Today I look back on a day that was one of the darkest I have lived through. I remember going to school and getting read for my first hour class. When they walked in the door they were all abuzz about something. Not one of them seem to greet me as they were certainly absorbed in the topic. I asked them what was going on and they told me that a bomb had hit the World Trade Center. I was taken aback. I later found out that it was actually planes that had crashed into the building and it was happening to other places too, that this evil had been planned for months.
On the radio on the ride home that night they had already put together remixes of people commented, crying and screaming their sorrow and transfixed them into songs that were already playing on the radio. Everywhere I looked, everywhere I listened it was there. I could not get away from the horror and yet at the same time I found myself actively glued to every newscast. We all did. It was the first time in many years that I had actually found myself watching the news and it certainly wasn’t for a good reason.
That week I found my students asking me if they were safe. It was the first time I cried. I did not intend to cry in front of them and while was just a few isolated tears it made me feel weak. I wanted to tell them they were safe, but no one knew if we were. I did the best that I could to tell them we should be safe. Who would want to bomb our little city? I found myself thankful to be part of a small city in Illinois and not one well-traveled, but I still didn’t feel safe. I thought at the time we would never feel safe again.
Will we now treat this day like Pearl Harbor to be remembered as just part of our history? Has it been written into new History Books? I hope we have learned to be thankful for our lives and peaceful in the moment. I hope we learn that time can heal and we no longer have to feel the sorrow. We can remember those that have passed and pay tribute to their memories.