I’m having a hard time writing a post today, because this day always hits me pretty hard. Although it’s been twelve years, I still have to take a few deep breaths before I can talk about it. Recently, Bird asked me a question about the World Trade Center, and I couldn’t speak at all. Tears just flowed down my face, and I shook my head. Luckily Josh was there, and he stepped in.
I don’t have a special story to tell. I wasn’t in Manhattan. I didn’t lose a loved one. But my throat clenches every time I think about it, and my eyes start to sting with tears.
I didn’t stay home from work that day, twelve years ago. I was a fifth grade teacher at an underprivileged school. I knew that many of my students’ parents worked two, or even three jobs, and that school was a stable, safe place for their kids. I knew they were counting on that. They were counting on me. So I went to work.
I didn’t know all of the details that morning. I didn’t know how much the kids knew. I hadn’t had any training on what to say or what to do. So I just did the best I could. I kept things normal for those kids. It was hard. I was scared, but I tried not to let it show.
Hours later, I drove along the empty highway and the deserted streets to a friend’s house, where Josh and a few others had been watching the news all day. They were all still stunned and sad, but they had reached a place of grim acceptance. I was still filled with an overwhelming sense of disbelief.
I’m still there, I think. I never left. So on this day, I’ll take a moment to remember, but I will also take a moment to believe. I believe in myself. I believe in my community. And I believe in the power within all of us to come together and do the right thing.
And I remember.
Rest in peace.