On Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy struck this great country of ours.
Terrorists flew two airplanes into the World Trade Center buildings, as well as the Pentagon.
Nearly 3,000 people died in this unprecedented attack on American soil.
More would have died if not for the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93, but those courageous souls reclaimed control of the plane and flew into a field, sacrificing themselves to save others.
Where was I when this all happened?
It was my sophomore year of high school. I was in science class when the first plane flew into the building.
When class got out the hallway was quietly buzzing, but I wasn’t sure why.
Then I went to Mrs. Hamilton’s Geometry class. The television was on, and she was sitting in front of it crying. She was from the State of New York.
On the screen, I saw the carnage unfolding. I saw the second plane strike, and I saw people jumping from the building in a last attempt to survive.
No one said much during that period. We all just sat there in stunned silence. At one point I did lean over to my friend and tell him I though this wasn’t good. Something bad was going to come of it. He agreed, and we went back to watching the news coverage of the attack.
After class, the rest of the day was a blur. I know we didn’t do much but talk about what had happened, but I don’t remember many specifics.
Football practice followed school, but again, I don’t remember any of it.
When I got home, my dad was sitting outside on the picnic table talking with a friend of his. I asked him if he’d heard about what happened.
He said he had. “Someone is going to pay for this,” he said.
Of course, he was right. Brave men and women in our military fought for retribution, and the battle continues, with many of them losing their lives in the fight.
I am proud to be an American. This country’s response following the aftermath of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, was and continues to be amazing.
Without getting into the political fray, I am proud of our response of force. It was necessary, and I hope the fighting ends shortly so all of our military personnel get to come home very soon.
On this day, the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, I took a moment to reflect, and I hope you did too.
I am a high school journalism teacher, and I had my students reflect on the event as well.
Most of them were in first or second grade at the time, so I had them write down how they honor those who died on or because of 9/11.
I took their responses and wrote a free-verse poem. Then I had them record their parts in their own voices, and I had them write meaningful messages on their hands. Of these, I took pictures and create an audio slide show with the images and the audio.
Below is the final product. It turned out phenomenal.
I hope you enjoy the video, but more importantly, I hope you never forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. I know I won’t.