . .YIKES!!! IT is a day I will certainly never forget. The history teacher in me knows recollections of that day are of extreme importance. As a History Student, the most fascinating thing to me was always the everyday recollections of normal people. Most often the thoughts of the famous or those closely involved with an event are recorded. I like to hear what people living their every day lives thought about these types of events.

As a part of a project for a class I interviewed my Grandmother and video taped the interview. I was nervous, because I knew this was going to be shown to my class. I was also nervous to ask her some of the questions. They dealt with her living during WWII and her thoughts on it and the holocaust. . . and it also dealt with her two sons serving in Vietnam. One of which was injured while he was there. . .

Two of the most poignant things I remember from the video were
1. They really didn't believe the holocaust was as bad as it really was. She thought that it was propaganda and way exaggerated.

and 2. When she described the day a deputy pulled into her drive and got out of the car holding a letter for her. The letter was to inform her that her son had been injured in Vietnam. She said she gripped the doorway and didn't want to read the letter.

My Professor informed me of what a treasure I had with this interview. Documenting my Grandmother's words, our family history, and history for future generations. We lost my Grandmother in November of 2000, only a couple of years after the interview. It certainly is a treasure to us.

I have rambled enough. . . . I hope you document things like this. . . .future generations will want to know what every day people were thinking and doing that were living during this time period.

I feel a scrapbook page coming on. . . .

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Isn't it interesting to hear what other peoples thoughts and reactions to 9/11 are?

How awesome to have that priceless video of your Grandma, I'd give most anything to have something like that.