Where were you?
Nine years ago, I was in my classroom. Hannah was thrilled to be celebrating her birthday – she was nine years old! I took my third graders across the hallway to the computer lab, and the lab teacher broke the news to me. She was practically in tears.
“A plane hit one of the Twin Towers.”
At that moment, I couldn’t comprehend what she was telling me. Was she making this up? Was she exaggerating? Surely what she was telling me couldn’t be true.
I continued to teach that morning, cocooned away in my classroom.
During lunch, teachers crowded into the Principal’s office to watch the news on TV. Details were emerging, and the feelings of horror grew. What should we tell the kids? Should we let their parents tell them? Even though our our rural Midwestern community was surrounded by corn fields and not tall buildings, some parents came to take their children home early.
After school, I called my boyfriend, just to hear his voice and make sure he was all right.
The next day, Hannah told me how upset she felt. She was old enough to realize that September 11 would be remembered as a horrible day for a long time.
But it was her birthday. I tried to reassure her. She was a special girl, and her birthday would continue to be a special day.
Happy 18th birthday, Hannah!