Friday, September 11, 2009


Eight years ago I was standing in my classroom with students in my Brit Lit Class. Students were doing presentations on the epic poem, Beowulf.  Suddenly there was an announcement for teachers to check their email - a signal that something vitally important needed to be addressed.  As I read the email, which told us what happened and asked us to let the students know, but not to turn on the TV, I was stunned.  I told my students that the Twin Towers had been hit by airplanes and then in a daze, we went on with the presentations.  I don't think any of us actually understood what happened until we were able to get in front of a TV set.  Later as I watched the news stations show the scenes of horror in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shenksville, PA, I realized that America had just lost its innocence.  Never again would we be the same.  Each year on this day as my students pay tribute to the victims and survivors of this atrocity through their writing, the feelings I had that day come rushing back.  Most of my students this year were only 8 or 9 years old then and have limited memory of that day in history unfolding.  Soon my students' memories will come only from the stories they read and the movies they see about this day.  Americans must never forget our vulnerability.  However, we must also remember our resilience, our courage, our spirit, our fortitude.  The stories of the victims, survivors, and the rescuers reflect what makes America great. God Bless America. . . 

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