Hi, How'dy, How are ya?

Welcome to "The Country Schoolmarm"! Get yourself a cup of coffee (I take mine strong with vanilla creamer), grab a seat, and chat a while! Isn't that what country friends do? Now, all we need is a porch...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

'Lest We Forget...

     It was my first year as a teacher at my current school.  It was the second week of school.  My one student was having a birthday, so the students were decorating cupcakes.  I was grimacing because of the anticipation of the inevitable sugar high. It would not be pretty.  Our principal popped her head in the door and told us to come in the hall immediately.  I was terrified by the sound of her voice.  When I arrived in the hallway, I saw the rest of the teachers in my hallway gathered with similar terrified faces.

     The details were sketchy at that point.  Internet was not accessible in that part of the building.  The principal told us a plane hit the World Trade Center.  She seemed to think it was a small plane.  She asked us not to tell our students so as not to frighten them.  I felt like all the blood was gone from my body.  My students were fourth graders.  Would they know something was wrong?  I also thought about how we would deal with it the next day.  How to explain.  How to comfort.  We had no idea of what we would find out when we arrived home. One of the teachers had a radio.  She spent different points in the day listening to news in her closet so that her kindergarteners would not hear.  She kept giving us bits and pieces, but still the information was jumbled.

     When I arrived home, my heart wept for what I saw. I saw played over and over the horrors of the day that I was oblivious to.  It was clearly apparent that what had happened was much worse than the bits of information that we had received.  I was terrified.  Was this the end of the world?  Would our lives become what the people in the Middle East had to endure on a daily basis?  Would bombings be a part of our lives? So many questions.  My heart was proud of our country in how we joined together- to cover each other in prayer, to comfort, to provide, to listen, to help... People stopping what they were doing to rush to New York to just be a help in whatever way they could. Flags were flown everywhere. It just seemed like we really were "We the People of the United States".

     The days that followed still had much uncertainty.  Dealing with students' questions.  Students grieving over losses of loved ones or family friends. There were praises as more people were pulled alive from the rubble.  But the loss of life, was hard for my students and I to comprehend.

     One memory that also stands out in my mind was the stoppage of air traffic.  Our school regularly has jets going overhead going to and from the Philadelphia International Airport.  The sky was silent as we watched students on the playground. A few days later, the ban on flights was lifted.  When the first plane flew over the school, all stopped and watched with fear.  That fear did not easily subside.

      Now, 11 years have passed.  The students who were there with me at that moment are in college.  My class last year, many of them were born that year.  One student had a baby picture taken in front of the Twin Towers the day before they fell.  As we move further away from that terrible day, it is no longer a topic of conversation.  So unlike the year that followed that day.  That year was full of rejoicing when people were rescued, sorrow when life was lost, loss of words for the rubble being constantly taken away and sorted.  It seemed like a dark, endless time.  Now, it is a blip on the news.  A brief reminder to remember and pray.  My students have no knowledge of that day.  What they do know is not completely accurate.  Like a sad game of "Whisper Down the Lane". 

     Each year, I try to watch YouTube videos of the news reports from that day.  I try to relive that day in my mind.  It still makes my stomach drop. It is my job as a teacher and as an American to relive that day, year after year, to tell the story of that day to my dear children that are under my care.  So that they remember...

'Lest they forget...


  1. It is a sobering day today. I've remembered and prayed all through the day. God bless America!

    1. Yes! God bless America! I prayed in Chapel today. It was sad to realize that almost every cherub out there was born after 9/11 and had no clue what I was praying about...

  2. I remember the moment I found out about it too. I was getting ready to head to college and one of my mom's friends called to tell us to turn on the news. I didn't go to class that day. I too have relived that day today. My little one had red white and blue day at school today and asked me the question, "Mommy, what are we celebrating?" Wow...what a question. What to tell a 4 year old. She was happy to celebrate something. Such innocence.

    1. See, that's the thing. Our pastor told the children in Chapel today to ask their teachers about why this day is unique. The young ones can't begin to understand. The kids I teach are so far removed from it that instead of sadness and respect, they look at it as something exciting- planes and destruction- like their video games. Last year I did show a carefully chosen YouTube video of TV coverage. That seemed to put it into perspective for them. I am not sure it will for this class. No words...

  3. God Bless America!
    And my Friend Heather Cordelia.
    Trace 'with a E!


  4. It was a shocking, saddening tragedy...we will never forget.
    May God bless the free world.

  5. So, I shared with my class today. We watched a video, and I shared about that day in my life and what it was like. The children were quiet and respectful. They shared about family members who were there, but spared by God by a late meeting or delay. Wow. We discussed how terrible it was, but God uses all things for His sovereign will. He knows what is best, even when we don't understand. One lesson I tried to emphasize was the compassion that was evident that day. Since we are called to be image-bearers of Christ, and Jesus was compassionate, we should be too. We need to serve those around us- friends, family, teachers, strangers... And we need to cherish our loved ones- we don't know how long they will be in our life. I think when they saw the towers fall, and the realization it wasn't a cool thing that the building collapsed (like when you see an old building being demolished)- that in that instant, thousands of lives were lost... They were so quiet. And when we ended with prayer, they prayed with compassion for those who lost loved ones. I underestimated them. Out of the mouths of babes...


"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." - Proverbs 16:24

Let's chat! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas!